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article imageIranian Christian man imprisoned for distributing gospel

By Mike White     Aug 22, 2013 in Religion
An Iranian Christian man who had converted from Islam was sentenced to ten years in prison for sharing his faith. His attorney is working on an appeal.
A former Muslim in Iran was sentenced to ten years in prison for sharing his Christian faith, according to the Christian news network Agenzia Fides, as reported in israelnationalnews.com.
Mohammed-Hadi “Mostafa” Bordbar received the sentence after being convicted of “crimes against state security.” The former Muslim had previously faced criminal charges of converting to Christianity. Although he was convicted of “apostasy” after that charge, he was not jailed.
Bordbar was arrested on the current charges in December 2012. The police raided his home, after it had been used often for prayer meetings. Police located thousands of copies of the Christian Gospel. Bordbar had reportedly been giving the copies to other Iranians, in hope some of them would become Christians too.
Church of Iran members have often accused the national government of treating Christians as “enemy number one,” especially Christians who have converted from Islam. The government has arrested Christians for their faith for years.
The article also reported Christians in other parts of the Middle East have been the victims of violence from the Muslim Brotherhood, including Coptic Christians in Egypt. Reportedly Al-Qaeda members have threatened to kill Christians, if they don’t join in a fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to the article, Ebrahim Firouz, another Iranian Christian, was sentenced to two years of exile and a year in prison for distribution of Bibles and evangelism.
According to churchinchains.ie/node/639, five years of the sentence for Bordbar was for membership in an anti-security organization. The other five years was for “gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security." The former Muslim was tried June 9, 2013, by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran by Judge Pir-Abbasi. Shima Ghousheh, Bordbar’s lawyer, received word of the sentence on July 31. Ghousheh is a member of the Iranian Human Rights Commission.
The court state stated Bordbar had 20 days to appeal. Ghousheh said she was working on an appeal. She claimed her client was convicted twice of the same offense, because both charges are for the same crime. She said she hoped an appeals court would overturn the conviction and sentence.
The court issued an eight page ruling, in which it said Bordbar was guilty of “Zionism.” It said such activities are intended to “fight” the Iranian regime through underground worship services and establishing evangelical organizations and ministries.
Bordbar was accused of keeping gospel books and CD’s, confessing that he left Islam for Christianity, stating that he had a duty to evangelize, translating five films related to the Christian faith, admitting to distributing 12,000 gospels and other charges.
According to an article in christiantelegraph.com, the Iranian government has increased its persecution of Christian converts from Islam since 2012. Numerous Christian activists and pastors have been arrested and given lengthy prison sentences.
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