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05/06/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – On Saturday, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi voiced strong concerns over Muslims converting to Christianity throughout the country. He said that his ministry has united with Qom Seminary to dispatch, according to Radio Farda, “individuals and institutions active in ‘countering the advocates of Christianity.’”

Alavi shared no other details about how the Intelligence Ministry is addressing the presence of Christianity in Iran’s Islamic Republic. However, he did share that some of their recent activities have occurred in Hamadan Province, which is located west of Tehran.

Alavi made these comments during a speech at Qom Seminary, where most of Iran’s ruling cleric class receive their education. Alavi did state during his speech that it is not the Intelligence Ministry’s job to “find the roots of these conversions [from Islam]” and that some of the arrested converts pointed to Islamic clerical infighting as when they first became interested in Christianity.

Iranians are born Muslim, and the ruling clerical class has used harsh measures to enforce their own interpretation of Islam while strengthening their individual power. Many Iranians have had enough—protests rocked the nation throughout 2018. The more that the ruling class feels threatened, the harsher they respond, especially towards religious minorities. Iran rates as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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