On trial in Iran for celebrating Christmas

An Iranian pastor is expected to stand trial in Iran soon, five months after his arrest by security forces for ‚Äúparticipating in an illegal gathering‚ÄĚ as he celebrated Christmas.

Victor Bet-Tamraz led the Tehran Pentecostal Assyrian Church before it was shut down by Iran's Ministry of Interior in March 2009.

Two converts to Christianity were also arrested. All were charged with conducting illegal evangelism and kept mostly in solitary confinement in Evin prison, before being released on bail in February and March.

Bet-Tamraz has had difficulty in finding a lawyer willing to act as his defence counsel. Some lawyers have experienced a backlash after representing Christians in court.