DEZFUL, Iran — Eight Christian converts acquitted of propaganda charges in 2021 are among a group of Christians being forced to attend Islamic classes.
According to relief group Barnabas Aid, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps agents summoned several Christians to a Jan. 28 meeting.
Eight of those Christians are Esmaeil Narimanpour, Mohammad Ali Torabi Shangari, Masood Nabi, Alireza Varak-Shah, Hojat Lotfi Khalaf Juy, Mohammad Kayidgap, Mohsen Saadati Zadeh and Alireza Roshanaei Zadeh. On Nov. 30, the eight were acquitted for charges of “propaganda activities in favor of anti-regime groups.”
Consequences of conversion
The judge of the Civil and Revolutionary Court of Dezful said the men “merely converted to a different religion.” The judge said that is punishable “in the afterlife” and under Islamic law, but is “not criminalized in laws of Iran,” Barnabas Fund reported.
Nonetheless, the eight were told at the Jan. 28 meeting that they must attend 10 sessions with Islamic clerics to be guided “back to the right path.”
Iran is No. 9 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.