Sunday, December 29, 2019

IRAN: Nine Christians Sentenced To Prison For Leaving Islam

Islamic Republic of Iran: Nine Christians sentenced to prison for leaving Islam

Imagine the outcry if nine Muslims had been jailed for leaving Christianity. But no one will take any significant notice of this.
In any case, it could have been worse. They could have been sentenced to death. The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law. It’s based on the Qur’an: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)
A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”

“Sentences of nine non-Trinitarian Christians to 45 years in prison,” Mohabat News, December 22, 2019:
Mohabat News – Reports from Iran indicate that nine non-Trinitarian Christians were sentenced to five years in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
On Friday, December 20, 2019, Iran Human Rights Activist News Agency reported that Abdolreza Ali Haghnejad, Mohammad Islam Doust, Behnam Akhlaghi, Babak Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Khatibi, Khalil Dehghanpour, Hossein Kadivar, Kamal Naemanian, and Mohammad Vafadar Kamal were sentenced by Mohammad Moghiseh, the head of Tehran Revolutionary Court, Branch 28, to a total of 45 years in prison.
The court was held on September 23 and the verdict was announced on October 15.
These Christian converts have objected to the verdict issued by the Tehran Revolutionary Court and are awaiting final appeal.
Babak Hosseinzadeh, Behnam Akhlaqi, and Mehdi Khatibi were arrested earlier in a house church meeting in Rasht on February 23, 2019.
The pressure of the Islamic Republic’s security and judicial institutions on Christians increases on Christmas Eve each year, including mass arrests, heavy sentences, summonses, and interrogations of Christians, the prohibition of religious ceremonies and celebrations as well as their economic activities such as selling Christmas decorations and Christian symbols. The discriminatory behavior of security agencies was imposed this year as well, and the Annual Christmas Bazaar held at Ararat Club near Vanak was closed…

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