How Iran Persecutes Christians | IFCJ
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How Iran Persecutes Christians

Because the world has become more aware of the persecution of Christians, especially in the Middle East, some nations have adopted more covert methods of mistreating those of the Christian faith. Iran is one of those nations. Gatestone Institute's Raymond Ibrahim tells us how Iran is avoiding international scrutiny while still persecuting Christians and forcing them to embrace Islam:

One need only look to Iran's Christians -- who form 1% of its entire population -- to test these claims. Unlike the persecution other Christian minorities experience in Muslim majority nations -- which often comes at the hands of Muslim individuals, mobs, or professional terrorists -- the primary driver of Christian persecution in Iran is the government itself...

Most of the Iranian regime's persecution seems directed against Protestant Christians and Muslim converts to branches of Christianity, such as the Evangelical, Baptist and Pentecostal strains. Because they are denied the right to build churches, Christians often resort to meeting and worshipping in secret. Reports of Iranian authorities breaking into such house-church gatherings, arresting and hauling off many, if not all, present Christians have become increasingly common...

Although the official reason Iranian authorities give in all these arrests and convictions is that such Christian activities are tantamount to "crimes against national security," it seems that the real reason is hostility to religions other than Iran's indigenous religious denominations. For instance, "[w]hile the government is anti-Christian, it does grant some limited freedoms to historical [non-Protestant] Christian churches," according to the World Watch List...

Not only does Iran persecute its Christian minorities, but it also tries to coerce them to embrace Islam -- despite Rouhani's boasts before the UN that "Iran does not seek to... impose its official religion on others," because "[w]e are so confident in the depth of our culture, the truth of our faith and tenacity and longevity of our revolution..."

In one instance, the government "ordered children belonging to families of one of the country's largest house-church movements to study the Koran and Shi'a Islamic teachings or face expulsion from school," notes one report. The policy "deprives Christian children of primary and secondary education unless they agree to religious instruction that does not conform to their faith..."

Tags: Christians , Iran

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