Behnam Irani is an evangelical Christian leader from Iran who led a 300-member Church of Iran in Karaj, a city less than 15 minutes outside the capital of Tehran.
In 2011, Irani was sentenced to six years imprisonment for his Christian activities after a raid on a house church in Karaj. In September 2014, Mr. Irani was hit with 18 additional charges, including "Mofsed-e-filarz", which means “spreading corruption on Earth”, a crime punishable by death. However, in October 2014, this charge was dropped and Irani was sentenced instead to six years imprisonment due to his alleged “acting against national security” and forming “a group to overthrow the government.” In total, Pastor Irani is expected to serve a total of twelve years in prison and is therefore due for release in 2023.
Mr. Irani has faced numerous health problems while in prison, including severe bleeding due to stomach ulcers and colon complications. Mr. Irani is married and has a daughter and son.
Behnam Irani was RELEASED on October 17, 2016.
Advocate: Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)