The United Nations has issued a warning stating that the persecution of Christians in Iran may amount to crimes against humanity. The statement comes in light of reports of widespread human rights violations and religious discrimination against Christian minorities in the country.
According to the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, Christians in Iran face severe persecution and discrimination, including arbitrary detention, torture, and imprisonment. The situation has become even more alarming in recent years, with an increase in the number of arrests and prosecutions of Christians on charges of blasphemy and other religious offenses.
Mr. Rehman and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Nazila Ghanea, had issued a special warning against Iran’s targeting religious minorities, including Christian converts. They also called for the “immediate and unconditional release of all individuals detained on the basis of their religious affiliation, and accountability for the systematic persecution of religious minorities by authorities”.
The U.N. report also highlights the alarming trend of forced conversions of Christian women and girls, who are often abducted and forcibly married to Muslim men. These conversions, which are carried out with the tacit support of the Iranian authorities, are a clear violation of international human rights laws and conventions.
In response to these alarming developments, the U.N. has called on the Iranian authorities to take immediate action to address the issue and put an end to the persecution of Christians in the country. The international community has also been urged to take concrete steps to hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations and ensure that the rights of Christian minorities are protected.
In a statement to Premier, report co-author, Steve Dew-Jones, talked about how Christians gather in secret in their respective homes, with the fear of a night-time knock on the door from the police. However, he added said the present is what he called “a moment where it feels like there really could be change”. “Over the years, it’s been said many times, but it does really feel that moment”, Dew-Jones continued. “It was the Persian New Year, just last night, and every free-minded Iranian is hoping that this will be the year in which things really do change.”
“And then you know, what can be the future for Iran? That’s what I’d love to see. That’s what many of us, most of us, would love to see and what my colleagues are praying for.”
The situation in Iran remains a cause for concern, and it is hoped that the international community will take urgent action to address the issue and put an end to the persecution of Christians in the country. The U.N.’s warning serves as a reminder that the persecution of minorities is a violation of fundamental human rights and cannot be tolerated.