Iranian Bookshop Owner Imprisoned for Selling Bibles as Government Crackdown on Christianity Continues

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the United Nations headquarters in Vienna June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Iran has reportedly imprisoned a business owner for the crime of selling the Bible in his bookshop.

Reports have indicated that Mustafa Rahimi, a bookseller from the Kurdish town of Bukan, was sentenced by the Bukan Public Revolutionary Court to months in prison on charges of selling the Bible.

However, reports are conflicting as to how long Rahimi has been sentenced for.

Rahimi ran a bookstore in the National Bank alley in Bukan, which lies in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province near the border with Iraq, the Iranian Christian news agency Mohabat News reports.

Rahimi was arrested and jailed by intelligence officers in mid-June and ordered to pay a hefty fine. He was temporarily freed after paying bail.

The Kurdish human rights group Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reported that Rahimi was re-arrested in mid-August and sentenced to three months and one day in prison on Aug. 28.

However, sources close to Rahimi’s family told Mohabat News that he was sentenced to six months and one day in prison by the revolutionary court.

Rahimi’s arrest comes as there has been a growth of Christianity in the Shia nation and as the oppressive regime has prohibited the selling and publishing of Christian literature.

The news of Rahimi’s sentencing follows a string of crackdowns against Christians in the Islamic Republic.

In July, 65-year-old Christian convert Mahrokh Kanbari was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security.” She was also accused of engaging in “propaganda against the system.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith