Christian woman Fatemeh Bakhteri has started a one year prison sentence in Iran for alleged “propaganda” against the government after refusing to renounce her faith. Judges had encouraged her to renounce her Christian faith, as it was her activities as a Christian that led her to being convicted last year.

Barnabas reports that her first appeal hearing in January saw Fatemeh being pressured by two judges to renounce her faith. She refused and was subsequently informed her appeal had been rejected. She has since been summoned to jail at Evin Prison, Tehran, a jail well-known for it’s maltreatment of inmates.

Fatemeh is one of a number of Christians who has faced punitive sentences from the Islamic judiciary. Saheb Fadaie, a convert from Islam, was already serving a ten-year prison sentence for Christian activities when she received another 18 months recently for allegedly “acting against the national security”. She almost must serve two years in exile outside Tehran.

65 year-old Roksari Kanbari, also a convert to Christianity, was sentenced to one year in prison in late July for “propaganda against the system”.