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Iranian officials arrest 70 Christians
 
ICC Note:

About seventy Christians have been arrested in Iran since Christmas in a “crackdown that demonstrates the limits of religious tolerance by Islamic leaders who often boast they provide room for other faiths,” World Magazine reports.

1/11/2011 Iran (World Magazine) – Iranian officials have arrested about 70 Christians since Christmas in a crackdown that demonstrates the limits of religious tolerance by Islamic leaders who often boast they provide room for other faiths.

The latest raids have targeted the small community of Iranian Christians who gather in house churches. Iranian officials have described them as “hard-liners” who pose a threat to the Islamic state. Authorities increasingly view them with suspicions that range from trying to convert Muslims to being possible footholds for foreign influence.

Christian activists claim their Iranian brethren are being persecuted simply for worshipping outside officially sanctioned mainstream churches.

Iran’s constitution gives protected status to Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, but many religious minorities sense growing pressures from the Islamic state as hard-edged forces such as the powerful Revolutionary Guard exert more influence.

In past years, authorities have staged arrests on Christians and other religious minorities, but the latest sweeps appear to be among the biggest and most coordinated.

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