The 26th branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran has finally sentenced recent Christian convert Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and three others to 10 years in prison.
In addition, on June 24, Judge Ahmadzadeh had also sentenced Nadarkhani, Mohammad Reza Omidi, Mohammad Ali Mosayebzadeh, and Zaman Fadaii to two years in exile, the Christian news agency in Iran, Mohabat News reported.
Nadarkhani and other non-Trinatarian defendants were accused of hosting house churches, promoting Zionist Christianity, unlawful gathering, propaganda against the regime, and violating national security by promoting Christianity.
All of the accused were present at the court when the verdict was delivered.
The sentence is subject to appeal within 20 days according to the law.
Nadarkhani and the other defendants in this case are members of a group that have named themselves The Church of Iran. They consider themselves the followers of William Branham, the famous American “Jesus Only” Pentecostal preacher of the 20th century, Christian sources reported.
Earlier, in May 2016, the Intelligence Ministry’s security forces attacked 10 church houses in the city of Rasht including a house where Nadarkhani, his wife Fatemeh (known as Tina), and three others were gathered for participating in a Christian ceremony.
Nadarkhani and his wife were released within hours, and three other new converts were freed later on $33,000 bail.
Previously, Nadarkhani was also arrested for apostasy in September 2009 and kept in prison until August 2012.
His case was sent to the judicial enforcement office in February 2012, where he was sentenced to death on the charge of apostasy. However, the international community, and churches in particular, forced Iran’s Supreme Court to revoke his death sentence.
Finally, he was sentenced to three years in prison for “propaganda against the Islamic regime.” He was immediately released because he had already completed his term in detention.