Iran Sentences 12 Members of Church to prison for practicing Christianity
Iran The Revolutionary Court of Bushehr has sentenced a Christian couple and 10 other Iranian Christians to one year in prison each for ‘Propagating against the state in favor of Christianity.’ The group of Christian converts was arrested on April 7, 2015.
The couple, Shapour Jozi and his wife, Parastou Zarif is charged with “orientation toward the land of Christianity.”
Christianity is a legally recognized religion in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the Iran 2017 International Religious Freedom Report prepared by the US State Department, the Iranian constitution allows Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians (excluding converts from Islam) as the only recognized religious minorities permitted to worship and form religious societies “within the limits of the law.”
However, the report also notes “the penal code specifies the death sentence for proselytizing and attempts by non-Muslims to convert Muslims, as well as for moharebeh (“enmity against God”) and sabb al-nabi (“insulting the prophet”).”
The state department report also adds “the government continued to harass, interrogate, and arrest Bahais, Christians (particularly converts), Sunni Muslims, and other religious minorities and regulated Christian religious practices closely to enforce a prohibition on proselytizing.”