Three Iranian Pastors Appeal 6-Year Prison Sentence as Another Church Leader is Arrested

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Three Iranian Pastors Appeal 6-Year Prison Sentence as Another Church Leader is Arrested

Three Christian church leaders in Iran appealed their prison sentences this week. The men were each sentenced to six years in an Iranian prison for their faith.

"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.

"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution."

A house church leader in Shiraz, was also recently arrested. Hosseinzadeh, was taken into custody by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. They also confiscated his Christians books and laptop. 

Reportedly, Hosseinzadeh is still detained at the Pelak 100 detention center in Shiraz.

The U.S. and other nations are working to settle a nuclear deal with the Islamic country. Negotiations have been extended until July 1, 2015.

Publication date: December 10, 2014

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.