Credible sources have verified that over the recent years that there has been a significant increase in the number of Muslims who are converting to Christianity in Iran.
Being a majority Muslim nation with severe authoritarian tendencies, Iran has been accused of mistreating the Christian converts. The UN has accused the Iranian government of jailing the Christian converts without trial. This has led to a lot of fear to the Iranians who had escaped the mistreatment in their country. They fear that they might be subjected to prison or torture. This is primarily the reason why the look for asylum in America and other countries. Seeking refuge, however, does not seem to be an easy task.
There have been reports that if anyone is suspected to be a Christian in Iran, they will just be jailed with no trial. There is no court process. There are claims that there are secret police in Iran whose job is to look for Christian converts and arrest them. Among the people who have been jailed and given extended amounts of jail time include Amin Ashraf, Pastor Victor Tamraz, and Hadi Agsari. They have been charged with conducting illegal house church activities and conducting evangelism. In Iran, the above charges are treated as threats to national security.
There have been reports that the prisoners are not receiving the right medical care. Law experts have overtime called on the Iranian government to review the prisoners’ cases and have a free and fair trial according to the international human rights law, but to no avail. The three prisoners had previously been given provisional jail terms for ten years, and an additional five years on the charge of blasphemy.
Experts in Iran say that they are aware of several cases where Christians have been given heavy sentences. They have been charged with threatening national security by attending house churches and converting people to Christianity.
Clearly, Christians are being targeted in the country, and the international community is starting to catch on.
According to the UN experts, Iran should abide by their obligation of respecting international human rights. It is also essential that all the people who are arrested should be granted fair trials. There is one Iranian who converted to Christianity among the 300 who were baptized in the Cardiff church over the past two years. He has since then fled from Iran and hasn’t returned out of fear that he will be killed if he does.
The man told the UK authorities that if he went back home, he knows that he is going to be hung. The authorities would also kill his family. He added he is not afraid to die because he would be meeting Jesus, but he is afraid of what they would do to his family. The Iranian authorities are also known to torture Christian converts and their family members too.
The man also reported that the Iranian authorities killed his friend, after which they scattered his remains outside churches as a warning for other potential converts. This shows a worrying pattern for the people who are being treated just because of their religious beliefs or are a minority religious group in their country.
In Iran, conversion from Islam to Christianity is often punished by death. This is the main reason why most of the people who convert never go home. The Iranian constitution recognized Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. However, if the person in question has had a Muslim background, then they are not allowed to worship in churches. Because of this, many congregations have been forced to meet in secret locations, leading to the widespread creation of so-called “house churches.”
~ 1776 Christian