Government Arrests 3 Believers for Taking Communion

Three Iranian Christian converts have been charged with “acting against national security” and illegal consumption of alcohol during Holy Communion. (Non-Muslims are permitted to drink alcohol in Iran, but leaving Islam is forbidden, so any such conversions are not recognized.)

Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi — all from Muslim backgrounds — were charged at a court hearing in the northern city of Rasht on September 10. If found guilty, they are likely to be flogged. In 2012, Omidi was one of four Christians given 80 lashes after being convicted of the same charge.

Mossayebzadeh, Fadaie and Omidi were arrested on May 13 alongside Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor once sentenced to death for apostasy, and his wife, Tina. The couple were released later that day, but the three others were detained. Nadarkhani was later also charged with acting against national security, although World Watch Monitor understands he was not obliged to attend the hearing on September 10.

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