According to news sources, five non-Trinitarian Christians will be tried this week in the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz.
The five detainees who are members of the non-Trinitarian group known as “Church of Iran”, are Mohammad Roghangir, Soroush Seraji, Eskandar Rezaei, Shahin Lahouti and Masoud Rezaei.
The Revolutionary Court of Fars province has announced their charges as promoting their religious beliefs, disrupting public order, threatening national security, and participating in Internet-based activities.
However, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz is notorious for mistreating cases of Christian converts by postponing or cancelling trial sessions. This is a strategy to put more pressure on prisoners and their families and to keep their case in an uncertain status, which is an obvious example of mental and physical torture on detainees.
According to reports published earlier, security authorities raided a house meeting on Jomhouri Street in Shiraz on Friday evening, October 12, 2012. At least seven members of a non-Trinitarian group were arrested.
The reports also stated that the security authorities transferred those arrested to the Intelligence Office’s detention center, known as “Pelak 100” and then transferred them to Adel-Abad prison after interrogation.
Roxana Forughi, Bijan Haghighi, and Mehdi Ameruni are also members of the “Church of Iran” group who were arrested, but they were released on bail one week apart from each other.
Non-Trinitarian Christians, also known as “Branhamists”, have formed a group called “Church of Iran”, however, they have no relation or connection to the church buildings and the official Churches of Iran. They follow William M. Branham, an American cult leader.
After this arrest, the Revolutionary Guard supported news agency, Fars, published a news story stating that four illegal networks of churches known as “underground churches” were identified and their leaders were arrested in Shiraz. They did not mention names of those arrested or any details about the incident.
A little later, some government supported Shi’ite websites covered the incident and exaggeratingly reported these house churches as illegal and associated its members with Zionist propagation organizations based in foreign countries. They also claimed that these groups’ activities are supported by the U.S. and England.
Another member of the “Church of Iran” group who is still in prison is Behnam Irani. Human Rights activists have expressed serious concern regarding his well-being over the past months. Earlier, he sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other related organizations and described his situation in prison.
Behnam Irani was arrested in April 2010 for his religious activities in an underground church and has been imprisoned in the Central Prison of Karaj ever since. The accusations mentioned in court ruling were “action against national security, and propaganda agaist the Islamic regime”.
The Islamic Republic authorities have always subjected Christians to arrest and interrogation for being propagating agents of the west. This has put many Christian converts in prison and forced many others to leave their homeland against their will.