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.
The main defense lawyer for Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is appealing a death sentence, may be facing imminent imprisonment for defending the rights of Iranians, according to Amnesty International. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights activist, had been sentenced in July to a nine-year prison sentence and a […]
In a rare crackdown on a concentrated area, Iranian authorities have arrested Christians living in the country’s third largest city in what is seen as a tactic to discourage Muslims and converts to Christianity from attending official churches. Since last month officials have arrested about 12 Christian converts in Isfahan, […]
Lawyers for an Iranian pastor awaiting a final decision on his death sentence have not received communication from authorities that their client will be executed, despite reports that his death is imminent. Rumors of an imminent execution of Yousef Nadarkhani were leaked this week after a source close to one […]
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran to discontinue them. Emmanuel Protestant Church and St. Peter’s Evangelical Church were the last two official churches offering Farsi-language services on Fridays in Tehran, according to Middle East Concern (MEC). Officials issued […]
Iranian authorities this week arrested Christian converts from Islam while they were meeting for worship at a home in the southern city of Shiraz, according to sources. Officials are holding the Christians at an unknown location, they said. The sources put the number of the arrested Christians, who belong to […]
A pastor in Iran sentenced to death for refusing to recant his faith may have to wait another year for a ruling on whether the sentence will be upheld, according to sources. Yousef (also spelled Youcef) Nadarkhani, sentenced to death after a court of appeals in Rasht, Iran, found him […]