ISTANBUL (Morning Star News) – Three Iranian Christians sentenced to receive 80 lashes for drinking wine during a Communion service filed an appeal Wednesday (Oct. 25) to have their case overturned, a noted advocacy group reported.
In a trial that lasted a mere 10 minutes, the three converts from Islam, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie, on Sept. 10 were all sentenced to receive 80 lashes for drinking wine. It was the second time Fadaie and Omidi have been sentenced to flogging for taking Communion.
Although Christians are allowed to consume alcohol in Iran, Muslims are not. According to advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC), the charges “reflect the state view that a Muslim cannot change his or her religion.”
The Iranian government uses the alcohol statute as another way to harass converts to Christianity, Kiri Kankhwende of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) told Morning Star News.