The sentences of ten years’ imprisonment for four Iranian Christians has been upheld on appeal.
The four men--Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi (Youhan), Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie--were arrested in May of 2016 and charged with advancing “Zionist Christianity” and “acting against national security,” reports The Christian Post.
Pastor Nadarkhani and Omidi face an additional two years imprisonment because of the charges that their churches received money from the British government.
Omidi, Mossayebzadeh, and Fadaie may also be punished with 80 lashes each, for drinking communion wine during church services, although the men’s lawyers are still appealing this sentence.
The four men are currently out on bail…but now that their appeal has been denied, they may be summoned at any time to serve their sentences.
Mervyn Thomas [a Christian activist], condemned the appeal decision in a statement: "The charges leveled against these men are spurious and their sentences are excessive, amounting to a criminalization of Christian practice. We call for an annulment of these sentences.”
"The international community must press the government of Iran to uphold its constitutional and international obligation to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to freedom religion or belief for all of its citizens, regardless of their creed."
(Anika Delello, “10-Year Prison Sentences are Upheld for Iranian Christians,” ChristianHeadlines Online, 5/11/18).