Christians sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking Communion wine

FOUR Christians in Iran will get 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service and possessing a satellite antenna.

The charges come as a United Nations report criticised the Islamic republic for persecuting non-Muslims.

Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were arrested during in a house church meeting. Taalipasand and Omidi were detained during the Iranian government’s crackdown on house churches according to the Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The men were sentenced on October 6 and given their verdict on October 20 with ten days to appeal the sentence after breaking the theocracy’s laws.

Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said that it is common practice for Christians to be punished for violating theocratic laws, despite promises from president Hasan Rouhani’s to scale back the harsh treatment.

The death penalty is among the punishments for those who convert from Islam to Christianity

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33 thoughts on “Christians sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking Communion wine

  1. Wonderful thing, Religion!
    It’s vast variety of hue, tone and shade caters to every sado-masochistic urge to which mankind aspires.


    • Not at all, Toots.
      Think about it…..
      In what other human endeavour is it seen as a virtue to be persecuted, humiliated, poverty-stricken and celibate, martyred, tortured and made to suffer all sorts of discomforts, to be , etc. etc,
      ….and to take pride in being able to accept all that with stoic determination in support of a ‘Belief’ ~ even though the object of that ‘Belief’ forbids pride on pain of an even worse masochistic punishment –> death!?

      The real theological question (which one of you ‘sources’ may want to address is this:- When god was crucifying himself was he self-indulgently taking the role of the masochist or the sadist.

      …or, being omnipotent, both? 😯


  2. “The death penalty is among the punishments for those who convert from Islam to Christianity”

    Is this just the case in Iran?

    Is converting to Christianity, any other religion, or just denouncing religion, permitted in other Muslim countries?


      • I was reading this interesting blog about the real meaning of ‘separation of church and state’

        “The Founders were rightly concerned about this abuse, which is why in the same breath of saying the State should establish no official religion; it should also in no way restrict reasonable expressions of religion.

        Contrary to the opinion of some, the First Amendment doesn’t require regulating religion into hiding; it requires that church and state remain institutionally separate. The mere expression of the word “God” in a speech does not a theocracy make.”

        Both extremes I suppose, Theocracies and then militant Secularists.


      • ummm… “The mere expression of the word “God” in a speech does not a theocracy make.” ???
        ……unless one GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECTLY capitalises “God”.

        Incidentally, I half-saw a doco the other night making the (often overlooked/ignored) point that the Puritans settled in North America NOT to ‘escape’ religious persecution by the State, but because they DEMANDED a theocracy and couldn’t succeed in setting one up in Europe…thanks to the rippling effect of the age of Enlightenment.


      • PS….. If one accept the ‘authority’ of religion/religious mores, one has no right to bitch about being punished for breaching such authority/mores.

        Some use the lash, some the rack and barbecue pit, and some a wooden cross, etc.etc. etc. ‘God’ uses Hell.

        The principle is the same in all situations.


      • There’s a vast difference between a reasonable expression of religion and the suggestion that religious principles should be used to influence institutions of the state such as schools and hospitals.


      • So the 61% of Australians who identify as Christians should not be able to have any influence on hospitals in regards to i.e. abortion
        The maybe 5% of atheist secularists should be able to make sure that ‘their’ opinions, beliefs, principles are the law of the land.

        So it’s not a case of just making sure no-one can force you to practice a religion, but it also needs to extend making sure that any religious folk out there, not have a say.


      • Kathleen,
        Are you suggesting here that the Christian 61% of the population are all ‘Pro-lifers’? I dont think that your stats can be maintained. Anyway, I cant recall any atheists or Secularists that I’ve ever known of in our society, who would insist that a strict Pro-Lifer must personally support Abortion Clinics or practitioners at the same.

        Nor would they be expecting Pro-Lifer doctors with similar religious principles to their own, to be compelled to perform Abortions. This is a secular society after all; and as long as Abortion is understood by the majority and the law to be a non-religious issue, however sad or unfortunate, that proportion of the population whose religion forbids Abortion cant dictate to the rest what they can and cant do. It’s not just a tiny percentage who are in the process of dictating to the rest of society.



      • “In October 2008, the Victorian Parliament passed what is the arguably the most radical pro-abortion legislation in the world – the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008. This Act removed any rights for unborn children right up to birth. We see this as the worst piece of legislation in Australia’s history and we have produced a short video that explains why.

        The ALP, Liberal and National Parties allowed their members a conscience vote but doctors who have a conscientious objection are now no longer permitted to simply refuse to be part of referral for abortion. ”

        Rian, are you completely sure of what percentage of Christians ‘are’ prolife and then throw in Muslims, Hindus and any other ‘religious’ group? How come the laws don’t reflect this? Actually, I was being harsh on atheists, because I actually know atheists who are clearly against abortion. It was just one example I was trying to use.

        Bubba, I went to your link and this is what I got:

        On August 31st, The Irish Times published the following correction: “On August 23rd last, under a story headlined ‘First abortion carried out under new legislation’, we reported on a purported clinical case at the National Maternity Hospital.
        The hospital has pointed out that the case described in the article did not happen. The Irish Times accepts this and apologises unreservedly to the hospital for any distress caused.

        The National Maternity Hospital has welcomed the correction and apology, accepts that the article was published by The Irish Times in good faith, believes the matter is now concluded and wishes to make no further comment.”


      • It seems that Savita didn’t die from being denied an abortion after all.

        “The Life Institute has said that leaked excerpts from a report on the death of Savita Halappanavar seemed to show that it was now beyond dispute that an infection had caused her tragic death.

        Niamh Uí Bhriain said that it was “deplorable” that abortion advocates continued to use Savita’s death to have abortion legalised in Ireland.

        “Leaking excerpts from this draft report showed no respect or compassion for Savita’s family. But abortion advocates, including Minister Pat Rabbitte, have jumped, yet again, to draw conclusions and call for abortion legislation,” she said.

        “We have not seen the final report, but from these early excerpts it seems to be certain that Savita died because the infection which caused her death was not identified or treated properly.”

        “From what has been released of the draft report, it also seems that staff were overworked and under extreme pressure at Galway Hospital,” she pointed out.

        The pro-life spokeswoman said that the evidence of numerous experts had made it abundantly clear that Ireland’s ban on abortion did not prevent doctors acting to save a woman’s life, even if that meant the unintentional death of the baby.

        “In fact, if this truncated draft report is correct, the consultant advised Savita and her husband that a termination of the pregnancy might have to be considered if they could not find the source of the infection,” she said.

        “Clearly then there would not have been a problem with an intervention to save a mother’s life.”

        “We have heard from medical experts including numerous Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who have stated that there is no confusion amongst doctors as to when they can and must act to save a mother,” said Ms Uí Bhriain.

        “Furthermore, medical experts at the recent hearings held by the Joint Oireachtas Committee confirmed that they knew of no instance where an Irish woman had lost her life because of any hesitancy to intervene,” she added.

        “These excerpts from the report on Savita’s death do not make it clear as to why action was not taken in Galway, and, as a mother and an advocate for the right to life, I hope the final report provides that clarity,” said the Life Institute spokeswoman.

        Article source –


      • That brings up the question: How many cases are there where an abortion is needed to save the mother’s life?

        Abortion to ‘save’ mother’s life almost never necessary

        April 8, 2009

        I write in response to your editorial of March 30 [“Women have a right to be told of abortion option”]. As a physician practicing in the field of neonatology, I was deeply troubled by your conclusions as well as by the medical misinformation you provided to the public.

        You erroneously state that women are put at risk when they are not offered “emergency” or urgent abortion as an option for their pregnancy. You use the example of rupture of membranes early in pregnancy, and state that abortion is a “recommended option.” In fact, surgical abortion, which mutilates the fetus and also poses some risk to the mother, is not the best medical option in this situation. Expectant management and use of antibiotics is. The majority of time the woman will miscarry — a far more natural event than an abortion. Furthermore, approximately 10 percent of the time the hole in the membranes can seal up and the pregnancy can continue to viability. The protocol followed in Catholic hospitals in this scenario is a legitimate, valid and safe option for premature rupture of membranes, one that is best for both mother and child.

        Abortion performed to “save” a mother’s life almost never — if ever — is necessary. Are pregnant women dying in Catholic hospitals, unable to get access to an emergency abortion? Of course not. In fact, Ireland — a country where the unborn child is constitutionally protected — has the lowest maternal death rate in the world. More than a decade ago, a group of Ireland’s top obstetricians concluded that “there are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion, that is, no circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child.”

        The United Kingdom, on the other hand, where abortion is available practically on demand, has over five times Ireland’s maternal death rate.

        Catholic hospitals and physicians do not offer abortion as a “treatment option,” because abortion always ends the life of what medical textbooks — used in secular medical schools — refer to as the “second patient,” namely, the unborn child.

        Why does the Sun-Times advocate forcing Catholic health-care workers to participate in such a practice they — along with those of other faiths, or of no faith tradition whatsoever — find so immoral? Should medical schools now post notices saying, “Catholics need not apply?” Would the Sun-Times be happier with Catholic hospitals — a third of our nation’s health care — closing down instead?

        This is still the United States of America, a country founded on the principle of freedom of religion. Catholic hospitals and Catholic physicians and nurses should be able to refuse to participate — in any way — in a practice they consider to be immoral, unsafe and inhumane.

        Colleen Malloy, M.D.,
        Northwestern University
        Feinberg School of Medicine


      • Well-put, Rian.
        But why should the same principle not be extended (?) to argue that the majority which ultimately manifests itself as the ‘State’ has no legitimate right to impose its will upon any miniority….down to and including the individual simply because it’s able to enforce its dicta with violence?

        It’s the essence of anarchy that we ALL be free to live as we please: the only proviso being that we don’t infringe upon another’s right to do likewise.


      • I was going through my ‘Junk Mail’ yesterday Kathleen,

        And look what was in there:

        Needless to say it is now in my ‘Favourites’


      • Monica, I just posted that one on my Facebook page about a week ago!

        I think Down Syndrome children are the babies most aborted. It’s terribly sad. Yes, it would be hard work, but I just don’t think we have the right to take someone else’s life (I’ve even been turned a little on matters of self defence in matters of war etc).

        Dabbles is right, that dogs really are special. I think out of all animals, God blessed them to be our closest friend and protector.


      • “…… the only proviso being that we don’t infringe upon another’s right to do likewise”

        Aye there’s the rub.


    • Hey Kathleen,

      Why quote some mysterious “leaked” titbits from a report when the actual report is available on-line ?

      It finds that her death was due to the failure of the hospital to “provide the most basic elements of care”

      Included in the finding was a “Failure to offer all management options to a patient experiencing inevitable miscarriage”

      Wonder why that was?

      The link was supposed to be about the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, which essentially legalises abortion in Ireland to protect the life of the mother. Although it’s not yet in force.


      • The abortion would not have saved the mother as it had nothing to do with abortion, but infection.


      • The issue was the mistreatment of the infection. The problem seemed to have been overworked staff. It could have been an old man with an infection who died, same thing. Nothing to do with the abortion part of it, as the article said.


      • Ah the article said – let’s ignore the report and read the article. Now I might be casting aspersiions here but I think that would be about as unbiased as the vaccination information network.

        I can think of no reason to set the report aside and rely on the opinion of that report from an organisation with such an obvious bias.


      • What report? Are you talking about the link you sent me?
        They removed that report and apologised for it.


      • No the report that your article is “based” on – it’s available on line. Why not read it instead ? Why should we read a biased article based on “leaked excerpts” when the actual report is available for anybody who bothers to look hard enough,.

        The report that includes recommendations like:
        “The need for a clear statement of the legal context applying to the professional judgement of clinical staff being exercised in the best medical welfare interests of the patients. Likewise, there is a need for precise national guidelines on this, to assist clinical staff to exercise professional judgement in the case of rapid deterioration or emergency. This includes any necessary constitutional and legal changes. The panel recommended such guidelines should include guidelines relating to expediting delivery for clinical reasons, including “medical and surgical termination” based on the expertise available and legal feasibility”

        That’s a heck of a recommendation to deal with a problem of overworked staff and an infection isn’t it? Legal changes ? Best medical welfare interests of the patient.



      • again from the actual report

        The hospital Guidelines on the Management of Suspected Sepsis and Sepsis in Obstetric Care (2012) outline the importance of attempting to establish the focus of infection and to treat any obvious source. This guideline states that
        it is imperative that any infective focus should be identified with removal of the source of infection to be completed as quickly as possible. In this clinical context, that would be termination of pregnancy.


      • and again

        The investigation team considers that here was an apparent over-emphasis on the need not to intervene until the fetal heart stopped together with an under-emphasis on the need to focus appropriate attention on monitoring for and managing the risk of infection and sepsis in the mother.


      • or how about

        The interpretation of the law related to lawful termination in Ireland, and particularly the lack of clear clinical guidelines and training is considered to have been a material contributory factor in this regard


      • No offence Kathleen but it seems that the article your little right to life friends put together based on those leaked excepts is misleading at best – a downright lie at worst.


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