Iran Continues Repression of Christianity and Baha’i Minorities

INU- The Global Dispatch reports that three Christians have been arrested and that their current whereabouts are unknown, following a raid on a pastor’s home. The pastor, Matthias Haghnejad, had been targeted by regime forces in the past, as had been the two other men arrested in the July 5 raid, Mohammad Roghangir and Suroush Saraie. Arrested on account of their faith and likely to face familiar Iranian charges like “attending gatherings against state security,” these men join the ranks of other politically imprisoned Christians in Iran, including the American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving a well-publicized eight year prison sentence following his efforts to develop a church in Iran.

Meanwhile, the Baha’i religious minority is seemingly repressed with even more vigor by the Iranian regime. This week, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran reported that five Baha’i women had received prison sentences of between six months and six years, on charges of spreading propaganda, holding forbidden gatherings, and colluding against the national interest. The PMOI also reported on the conviction of Mi’ad Ahmadi, an internet activist whose five year prison term belies the Iranian regime’s claims about reaching out to the Kurds, since his charges included cooperating with Kurdish parties.