September 14th 2020 – Three Iranian Christian converts, who were facing a combined 35 years in prison because of their faith, have fled the country after a court rejected their appeal. According to a Christian persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern (ICC), the three converts were charged due to their connection to a December 2014 Christmas celebration and were facing a combined 35 years in prison.
Last month, the Iranian human rights monitoring watchdog organization Article 18, also reported that Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife, Shamiram Isavi, fled Iran instead of turning themselves in to face a combined 15 years in prison. Their appeals of prison sentences, related to their involvement in a house church and evangelism, were also denied.
According to ICC, Iran is moving to Christians exit the country “There is a sense that Iran wants to force Christians out of the country, but leaving is an incredibly painful and difficult process. The church is at an important crossroad, even as persecution in Iran increases.”
The couple’s daughter, Dabrina Bet Tamraz, who met with President Donald Trump last year to advocate for her family members, confirmed that her parents had departed Iran. While she could not disclose their location, she assured Article 18 that they are “safe and well.”
The charges brought against the couple have been condemned by human rights activists, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.
It is alleged that in Iran, it is illegal for Christians to share Gospel news with Muslims. Open Doors USA, a global persecution watchdog organization, ranks Iran as the ninth-worst country when it comes to Christian Persecution.