Iran Christian Converts Still Being Persecuted under Rouhani's Administration

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed in 2013 to serve justice to the persecuted ethnicities and religious minorities, but Christian converts are still being widely persecuted to this day.

The Alliance of Iranian Churches (Hamgam) reported that a Christian convert in Isfahan was arrested a couple of days before Christmas. Iran's Intelligence Ministry took him including some of his personal belongings to an undisclosed location, according to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

It can be remembered that Rouhani had pledged justice for the persecuted groups when he was still campaigning for presidency.

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"All ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice," the IHR quotes Rouhani's statement in 2013.

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and Special Rapporteur for Iran have constantly said taking away a person's freedom of religion is tantamount to violation of human rights in Iran. Still, many leaders of minority faith and their members are being arrested or are experiencing discrimination, the report relays.

Speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the Alliance's spokesman Mansour Borji recalled how authorities entered Meysam Hojati's home on Dec. 23, 2015. They scolded him, slapped him, searched the house, and confiscated some of his things including his computer, Christmas tree, and Bible. Then, they led him out handcuffed and blindfolded the report details.

Hojati had been arrested in March 2012 after being accused of proselytizing in home churches. Other Christian converts were also arrested at the time, but they were released on bail after two months.

Hojati's current whereabouts are still unknown until now, the report adds.

Iran, which is currently in the middle of a controversy over the execution of a Shia Muslim cleric, has slammed Saudi Arabia for allegedly persecuting the Shiite minority. However, human rights groups struck back by pointing out the ongoing persecution of the Christian minority under Rouhani's leadership, Breitbart reports.

Religious minority leaders are constantly being rounded up by authorities and are prohibited from practicing their faith. Borji said such arrests have become common in the past 10 years in Iran. He believes it is the government's way of intimidating Christian converts or forcing them to either renounce their faith or leave the country.

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