Fariba Dalir and Sakine Behjati began serving their two-year sentence for acting against national security by founding and leading an Evangelical Christian church.

Dalir, 51, was one of six converts detained in Tehran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in July 2021. On July 19, she and her fiancé Soroush were detained - Dalir at a hair salon and Soroush while driving his car - along with another Christian male, while the other three (a 17-year-old girl and a mother and daughter) were taken the day before at their residences. The Christians' identities, apart from Dalir and Soroush, have not been publicly disclosed.

Dalir was detained at the detention facility for 38 days before being moved to the Qarchak women's jail. On November 18, she was granted bail and married Soroush shortly after. He and another believer were held in solitary detention for 38 and 20 days, respectively, before being transported to the Greater Tehran Prison and eventually released on bail in October.

Another three Christians, including a 17-year-old girl who was detained in solitary confinement and exposed to severe custodial interrogation before being freed without charge, were discharged after ten days in the Revolutionary Guard Corps detention center.

In November, Dalir, Soroush, and three others went before Judge Afshari at the Revolutionary Court's 26th Branch in Tehran, where Dalir was convicted to five years in jail for "acting against national security by creating and heading an evangelical Christian church." Her five-year sentence was based on the false idea that she had a criminal record, but her term was reduced to two years after the court learned of the error.

Soroush and the other three Christians were each sentenced to 10 months in jail for their church membership, but they were penalized and dismissed because they had already served their term.

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Behjati Arrested For Being A Christian Leader

Meanwhile, Behjati also known as Mehri, a Christian convert and house church leader began spending a two-year prison sentence on Saturday, April 16 - she, like Fariba Dalir, had been charged with "acting against national security by organizing and heading an evangelical Christian house church." Mehri surrendered to officials at Evin jail but was later allowed to transfer to Lakan Prison in Rasht, where she could be nearer to her little child.

Mehri and three other clergies of Iran's non-Trinitarian Church were detained in February 2020. The four converts - Hadi (Moslem) Rahimi, Mehri's nephew, and married couple Ramin Hassanpour and Kathrin (Saeede) Sajadpour - were accused in May 2020 and transferred to Lakan Prison because they couldn't afford bail.

They were freed a week after on a lowered bail and convicted to two to five years in jail in August 2020. (Ramin to five, Moslem to four, and Mehri and Saeede to two). In September 2020, their appeals were denied.

Moslem began serving his time in January 2022, while the other three Christians were given until the end of February to surrender to the officials in Tehran. Mehri, on the other hand, was given an extra six weeks at home to celebrate Nowruz (Iranian New Year) with her family.

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