Reports

2018 US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report

2018 US Commission on International Religious Freedom Report

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has cited Iran among the main contributing countries towards an “ongoing downward trend” in religious liberty worldwide and asked the State Department to re-designate Iran as a “country of particular concern”, or CPC, for “egregious” religious-freedom violations.

The report noted: “In the past year, religious freedom in Iran continued to deteriorate for both recognised and unrecognised religious groups, with the government targeting Baha’is and Christian converts in particular.”

It also reiterated that “evangelical Christians and Christian converts, however, are particularly targeted for repression because many conduct services in Persian and proselytise to those outside their community. Pastors of ‘house churches’ are commonly charged with unfounded national security-related crimes, as well as apostasy and illegal ‘house-church’ activities”.

According to the report, violations of religious freedom included a range of severe abuses – from surveillance and legal restrictions, to arbitrary arrest, detention of Christians and the proliferation of anti-Christian publications in Iran.

The Persecution of Christians in Iran

The Persecution of Christians in Iran

This joint report is the result of a follow-up inquiry into the persecution of Christians in Iran by the Christians in Parliament All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief. The report catalogues the abuses Christians have suffered during Hassan Rouhani’s presidency, despite the optimism he generated with promises to improve civil rights. The report hopes to draw attention to the lack of religious freedom in Iran and to encourage the UK government to prioritise this issue in all dialogue with Iran. The report concludes: “The persecution remains as severe today as it was in 2012.”

The report quotes Ajay Shama of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as saying: “There has been no substantive change in Iran’s human-rights record since the election of President Rouhani; in fact, by some indicators you could argue that things have gotten worse.”

The Cost of Faith: Persecution of Christian Protestants and Converts in Iran

The Cost of Faith: Persecution of Christian Protestants and Converts in Iran

Article18 contributed to this 2013 report, which documents the rights violations of Protestant Christians in Iran within the context of international human rights laws and the rights guaranteed within Iran’s own constitution. The comprehensive, 73-page report documents a pattern of rights violations that extend to all walks of life for Protestant converts in Iran: they face severe restrictions on religious practice and association, arbitrary arrests and detention for practising their faith, and violations of the right to life through state executions for apostasy, as well as extrajudicial killings.

Rights violations listed in this report include:

PERSECUTION OF PROTESTANT CONVERTS

  • Violations of the Right to Life
  • Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
  • Torture and Ill-Treatment of Detainees
  • Lack of Due Process and Access to a Lawyer
  • Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly and Association
  • Monitoring and Harassment
  • Attacks on Free Expression and Access to Information

DISCRIMINATION

  • Employment Discrimination
  • Discrimination in Education
  • Discrimination in Marriage and Family Life
  • Discrimination in Access to Justice
The Persecution of Christians in Iran (2012)

The Persecution of Christians in Iran (2012)

This joint report is the result of an inquiry into the persecution of Christians in Iran by the Christians in Parliament All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, whose work is to ensure that religious freedom is a priority for the UK parliament and government. This report catalogues the persecution Christians face in Iran and makes recommendations in the hope of contributing towards an international climate in which the Iranian regime would be forced to reconsider the way Christians are treated.

The inquiry heard evidence of the following forms of persecution by the Iranian government directed towards Christians:

  • Execution and extra-judicial killings of pastors, solely on account of their Christian faith
  • Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without charge or trial
  • Beatings and torture, including physical and psychological torture
  • Intimidation of individual Christians
  • Repression of churches
  • Incommensurate bail demands
  • Appropriation of property, including passports and personal-identification documents
  • Discrimination, particularly within employment and education