Friday, May 20, 2011

Iranian Court Acquits 11 Christians Finding Their Church Attendance Constitutionally Protected

Christian Today reports that in Iran, eleven members of the Church of Iran have been acquitted of charges that they engaged in "action against the order of the country" and that they were drinking alcohol.  According to the report published today, the charges were filed after the eleven attended a house church meeting and took communion wine.  In a written decision, the Iranian court concluded that the eleven were taking part in a Christian ceremony and that their conduct was protected under Article 13 of the Iranian Constitution that provides that: "Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians ... are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education." In separate cases, six other Christians are awaiting a hearing in Shiraz on blasphemy charges and a pastor of the Church of Iran is awaiting the outcome of an appeal of his death sentence for apostasy