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 targets minorities one year after Mahsa Amini’s death, 69 Christians arrested,” AsiaNews, August 11, 2023:

Tehran (AsiaNews) – Iran arrested scores of Christians, mostly converts from Islam but also some Assyrian-Chaldeans baptised as children, over a seven-week period in June and July in 11 different cities of the country, this according to Article18, a human rights organisation that advocates on behalf of Iranian Christians and religious freedom.

In an early report, the NGO had reported 50 arrests by mid-July in five cities, but its latest update indicates that at least 69 people were taken into custody, 10 of which – four men and six women – are still held by the authorities.

The arrests occurred between 1 June and 17 July in the following cities: Tehran, Karaj, Rasht, Orumiyeh, Aligoudarz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Semnan, Garmsar, Varamin, and Eslamshahr.

In the capital Tehran and the other cities, after their arrest, people were forced to sign statements pledging to refrain from Christian activities or undergo Islamic re-education in order to be released.

Some say that after their release they were summoned for further questioning, or were ordered to leave Iran. One said he lost his job at the request of intelligence agents. For those granted bail, families had to pay between US$ 8,000 and US$ 40,000.

The majority of those arrested are converts from Islam, but at least two are Iranian-Armenians, who were born into Christian families….