Published On: Wed, Oct 22nd, 2014

Iran: Pastors Benham Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani get prison time

Two Iranian Christian pastors and one deacon have been sentenced to six-years in a remote prison for their alleged “crimes” against the state, which is their court legalese for preaching Christianity.
Pastor Behnam Irani  photo/Present Truth Ministries

Pastor Behnam Irani photo/Present Truth Ministries

Pastors Benham Irani and Matthias Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani will be spending six years in isolated prisons; Irani will be sent to a prison in the northern city of Zabol, while Haghnejad and Rabbani will serve their sentences in a prison on the island of Minab. 

Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper said after the sentences were announced, “We are deeply concerned by the six-year sentences given to pastors Irani and Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani, and the fact that they will serve these sentences so far from their families and home towns.”
Christian Post notes that “Irani now faces a total of 12 years behind bars, having been initially arrested in December 2006 for “action against the state” and “action against the order.”


Dipper said, “We are particularly appalled by the extra six years given to pastor Irani, who has already endured ill-treatment whilst in prison and now faces nearly a decade in prison on trumped-up charges. We urge the Iranian government to release without delay every person who is imprisoned for their faith. Their incarceration contravenes international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief, to which Iran is party.”
“Christians have faced a wave of persecution under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, with pastors routinely imprisoned for their faith. Another famous case of a Christian pastor behind bars in Iran includes Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who has been the subject of an international campaign calling for his release,” the Post article indicated.
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