Category Archives: Iran

Brutality and Cruelty by Iranian Government, an Example

Iran sentences American pastor Saeed Abedini t...

The headline below doesn’t do justice to what its article conveys.  Abedini and his wife are from Iran, but are now American citizens.  Below the link are excerpts from the article – click the link to read the entire article.

Link:  Iran moves American Christian into solitary confinement over prayer protest

Saeed Abedini, the 32-year-old Christian and American citizen who is serving an eight-year prison term in Iran, was put in solitary confinement following a “peaceful, silent protest” in an outside courtyard at Iran’s notoriously brutal Evin prison, according to family members. Conditions at the prison prompted Abedini and other prisoners to sign a petition decrying the lack of medical care and the threats and harsh treatment facing family members who come to visit.

[Abedini] was arrested in 2005, but released after pledging never to evangelize in Iran again.  When he left his wife and two kids in Idaho last summer to return to Iran to help build a state-run, secular orphanage, Iranian police pulled him off a bus and imprisoned him.

The latest developments underscore the brutality of Iran’s continued violation of human rights – imprisoning, torturing and refusing medical care for Pastor Saeed merely because of his faith. This treatment not only violates international law, but is abhorrent . . .

See also Iranian American Pastor Unlawfully Imprisoned in Iran

 To learn more about Iran and to advocate for Abedini, see US State Department, Iran page (includes contact information).
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Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested on Christmas Day

Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day.

This is just flat-out persecution, Iran thumbing their nose at Christians and any country that is associated with Christianity.  Iran also went against it’s own agreement and arrested Saeed Abedini, an American Iranian, earlier this year (https://withchristianeyes.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/dragonborn-dlc-playability-and-the-skaal-religion/).  Come on, everyone, write to your representatives and ask them to do something about iran.

Iranian American Pastor Unlawfully Imprisoned in Iran

Saeed Abedini and his family.  From Fox News online.
Saeed Abedini and his family. From Fox News online.

The situation for American reverend, Saeed Abedini, is getting desperate as no progress has been made in having him released from Iran’s worst prison.  He was arrested in Iran on September 26, 2012, while visiting his parents and relatives.  His immediate relatives were placed under house arrest as well.  32 year old Abedini has a wife and two children.

The court in Iran implemented a bail for Abedini, which is large but which his family had acquired,  but no one has actually accepted the bail after several attempts at officially paying it.  Officials reject their paper work and funds and tell them to get lost.  Making the situation grave is the lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran.

When Abedini still lived in Iran he had converted to Christianity and helped found underground churches.  Having had many run-ins with the government, he moved to the US and signed an agreement with the them.  If he did not do any more Christian evangelical work, the Iranian government would leave him alone when he visited the country.  The government has failed to keep their side of the bargain, however.  Abedini has helped, and continues to help, in setting up an orphanage in Iran.  He has visited his family and helped with the orphanage during a number of visits to Iran in recent years, but during this year’s trip he was imprisoned without charges.

Please pray for Abidini and his family.  To find out more, visit this article:  American Pastor Imprisoned without Notice of Charges While Visiting Family in Iran.  See BosNewsLife and Persecution.Org for news of other Iranian detentions.

Just prior to Abedini’s arrest, there was great news that Iranian Pastor Yousef Nardakhani was released from prison there.  He had been imprisoned for almost three years and had faced execution.  Compass Direct on Yousef Nardakhani’s Release.

Christian Persecution Updates: July 24, 2012

July 23; reported July 24, 2012  Syria

New addition to this day’s updates, quoted from article:  “The persecution of Christians is quickly escalating in war-torn Syria. On July 23, an entire Christian family was brutally murdered by Islamists in the Damascus neighborhood of Bab Tuma. According to the Catholic News Agency, Islamists from the rebel group Liwa al-Islam, meaning “The Brigade of Islam”, ordered Nabil Zoreb, a Christian civil officer, his wife Violet, and his two sons George and Jimmy to get out of the car. The militants opened fire, killing them all.”  Continue with the article here (Persecution.org blog); important information about Syria, a country reeling out of control.

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July 13; reported July 15, 2012  Mexico

About 90 minors were attacked by a violent group of 12 men at a Christian youth camp outside of Mexico City, and seven females were raped.  The area was supposed to be patrolled by police but no police intervened.  No arrests were made at the time of the report, and corruption is feared.  “In a report published this week, Amnesty International mentioned the state’s abuses against women, and said Mexican police solve only one in every 21 rapes.”  “Devoted Christians have often been singled out for attacks by violent groups in the country for a variety of reasons, according to church groups and Christian rights investigators.”

Source:  BosNewsLife.com

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April – present, reported July 9 & 18, 2012  Kyrgyztan

Although Kyrgyzstan has religious freedom laws, those laws are often disobeyed.  Following a 2009 “religion law,” churches are required to register before starting, but most are not approved; a pending law will make it even more difficult to practice Christianity since it will censor materials allowed in the country.  A Christian worker, Narsbek, who was severely attacked in the village of Ak-kyia in April, has filed suit in Kyrgystan in order to bring the religious laws out into the open and to hopefully provide peace to Christians in that country.  Narsbek and his brother-in-law Marazat were in Ak-kyia by invitation of the school master, who wanted them to distribute humanitarian items.  After they had arrived at the school, the village mullah visited them, and then 20 young men with him through stones at the men, and beat and strangled them.  They were able to escape, though the men chased them and ruined their vehicles.  The humanitarian items were burned by the Muslims; the police did nothing.   Narsbek spent a year in prison 14 years earlier because of his faith – and due to the same village mullah.  The lawsuit filed by Narsbek seems to be headed to the country’s Supreme Court.

Source:  Persecution.com

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July 2012  Iran

Updating news on the persecution of Christians in Iran is not an easy task since there is so much of it going on there.  If the reader is interested in learning more, any sources provided in these updates will have news about Iranian Christians and persecutions.

  • Currently, there is much concern over the health of Benham Irani, a pastor who has been in prison since May 2011 for his faith.  He has received many beatings while in prison, resulting in leg and eye injuries; he lost consciousness due to a bleeding ulcer and many fear he will die within the next few months.  He had also been subjected to psychological torture.  Since Irani is considered an apostate, that means he “can be killed.”  He is now in the prison hospital.
  • There is some good news.  Noorollah Qabitizade, a house church leader who had been arrested in December 2010 for apostasy, has been released.  He did not deny his faith in prison, and even shared his faith.
  • As can be seen by the experience of the two men mentioned above, there seems no rhyme or reason as to who is kept in prison and who is not.  The most widely known case right now is that of Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor who has been in prison in Iran for his faith since September 2010.  He had been sentenced to death for this faith but has a new trial set for September 2012 (the charges have not been announced!).  A great deal of international pressure has been in place, and continues, on the government of Iran.  Nadarkhani was arrested after complaining that his children were not required to be taught Islam in their school (Iran’s constitution has provisions for religious freedom of minority religions).  Believers in Brazil have been instrumental in gaining international attention to this case.

Sources:  Barnabasaid.org; BosNewsLife.com; PresentTruthMn.com; aclj.org

Christian Persecution Updates: July 18, 2012

July 2012; reported July 18  Nigeria

Boko Haram had declared war on the Christians in Nigeria and it seems that every weekend a church is bombed.  Officials are being assassinated.  The Red Cross reported yesterday that 5,500 people have fled their homes because of attacks on villages – most of them Christian – during July so far.  Over 100 people were killed in these attacks on villages.  Over 80 people were killed on July 7th alone.  “The humanitarian organisation said it was now providing food, blankets, soap and other essential items to more than 2,800 displaced people.”

Source:  ANGOP; ICC

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June 16, 2012; reported July 17  Iran

Eshan Behrooz had been imprisoned for his Christian faith, enduring 105 days of solitary confinement during his eight months in prison.  In July 2010 he had been arrested along with other Christians; he was not released because he refused to sign a document renouncing his faith.  He had been released on a very high bail at one point, but then re-imprisoned.  He has suffered mental and health problems because of his treatment in prison, and was not allowed basic rights like seeing his family or a lawyer.  He was a student at University of Mashhad, but now may not be allowed to return.

Source:  BarnabasAid.org

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July 16, 2012; reported July 17  Gaza (Palestine)

A small group of Christians held a brave and rare protest in Gaza, after becoming too frustrated over the forced conversions of Christians and the systematic persecution there that is driving so many Christians out of Gaza.  While Christians claim the conversion of a family (Al-Amash, his wife, and daughters) was forced, mediators claim it seems legitimate [there are actual forced conversions in many parts of the Muslim world, so the Christian claim is not unreasonable].  Since Hamas took over Gaza, life for the small minority of Christians has become so bad that many have left.  There are only about 1,500 Christians left, when a few years ago there were 3,500.  “The two converts, Al-Amash, and Hiba Abu Dawoud, 31, could not be reached for comment. . . .  ‘People are locking up their sons and daughters, worried about the ideas people put in their head,’ said Al-Amash’s mother, Huda.”

Source: Haaretz

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June 19, 2012; reported July 18  India

In eastern India, in Chhattisgarh state, 150 Hindus forced 12 Christians in Jawanga village to a Hindu temple.  The Christians were made to participate in Hindu rituals, worshiping tribal deities.  They were reportedly assaulted as well, but details are not available.  After this, the assaulting Hindus would not let the Christians return to their homes, but chased them out of the village.  The Christians later requested from the village head that they be allowed to return, but they were not given permission.  They are all staying in Geelam.  Chhattisgarh state had adopted the “Freedom of Relgion Act,” which has actually harmed religious freedom [as many in the West said it would]; about 1 in 50 Indians are Christian.  “The June 19 episode is only the most recent example of harassment of Christians in Chhattisgarh. The Evangelical Fellowship of India reported in April that 300 residents of Belgal village disrupted the attempted burial of a man who had converted to Christianity. Ten people were injured, and the burial was completed after district authorities intervened.”

Source:  Compass Direct News (primary source, Open Doors News)