02/04/2022 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Ten Iranian Christian converts previously cleared of all accusations are being forced by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to participate in “re-education” classes led by Islamic clerics. The ten Christians, eight of whom were cleared in a Dezful court in November of any crime, appeared after being summoned via phone. There were more converts who were summoned by did not appear who were later contacted and questioned about their lack of attendance.
The IRGC led the arrest, charges, confiscation of property, and threats against the Christian converts in Dezful. Now, these mandatory Islamic re-education classes directly conflict with the rulings of the Civil and Revolutionary Court of Dezful that said the group “merely converted to a different religion.” The court noted that this apostasy could be punished under Islamic Sharia law but was “not criminalized in the laws of Iran.” In reference to other common charges Iranian Christians face, the courts also ruled they “didn’t carry out any propaganda against other groups.” The IRGC-mandated classes were presented to the group to “guide them back onto the right path.”
Christian converts in Iran also face discrimination, particularly regarding their children and the efforts to force Islamic studies upon them. A group of Iranian Christians released a joint statement protesting the pressure of Islamic research in education. Other non-Muslims are exempt from studying Islamic Studies in schools, but the children of Christian converts, who are viewed by the state as Muslim, must either participate or be barred from school.
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