ICC Note: Iran’s regime continues to crack down on the country’s Christians, whom they view as a threat to national security. The regime is currently facing an increase of pressure due to economic woes which have helped to fuel protests scattered across the nation. The regime’s reaction is to become increasingly dependent on hardline Ayatollahs, who in turn wish to see Christianity completely removed from the country and feel threatened by its growth.
08/27/2018 Iran (Fox) – Iranian Christians are in dire straits in the Islamic Republic because of a new wave of regime repression that has largely not registered in the media due to the country’s economic free fall and popular uprising by a people fed up with the tyrannical nature of the regime.
The mullahs have launched a cut-throat campaign to silence their opponents, and on top of their list are Iran’s persecuted Christians – an ancient people of the land the regime stigmatizes as a gateway to the West.
On August 9, an organization – Article 18 – that promotes religious freedom in Iran, reported that a court in Boushehr had sentenced a couple of Christian converts and ten other Iranians to one year in prison each for “propagating against the Islamic Republic in favor of Christianity.”
The sentence came just weeks after Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani – often portrayed in the West as a reform-minded moderate – had vowed that “Christians have the same rights as others do.”
Christianity, of course, is not alien to Iran where it arrived in Persia not long after the death of Christ. There are believed to be an estimated 350,000 Christians in Iran, with a growing trend toward converting to Christianity. Iran’s Statistical Center reports 117,700 Christians in a country of just over 82 million people.
The real number of Iranian Christians probably exceeds 350,000 because of the anti-Christian conditions they face in the country. Turning inward not to expose oneself to the dangers of practicing Christianity has become a survival strategy in Iran.
The law heavily discriminates against non-Muslims, who have been barred from all influential positions in central state organs since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Blasphemy and apostasy remain capital offences.
The persecution of Iran’s Christians is well-documented and is not limited to Evangelicals. Last year, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), arrested two Christians – a mother and her son – as part of a vicious crackdown on Catholicism in the country’s West Azerbaijan Province.
The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization in October 2017. The 125,000-member-strong IRGC has a long record of brutality targeting Christians and democracy movements opposed to the mullah regime.
Europe, so far, has declined to sanction the IRGC for their blatant human rights violations.
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