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ICC Note: USCIRF has released new information showing that despite the nuclear deal with Iran, religious minorities continue to suffer an increased degree of persecution in the country. Christians, Baha’is and Sunni Muslims face the greatest threats of harassment, arrests, imprisonment and beatings in the Islamic Republic. Despite Iran’s continual denial of human right’s violation,s the report shows that the number of religious-based arrests have actually increased under President Rouhani’s administration.

05/05/2016 Iran (Christian Post): The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses, closing in on one year on the historical nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and Western nations.

The major report, released only a couple months shy from the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions “continued to deteriorate” over the past year, with Christians, Baha’is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.

The key findings noted that under President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran’s continuous denial that it is violating people’s human and religious freedom rights.

“The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused,” the report stated.

USCIRF explained that throughout 2015 and in 2016, Christians have continued to face arrests and imprisonment, particularly concerning Evangelical converts. It noted that as many as 550 Christians have been arrested and detained since 2015, and at least 90 Christians remain in prison or detention as of February due to their religious beliefs and activities.

“During the reporting period, human rights groups inside Iran reported a significant increase in the number of physical assaults and beatings of Christians in prison. Some activists believe the assaults, which have been directed against converts who are leaders of underground house churches, are meant to intimidate others who may wish to convert to Christianity,” it stated.

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