Christians Under Sharia in Iran Arrested, Face Floggings, for Communion Wine

Three Christians in Iran have been arrested and charged with “acting against national security” for drinking wine during Communion in violation of Sharia law.

Now the three face sentences of flogging.

While the drinking of wine, which symbolizes the blood of Jesus, is common to the Christian faith, Sharia law apparently takes priority and Iran’s police took the trio into custody this week. Initially, a pastor and his wife were detained, but police let them go.

Their court date is set for sometime next week, the Express reported. And if they’re found guilty, they will be flogged.

The website Persecution, citing the Express, offers this commentary:

“Iran continues to demonstrate its intolerance for Christianity by sentencing three Christians to be flogged for drinking wine during Communion.

“Iranian police initially arrested five Christians but have since released a pastor and his wife. Iran’s judicial system is based on Sharia law which forbids the consumption of wine, so Christians who choose to drink wine for religious reasons will be punished.

“Iran contends that the Christians are a national security risk and require an extensive punishment which could include anywhere from 10-100 lashes.”

The Communion wine, which has been blessed by priests and considered holy, is used to celebrate the Eucharist. It’s usually watered down so that children and those who abstain from the drinking of alcohol might take part, and it’s served with a small bread wafer, known as the Sacramental Bread, the represents the body of Christ.

Flogging is an extreme punishment that often causes the victim to pass out from pain after just a few lashes. Iran’s Sharia law allows those found guilty of adultery, kissing in public, homosexuality and blasphemy to be sentenced to flogging as well.