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.”

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“Iran violently clamps down on Christians amid reports of torture, fines and floggings,” by Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, March 3, 2024:

Iran claims to allow the country’s Christian minority to practice its faith in peace. The reality for many Iranian Christians, however, is plagued by whippings, arrests, imprisonment, surveillance and harassment, according to a February report from the religious freedom NGO Article 18.

One shocking finding of the Article 18 40-page study, titled “Faceless Victims: Rights Violations Against Christians in Iran,” states, “By the end of 2023, at least 17 of the Christians arrested during the summer had received prison sentences of between three months and five years, or non-custodial punishments such as fines, flogging, and in one case the community-service of digging graves.”

The report noted, “Despite a comparable number of Christians being arrested in 2023 as in previous years – 166 arrests were documented in 2023, compared to 134 in 2022 – fewer names and faces could be publicized.”…

A State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “The persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iran is longstanding and well documented. The U.S. continues to condemn these actions and use all the tools at our disposal to address such egregious violations.”

The spokesperson added, “The Department’s most recent Report on International Religious Freedom in Iran notes, ‘Officials continued to disproportionately arrest, detain, harass, and surveil Christians, particularly evangelicals and other converts from Islam, according to Christian NGOs.’”

When Fox News Digital asked if the State Department will impose new human rights sanctions on Iran’s regime for the persecution of Christians, the spokesperson said, “While the Department does not preview sanctions, Iran has been designated as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ and imposed Presidential Actions under the International Religious Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom every year since 1999.”…