Iranian Pastor’s wife joins husband in jail
By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS – Jan. 18, 2018) — The wife of an Iranian pastor sentenced to ten years in jail has been given a five-year sentence of her own.
Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, the wife of Victor Bet-Tamraz, was convicted of “acting against national security and against the regime by organizing small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies,” according to Christian advocacy group Middle East Concern, as reported by World Watch Monitor (www.worldwatchmonitor.org) .
She will appeal against the sentence, which was given at a Revolutionary Court in Tehran, the Iranian capital, on January 6.
Khabizeh was first detained in June last year, then released on bail after paying the equivalent of $30,000 USD.
Her husband, who was sentenced in July last year for “acting against national security by organizing and conducting house-churches,” is currently awaiting the result of his own appeal.
The couple’s son, Ramil, is also facing charges — of “acting against national security” and “organising and creating house churches,” as well as charges relating to his father’s ministry.
Last year, over a dozen Iranian Christians – most of them converts to Christianity – were given prison sentences of between 10 and 15 years for “acting against national security.”
Two of them, Amin Afshar-Naderi and Hadi Asgari, were due to hear the result of their own appeals on December 27, only for them to be postponed.
Afshar-Naderi was released on bail last year after writing an open letter to the authorities, asking what he had done to “make you hate me this much” and declaring that he had decided to “terminate my life slowly” through a hunger strike.
Iran is 10th on the newly released Open Doors 2018 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Photo captions: 1) Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh (Article 18). 2) Michael Ireland of ASSIST News Service.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister, and an award-winning local cable-TV program host/producer who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. You may follow Michael on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelIrelandMediaMissionary , and on Twitter at @Michael_ASSIST. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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