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Posted: 10/29/2013 2:31:36 AM EST
A court in Iran has sentenced four Christian men to 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion ceremony, a Christian advocacy group and international news sites report.

The sentencing coincides with a government crackdown on so-called “house churches,” that is unofficial gathering spots in which Christians gather in Iran in an effort to practice their faith undetected. The arrests and harsh sentences suggest that despite the moderate image of President Hassan Rouhani and the outreach to Iran by the Obama administration, religious persecution of Christians in the Islamic Republic continues.

The four men — Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) — were convicted of drinking alcohol and possessing a receiver and a satellite antenna, according to a statement issued by Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

They were first arrested during a worship service last year around Christmastime, the Independent reports.

The verdict was handed down on October 20 in the city of Rasht, and the men have ten days to appeal. The names in parenthesis are the biblical names each man has adopted, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Link Posted: 10/29/2013 2:36:06 AM EST
Iranian Muslims are tolerant people -- almost as tolerant as the USA's liberals.
Link Posted: 10/29/2013 2:40:53 AM EST
Good. Alcohol is an evil spirit.
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