Iranian Court Acquits Nine Imprisoned Christian Converts

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Nine Christian converts serving five years prison sentences on charged to court for participating inLoo house churches have been acquitted by Iranian appeals court. They were accused of acting against national security.

The ruling was described by human rights watchdog, Open Doors USA, as a landmark decision. According to Article 18 of human rights watchdog, Branch 34 of the Tehran Court of Appeal issued the ruling this week and it was as a result of an order made in November, 2021 by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court for the lower court to review the convictions. 

Asides the accusation of acting against national security, they were also accused of promoting  “Zionist Christianity.” The accused Christians include Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad, Shahrooz Eslamdoust, Behnam Akhlaghi, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Khatibi, Khalil Dehghanpour, Hossein Kadivar, Kamal Naamanian and Mohammad Vafadar.

The judges involved in the case were Ali Kamali and Akbar Johari. In their judgment, they said that the evidence against the Christians were not enough based on the accusations. They added that Christians were taught to live in “obedience, submission and support of the authorities.”

Open Doors USA, “These judges have now found that the initial ruling that caused some of these Christians to spend over two and a half years of their lives in prison was legally unjustifiable.

“Meanwhile, at least a dozen others, including one of the nine involved in this case, are still in prison or enforced internal exile following their own convictions on similar charges.”

According to Open Doors USA, Iran ranks ninth-worst country in the world concerning Christian persecution.

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