Iran: Concerns raised for Christian couple jailed in harsh prison for house church activity

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – There has been increasing concern for the well-being of an Iranian Christian couple who were imprisoned in a notoriously harsh Tehran jail in August following their convictions for leading and belonging to a house church, the Christian Post reports.

Homayoun Zhaveh, 63, and Sara Ahmadi, 44, began their sentences of eight years and two years, respectively, at the infamous Evin Prison on August 13, CP reports. The couple was originally sentenced in 2020: Homayoun was charged with leading a house church (an “illegal organization”), and Sara was charged with being a member of it, CP reports.

Homayoun was originally sentenced to 11 years in jail, but this was reduced to eight years on appeal. Sara’s sentence remained at two years, however. Each of their sentences includes a two-year ban on membership in any social or political group, a two-year ban on foreign travel, and six months of community service. The couple were due to begin their sentences last year but were finally summoned to the prison this summer, CP reports.

Christian rights groups have expressed public concern for the couple’s welfare, not least as it has been reported that Homayoun spent 67 days in solitary confinement.
“Friends are concerned about their well-being, especially as Homayoun suffers from advanced Parkinson’s disease,” Christian Solidarity International (CSI) said in a statement on October 6.

Calling for prayer in a separate statement, Middle East Concern said: “Prayer is requested that their harsh sentences will be reviewed, especially since Homayoun is in poor health, and that they will be acquitted; and that the Iranian authorities will stop the persecution of their citizens for the peaceful expression of their faith.”

Ruled by an authoritarian Islamic extremist regime, Iran ranks 9th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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