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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Iran: Five Christians Receive Exorbitant Bail Demands

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

SHIRAZ, IRAN (ANS) -- Five members of the Church of Iran denomination appeared before a judge at the 14th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Fars Province on March 10 and were handed exorbitant bail terms.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Mohammad Roghangir, Surush Saraie, Eskandar Rezaie, Shahin Lahooti and Massoud Rezaie are charged with disturbing public order, evangelizing, action against national security and an internet activity against the system.

Their trial was expected to commence on March 10; however, during their court appearance, Judge Sadati set bail for Mohammed Roghangir at US$ 200,000, while the others were asked for US$ 80,000 each. No date was set for the continuation of the trial.

CSW says that the five Christians were among seven people arrested on 12 October 2012 during an evening raid by the security services on a house in Shiraz where a prayer service led by Mr. Roghangir was underway. They were initially held in Plaque 100, the Intelligence Ministry’s notorious detention centre, before being transferred to Adel-Abad Prison, where they are held separately from other prisoners.

Andrew Johnston, Advocacy Director at Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, “CSW is concerned that the Iranian authorities continue to characterize legitimate religious activities as crimes against the state. In addition to our concern at these charges, we also deplore the exorbitant bail demands, which are increasingly common and appear to be designed to economically cripple families and congregations. We continue to call for the release of all prisoners of conscience, without recourse to extortionate payments, and in line with Iran’s undertakings under Article 18 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.


Dan Wooding, 72, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 49 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries. Dan recently received two top media awards -- the “Passion for the Persecuted” award from Open Doors US, and as one of the top “Newsmakers of 2011” from Plain Truth magazine. He is the author of some 45 books, the latest of which is “Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s.” To order a copy, go to: Caped Crusader - Amazon

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