Fox News (March 21) — The election last year of self-professed moderate President Hassan Rouhani has not brought Iran’s Christians any relief, according to a new United Nations report which finds the Islamic Republic’s Bible believers more persecuted than ever.
The detailed report finds Iran has continued to imprison Christians for their faith and designated house churches and evangelical Christians as “threats to national security.” At least 49 Christians were among 307 religious minorities being held in Iranian jails as of January 2014, noted the UN, which also blasted the regime for its hostility to Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and Dervish Muslims, the UN report stated.
“These are indicators that President Rouhani has no influence over hard-liners, who remain fully in charge of the judiciary and security apparatus, government entities that are responsible for the most severe abuses against religious minorities,” Dwight Bashir, deputy director for policy at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com.
…Saba Farzan, a German-Iranian journalist and director of political studies at the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, told FoxNews.com: “The situation of Christians and other religious minorities in Iran is very dire because the Iranian regime is a Sharia state.”
“This dictatorship oppresses viciously all these precious groups with the abhorrent justification of Islamic law [Sharia] and by that it violates Iran’s constitution and a long-lasting tradition within Persian culture of peaceful tolerance and respect toward fellow Iranians with diverse religious backgrounds,” Farzan said.