Iran pardons two imprisoned Christian converts
Two Iranian Christians received pardons from the government on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. According to tradition, at this time, some prisoners receive pardons from the authorities.
The Iranian government pardoned and released two imprisoned Christian converts this past week as a part of the annual tradition of pardoning prisoners during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Hadi Rahimi was released on February 20th after spending just over a year in prison, and fellow church member Saheb Fadaie was released on February 9th after spending 5 years in prison. Both men were imprisoned on charges of “acting against national security by organizing house churches and promoting ‘Zionist’ Christianity”.
Both men had been held in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where many Christians have been imprisoned over the years. As converts to Christianity from Islam, they are not recognized as Christians and have no freedom or protection in worship according to their Christian faith. Many of these Christians face charges related to practising their faith such as “Propaganda against the state through proselytizing Christianity”, and “Acting against national security by conducting evangelistic activities.”
The release from prison and reunification with family members for Christians like Hadi and Saheb are indeed victories to be celebrated. However, dozens of Christians still remain in Iranian prisons while the regime continues to restrict and ban the practice of the Christian faith by converts.