Iran Deports American Priest Who Protested Imprisonment of Christians

Iranian authorities have deported a U.S. priest who had organized a protest outside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran to demand the release of Iranian Christians.

Father Eddie Romero was detained and interrogated October 21st in Tehran after he called upon Iranian authorities to release five imprisoned Iranian Christians.

Father Romero had been detained in 2008, during the Olympics in Beijing, after a protest demanding the release of activists detained in China.

According to Iranian law, for a Muslim to convert to Christianity is a crime punishable by law. In 2008, Iranian Parliament approved the legalization of the death penalty to those who convert from Islam.

Evangelical priest Youcef Nadarkhani is one of the most famous victims of converting to Christianity - he was charged with proselytizing. He converted to Christianity at age 19 and has served as a pastor for several unlicensed household churches. In 2009, he was arrested and sentenced to death for apostasy.

Said Abdini, a U.S. priest of Iranian origins, was arrested by Iranian authorities and sentenced to eight years in prison, and remains in custody at a time of mounting criticism against the U.S. administration.

According to reports made by Iranian opposition, the Iranian regime has arrested more than 60 Christian minority leaders in Tehran, between December 2010 and January 2011, on charges of proselytizing and conversion.

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