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Eight members of the Church of Iran sentenced to jail for acting “against national security”

Eight members of the Church of Iran in the city of Shiraz have been sentenced to jail after being found guilty of acting “against national security”, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

In a statement, the group said this week that the eight – who received sentences ranging from one to six years – were also found guilty of “propaganda against the order of the system”.

Seven of them were arrested on 12th October last year after security services raided a house in Shiraz where a prayer service was being held while the eighth was arrested six days later.

The group is expected to appeal their convictions.

In a statement released by CSW, the National Council of the Church of Iran said the charges were “entirely without foundation” and stressed the apolitical nature of the church as a whole.

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of CSW, said it was “disappointing and deplorable” that Iranian authorities persist in detaining religious minorities on political charges.

“These Christians in no way constitute a threat to the state,” he said. “We call for their unconditional release and urge the government to end the practice of characterising legitimate religious activities as national security crimes, and to uphold the right of all religious minorities to freedom of religion and belief…”




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