3 Iranian Christians Facing 35 Years In Prison For Celebrating Christmas Flee Iran

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A prison guard stands along a corridor in Tehran's Evin prison.
A prison guard stands along a corridor in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Three Iranian Christian converts, who were facing a combined 35 years in prison because of their faith in Jesus Christ, have fled the country after a court rejected their appeal.

The three converts identified as Kvian Fallah-Mohammadi, Hadi Asgari and Amin Afshar-Naderi, were charged due to their connection to a December 2014 Christmas celebration and were facing a combined 35 years in prison, according to Christian persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.

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Their flight comes just weeks after two other Christians, a pastor and his wife, fled the country after also having their appeals rejected. These five cases were all interconnected and trace back to the same Christmas celebration in 2014.

The flight of these five Christians from within a space of a few weeks is noteworthy, especially as their cases were some of the most publicized amongst Iran’s persecuted Christian community, ICC noted.

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“There is a sense that Iran wants to force Christians out of the country, but leaving is an incredibly painful and difficult process,” ICC said. “The church is at an important crossroad, even as persecution in Iran increases.”

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