01/26/2021 Iran (International Christian Concern) – A special United Nations investigation group recently released a report outlining concern for Iran’s “systematic persecution of Christians”. The report was made public months after the original publication after Iran failed to respond by the January 10 deadline.
The UN experts highlighted 24 Christians who are currently in prison or facing charges. According to their report they “wish to express our serious concern at the reported widespread repression against and persecution of persons belonging to the Christian minority in Iran, and in particular those who have converted from Islam”. The report accused Iran of failing to provide fair legal proceedings, including formulated charges, lack of due process and legal harassment. Specifically, charges against Christians for threats against national security and propaganda against the state were called out.
Iran responded by denying nearly all claims made against them. They claimed the 24 Christians referenced, “under cover of promoting Christianity, were in fact communicating with evangelical Zionism with a view to enmity and confrontation with the Islamic Establishment and subversive act against it through organized cults and holding illegal and secret meetings to deceive citizens and exploit the deceived persons, particularly children”.
The High Council for Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran denied allegations of torture, mistreatment, arbitrary detainment of Christians, raiding of religious gatherings and unjust punishment. Regarding confiscation of property, Iran’s response noted they only seized items associated with crimes and were often later returned. However, Bibles and Christian literature are often categorized as evidences of crime and very rarely returned.
Iran continues to imprison, harass and persecute Christians, particularly those of Muslim faith backgrounds. This UN report internationally address Iran’s human rights and religious freedom abuses, regardless of Iran’s attempts to negate its findings.
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