Eleven Church of Iran members have been acquitted of charges that they committed “activities against the order of the country” and that they illegally drank alcohol. Both charges relate to their involvement in a house church meeting at which they drank Communion wine. The Christians, who were arrested and charged in April, were brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal on May 1 to present their case.
In a mid-May verdict, a judge ruled that the Christians’ actions were protected under the Iranian constitution, which allows some religious minorities, including Christians, to perform their own religious rites and ceremonies. Local authorities have 20 days to appeal the acquittal.
The eleven acquitted Christians are Pastor Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and his wife, Anahita Khademi; Mahmoud Khosh-Hal and his wife, Hava Saadetmend; Fatemah Modir-Nouri; Mehrdad Habibzade; Milad Radef; Behzad Taalipas; and Amir Goldoust and his sister, Mina Goldoust, and grandmother, Zainab Bahremend.