Seven Christians Sentenced to a Total of 28 Years in Prison

Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced seven Christians Joseph Shahbazian, Salar Eshraghi Moghaddam, Farhad Khazai, Somayeh Sadegh, Maasoumeh Ghasemi, Mina Khajawi and Maliheh Nazari to a total of 28 years in prison, a fine, ban from leaving the country, and other social deprivations.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, seven Christians were sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison.

According to the verdict issued by Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court on Tuesday, June 7, Joseph Shahbazian was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a ban from leaving the country and membership in civil and political groups and other social limitations. This court has sentenced Mina Khajawi and Maliheh Nazari each to 6 years, Salar Eshraghi Moghaddam to four years and Maasoumeh Ghasemi and Fardhan Khazai to one year in prison. Somayeh Sadegh has also been fined 40 million tomans.

All these defendants have been charged with “disrupting national security through preaching Evangelical Christianity and creating home churches.”

In July of 2020, security forces arrested Iranian-Armenian Joseph Shahbazian, age 57, with several Christian converts in a religious ceremony in Tehran. He was later temporarily released on 2 billion tomans.