Three Iranians successfully escaped Iran after facing a combined 35 years in prison for converting to Christianity. Their names are Kavian Fallah-Mohammadi, Hadi Asgari, and Amin Afshar-Naderi.
"I miss my country, Iran, very much," Amin said. "Before prison, I had traveled to foreign countries many times, but I never decided to emigrate. Today, I am very sad that I have been forced to seek refuge in another country, no matter how much better the conditions may be there."
Amin was arrested with Kavian and his pastor on December 26, 2014. After a long legal process, Amin was sentenced 15 years in prison while Kavin faced 10 years in prison.
"It took two years [after my arrest] in all before they summoned me for my last defense, when they made other serious accusations against me, which made my case even more severe, " Kavian said. "Then, finally, the following year, they sentenced me to the 10 years in prison, and the delay to the process puts huge psychological pressure on you. Of course, we appealed the verdict, but, finally, after another three years, when no official trials took place, the appeal court approved the verdict – very strangely without a face-to-face hearing that my lawyer could have attended."
Kavian was summoned to begin his sentence recently, but has no intention to do so now that he is outside Iran. Amin and Hadi have not received a summons to begin their sentences.
"I say with tears that, according to the teachings of the Bible, we tried to be good citizens in Iran and not to act against the law, but the government inflicted serious injuries upon us with an iron fist and such cruelty," Amin said. "But we pray for the rulers, for those who harassed us, insulted and slandered us, humiliated and ridiculed us, tortured and destroyed us, harmed us and our families, confiscated our property. We pray for them and forgive them."