While attention focuses on the situation of the young French woman “trapped” at the Embassy of France in Iran and the nuclear issue continues to trouble minds, thousands of anonymous people, including religious minorities in Iran are victims from the abuse of power that nothing holds more: This out of the sight of the Western media. The persecution is proceeding on an unknown scale while officials feel they have nothing to lose.
Those who expected an improvement in the situation of minorities with the government Ahmadinejad II and the new head of the judiciary Sadegh Larijani, brother of the president of the majlis will be disappointed. The responsible “Order”, who dream to end the spiritual and cultural otherness that would prevent the advent of the Mahdi decided to intensify the persecution of minorities. For them, it is henceforth the time to use a strong arm in order to break Christianity in Iran.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, head of the largest Christian community in Northern Iran has come into the grip of this new policy. Having delivered a summons to appear before the revolutionary tribunal of Guilan, he was arrested last October 12 for protesting against the decision of local authorities to impose the reading of the Koran on Christian children, in violation of this Declaration of Universal Human Rights which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
The pretension of Christians to exercise a right recognized in theory by the Constitution is considered “an affront” by the leaders of the Order who sometimes threaten as communist leaders to remove children from their Christian parents. “Not happy with the fact that we tolerate you, you pushed far your boldness by refusing that your children follow Koranic courses.” As stated previously since October 12th, pastor Youcef remains in custody in violation of his constitutional rights.
Finally Rev. Nadarkhani has been indicted for evangelism and some local lawyers refused to assist him in the trial.
Religious minorities are second class citizens in the Islamic Republic where they are deprived, in fact, of their civil rights. For two years the parliament is working on a “law on apostasy” that could oversee the forfeiture of the “civil rights” of Christians having at least one Muslim parent. Under this legislation, that extremists dream, apostasy is punishable by death. Indeed, many experts believe Islamic law, despite 30 years of power by the Islamic Order, the legislation was not enough islamized and continues to bear the mark of Western laws, French in this case. They call for more radical actions, some like Masbah Yazdi even considering that the Republic is heretical and that Iran should go further towards being an “Islamic power.” In the eyes of radical theorists the rights to freedom of religion has no place in an Islamic country. They believe that Saudi Arabia denying citizenship to religious minorities is the “Islamic” decision to make.
Ahmadinejad, who has never been committed to promoting equality of citizens has repeatedly vowed to break the Protestant impulse. It seems that the Order has decided to go toward a final solution to minorities problem.