This account of the persecution of still more converts to Christianity in Iran contains this telling phrase: “Though Christianity is a recognised minority religion in Iran’s constitution, converts to Christianity are not recognised as Christians and are therefore not permitted any of the rights afforded Christians, such as worshipping in a church building or partaking in Christian rituals such as Holy Communion.”
It is for this reason, among others, that the U.S. State Department has classified Iran as a “country of particular concern” for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests that the government of Iran grant full religious freedom to all of its citizens, including converts to Christianity.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of Iran, see here.
“Four Christian converts arrested in Dezful, others interrogated,” Article 18, April 21, 2021:
Four Christian converts have been arrested and others summoned for interrogation by intelligence agents in the southwestern city of Dezful.
Hojjat Lotfi Khalaf, Esmaeil Narimanpour, Alireza Varak-Shah, and Mohammad Ali Torabi, also known as Davoud, were arrested on Monday, 19 April.
The following day – yesterday – a number of other converts were summoned for interrogation, though precisely how many is not yet known.
Esmaeil and Hojjat were arrested during morning raids on their homes, while Davoud was detained after intelligence agents came to his shop, then took him with them to search his home.
The details of Alireza’s arrest are as yet unknown.
Davoud was detained for over a month following his last arrest, in October 2017, before being released on bail of 200 million tomans (around $60,000).
It was also reported at that time that Davoud and another Christian convert arrested alongside him, Abdul Ali Pourmand, had been forced to sign two blank pieces of paper, raising concerns these could be used as evidence they had confessed their crimes or renounced their faith.
Abdul Ali also told his family from prison that he had been ordered to take part in Islamic prayers but refused.
Though Christianity is a recognised minority religion in Iran’s constitution, converts to Christianity are not recognised as Christians and are therefore not permitted any of the rights afforded Christians, such as worshipping in a church building or partaking in Christian rituals such as Holy Communion. (Last year two Christian converts were flogged for doing the latter.)…