Ethnic Iranians are seen as being Muslim, and carrying out any Christian activities in their Farsi language is illegal. An Iranian man who leaves Islam can be sentenced to death and a woman to life imprisonment, although such sentences haven’t been carried out for more than 20 years. However, in 2017 over a dozen Christians – most of them converts to Christianity – were given prison sentences of between 10 and 15 years for “acting against national security”. According to religious freedom watchdog Article 18, such political charges attempt “to avoid international outcry at religiously motivated charges”. Several imprisoned Iranian Christians have undertaken hunger strikes in protest.

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Iran continues to arrest Christians, on eve of 40th anniversary of revolution

Ayatollah Khomeini spoke about human rights and religious freedom when he returned to Iran 40 years ago. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Iran’s security officials have arrested three Christians who were leading a house church in the absence of their pastor who is serving a ten-year jail sentence, reports Article 18. In the latest raid on a non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran” on Sunday, 10 February, in the northern city of Rasht, officers […]

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Iran: ‘staggering’ number of Christians arrested – 114 in a week

Iran: ‘staggering’ number of Christians arrested – 114 in a week

Over 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in the past week and nearly 150 in the past month, as part of the government’s attempt to “warn” Christians against proselytising over Christmas, according to the advocacy director of religious freedom charity Article 18. Mansour Borji called the number of arrests […]

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Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Two Iranian Christians have been given prison sentences for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, reports Middle East Concern. Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri, who belong to the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran”, were sentenced to 18 and 12 months, respectively. Middle East Concern noted that in the verdict it was written […]

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Amnesty launches writing campaign for release of four Iranian Christians

From left: Victor Bet-Tamraz, Amin Afshar-Naderi, another fellow prisoner Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi, and Hadi Asgari.

Amnesty International has called for the release of four Iranians sentenced to a combined total of 45 years in prison “solely for practising their Christian faith”. Its report calls for urgent action from the Iranian government to “quash the convictions and sentences of Victor Bet-Tamraz, Shamiram Isavi, Amin Afshar-Naderi, and […]

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‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

An Iranian convert to Christianity serving ten years in prison for “missionary activities” has written an open letter to the Iranian authorities, asking how his Christian activities could be perceived as anti-state. “Would it even be possible for a committed Christian – who was born and raised in Iran and […]

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US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house […]

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Iranian pastor taken to Evin Prison after violent raid on home

Iranian pastor taken to Evin Prison after violent raid on home

Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been taken to Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran, after a violent raid on his home in the northern city of Rasht on Sunday (22 July). The pastor was sentenced to ten years in prison in July of last year, alongside three members of his congregation, and had […]

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