Christian citizens celebrate Christmas under the boots of tyranny

Christian citizens celebrate Christmas under the boots of tyranny

 “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”

Psalm 37:3-6

On the eve of the new year, our greetings to the Virgin Mary, who endured much suffering and a major test in a dark night before she delivered Jesus, the word of love and hope, the message of rebellion against coercion and deception, and the carol of light and freedom.

Someone came to give shelter to the poor and the needy, to be the voice of the oppressed and the light for the eyes of those who immersed in darkness. He gave the power of speech to free peoples who stood up to oppression, evil and wickedness.

While Christians in the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas, Christian citizens in Iran are in dire straits because of a new wave of suppression carried out by the Islamic Republic’s regime.

Iranian officials regularly arrest Christian citizens, attack their house churches, and confiscate their gospels and religious texts.

Since the beginning of mullahs’ rule, the religious minorities in Iran have always faced oppression and harassment.

Not only Iranian Bahai’s, Christians, Zoroastrians, but also the Iranians belonging to other Islamic branches such as Sunnis, Yarsanians, the Gonabaadi Dervishes, and even the Shias who are recognized as religious-nationalists or religious-intellectuals have not been safe from the pressures and oppression. This has led to the migration of many of them from Iran, especially Christian citizens, Jews, and Baha’is.

So far, several church leaders, such as the Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr (in January 1994 in Karaj), and Bishop Mehdi Dibaj and Tateos Michaelian (in June 1994) were abducted and brutally murdered by the state.

The Bible is banned from being published in Persian, and many editions of the Bible were burned along with drugs and bottles of alcoholic beverages.

Services were halted at churches and were practiced at house churches. Persian Churches’ services were banned in Tehran on Fridays.

Iranian Muslims who convert to Christianity are also at risk of death on charges of apostasy.

Christian converts are most often subjected to security pressures in Iran, and it can be said that these Iranian citizens are facing severe security restrictions for their religious rites.

They are also attacked by security forces at their home churches and their priests are arrested, including the arrest of Mohammad Ali Torabi in Dezful on October 10, 2017, arrest of Reza Montazami, and his wife Fereshteh Dibaj, the arrest of Shrewder Yadgar a member of the Evangelical Church in the northwestern city of Orumieh.

 (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom- Iran section, page 44)

Another method for suppressing Christian citizens in Iran is the confiscation of their properties. One of such instances is the confiscation of Garden of Sharon in Karaj by the decree of Branch 3 of the so-called revolutionary court of Tehran in summer of 2015.

The branch, affiliated the Council of Jama’at-e Rabbani’s churches  (Jama’at-e Rabbani is the Iranian branch of the Assemblies of God, one of the largest evangelical Pentecostal Christian churches) to the CIA and ordered the confiscation of the Garden of Sharon which belongs to this council in favor of the ‘Executive Headquarters of Imam’s (Khomeini) Order. (The ‘Executive Headquarters of Imam’s (Khomeini) Order is a powerful financial institution which has $95 billion in possession and is controlled by Khamenei).

The purpose of such harassment on Christian citizens is to create a kind of division among religions.

It should be reminded that the followers of some religions in Iran do not have the right to be hired in governmental offices. Some followers of other religions, such as Bahai’s citizens, are prohibited from attending universities.

It is to be mentioned that on the first day of Khamenei’s nine-day visit to Qom on October 19, 2010, he said in his speech:

“The enemies of Islam” are attempting to undermine religion in Iranian society, “by spreading immoral and permissive behavior, promoting false mysticism, and promoting Baha’i faith and house churches in Iran.”

Since that speech, many churches have been shut down and Christian monuments have been destroyed. They are also prevented from holding church ceremonies.

House churches in Iran

A house church is an underground church at a Christian’ house were the converts, insecure of practicing their rites at public churches take refuge there.

But in an Iran free of mullahs’ rule, Christian citizens will not be suppressed. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi has emphasized on the religious freedom:

As a Muslim woman, while stressing the need for separation of religion and state, and on behalf of a generation that has been defending the genuine Muhammadan Islam against fundamentalism and religious dictatorship for the past five decades, I declare:

We reject compulsory religion and any compulsion in religion. Despotism under the name of Islam, the medieval Sharia laws, and the excommunication of opponents whether Shiite or Sunni, are against Islam and the liberating Muhammadan religion.

On January 20, 2016, in her meeting with two prominent Christian leaders in Britain, the Right Reverend John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford and the Right Reverend Adrian Newman, the Bishop of Stepney, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi stated:

“The true Islam teaches us that the members of the human society are sisters and brothers. Our relations with Christians and Jews is completely the opposite of those extremists who under the name of Islam, suppress the followers of other religions as well as those Moslems who represent the democratic and tolerant values of Islam.”

1 Comment
  1. saman hossaini says

    MARYAM RAJAVI :
    He was the messenger of compassion and friendship. He used to say, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25: 35-40)
    Christ set a tradition that showed men that they could be privileged by sacrificing for others. He said, “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15: 9-17)

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