Originally published in Aruts 7
An Iranian convert from Islam to Christianity has been sentenced to a decade in prison for proselytizing, the Christian news network Agenzia Fides reports.
The man, Mohammed-Hadi “Mostafa” Bordbar, was officially charged with “crimes against state security.”
Bordbar had previously faced criminal charges for converting to Christianity. He was found guilty of “apostasy,” but was not jailed.
His latest arrest took place in December 2012. He was taken into custody following a police raid at his home, which had been used for Christian prayer meetings.
Officers found thousands of copies of the Christian Gospel, which Bordbar had been distributing in an attempt to convince others to join him in following Christianity.
The report also noted a related sentence, that of Ebrahim Firouzi, an Iranian Christian who was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of exile for “evangelization activities and distribution of Bibles… in opposition to the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iran has a long history of arresting Christians, and targeting converts from Islam in particular. Some “Church of Iran” members have accused the state of treating them as “enemy number one.”
Christians are facing trouble in other parts of the Middle East as well. In Egypt, Coptic Christians have been targeted by violence from the Muslim Brotherhood, while in Syria, Al-Qaeda linked rebels have threatened to kill Christians who do not join the fight against President Bashar Assad.
In Iraq, Christians have been fleeing in their thousands to escape sectarian violence, which often targets Christians specifically.