UK: Bishop calls for safe legal route for Iranians fleeing persecution for their Christian faith

May 25, 2023

There are roughly 300,000 Christians in Iran. Most of them are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Other Christians in Iran are members of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church; there is also a growing number of Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and other Protestants. 

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“Bishop Guli calls for safe legal route for Iranians fleeing persecution for faith,” Article 18, May 23, 2023:

British-Iranian bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani has called on the UK government to consider offering a “safe-route scheme” for Iranians fleeing persecution on account of their faith.

In an oral question at the UK House of Lords this afternoon, Bishop Guli cited Article18’s annual report as she referenced the “increasing involvement” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “in the crackdown against peaceful Christian activities in Iran”.

“Other religious minorities and peaceful protesters also report violent treatment during arrest and detention, as well as the interference of the IRGC’s intelligence branch in court proceedings to ensure harsher sentences against those who are accused,” the bishop added.

Bishop Guli said she “absolutely agree[d]” with those Lords calling for the IRGC to be proscribed as a terrorist group, and asked whether the government would also “consider offering a safe-route scheme for those from Iran who have suffered persecution in the form of arrest and imprisonment on account of their faith?”…