By Joseph DeCaro
TEHRAN (Worthy News)-- An Iranian court has overturned the six-year sentences handed down to three converts to Christ for being members of a church, according to International Christian Concern.
Matthias Haghnejad and Silas Rabani were both released from custody; and though Benham Irani has served four years of another and separate six year sentence, the additional six years that were added to his sentence have been dropped.
Haghnejad and Rabani are home with their families, Jason DeMars, president of Present Truth Ministries, told ICC.
DeMars said that the charges against all three men were "crimes against national security" and "forming a network to overthrow the government". Previously, the three were charged with crimes of "spreading corruption on earth" and "enmity against God," crimes that carry the death penalty.
In Iran, converts to Christ are often charged with crimes against national security.
"It is a fundamental aspect of religious freedom to be able to meet together with others who share your beliefs," said ICC Regional Manager Todd Daniels. "For too long, the Iranian regime has treated such meetings as a threat to national security. The judicial system should uphold the commitments made by the Iranian government both in its constitution and in International Agreements to provide religious freedom for its citizens and should end the prosecution and unjust imprisonment of Christians for nothing more than practicing their religious beliefs.
"We continue to call for the full release of Pastor Benham Irani, Saeed Abedini, and the dozens more who are imprisoned unjustly."