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: do non-Muslims have the right to hold elected public office or not?

Iran: do non-Muslims have the right to hold elected public office or not?

In Iran, which is 90-95 per cent Shia Muslim, the passing of a date set for a decision over whether a non-Muslim can hold an elected public office is significant for the country’s religious minorities and their rights. The date, April 5, passed without that decision being made for a […]

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Iran: Christian convert appealing 10-year sentence out on bail

Iran: Christian convert appealing 10-year sentence out on bail

An Iranian Christian appealing a conviction on national-security charges was released on bail from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 11 April. Hadi Asgari, a Christian convert, was arrested in August 2016 and sentenced in July 2017 by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years in prison for “action against national security through […]

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Iran: Jailed convert to Christianity refused medical treatment

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh (Photo: Article 18)

An Iranian convert to Christianity currently serving 10 years in prison for “missionary activities” is being denied access to the medical treatment he needs, according to advocacy group Article 18. Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was first arrested in June 2016 alongside three Azerbaijanis, after security agents raided a wedding party in […]

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UN told to renew mandate of Iran Special Rapporteur on human rights

Asma Jahangir, Member of the International Fact-Finding Mission during the press conference presen's its findings on the implications Israeli settlements have upon the human rights of the Palestinian people. 31 Juanary 2013. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré

Forty-six Iranian and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called for the renewal of the mandate of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. The NGOs addressed a joint letter to all diplomatic missions attending the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, as the US-based […]

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Iran: Christians held in notorious Evin Prison ‘will never be the same’

The outside of the Evin prison in Tehran. Photo: Flickr/ SabzPhoto

There was hope among Iranian Christians that the mass protests earlier this year could effect change for them, but they continue to be harassed and imprisoned on spurious charges. An Iranian convert to Christianity, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, who recently lost his appeal against a 10-year sentence for “missionary activities”, was reportedly moved to […]

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Iranian Christian convert detained since before Christmas

Ali Amini (Article 18)

An Iranian convert to Christianity arrested more than two months ago remains in prison in the conservative north-western city of Tabriz, according to rights group Article 18. Ali Amini, known by his friends as Philip, was arrested by revolutionary guards at his workshop in the city on 10 December. His […]

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Iranian convert to Christianity – ‘If I went back, I’d be killed’

Iranian  convert to Christianity – ‘If I went back, I’d be killed’

A church in the UK has survived closure because of attendance by a growing number of asylum seekers from a Muslim background, reports the BBC. In the past two years 324 asylum-seekers have been baptised at Tredegarville Baptist Church in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Now 95 per cent of […]

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Iran protests saw people ‘turn their backs on political Islam’

Ayatollah Khomeini

Iranians are challenging the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic because corruption and inequality undermine its ideals, a human rights activist has claimed. In an interview with World Watch Monitor, Mansour Borji, Iranian-born advocacy director of UK-based human rights charity Article 18, said the street protests that spread across the country […]

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