The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has once again recommended that the State Department re-designates Iran as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom”.
In its latest annual report, released today, the independent, bipartisan group said religious freedom in Iran “remained poor” in 2021.
In the section on Iran, the report said Iran’s government “continued to arrest, charge, sentence, and jail scores of Christians on charges including ‘propaganda against the regime’”.
As examples, it cited:
The report also drew attention to rights violations against Baha’is, Sufis, Sunnis and atheists, as well as to the “continued spread of antisemitism” and denigration of the Yarsani faith, while failing to recognise it as distinct and separate from Shia Islam.
As well as re-designating Iran as a CPC, USCIRF said the State Department should:
It added that the US Congress should “reauthorize and exercise oversight to ensure implementation of the Lautenberg Amendment, which aids persecuted Iranian religious minorities seeking refugee status in the United States”.