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Blondinrikard Fröberg via Flickr
World News

Flogging threats after Iranian Christians drink Communion wine

by Hannah Tooley

Three believers in the country face the punishment after officials in the capital, Tehran, accused them of 'acting against national security'.

According to The Express, the three Christian converts will appear in court next week alongside their pastor.

Police arrested Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi in May, along with Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his wife.

The pastor and his wife were later released without charge.

Iran: 

Population: 80 million, 475,000 Christians
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Islamic republic
World Watch List Rank: 9
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism

Millions of Christians all over the world use Holy Communion wine as part of services to celebrate the Eucharist.

Alcohol is forbidden in Iran, a country run by Sharia Islamic law.

Offenders are routinely sentenced to between ten and 100 lashes across the back with a three-foot long whip, and many faint during the punishment.

Iran ranks at number nine of Open Doors World Watch List for persecution against Christians.

Open Doors said: "Underground churches are increasingly monitored, which makes some afraid to attend, and at least 108 Christians were arrested in the last year.

"Interrogation methods in prison can be harsh and sexually abusive."

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