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Iranian Christian arrested on faith face serious charges of national security threats

Tehran: September 19, 2017. Iranian Christians request renewed prayer for Eskandar Rezaei and Soroush Saraei, believers who have faced a series of pressures over the past five years, following their re-arrest in July 2017.

Eskandar was arrested on 6th July 2017 at his home in Lar where several hundred New Testaments were discovered and confiscated. He is being held at Quran Branch of Adel-Aabad prison, Shiraz. Soroush was also arrested in July. He was initially held at the intelligence offices before being transferred to Adel-Aabad prison.

Both Eskander and Soroush have been verbally charged with "acting against national security". Soroush faces an additional charge of "forgery" for issuing letters as the pastor of the Church of Shiraz for students seeking exemption from Islamic studies classes. They are to attend court hearings soon to face these new charges.

In October 2012, Eskander and Soroush were arrested along with five other members of the self-styled 'Church of Iran' denomination in a raid on a prayer meeting in Shiraz. Both were released on bail in March 2013 and were formally convicted on 16th July 2013. Eskander received a one-year sentence and Soroush two and half years. Following unsuccessful appeals in March 2014 they waited several months before being summoned to serve the sentences. Both were released before serving the sentences in full - Soroush in November 2015 and Eskander in December 2015.

Source: Middle East Concern