An Iranian Christian imprisoned for his involvement in a house church has received 80 lashes for drinking communion wine, reports Premier.
Zaman Fadaei, known as Saheb, was handed the punishment on 15th November, according to Middle East Concern, a few weeks after another Christian man got the same punishment.
Christian religious freedom charity Open Doors say Christianity is seen as a Western threat in Iran and house churches are monitored frequently.
In June 2017, three men – Saheb, Mohammad Reza Omidi (or Youhan) and pastor Yousef Nadarkhani – were handed ten-year prison sentences for “acting against the national security through propagating house churches and promoting Zionist Christianity”.
They started serving the sentences in 2018, which were then reduced earlier this year – Saheb and Yousef’s terms were reduced to six years’ each, while the other man imprisoned at the same time was re-sentenced to two years.
“Iranian Christian convert Mohammad Reza Omidi (Youhan) received 80 lashes” on October 14 “for drinking wine as part of communion,” International Christian Concern (ICC) reported at the time.
It is a crime for a Muslim to convert to another religion according to Islamic law. The Islamic Republic of Iran strictly upholds this apostasy law, enforcing criminal punishment on people who abandon the Muslim faith.