The laws in Iran that grant some limited freedoms to the Christians are generally not considered applicable to converts from Islam to Christianity, who are all too often considered enemies of the state. 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, not interfering with their freedom of worship in any way.
“Iran sentences Christian convert to 1 year in prison for ‘acting against national security,'” by Samuel Smith, Christian Post, August 1, 2019:
An Iranian Christian convert was sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “acting against national security” and engaging in “propaganda against the system” as crackdowns against Christians continue, the aid group International Christian Response reports.
The sentence was handed down to 65-year-old Mahrokh Kanbari on Monday, two days after she appeared before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Karaj. Friends of Kanbari told the nonprofit group that the judge was rude to the defendant and tried to humiliate her when she disagreed with him.
Kanbari was arrested by three Iranian intelligence agents at her home last Christmas Eve. Authorities were said to have confiscated mobile phones, Bibles and other Christian-related materials.
After paying a bail equivalent to about $2,500, she was released. She was officially charged with acting against national security in January. According to International Christian Response, she was directed to go to a religious leader to be “instructed” to return to Islam.
As the watchdog group International Christian Concern reports, Kanbari’s arrest is part of a “continued downward trend of religious freedom for Christians in Iran.”
Iran ranks as the ninth worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.
As an Islamic country of about 82 million, Iran severely restricts the rights of Christian converts as the Christian community in the country continues to grow, thanks to a network of underground churches.
Open Doors USA estimates that there are as many as 800,000 Christians in Iran today….