“Why is house church worship a crime?”
Barnabas Fund, 7 November 2019
Iranian Christian Naser Goltapeh wrote an open letter from his prison cell on 1 November questioning why worshipping in house churches is an “action against national security”.
The Farsi-speaking convert from Islam, who was remanded in the notorious Evin prison and sentenced to serve a ten-year term in January 2018, wrote, “Today marks more than two years since I have been detained in prison for the fabricated charge of acting against national security by running house churches …”.
“I do not know by what logic or under which crime this heavy sentence has been imposed upon me. I hope that Christ’s love will spread through the voice of imprisoned Christians throughout the world,” wrote Naser.
He noted that Christians are one of Iran’s recognised religious minorities that “are free to practise their religion” under the constitution.
Naser was arrested in July 2017 during a police raid on a church meeting. He was convicted of assembling in an “illegal gathering” that “threatens the security of Iran”.