Iranian Christians request prayer after the one-year prison sentences of three Christian converts were upheld on appeal.
Brothers Sam and Sasan Khosravi, their wives Maryam and Marjan Falahi, Habib Heydari, Pooriya Peyma and his wife Fatemeh Talebi were arrested in Bushehr in south Iran on 1 July 2019.
In June 2020, they were convicted of “propaganda against the state through promoting Christianity” according to Article 500 of the penal code and given a variety of sentences, including fines and work bans. Sam, Sasan and Habib were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, which they appealed.
On 27 January, the 4th Branch of Bushehr Court of Appeal upheld the prison sentences against the three Christians. They expect to be summoned soon to serve them. Sam and Sasan also face a two-year exile from Bushehr following their release from prison.
After Sam and Maryam were sentenced in 2020, the civil court in Bushehr ruled that as Christians they were unfit to have custody of their adopted daughter, Lydia (2), who is considered Muslim, even though her birth parents are unknown. An appeal against this court decision was also unsuccessful, despite widespread criticism of the verdict and support for Sam and Maryam.
Iranian Christians request prayer that:
- God will comfort and encourage the three men as they anticipate imprisonment on account of their Christian faith and activity.
- God will watch over the families and keep them in His love and peace.
- The Iranian authorities will respect minorities, uphold their religious freedom and refrain from oppressing them