An Iranian Christian woman, who was sent to prison in 2018 after being convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime” for discussing Christian doctrine inside a house church has been released, according to the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Fatemeh Bakhteri, who was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Sept. 22, 2018, after being found guilty of her charges, was released earlier this month, CSW said in a statement.
The Iranian Christian convert, from the Church of Iran denomination, was granted temporary release from the infamous Evin prison on March 15 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the Islamic country’s overcrowded prisons, CSW explained. On April 12, Bakhteri was told by prison authorities that she doesn’t have to return to prison.
Bakhteri was arrested along with another Christian, Saheb Fadaie, on the same charges. Fadaie was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Local sources told CSW that the verdict against them claimed that they discussed Christian doctrine in house churches which was considered an attack on Islam.
“We welcome Fatemeh Bakhteri’s release, but note that the charges against her were unfounded and amount to criminalizing Christian activities,” CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said.
“Ms. Bakhteri has spent a year away from her loved ones for discussing Christian doctrine with fellow Christians, which is not illegal,” Thomas added. “She is amongst many Iranians who are being penalized for adopting a religion of their choice.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar