News

Revolutionary Guards publish photographs of confiscated Christian items

Revolutionary Guards publish photographs of confiscated Christian items

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have published photographs of piles of confiscated Christian items, including Bibles, New Testaments, teaching books and worship music.

Article18’s Advocacy Director, Mansour Borji, told World Watch Monitor the photographs were a “publicity stunt”, aimed at spreading fear among the Christian community in Iran.

He noted that the photographs, which were first released in July, were “intentionally ambiguous, with no clear indication of when the confiscations occurred, who was arrested or what’s going to happen”.

“One important factor in this story is that the news is published not by the judicial authorities or the Ministry of Intelligence, but by the Revolutionary Guard, which is military organisation responsible for maintaining the state security,” Borji added. 

“I think the bigger question is why this military institution now seems to be mandated with the responsibility to crackdown on ‘house churches’, and why they blow the trumpet about the arrest of Christians and the confiscation of their religious material? 

“Why would a secure and stable government be so troubled by New Testaments and books on Christian discipleship? How can they claim to have respect for the rights of religious minorities, and then parade Christian literature as evidence of criminal activity?”

Borji warned that the confiscated items will most likely be burned, as happened following a similar case two years ago.

“This shows their disrespect for Christian holy books,” he said. “The Nazis went around burning books, and a German poet, Henrich Heine, wrote that ‘Where they burn books, they will also in the end burn people’. This anti-Christian rhetoric and attitude will lead to further violence.”