Iran steps up crackdown on Christians [Excerpts]
Iran’s stepped up its crackdown on the country's struggling Christian community by closing a church in Tehran, prompting an Iranian human rights group and religious freedom experts to slam the regime.
According to the human rights group [International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran], Iranian Christians are in a dire situation because the regime assigned the Revolutionary Guard Corps to handle the “oversight of Christian churches in Iran, which were previously overseen by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.”
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran noted, “At the end of May 2012, Iranian authorities forced the Assembly of God Church in the western Tehran neighborhood of Jannat Abad to close its doors and discontinue services, a local source with knowledge of the Iranian Protestant community told the campaign.”
Those who embrace Christianity do so at great risk and are frequently targeted for persecution – including death because of their religious beliefs.”
Dr. Richard Landes, an associate professor of history and director and cofounder of the Center of Millennial Studies at Boston University [said] “On one level, the closure reveals the insecurity of the Muslims who carry it out, re-emphasizing (if that were necessary) the profound lack of confidence that Islamists in power have in a free market of ideas....At a time when Muslim spokesmen and women make strong demands to be treated by the highest standards of ‘human rights’ in the West, neither these Muslim spokespeople, nor those who trust them in the West, demand any kind of reciprocal restraint from Muslims in Islamic countries: ‘Who are we to judge?’” “This failure might seem to the human rights activists who look the other way as a sign of generosity towards a morally challenged part of the world from whom we cannot expect anything like reciprocity, but it seems to ‘them’ as a sign of our moral cowardice, that we proleptically accept the dhimma [the inferior status of non- Muslims in a Muslim state],”