Assessment of religious conversions as genuine or asylum-motivated dismissed as naïve

Revd Mark Miller of St Thomas' Church, Stockton, in north-east England, The Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas’s, Stockton-on-Tees, the Revd Mark Miller, has had up to 100 Persian asylum-seekers in his congregation
Attempts by Western politicians and media to judge whether Iranian migrants and asylum-seekers who ask to be baptised are either genuine or are doing so to boost their chances of being granted asylum are “naïve”, according to an academic who has carried out extensive research among Iranians who profess to . . . Read More

Four Iranian Christians set to begin ten-year prison sentences

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call . . . Read More

Temporary release for one Iranian Christian, court hearings for others

Temporary release for one Iranian Christian, court hearings for others
An Iranian Christian imprisoned last year for actions against national security has been granted “a few days” leave of absence, according to London-based advocacy organisation Article 18. Sevada Aghaser, a choir leader in an Armenian Orthodox church in the capital Tehran, is serving a five-year sentence in the capital’s notorious . . . Read More

Iranian Christians’ jail terms ‘increasing’

Iranian Christians’ jail terms ‘increasing’
An appeal court in Iran has upheld the ten-year prison sentences handed down to four Christians for “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running house churches. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi  received notification from the court through their lawyer yesterday (2 May), said Middle East Concern. . . . Read More

Iran: appeal heard by judge with ‘poor track record in dealing with Christians’

Iran: appeal heard by judge with ‘poor track record in dealing with Christians’
Four Iranian Christians each sentenced to at least ten years in prison had their first appeal hearing yesterday (25 April). In the hearing, initially scheduled for February but postponed, a judge heard the case of Christian converts Hadi Asgari, Amin Afshar-Naderi, Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi and Assyrian pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz. At least . . . Read More

Christian missionaries a ‘threat’ to India’s unity, says MP

Houses were vandalised during an attack on four Christian families in Katholi village, Chhattisgarh state, while members of the ruling Hindu nationalist party seek to "sow discord among religious communities". (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2016)
Christian missionaries are a threat to India’s unity, a Hindu-nationalist parliamentarian told reporters on Saturday (21 April). “Christian missionaries control the Congress,” said Bharat Singh, an MP for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Sonia Gandhi, the mother of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, works on the directions of these missionaries. . . . Read More

Iran: Christian convert appealing 10-year sentence out on bail

Iran: Christian convert appealing 10-year sentence out on bail
An Iranian Christian appealing a conviction on national-security charges was released on bail from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 11 April. Hadi Asgari, a Christian convert, was arrested in August 2016 and sentenced in July 2017 by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years in prison for “action against national security through . . . Read More

Iran: Jailed convert to Christianity refused medical treatment

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh (Photo: Article 18)
An Iranian convert to Christianity currently serving 10 years in prison for “missionary activities” is being denied access to the medical treatment he needs, according to advocacy group Article 18. Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was first arrested in June 2016 alongside three Azerbaijanis, after security agents raided a wedding party in . . . Read More