(Church in Chains) — The appeal hearing for Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh and three Christian friends, scheduled for June 1, has been canceled, with no new date set.
Each of the five Christians has been sentenced to at least ten years in prison because of their house-church activities, and their appeal hearings were previously canceled in September 2019, November 2019 and February 2020.
After a long wait at Branch 36 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Victor, Shamiram and their lawyers were told the hearing had been canceled. No reason was given and the lawyers were not allowed to approach the judge. Lawyers for their three friends, who are all converts from Islam, were not even allowed into the room.
Pastor Victor and Shamiram are Assyrian Christians who have been involved in ministry among converts for many years. They led the Shahrara Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Tehran before it was forced to close in March 2009, when they began a house church in their home.