Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
“We ignore too many things, and even more indefensibly, we pretend not to see too many things.” This is the reality for how much of the world has treated the intensifying war against Christians in much of the Middle East. Among many in the West there is a massive, and sometimes willful, ignorance of the realities confronting Christians around the world who are paying a high cost because of their faith. Many often thing of Christianity as a Western religion, though the reality is that nearly two thirds of the 2.2 billion Christians (Protestant and Catholic combined) live outside of the West and that number is rising. They are also far more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of religious persecution.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
There has been a steady increase in the number of direct attacks on Christians because of their faith. In many places it has been a result of greater influence from radical Islamic groups that has been the impetus for what is an attempt at religious cleansing to create an Islamic state. In other places it is the result of government restrictions on religion that lead to severe repression of rights and imprisonment as a result of exercising fundamental rights of religion and belief. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has largely escaped the eye of many in the public and there is a need for greater engagement by both the general public and decision makers to protect minority communities.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains in an Iranian prison and is now into his second year of an eight year prison sentence as a result of his faith. The one year anniversary of his imprisonment was marked with prayer vigils around the world on September 26th. On September 27th, President Obama raised Saeed’s case during his phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. His case is known by the highest levels of both the United States and Iranian governments. Saeed heard about this latest development during a brief time of visitation with his family still in Tehran and was encouraged by the news.
Monday, September 30th, 2013
Amidst a week that saw the highest level of engagement between the United States and Iran in decades, President Obama reportedly asked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the case of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. September 26th marked one year that Saeed has been in an Iranian prison. Numerous government officials, including Secretary of State, John Kerry, had spoken out about the case but this is the first public acknowledgment of the President addressing it. This phone call came the day following prayer vigils held on Saeed’s behalf around the USA and across the globe.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
September 26th was the one year anniversary of the imprisonment of Saeed Abedini in an Iranian prison as a result of his Christian faith. Around the world Christians gathered to pray on his behalf. ICC spoke and took part in a vigil outside the White House alongside of Senator Ted Cruz, other Members of Congress, the State Department, and area pastors. It was a anniversary which all involved hope will not have a second, though Saeed currently faces an eight-year sentence.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Today marks one year since Saeed Abedini was placed into Iran's Evin prison. He is imprisoned simply because of his Christian faith, which the Iranian state has deemed a threat to national security. Saeed has been sentenced to eight years, though his family is fearful that is the same as a death sentence with the harsh treatment Saeed has faced.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Tomorrow marks one year since Saeed Abedini was taken to the brutal Evin prison in Tehran, Iran. Saeed has been sentenced to eight years in prison as a result of his faith, which is deemed a threat to national security. Efforts are being made around the world on behalf of pastor Abedini to see the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani release him from prison.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Just a few days before the one year anniversary of Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran, Naghmeh was able to hand-deliver a letter to the delegation of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. The letter is asking the president to release Saeed who was sentenced to eight years in prison as a result of his Christian faith. In the past few days president Rouhani has released a number of political prisoners but to date Saeed remains behind bars.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been held in an Iranian prison for nearly 12 full months. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran is in New York City and scheduled to speak at the UN on Tuesday. Saeed’s wife was able to speak directly to the Iranian president and delivered a letter written by Saeed to the President. While President Rouhani has released a number of political prisoners in the past few days, Saeed Abedini still remains behind bars.
Friday, September 20th, 2013
The recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has taken unprecedented steps in recent days to refresh Iran’s relations with the international community. While his rhetoric is viewed with skepticism by some, the international community should seize this opportunity to address serious issues not only in regards to their nuclear program but with regards to systematic violation of human rights towards its citizens. Among the worst of these abuses has been the crackdown on religious groups that has imprisoned more than a dozen Christians in just the past few months. As he arrives at the UN next week, world leaders should urge for clear steps to reform the harsh treatment towards religious minorities.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Just days before a visit to the UN meeting in New York, newly elected Iranian President Rouhani announced the release of 11 political prisoners. Among the 8 women and three men who were released were two Christian women who had been jailed for their faith. The release of Mitra and Maryam came after they had already served the majority of their sentence, with just one month remaining. The release of political prisoners before a visit to the UN is not without precedent for Iranian officials who attempt to mask the human rights abuses that have taken place. There is hope that President Rouhani is pursuing a path of reform that includes greater rights for religious minorities, but there is still a long way to go.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
American Pastor Saeed Abedini has written a letter directly to the Iranian president appealing for him to consider his case and to call for his release. Saeed has been sentenced to eight years in prison as a result of his Christian faith. He was legally in the country working on a government approved orphanage project when he was detained, more than a year ago. September 26th will make one year in prison for pastor Saeed.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
The Iranian regime has continued to crack down on the presence of Christians in Iran. The crackdown had primarily targeted Muslim background believers, but now those from an ethnic Christian background have also been arrested and prosecuted. Pastor Avanessian, an Iranian-Armenian, was arrested as part of a large wave of arrests this past Christmas. He has undergone harsh interrogation and been prevented from speaking with other Christians while awaiting final sentencing.
Friday, August 30th, 2013
In Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan, Christians in recent days have faced violent persecution both from society and from governments. While the United States often purports to be a leader in defending the rights of the oppressed, President Obama has largely been silent about these instances of persecution. The State Department and Secretary John Kerry have occasionally addressed the issue, but there has been very little activity to attempt to bring an end to this persecution or to ensure protection of the Christian minorities who are being targeted.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) is alarmed by the latest series of events that continue a pattern of egregious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms in Iran. Three Christians, Ebrahim Firouzi, Sevada Aghasar, and Masoud Mirzaei were arrested on Wednesday, August 21, and detained without charges. On Sunday, August 25, an appeals court in Tehran rejected an appeal in the case of American Saeed Abedini who has been sentenced to eight years in prison because of his religious beliefs.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
An appeals court in Tehran has rejected an appeal for a reduced sentence for American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini. The latest ruling in Pastor Saeed’s case was handed down yesterday by a two-judge panel. This latest decision comes just one month away from the one year anniversary of Saeed’s imprisonment.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
A new report by Mohabat News details an alarming rise in the amount of Christian women facing prison in Iran. For years the country has tightly suppressed religious minorities, including Christians, however recently Mohabat News reports that the "most severe police brutality" is reserved for women. Several women have been arrested for leading worship at house churches in the country.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
Last week, Ebrahim Fouzi was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of exile in a remote border town in Iran for his work as a Christian evangelist. The Revolutionary Court noted he had created a Christian website, brought Bibles into the country, and was operating with house churches, which it described as a "criminal act." Iran remains one of the most difficult nations in the world for Christians to live and those bold enough to share their faith risk years of imprisonment.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Iran has a history of arresting and imprisoning Christians for attempting to spread Christianity in the Islamic republic. Christian convert Mohammed-Hadi "Mostafa" Bordbar has recently been sentenced to 10 years in prison for proselytizing in Iran. Officially, he has been convicted of "crimes against state security." According to reports, police raided his home and discovered thousands of copies of the Gospel Mohammed-Hadi had planned on using to witness to others in Iran. Please pray for this persecuted brother.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
In Iran the repression on women severely limits their participation in many aspects of public life. As this reports highlight there have been Christian women who recently have been arrested because of their faith. These women are confronted with one of the most difficult situations of being a woman in a highly repressive society towards women and a Christian in a society that is restrictive of Christians. “Among religious minorities in Iran, female Christian converts face the worst form of harms and threats since they are far fewer in number.”
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
While the government continues its crackdown on the growth of Christian churches in Iran, a centuries old cemetery is also in danger of destruction. The cemetery has been in use for more than 150 years, but its permit has been revoked by city officials and it is quickly falling into a state of disrepair. In a Muslim majority country, the problem of finding a place to bury the dead is a very serious concern and one that should not be overlooked. There has recently been an effort by some outside officials to protect the cemetery but the future remains uncertain.
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
News has emerged that the health of American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini has continued to deteriorate. His family in Iran was able to visit him and learned that the pain has increased from the injuries suffered during multiple beatings over the past year. Iran continues its brutal crackdown on Christians across the country and Saeed is among those who have experienced some of the worst of that crackdown.
Sunday, August 11th, 2013
Iran has continued its crackdown on Christians in the country and has detained three more Christians. The three men were arrested in late July and were believed to have been transferred to an intelligence building to be interrogated. The families of the three men have been unable to learn any details about the condition of the men. Security forces have not yet released formal charges against the men. During the arrests the belongings of the three believers were searched. Iran has made an effort to control the growth of Christianity, especially among the Farsi speaking population.
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
An Iranian Christian has been sentenced to ten years in prison for exercising his basic rights to religious freedom. While the official charges are those of “membership in an anti-security organization” and “intent to commit crimes against national security,” when the charges are specified it is for exercising his basic rights as a Christian. Mr. Bordbar’s lawyer plans to appeal the decision and is hoping for a reduction of the sentence and possibly an overturning of the verdict.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
The case of Iranian Christian Mostafa Bordbar demonstrates the nation’s use of false arrests and long imprisonments as a way of intimidating Christians and violating religious freedom through the misuse of power.
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
The lawyers involved in the case of imprisoned Iranian-American Saeed Abedini continue to pressure the court for clarification on the status of Saeed’s case. Despite the appeals process that is ongoing Saeed has been detained for more than a year. The court has made promises about his case but has not followed through with them. The international community continues to raise awareness of his case and encourage the Iranian government to act in accordance with their own constitution and international standards.
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
July 28th marks one year since Saeed was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. 365 days later Pastor Saeed remains in Tehran’s Evin prison serving a sentence of eight years for no reason other than his faith in Christ.
Friday, July 26th, 2013
150 prison guards pulled prisoners from their cells and forcefully inspected them, confiscated what few belongs they had, and caused damage to the cells. Ward 350 of Tehran’s Evin prisoner is the site of detention for many Christians who are held for nothing more than their faith. Saeed Abedini, Farshid Fathi, Alireza Seyyedian and Mostafa Bordbar are among those held in this section of the notoriously harsh prison.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been held in an Iranian prison for 300 days because of his Christian faith. Saeed was arrested nearly a year ago while in the country with government approval to work on an orphanage project. Since his arrest Saeed has received beatings and harassment. He was denied medical treatment until only a few days ago. Iranian officials should reconsider the basis on which Saeed is being held and act in accordance with their constitution and international obligations resulting in the freeing of Saeed.
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Iran continues its suppression of fundamental human rights and especially those who would promote the basic right of religious freedom. Two activists who have worked for the promotion of greater religious freedoms in Iran have entered into Tehran’s Evin prison. Evin prison is known as one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult prisons. Maryam Naghash was convicted for propagating Christianity and sentenced to five years. Zhinus Rahimian, a member of the Baha’i religious minority has been sentenced to one year in prison.