January 7, 2011, - 3:25 pm
It never ends. Whether it’s Christmas, or just plain Friday, Islamic nations target their Christians with harassment and persecution of continuously escalating degrees.
Don’t forget that Iran is Ground Zero of how a Muslim nation–in this case a Shi’ite Muslim nation–treats Christians:
Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of Christians in the two weeks since Christmas, the latest challenge to the Mideast’s small but vibrant Christian communities.
I would hardly call persecution a characteristic of vibrance. The Mid-East’s Christian communities are demoralized and dwindling rapidly. Not vibrant.
The arrests around the country appear focused on individuals who have converted from Islam or sought to convert others from Islam—actions considered sins under Islamic law and punishable by death in Iran.
Tehran’s governor, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed there have been detentions and said more arrests were on the way, state media reported.
Mr. Tamadon suggested the roundup hadn’t targeted the mainstream Armenian Christians or Catholics, which make up most of the small Christian population in Iran. Instead, he suggested the arrests targeted Protestant evangelicals, who have run into trouble elsewhere in the Mideast.
Mr. Tamadon said missionary evangelicals had stepped up their activity in Iran, calling it a “cultural invasion of the enemy.”
“Just like the Taliban, who have inserted themselves into Islam like a parasite, [evangelicals] have crafted a movement in the name of Christianity,” he said, according to state media outlet IRNA. He didn’t give further details about the arrests.
Nauseating. The Taliban and Christianity have nothing in common. The Taliban murders people, and makes boys dance in women’s clothing and get gang-raped. Evangelical Christians are kind, peaceful people. But Iran’s hardline Muslim clerics and America’s liberals have a lot in common, including using this absurd analogy with great frequency.
About 1% of the population in majority-Muslim Iran is Christian. Sanctioned sects have mostly co-existed peacefully with Muslims since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
The Iranian Christian News Agency, a Toronto evangelical Christian organization dedicated to news about Christians in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, said the recent roundups targeted individuals who have converted to Christianity from Islam, as well as some who have been trying to win over converts.
According to the ICNA, armed plainclothes Iranian security agents have been raiding the homes of Christians in the early hours, including on the mornings of Dec. 25 and 26, searching houses for pictures, CDs, Bibles and religious books. In addition to making arrests, they confiscated computers and personal documents, according to the group. . . .
In June, evangelical priest Yousef Nadrkhani and his wife, both converts, were arrested in the northern city of Rasht. Mr. Nadrkhani was convicted of Islamic apostasy, organizing meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people and openly expressing his distaste for Islam, according to the court documents.
Mr. Nadrkhani was sentenced to death, while his wife was given a life sentence, according to a copy of his court papers. In September, a court of appeals upheld the death sentence—the first in decades for apostasy in Iran, according to Iranian rights groups.
A second priest, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, arrested in June 2010 with his wife and eight members of his congregation in the southern city of Shiraz, has been indicted for apostasy and crimes against national security, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an organization based in New York. Those arrested with him were released.
Officials have since stepped up calls for vigilance against unsanctioned Christian organizations. Iran’s intelligence minister said in October that his agents had discovered hundreds of underground church groups, including 200 in the Muslim holy city of Mashad. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an October speech that Iran’s enemies were behind the underground churches.
Oh, and by the way, for all of you Evangelical Christians defending the anti-Semitic Copts and their Jew-baiting Pope on this site, they aren’t exactly returning the love for you:
Some Christians from more-established Mideast churches, including in Egypt and Iraq, have accused evangelicals of unnecessarily stoking religious tensions by overtly trying to win over converts.
That means the Copts.
Regardless, the Muslims in the Mid-East hate Christians everywhere, not just in Iran. Iran is just Ground Zero for Shi’ite Islam and its open persecution of the Christian faith.
Tags: arrests, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, Christians, converts, Coptic, Coptic Christians, Copts, Copts v. Evangelicals, Egypt, Evangelical Christians, Evangelicals, ICNA, Iran, Iranian Christian News Agency, Irna, Islam, Islamic intolerance, Mashad, Mid-East, Morteza Tamadon, Muslim, Muslim converts to Islam, persecution of Christians, Rasht, Shi'ite Muslim, Taliban, Tehran, Yousef Nadrkhani