Iran: Two Christians pardoned and released from prison

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – In a rare act of goodwill toward Iran’s Christian community, the Iranian Islamic regime pardoned and released two Christians imprisoned for “acting against national security by organizing house churches and promoting ‘Zionist’ Christianity,” International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. The Christians’ release was part of the government’s annual tradition of pardoning prisoners commemorating Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Former Muslims who became Christ followers, Hadi Rahimi and Saheb Fadaie were released on February 20 and February 9, respectively, ICC said. Both men had been imprisoned in Iran’s notoriously harsh Evin jail – Rahimi for just over a year and Fadaie for five years. The two men belong to the same home church fellowship.

While the release of the two Christians is cause for celebration, rights groups emphasize that life for Iranian converts to Christianity is exceedingly hard.“The release from prison and reunification with family members for Christians like Hadi and Saheb are indeed victories to be celebrated,” ICC said in its report.  “However, dozens of Christians remain in Iranian prisons while the regime continues to restrict and ban the practice of Christian faith by converts.”

“As converts to Christianity from Islam, they are not recognized as Christians and have no freedom or protection in worship according to their Christian faith,” ICC explained. “Many of these Christians face charges related to practicing their faith such as ‘Propaganda against the state through proselytizing Christianity’, and “Acting against national security by conducting evangelistic activities.”

The US Open Doors aid mission and advocacy group has ranked Iran 8th on its World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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