By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
TEHRAN (Worthy News)-- An Iranian Christian pastor imprisoned for his faith now faces the death penalty after being officially charged with "spreading corruption on [the] Earth," according to Fox News.
Pastor Behnam Irani -- who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2011 for his Christian activities -- is being held in solitary confinement while suffering severe health problems, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas told BosNewsLife that they are deeply concerned by the new charges.
"The charges leveled against Pastor Irani and other Christians are tantamount to an indictment of Christianity itself and mark a renewed escalation in Iran's campaign against Persian Christians under the Rouhani presidency," Thomas said in a statement.
Although elected as a moderate, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has overseen the oppression of any Christian community that has evangelized the Islamic state's Muslim population.
"There are a lot of people who are disgruntled with the government and many -- for comfort and peace in their lives -- are turning to Christianity," Jason DeMars, founder of Present Truth Ministries, told Fox News."
In Iran, the punishment for conversion away from Islam can carry the death penalty.