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ICC Note: Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran’s Islamic Republic, is touring Europe and arguing that the regime has an open attitude towards Christianity. The evidence, however, speaks otherwise. Iran is one of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians, a persecution which has only intensified under his presidency. Christians are increasingly being imprisoned for a decade on vague and baseless charges. The regime views them as a direct threat to national security. If the regime truly has an open attitude, then it must take steps to demonstrate that Christians are equal members of society.   

07/07/2018 Iran (ABNA) –  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that today churches in Iran are quite active alongside mosques.

In a meeting with Austrian Archbishop Cardinal Schonborn, he added that Christians have representatives in Iran’s Majlis and enjoy the same rights as others do.

Christians participate massively in elections held in Iran, he said.

Passing down religious beliefs to the youth is joint duty of all divine religions, he said, pointing out that Islam and Christianity share very close viewpoints on the world and future.

“As the material world’s manifestations have changed, we should be able to transfer religion and spirituality to the youth in a new and attractive manner,” he said.

Noting that there have been friendly and excellent ties between Muslims and Christians in the course of history, he added that Iranian Christians are living peacefully alongside other ethnic groups.

Schonborn, for his part, pointed to his talks with Iran since 2001, he said, “It is important process of dialogue remain alive and we as representatives of religions are duty-bound to open doors of dialogues and keep them open.”

“Today, our biggest concern is how to convey religious beliefs including Christianity to the youth,” he said, noting that the young generation needs good role models more than any other thing.

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