Key Government Report Exposes Christian Persecution in Iran | American Center for Law and Justice
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Exposing Christian Persecution in Iran

By ACLJ.org1430420879822

“The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused.”

This is one of many key facts from the newly released 2015 Annual Report the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).  The Commission is an independent U.S. government advisory body separate from the State Department that monitors religious freedom worldwide and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress.

A team from the ACLJ briefed USCIRF and provided key information to the Commission as it developed its report.

There are a number of important facts and findings from the 2015 Annual Report on Iran, its persecution of Christians, and American Pastor Saeed Abedini imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith that are important to note:

  • Since 1999, the State Department has designated Iran as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), most recently in July 2014. USCIRF again recommends in 2015 that Iran be designated a CPC.
  •  “Since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in August 2013, the number of individuals from religious minority communities who are in prison because of their beliefs has increased.”
  • “Since 2010, authorities arbitrarily arrested and detained more than 500 Christians throughout the country. As of February 2015, approximately 90 Christians were either in prison, detained, or awaiting trial because of their religious beliefs and activities.”
  • “During the reporting period, human rights groups inside Iran reported a significant increase in the number of physical assaults and beatings of Christians in prison.”
  • “Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini continues to serve an eight-year prison term after being convicted in 2013 for “threatening the national security of Iran” for his activity in the Christian house church movement. While in Evin Prison since September 2012, Pastor Abedini spent several weeks in solitary confinement and was physically and psychologically abused. In November 2013, he was transferred to the Rajai Shahr Prison, which is known for its harsh and unsanitary conditions. In March 2014, prison authorities beat Pastor Abedini after which he was hospitalized for nearly two months to receive treatment for the injuries sustained from the beatings. In May 2014, Pastor Abedini was beaten a second time when he was released from the hospital and returned to prison.”

The 2015 USCIRF Report also recommended that the United States should support a referral by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court to investigate ISIS for international crimes in Iraq and Syria against religious and ethnic minorities.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reiterates what we have been reporting for years. 

Iran continues to persecute Christians and other religious minorities.

Iran is holding Pastor Saeed and the other wrongfully imprisoned Americans hostage in the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

We continue working across the globe, with world leaders, and in Congress to defend persecuted Christians and are aggressively fighting for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.

Pastor Saeed is in danger and needs you to be his voice before Congress, the White House, and the international community.

Time is running out.  We must demand Pastor Saeed’s freedom.

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