Just where could you find a country so hateful that it jailed Christians for ten years because their “Zionist Christianity” made them drink Communion wine?
It only took you one? How did you know it was Iran?
Officials in Tehran charged four men with “acting against national security” and drinking alcohol because they drank communion wine. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie have all been sentenced to ten years in prison.
Iran’s Sharia Islamic law forbids the drinking of alcohol; government authorities accused the men of “propagating house churches” and “promoting Zionist Christianity.”
Charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) chief executive Mervyn Thomas said:
We are deeply disappointed by these excessive sentences, which are based on spurious charges and are clearly part of an intensified campaign of judicial harassment aimed at intimidating members of minority faiths. We reiterate that the national security charges leveled in all of these cases amount to the criminalization of the Christian community for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief, and that this is occurring despite the fact that the Iranian constitution recognizes Christianity.
The first sentence against Omidi, Mossayebzadeh and Fadaie called for public flogging, in which they would suffer 80 lashes across the back with a three-foot long whip. It is not uncommon for people to faint after eight lashes from the enormous pain.
The men appealed their sentence to be flogged, prompting the ten-year jail sentence.
As Christianity Daily reported in May, 2016:
Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 when he questioned the influence of the Islamic teachings in his child’s school, which he believed was unconstitutional. He was also trying to register his church at the time. A year later, he was charged with apostasy and sentenced to death by hanging. During the court proceedings, he was repeatedly asked to renounce his faith, but he refused. In September 2012, he was released from prison amid international pressure and acquitted of apostasy charges, but received three years of imprisonment for evangelizing to Muslims. On Christmas Day, about three months later, he was re-arrested to complete his three-year sentence. He was again released in January of 2013.
Nadarkhani was rearrested along with his wife in May, 2016.