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Christians detained for their faith in Iran paid nearly £1m in bail in 2020

Posted by on February 16, 2021 — Drop A Comment


The cost of bail for detained Iranian
Christians reached almost £1m last year, a
report by human rights organisations has
found.
At least 115 Iranian Christians were
arrested in 2020 because of their faith or
involvement in religious activities, said
Open Doors, which co-authored the report
with Christian Solidarity Worldwide and
Middle East Concern.
The cost of their bail reached a staggering
£868,169.
The human rights organisations warn that
Christians are being arrested simply for
going to church and then being forced to
pay exorbitant fees to stay out of prison,
with some even having to surrender deeds
for their homes to cover the cost.
In one case, four Christians were made to
pay around £159,500 each for their bail –
the highest ever demanded and an
eyewatering sum in a country where the
minimum annual salary is about £1,000.
Open Doors’ head of advocacy, Dr David
Landrum, said the persecution of Christians
had not diminished during the pandemic.
“Simply going to a house church is treated
as a threat to national security,” he said.
“Christians – particularly converts from
Islam – continued to be targeted for their
faith.
“This repression stops Christians in Iran
living a normal life, free from fear.”
The persecution extends beyond bail fees,
with one Christian couple losing custody of
their adopted daughter.
Christian converts Sam Khosravi and wife
Maryam Falahi adopted Lydia from an
orphanage in 2019 when she was three
months old, but she has now been taken
away by the authorities.
“We have looked after our daughter for
nearly two years,” they said.
“Even the judge admitted an ‘intense
emotional tie’ has been established
between us.
“After taking her away, based on their own
assessment, Lydia will face an ‘uncertain
future’, yet they insist on separating us
from one another.
“This will have an immense emotional toll
on all of us, and most importantly on
Lydia.”
Iranian human rights organisation Article
18 said that the authorities continue to
torture Christians and use inhumane
interrogation techniques on them in a bid to
force them to recant their faith.
“Christians Youhan Omidi and Saheb
Fadaie were flogged with 80 lashes each
this last year – for the crime of drinking
communion wine,” said Mansour Borji,
Article 18’s advocacy director.
“The disturbing reality is that the state
increasingly resorts to more violent
methods to marginalise, dehumanise, and
eliminate unrecognised Christians, such as
converts and those who seek to mentor
them in their newfound faith.”


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