By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)– A convert from Islam has been sentenced to ten years in jail for distributing 12,000 pocket-sized Gospels in the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to BarnabasAid.
Mohammad-Hadi Bordbar was convicted of membership in an "anti-security organization" and of having the intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security; he was sentenced to five years for each offence. His lawyer is appealing both Bordbar's conviction and sentence on the grounds that the two charges are essentially the same, thereby punishing his client twice for one and the same "crime".
However, national security charges are often pretexts used by Iranian authorities against Muslim converts to Christianity; Bordbar was convicted for his confession in court that he had left Islam and that he considered distributing the Gospel as his Christian duty.
Court documents referred to Bordbar's baptism and leadership of house church gatherings, his translation and dubbing of Christian films into Farsi and the discovery of thousands of Gospels and other Christian books and CDs in his home.
Bordbar was arrested in a raid on a house church in Tehran in 2012 when 15 plain-clothes security officers held 50 converts for hours as they were subjected to intense interrogation, according to BarnabasAid. Bordbar was initially arrested in 2009 for converting to Christianity; he was found guilty of apostasy, but was freed on bail.