IRAN: News about Baha’is and Christians in November
Home raids across Iran indicate alarming increase in human rights violations against Baha’is, says Baha’i International Community
BIC (30.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/2KSALRr – Over a hundred government agents raided the shops and homes of tens of Baha’is across Iran, on 22 November 2020, and demanded that they hand over their property deeds. The simultaneous raids were staged in at least seven cities around the country and came just hours into a 15-day national lockdown imposed to slow coronavirus infections in the country. More…
Baha’i university applicants summoned to sign pledge
Sen’s Daily (19.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/3q9mNuJ – On Wednesday 11 November, a number of Baha’is who passed Iran’s national university entrance exams were summoned by telephone to the Karaj branch of ‘Sanjesh,’ the body responsible for organizing and overseeing the annual tests in Iran. Several said that on arrival, they were taken into a private room and their mobile phones were confiscated. They were then questioned about their belief in the Bahai Faith, and made to fill out questionnaires on their family members, personal relations and social media activities. More…
UN passes resolution condemning human rights violations in Iran
BIC (18.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/3qgvMKi – In spite of the ongoing pandemic, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly considered and approved a resolution today calling on Iran to observe human rights for all its citizens, including members of the Baha’i Faith.
The Third Committee of the General Assembly approved the resolution(link is external)by a vote of 79 to 32. Sixty-four Member States voted by abstention. More…
Security forces confiscate Baha’i agricultural land at Roshankuh
Sen’s Daily (09.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/33plH4b – Recently, the Natural Resources Department of Mazandaran Province confiscated land owned by the mostly Bahai residents of Roshankooh village, near the city of Sari, under the pretense of protecting natural resources. These lands, which have been owned by the villagers for nearly a hundred years and have title deeds, have been occupied by a Special Security Forces Unit. More…
Baha’i students again barred from Iran’s universities
Sen’s Daily (02.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/2KI5zUL – On Friday, October 30, Ebrahim Khodaei, head of the Iran’s National Organization of Educational Testing, announced that this year’s results of 2020 had been posted on the organization’s website.
As in previous years, when Bahai students logged on this year, they found that their records were flagged with the words “incomplete dossier”: a catch-all term the testing organization has been using for more than a decade now to stop students known to belong to the Baha’i community from progressing to the next stage in their education.
At the time of writing, IranWire had received the names of 14 Bahai participants who have been locked out of the grading system because of an “incomplete dossier”. The “Iran” news site reports 17 Bahai students have been excluded, without naming them.
House-church leaders acquitted of ‘acting against national security’
Article 18 (26.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7483/ – Two Iranian Christian converts have overturned on appeal a combined 10-year prison sentence for their leadership of a house-church. Aziz Majidzadeh, known as Andreas, and another convert who cannot be named, were sentenced to four and six years in prison respectively in July – a ruling that was not made public at the time.
But on 9 November, an appeals court judge overturned the verdict, ruling there was insufficient evidence their leadership of a house-church amounted to “actions against national security”. More…
Four Christians given combined 35 years in prison
Article 18 (17.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7335/ – Mehdi Akbari, Fatemeh Sharifi and Simin Soheilinia were given 10 years, and Mehdi Roohparvar five, all under the same charge of “acting against national security by forming a house-church”.
Very little is known about their case, but Article18 has been able to independently verify that Mehdi A and Mehdi R are both now serving their sentences in Ward 4 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. More…
Second Christian convert flogged for drinking Communion wine
Article 18 (16.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7326/ – Despite international condemnation of the recent flogging of an Iranian Christian convert for drinking Communion wine, a second convert has now received the same punishment.
Zaman Fadaie, who prefers to be called Saheb, received 80 lashes yesterday, one month and one day after his friend Mohammad Reza (Youhan) Omidi endured the same punishment. More…
Christian convert’s third plea for retrial rejected
Article 18 (13.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7297/ – Imprisoned Christian convert Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh has been informed that his third request for a retrial has been rejected.
Nasser, who is 59 years old, is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison because of his membership of a house-church, for which he was convicted in July 2017 of “acting against national security”.
He has been in prison since January 2018. More…
Christian homes targeted in coordinated Fardis raids
Article 18 (11.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7270/ – Twelve Christian homes were raided by intelligence agents today in a coordinated operation in Fardis, west of Tehran, at around 9am.
None of the Christians were arrested, but many of their personal belongings were confiscated – including phones, laptops, Bibles, Christian literature and anything else to do with Christianity – and they can expect to be summoned for interrogation in the coming days. More…
Tehran church with giant cross demolished
Article 18 (03.11.2020) – https://articleeighteen.com/news/7152/ – A 70-year-old Adventist church in central Tehran has been demolished, along with the giant concrete cross on its facade.
The 8m cross was the largest of its kind in the Iranian capital, and a rare prominent symbol of Christianity in the city. More…