16 November 2016

Lashes for drinking communion wine: Iran’s persecution of Christians continues

Four Christians have been sentenced to 80 lashes each for drinking communion wine, and the prison sentences of six other Christians have been upheld, as a new UN report slams Iran’s human rights record.

Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were convicted by a court in Rasht on October 6 on charges of drinking alcohol and possessing a receiver and satellite antenna. After receiving the verdict on 20 October, they were given ten days to appeal.

Behzad and Mehdi had previously been detained, in December 2012, by the Iranian authorities in a crackdown on house churches.

Meanwhile, six Christians have failed to get their prison sentences overturned on appeal and the ruling is now final. [Barnabas Fund] Read more