Imprisonment of Christian pastors unabated in Iran

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

Iran map 620x300The Iranian government's most recent arrests of Christian pastors show there's still little progress in slowing down the persecution of Christians in that country.

International Christian Concern has learned that three pastors from the country of Azerbaijan were arrested in late June after they visited Iran. It's not known why they were arrested, leaving their families to fear for the safety of their loved ones.

ICC's Sandra Elliot tells OneNewsNow that Iran remains one of the most repressive countries in the world in regards to freedom of religion.

"The identity of a nation as an Islamic republic is more important [to them] than anything else, including the sovereignty of citizens from other countries,” she says. “It's absolutely ridiculous. It's a whole other level of tyranny when they're arresting visitors than when they're arresting their own people  - which is also obviously a tragedy."

Meanwhile, Elliot says one Iranian pastor who was acquitted in 2012 after being sentenced to death for apostasy has been arrested again and charged with acting against national security. She says these reports are just the latest in a succession of imprisonment of pastors by Iranian authorities over the years. 

"They never really back off,” she says. “It's more about when we hear it happen. I think a lot more is going on than what we hear about, honestly."

Elliot says the U.S. government, which is trying to have a diplomatic relationship with Iran, should condemn the actions of what she describes as a "tyrannical government."

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