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