ICC Note: A new report on the human rights situation in Iran highlights how religious minorities, particularly Evangelical Christians and Baha’I continue to be subject to abuses, including imprisonment, torture, and even execution. The promises of reform under President Hassan Rouhani have not come to fruition.
10/27/2014 Iran (Fox News) – Iran’s regime conducted a raid on an Easter service and arrested Christians, subjected Christian converts to death threats and psychological abuse and shut down licensed churches, according to a UN report that will be submitted to world leaders on Tuesday.
While persecution of religious minorities is nothing new in the Islamic Republic, the 28-page catalog of horrors compiled by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right in the Islamic Republic of Iran, undermines the claim that President Hassan Rouhani has ushered in a new era of tolerance.
“At least 49 Protestant Christians are currently detained, many for involvement in informal house churches,” the report states. “In April 2014, security forces reportedly raided an Easter service in a private home in southern Tehran and detained six individuals.”
The UN report chronicles the closure of churches and the arrests of “their pastors for holding services in Persian or for allegedly ministering to Iranians from Muslim backgrounds.” Tehran has also cracked down on Christian community websites, including blocking their reception and Christian converts have been expelled from Iranian universities.
Shaheed’s report documents the lack of due process afforded religious and ethnic minorities across the spectrum in Iran, ranging from Jews to Baha’is to Sunni Arabs to Armenians and Kurds.
“The Baha’i International Community and Iranian Evangelical Christian leaders added that many of the lawyers who had accepted sensitive Baha’i or Christian cases had been imprisoned or had to flee the country,” the report notes.