Sunday, December 30, 2012

Iranian Christian Marks Two Years Behind Bars

12/28/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – As Christians all around the world prepare for New Year celebrations, many families, especially families of Christian converts , experience nothing but worries and suffering at this time of year. Particularly, those families whose loved ones are in prison for their faith, will have a worrisome time rather than a time of togetherness and joy.

Mohabat News -- After Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader gave a speech in Qom in mid-2010 ordering a crackdown on the spread of Christianity and house churches, confirmed reports indicated that 70 Christian converts were arrested in various parts of Iran and put behind bars.

Farshid Fathi, born on 1979, was arrested by security authorities on December 26, 2010, in Tehran. While being kept in the horrible 350 ward of Evin prison, his trial was postponed numerous times, due to various excuses, until it was eventually held in January 2012, after 15 months. There, in the Revolutionary Court, Judge Salavati sentenced him to six years in prison. The judge issued this verdict, although Fathi's attorney did not receive full access to his file until a few days before the trial was held.

Mr. Fathi's offenses were announced as, "being chief-director of foreign organizations in Iran and gathering funds for these organizations". Despite his appeal of the verdict, the High Court confirmed his six year sentence. When the court's verdict was approved, it's news was spread over the internet. The six year imprisonment for Pastor Fathi for faith-related offenses was condemned by churches and Christian's Rights organizations. This is the second anniversary of Mr. Fathi's arrest and he has been in prison since then without being given a leave permit even once and he has been totally denied the "basic right" of having a leave permit(Source).

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