Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
The situation for American citizen Saeed Abedini imprisoned in Iran remains dire. The latest reports have confirmed the worst fears about the dangers of the prison where he is being held. Thursday, December 12, two Congressional Sub-Committees are scheduled to hear testimony on the persecution of Saeed from his wife and from Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Monday, December 9th, 2013
Iran continues its crackdown on Christians and those whose ideas challenge the hardline Islamic beliefs of the regime. Rasoul Abdollahi was taken to the Evin prison to begin serving a three year prison term for “collusion against the government” (attending church) and evangelism. Also, two Christians were among a group of 16 internet activists arrested by the government for their activities which are reportedly “against Islam.”
Friday, December 6th, 2013
Two Christian prisoners were released on Wednesday, December 4, after having served 214 days in prison. The men had been convicted of conversion to Christianity as well as sharing their beliefs with Muslims, which Iran views as a security threat against its Islamic regime. The two men were released while there were about two weeks remaining on their sentences. The judicial authorities have not provided a reason for the slightly early release, nor have they indicated if there will be any change in the status of two other prisoners who were convicted at the same time.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
The latest report has confirmed the worst fears about the conditions confronting American Pastor Saeed Abedini, held in Rajai Shahr prison in Iran. His family was able to visit him Monday and has reported that Saeed’s health is quickly deteriorating in the harsh conditions, he has been denied medicine to treat internal injuries. Rajai Shahr prison houses Iran’s most dangerous criminals and Saeed has been repeatedly robbed and has woken up with prisoners standing over him threatening him with knives.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
As additional details continue to emerge about the negotiating process between the United States and Iran more questions are raised as to why American citizens, including Pastor Saeed Abedini was not part of the deal. Reports are now coming to light that an Iranian nuclear scientist was released by the US during the negotiating process, but Iran has continued to hold American’s in brutal prison conditions.
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
As Iran and the United States and other European powers sat across the table in Geneva working out the details of an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, they overlooked the egregious human rights violations of the Iranian regime. In the highest level of diplomatic engagement between the U.S. and Iran in decades it is troubling that the release of two American’s known to be held by Iran, and third believed to be held, was not a pre-condition for signing the agreement. Even more troubling is that the conviction of Saeed Abedini is solely on the basis of his religious beliefs, something professed to be a core value of American foreign policy. This must be a point to which negotiations quickly return, as there are numerous lives, including American citizens at stake as this issue gets ignored.
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Among the most troubling aspects of the diplomatic talks that have taken place between the United States, European powers, and Iran is that despite the steps to normalize relations an American citizen remains in prison for exercising what is stated by America to be a fundamental right and a “core objective of U.S. foreign policy.” Securing the release of three Americans who are believed to be detained in Iran should be at the very center of any contact the U.S. has with Iran, until these citizens are home, and while they push Iran to reform its treatment of religious minorities.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
A recent report highlights that in the midst of rising persecution more and more people want access to the scriptures. The distribution of Bibles has continued to increase around the world. In places like Syria, Iraq, and throughout North Africa access to the Bible is crucial to sustaining the church in the midst of the harsh realities of persecution they are suffering.
Monday, November 25th, 2013
An Iranian Christian remains in hiding after having received numerous threats and abuses as a result of his faith in Christ. Armin Davoodi, a recent convert was threatened with death earlier this year by Iranian secret police. His family continues to face regular harassment both from Iranian authorities as well as from vandals who attack their home. The situation for Iranian Christians remains dire. “The world should know about the situation of converted Iranians,” one Iranian said. They regularly face abuse, imprisonment, and threats of death, simply because of their faith.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
As the world watches negotiations taking place in Geneva concerning Iran’s nuclear program, an American-Iranian pastor remains in prison because of his faith. Congress took another step forward this week as the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution calling for Pastor Saeed’s release. The measure will now go to the full House for a vote. The human rights issues in Iran are well documented and reform on these issues, particularly the persecution of religious minorities should be a central part of diplomatic negotiations with Iran’s government.
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Following a meeting with the leaders of churches across the Middle East Pope Francis spoke out calling for the church to support the continued existence of the church in areas that have increasingly become hostile to Christians. “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” Pope Francis said. This further highlights the work that is necessary to support the church and to address the political and cultural dynamics that are driving their exodus and in some cases martyrdom.
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
An Iranian Christian, Vahid Hakkani, has been granted a leave of absence from prison to seek medical treatment for the numerous problems he is suffering that have been exacerbated by the harsh treatment inside the prison. Vahid has been sentenced to 3 years and 8 months as a result of his faith and attendance at worship services. The sentence was previously upheld by an appeals court, but the legal battle continues. The medical leave he has been granted has come with numerous conditions that have put additional strain on Vahid, his family, and the Christian community in Iran.
Friday, November 15th, 2013
The situation inside Iran remains extremely tense for Pastor Saeed Abedini as well as friends and family who have also faced intense persecution as a result of their Christian faith. Congress has increased its efforts to work for Saeed’s release and to see the American citizen reunited with his wife and children in the U.S. There have been recent efforts in both the House, with a resolution with some 80 cosponsors, and the Senate, both a resolution and a letter to the President, to advocate for the use of greater diplomatic efforts to secure the release of Saeed from the Iranian prison.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
The father of imprisoned Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini was denied access to visit Saeed and deliver much needed medicine to help treat injuries Saeed has received while imprisoned. Saeed was transferred to the Rajai Sharhr prison outside of Tehran and is being held in the same ward as some of the most dangerous and violent criminals in Iran.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
While the majority of attention paid to Iran in the media over the last few days has focused on its nuclear program, it is important to not overlook the massive reforms that are needed in terms of fundamental human rights. Iran is officially an Islamic Republic, and even more so significantly favors a specific brand of Islam and regularly and brutally restricts the rights of other faiths. The continued imprisonment of Iranian-American Saeed Abedini is the most visible example of a repressive regime that regularly persecutes Christians and other non-Shia Muslims.
Friday, November 8th, 2013
ICC is deeply disturbed by the transfer of American pasotr Saeed Abedini from notoroious Evin prison in Iran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Diplomats, U.S. Senators, and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) confirm that for Abedini to be held in this prison is essentially a “death sentence.”
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Praise the Lord! Mostafa Bordbar has been released upon appeal in Iran one day after we reported that Pastor Saeed Abedini is beeing transferred to Iran's most dangerous prison. Please thank God for His mercy, and continue to pray for the swift and safe release of the many other Christians wrongly imprisoned in Iran.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
American pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned in Iran for his faith since since the summer of 2012. ICC has just learned that he is being transferred to what is perhaps Iran's most brutal prison, where it is common for inmates to perish before completion of their sentences. Please write or call the White House today to urge President Obama to demand Pastor Abedini's immediate release. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact).
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Four Iranian Christian who were imprisoned for attending a house church lost their appeals and now face 3years and 8 months in prison. The Christians were originally sentenced in June for their faith activities. In February 2012, 6 Christians were arrested attending a house church. Iran is currently imprisoning over 300 Christians for attending house churches across the country, one of who is an American pastor. Please pray for these imprisoned brothers in Christ.
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
The sentencing of 4 Iranian Christians to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine is only the latest incident of persecution in Iran's longstanding crackdown on Christianity. Many speculate Iran's Shite Muslim government views the growing Christian community as a threat to their majority rule, so for decades, the government has been taking steps to stomp out its growth. The arrest of pastors, the treat of death sentences for converts from Islam and the routine raiding of house churches are only part of Iran's overall strategy to persecute Christians.
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
At the same time that a report from the United Nations was released, highlighting the human rights abuses in Iran, four Iranian Christians were sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine. While alcohol is prohibited for Muslims in Iran, it is not illegal for non-Muslims. The Iranian regime systematically represses the rights of religious minorities, particularly Christians and Bahai.
Friday, October 25th, 2013
An appeals court in Shiraz, Iran has upheld the sentences handed out to six Christians that total 20 years in prison. The arrests were the result of a February, 2012 raid on a house church. The four men whose sentences were confirmed were among those arrested, as well as a woman and her 17 year old son. The decision of the appeals court is final with no appeals process remaining in the judicial system. The confirming of these sentences again reflects the fundamental rejection of religious freedom by the Iranian state, despite the Iranian constitution and the international agreements to which it is a signatory.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
As Boko Haram's terror activities become more widely known, their operations have elicited greater scrutiny from Western security organizations. Nigerian Muslims have maintained cordial relations with Iran for some time. However, recent intelligence indicates that Iran is playing a major role in supporting Islamists activity as part of a broader strategy to destabilize Western diplomacy and to gather intelligence on Western military presence and capabilities. As the United States pursues closer relations with the regime in Tehran, it is important to recall the role they play in orchestrating the ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
An Iranian court has sentenced four Christians to be whipped as a result of drinking wine during the Lord’s Supper. The four Christians have a limited timeframe to appeal the sentence. This step is just the latest in a long line of abuses of basic rights to religious freedom in Iran.
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Two Iranian Christians who were illegally arrested in late August have now been located, Mohabat News is reporting. The two believers, Ebrahim Firouzi and Sevada Aghasar, are currently being held in Tehran’s Evin prison. They were arrested in late August and according to reports taken to solitary confinement where they underwent interrogation in what many have called one of the world’s worst prisons.
Friday, October 18th, 2013
The efforts to work for the release of Iranian-American Saeed Abedini continue to gain attention around the world. His wife Naghmeh was able to speak out again in a recent interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Saeed’s case is one of the most visible of the many human rights abuses committed by the Iranian regime, which works to silence views contrary to its own both politically, and, as in Saeed’s case, religiously.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
While Iranian president Hassan Rouhani was making headlines at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the sidelines of the meeting highlighted the abuse of Christians still taking place under Rouhani’s watch. A briefing was delivered to the Council that highlighted the numerous cases of abuse and highlighted how they are in direct violation of not just international agreements which Iran has ratified, but also Iran’s own constitution.
Monday, October 14th, 2013
In the coming year there will be major decisions forthcoming on a number of issues from Syria and Egypt to Iran and Afghanistan. While many of these decisions are viewed as largely political, the impact of these decisions will have serious implications for the Christian community in these countries. The church must be actively engaged in the political process to ensure that their basic rights are protected, otherwise the exodus of Christians from the region will continue.
Monday, October 14th, 2013
Across the globe Christians are routinely subject to violent persecution because of their faith. There are many factors that drive persecution, but an extremist interpretation of Islam is behind much of the persecution in the Middle East. Senator Rand Paul addressed this issue at length at a recent event in Washington. There is a greater need for serious engagement not just to react to this persecution, but to work to prevent it and the United States ought to be at the forefront of these discussions.
Sunday, October 13th, 2013
The European Parliament has put forward a petition to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and specifically the case of American Pastor Saeed Abedini. The resolution received support from a wide range of groups and parliamentarians from across Europe. As relations between Iran and the West have thawed in recent days it is important that human rights and the abuses of religious freedom remain an issue of concern.