Monday, July 8, 2013

Iranian Christian Convert Tried for Participating in House Church

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- Mostafa Bordbar has been tried for his faith in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Mostafa Bordba
According to Mohabat Iranian Christian News Agency, Bordbar, 27, is one of several Christian prisoners currently being held in ward 350 of Evin Prison for their faith.

Mohabat News said Bordbar's trial was held on June 9 2013. He was arrested on Dec. 27 2012.

The court announced his charges as "illegal gathering and participating in a house church.
Shima Qousheh, Bordbar's lawyer and a member of the Iranian Human Rights Commission said if Bordbar is found guilty, he could face a sentence of between two to 10 years in prison. However, the court has not yet issued its final verdict.

Mohabat News said minutes before his trial, while handcuffed and in prison uniform, he was allowed to have a short visit with his fiancé and his parents. However, no one other than his lawyer was allowed to enter the court room.

According to Mohabat News, Bordbar was arrested when Iranian security authorities attacked a Christian house gathering held to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Mohabat News said five years p rior to that incident, Bordbar had also been arrested in Rasht for converting to Christianity and participating in a house church. His interrogator at the time condemned him for "apostasy."

However, Mohabat News reported, Bordbar was temporarily released on bail after his case passed through all the legal processes. This conviction remains in his record, and according to Mohabat News its agency has the supporting documentation.

Mohabat News said Judge Pir-Abbas, the judge working on Bordbar's case, also sentenced well-known Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini to eight years in prison for "starting a house church aimed to disrupt national security."

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