Appeal Hearings Set for Iranian, Azerbaijani Christians Sentenced to 10 Years for ‘Missionary Activities’

(World Watch Monitor) Appeal hearings will take place on Sunday (Nov. 12) for an Iranian and three Azerbaijani Christians sentenced in May to 10 years in prison for “missionary activities” and “actions against national security” in Iran.

The three Azerbaijanis – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – were allowed to leave Iran in November last year and are unlikely to be forced to return, World Watch Monitor understands. However, the Iranian – Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, a convert from a Muslim background – remains in Iran and will have to serve his sentence unless successful with his appeal.

The four men were arrested in June last year after security agents raided a wedding party in Tehran. They spent four months in prison, but were then released on bail, after which the Azerbaijanis travelled home.

The charges against the men were described as “unwarranted and unjustifiable” by Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “We are deeply concerned for Mr Gol-Tapeh in particular, who [being in Iran] is likely to bear the brunt of a sentence that was clearly issued on a punitive rather than on a legal basis,” he said.

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  • vicnicholls

    Just prayed for my brothers.

  • DrIndica

    Iran has no concept of religious freedom, even the State is essentially controlled by Shi’a Islam. It isn’t surprising there are consequences for people that feel it is appropriate to proselytize a religion that is antithetical to their culture.

  • Robin Egg

    Ten years in an Iranian prison. Praying for you my brethren to be delivered from evil. Yea though you walk through the valley of death, He is with you. Always.

    • LadyInChrist♥BlessedBeTheLord

      Amen.

  • Rich

    Iran has the fastest growing ChrIstianity in the world. The govt would like nothing better than to shut it down, however, the gates of hell will NOT prevail against God’s plan for His church.

  • BobInBpt

    Why should Christians, Jews or anyone else be imprisoned for their missionary activities??

    Imagine the protests if we did that here in USA and arrested Muslims running religious schools, or Madrassa’s here in USA ???????