NCRI – Pressure on the family of a Christian pastor in Iran has augmented. According to reports, the agents of the Iranian regime have even refused to register Pastor Youssef Naderkhani’s son at the school. This is while this new Christian, in addition to 10 years in prison, has also been sentenced to two years of exile to the city of Nikshahr in Sistan and Baluchistan province (south-east of Iran).
The Iranian regime’s judiciary has sentences Youssef Naderkhani and several others to 10 years imprisonment on the charges of “forming house church” and “promotion” of what they call “Zionist Christianity.”
Naderkhani was arrested earlier in 2009 in Rasht. At that time, the Primary Court accused him of “leaving religion” and “inviting other Muslims to Christianity” and “creating a secret church in his home” and also “expressing open opposition to Islam,” and he was reportedly sentenced to death.
But with widespread protests of human rights organizations, this Christian pastor was finally acquitted of “apostasy” charges and was sentenced to three years in prison allegedly for “propaganda against the state” and was released after he spent more than three years in prison.
In recent months, a number of Evangelical Christians have been sentenced to long term imprisonment.
In many cases, they are charged with “acting against national security” by “setting up and participating in home churches.”
It is notable that last week on Wednesday, September 20, a Christian couple were arrested by security forces after being summoned to the Iranian regime’s intelligence office in Tehran. These new Christians are accused of acting in a burial ceremony in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra cemetery according to Christian rituals and Christianity.
According to the report, on September 10 this year, while the burial ceremony was held at section 300 of Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, Mehrdad Houshmand and his wife Sarah Nemati participated as new Christians in the ceremony. During the ceremony, they held a ritual and prayer according to their religious way.
An informed source said: “During the ceremony, some strangers came to the scene and filmed Mr. Houshmand and his wife during the rituals and prayers and after the end of the ceremony, confiscated Mr. Houshmand’s identification documents.”
The day after the ceremony, they were summoned to the Intelligence Office to get their documents and answer some questions.
Mehrdad Houshmand and Sarah Nemati were arrested after a few hours of interrogation at the same place and then transferred to an unknown location. No information is available on the fate of these individuals after detention.