October 27, 2011

Persecution of Evangelical Christians intensifies in Iran

by Jan Harris

There is growing concern that the harassment of Iranian Christians is reaching new levels, with Christian activities increasingly being classified as ‘actions against the security the state’.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, has received reports that an official campaign to convert Christian prisoners to Islam is underway.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was imprisoned for apostasy and evangelising Muslims in October last year, is believed to have been given religious Islamic literature by prison officials.

Prisoners who respond to interrogation about the literature can leave themselves open to charges of blasphemy.

It is feared that one prisoner, Mehdi Furutan, a member of the Church of Iran, was transferred to an underground cell at the notorious Adelabad Security Prison, after commenting on Islamic religious texts.

Adelabad Security Prison is believed to be involved in torture.

The US expressed concern today over the activities of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

This was established after the 1979 Iranian revolution to defend the Islamic system in the country.

It has developed into a major military force with an estimated 125,000 troops and links to the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Speaking to BBC Persia, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said: “We’re not quite sure who makes decisions anymore inside of Iran”.

She expressed concern that the country was becoming a military dictatorship.

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