Pastor Amin Khaki and fellow Christians Daniel (Hossein) Barounzadeh, Mohammad Bahrami and Rahman Bahmani–that’s at least two former Muslims.
“NEWS ALERT: Four Iran Christians Prosecuted For ‘Spreading Christianity,’” by Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife, January 24, 2016:
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Four Christians in Iran will stand trial for “spreading Christianity” in the strict Islamic nation, a well-informed advocacy official told BosNewsLife, charges that could lead to long prison terms and possible a death sentence.
Pastor Amin Khaki and fellow Christians Daniel (Hossein) Barounzadeh, Mohammad Bahrami and Rahman Bahmani are to face a “retrial” on February 1, said Jason DeMars, director of the Present Truth Ministry group.
The trial that is being held at Iran’s Ahwaz Khuzestan Province Revolutionary Court “is actually a re-trial, upon appeal, after having been convicted and sentenced for spreading Christianity in Iran,” he added.
They were part of a group of eight Christians who were detained and interrogated following a picnic in March 2014 near the city of Danial-e Shoush.
“While they were holding their picnic, Iran’s secret police arrived in plain clothes with guns drawn,” recalled DeMars. “They attacked and injured brother Rahman Bahmani during the incident.”
Half of the Christians participating in the picnic were released, but the four men were later detained, several Christians said. “They were held without communication and without charges for months, even being transferred from one prison to another,” explained DeMars.
Pastor Khaki was transferred to the Interim Ward of Ahwaz Prison in 2014 where he allegedly suffered what fellow believers called “severe mistreatment”. He and other believers were released on bail in 2014, but prosecutors have made clear they will continue prosecuting them, DeMars suggested.
“Apostasy”, or abandoning Islam and converting others, is punishable by death in Iran, according to Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, though in practise they may face long imprisonment.
“The Islamic Republic has never codified the crime of apostasy, instead, relying on the Iranian Constitution…” the independent group of human rights scholars and lawyers said. However “the differences in interpretations of Islamic law regarding apostasy, contribute to a lack of legal certainty for those living under Iranian laws,” the Center noted….