Christian Persecution Info - Christian Persecution Magazine

Welcome to Christian Persecution Info

Iran Launching "Systematic Prosecution" Of Protestants, Former Muslims

Posted on: 2013-01-22 07:03:04
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- Iran has launched the "systematic persecution and prosecution" of "Protestants and Christian converts" with a Muslim background, closing churches, detaining believers and threatening some with execution, a new report claims.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a major network of Iranian activists, said believers "face severe restrictions on religious practice and association, arbitrary arrests and detentions" for practicing their faith, "and violations of the right to life through state execution for apostasy and extrajudicial killings."

It's extensive report, 'The Cost of Faith: Persecution of Christian Protestants and Converts in Iran', cites cases of 31 Christians throughout Iran from April 2011 to July 2012, including Farshid Fathi, a Christian leader from Tehran who was detained in December 2010 as part of "a Christmas crackdown" on Christians.

The 33-year-old Fathi is serving six years imprisonment on charges of acting against national security, contact with enemy foreign countries, and religious propaganda.


"Since 2005, authorities have arrested and prosecuted Protestants most often for security crimes against the state," said the report obtained by Worthy News.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, noted in September last year that at least over 300 Christians have been arbitrarily arrested and detained throughout the country since 2010.

The report said several of Christian inmates face life danger and some are killed. It recalled that Christian pastor, Hossein Soodmand, was executed by the state for "apostasy", or abandoning Islam, in 1990.

Other church leaders sentenced to death for apostasy, included Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was eventually acquitted after intense international pressure.

The Campaigns research revealed what it said were "numerous reports of security officials threatening Christian detainees with execution on apostasy charges".


Additionally, it said, there were many cases of "suspicious deaths involving Christian leaders" as investigations "were so lacking in due diligence that government complicity in the killings or the cover-ups is strongly suggested."

Iranian officials have strongly denied wrongdoing saying Christian converts are part of a foreign inspired soft war against the state and members of sects threatening the state.

Hojjat Al-Islam Abbas Kaebi, a member of the influential Assembly of Experts, said in 2010 that the Zionists and Westerners have targeted [through Christian converts] our societys identity and peoples religion.

Authorities have not provided licensing of any new church since the 1979 Revolution, restrict church attendance and closed many churches. They also shut down Irans main Persianlanguage Bible publisher and have restricted the distribution of Bibles while monitoring and harassing church groups, according to the Campaigns report.

Activists also expressed concerns that "interrogators, prosecutors and courts consistently refer to standard Christian practices, such as membership in a house church, evangelical activities, and participation in a Christian conference, as 'criminal acts'."


Security officers "routinely confiscate standard Christian items such as bibles, religious literature, and crosses during arrests," the report said.

The report also said there was "systematic discrimination" of Christian Protestants and converts in employment, education, in laws governing marriage and family, and in Irans penal code.

"The egregious violations of Christians rights, which include not only the inability to freely practice their religion, but also the threat of torture and death at the hands of state officials, go against all international law. The international community must let the Iranian government know this is unacceptable, said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director for the Campaign.

Under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is obligated to safeguard freedom of religion, he said.

Iran's government claims it respects the rights of its recognized religious minorities within the laws of the Islamic state, but devoted Christians say they face persecution.


From apostasy charges that threaten the lives of converts to the imprisonment of church members involved in proselytizing, authorities have engaged in a pattern of human rights abuses that effectively criminalizes faith and manifestations of it, Ghaemi said.

The Campaign said it has urged Iran allow its Christian converts "to freely practice their religion, without further threat or intimidation, as is required under international and Iranian domestic law."

There are at least 100,000 evangelical Christians in Iran, including many former Muslims, according to missionaries, with some saying that figure is several times higher.

The Campaign's report is based on testimonies by Iranian Christians, defense lawyers, Christian rights activists and Iranian Christian journalists, as well as Iranian court verdicts and religious edicts by Shia jurists and Iranian laws.

Reprinted with permission from Worthy News' Partner News Agency BosNewsLife.

Do you want to add Prayer to your site?
World News
'Solution is Israel's Destruction', Iran's Ayatollah Declares
European Court Rules Against Poland Over Secret CIA Prisons
Two Ukraine Jets Shot Down Near Site of Malaysia Airlines Crash
Iran Could Achieve Nuclear 'Breakout' in Two Months
Iran Calls on Resistance Groups to 'Ink Defense Pact' Against Israel (Video)
Militia Blamed for Benghazi Attack Moved Next Door to Consulate Before Attack
Islamic State Campaigns Water War to Drive Out Christians
Israel News
Operation Protective Edge Enters 17th Day; Three IDF soldiers killed, 35 Terror Targets Hit
FAA Lifts Ban on US Flights to Israel
Protective Edge Enters its 16th Day, Two IDF Soldiers Killed
UN Finds Rockets in a School for the Second Time
Israel Dismantling 'Underground' Gaza
IDF Soldier Missing in Gaza, Presumed Dead; Soldier Kidnapped Claims Hamas
US, UN Pressing Hard for Ceasefire in Gaza
U.S. News
Al Qaeda Working on Digital 9/11 Cyber Attack
Humanist Files Lawsuit to Remove World War I Memorial
Increased Earthquake Risk Along New Madrid Fault, USGS says
Obama Highly Criticized Over West Coast Fundraising Trip
GAO: Almost All Fake Obamacare Insurance Applications Approved
CDC Director Warns of 'Post-Antibiotic' Era (Video)
Delta, US Airways Stop Flights to Israel

Help others find Christian Persecution Info! Use this code to link to Christian Persecution Information on your web page:

<a href="http://www.christian" title="Christian Persecution">Christian Persecution Info</a>

1999-2014 Christian Persecution Info - a Christian website of the Worthy Network