The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence reportedly persecuted several Christian converts through imprisonment including a 51-year-old woman.
According to the International Christian Concern, Fariba Dalir began her two-year imprisonment on April 16 at Evin Prison for "acting against national security by establishing and leading an Evangelical Christian church." The imprisonment is Dalir's second.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp first arrested Dalir, her fiance Soroush, and four other converts on July 2021 in Tehran, as per Pulse 941. Dalir was detained for 38 days in solitary confinement before she was moved to Shahr-e Rey, which is also known as the Qarchak Prison. Dalir was able to post bail for USD$22,000 and was released on November 18, 2021.
Soroush was also kept in solitary confinement for 38 days. While another convert spent only 20 days in solitary confinement. Both Soroush and the other convert were later moved to the Greater Tehran Prison and released a month earlier than Dalir for paying a USD$11,000 bail each.
On the other hand, the other three converts who were arrested with Dalir and Soroush were not charged and released after being detained for 10 days.
Voice of the Martyrs said Dalir was convicted on December 4. The sentence was given in the Revolutionary Court's 26th Branch by Judge Afshari. She appeared before the judge with her fiance and the three other converts. The judge initially gave the sentence of five years thinking she had a criminal record and eventually reduced it to two years.
Meanwhile, a lighter sentence was given to Soroush and the other Christians, which was 10 months of imprisonment only. The judge factored in the time they spent in detention and even allowed them to pay fines to reduce the sentence.
Women NCR Iran explained that the government considers managing a Christian church a threat to national security. Iran's Constitution in Article 13 recognizes religious minorities, which includes Christians. Article 13 gives Christians the leeway to exercise religious ceremonies within the boundaries of the law. But it suppresses any form of public Christian practice. The Iranian government also oppresses women, especially Christians and non-Muslims under the excuse of following Islamic teachings.
Fariba was reportedly married to Soroush while on bail. She then went to Evin Prison recently to serve her sentence. Evin Prison is renowned for the mistreatment of inmates.
Besides Dalir and company, another Christian convert allegedly suffered persecution at the hands of the Iranian government. The 49-year-old Rahmat Rostamipour was interrogated and arrested in his home last April 18 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps agents who came in plain clothes.
Rostamipour's wife, Azar, was supposed to be arrested with him but the agents let her go to take care of their teenage daughter who suffered an anxiety attack due to the raid. Rostamipour was accused of holding "propaganda against the regime through involvement in house-church activities."
During the raid, the Rostamipours' phones, ID cards, Bibles, books, and school tablets were confiscated by the IRGC agents. Rostamipour was interrogated for hours before he was summoned on April 19. He remains imprisoned to this day.