Gross Religious Freedom Violations in Iran

ICC Note: The 2017 Religious Freedom Report issued by the U.S. State Department cites a number of gross religious freedom violations in Iran. The Islamic regime is Shia, and all other religions are considered a threat. Conversion from Islam to Christianity is considered a crime, and any person arrested on proselytizing or insulting the prophet charges can be sentenced to death.                             

05/30/2018 Iran (Radio Farda) –  People practicing faiths other than Shia Islam continued to face discrimination and harassment in Iran in 2017, says the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report released May 29.

“According to multiple sources, non-Shia Muslims and those affiliated with a religion other than Islam, especially members of the Bahai community, continued to face societal discrimination and harassment, and employers experienced social pressures not to hire Bahais or to dismiss them from their private sector jobs. Bahais reported there were continued incidents of destruction or vandalism of their cemeteries,” the U.S. State Department’s annual assessment read.

The report noted that the Iranian government continued to execute individuals on charges of moharebeh, or waging war against God, including four prisoners at Rajai Shahr Prison on December 20, 2017, and four men charged with that “crime” in the Kerman Province last September.

The Iranian penal code “specifies the death sentence for proselytizing and attempts by non-Muslims to convert Muslims, as well as for moharebeh and sabb al-nabi (insulting the prophet),” the report explained.

Based on these laws, the Islamic Republic has convicted and executed dozens of dissidents, political reformers, and peaceful protesters.

Quoting the Iran Prison Atlas compiled by US-based NGO United for Iran, the report said that during 2017 “at least 102 members of minority religious groups remained imprisoned for their religious activities, 174 individuals on charges of moharebeh, 23 on charges of ‘insulting Islam’ and 21 for ‘corruption on earth.’”

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