Iranian Forces Islamic Re-education Course

02/04/2022Iran (International Christian Concern) – Ten Iranian Christian converts previously cleared of all charges are being forced by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to attend “re-education” courses run by Islamic clerics. The ten Christians, eight of whom were cleared by a court in Dezful in November of any crime, appeared after being summoned by telephone. There were more converts who were called in by did not show up who were then contacted and asked about their lack of attendance.

The IRGC has carried out the arrest, charges, confiscation of property and threats against Christian converts in Dezful. Today, these compulsory Islamic re-education courses are in direct contradiction to the rulings of the Civil and Revolutionary Court of Dezful which declared that the group “simply converted to a different religion”. The court noted that such apostasy could be punished under Islamic Sharia but was “not criminalized in Iranian laws”. In reference to other common charges faced by Iranian Christians, the courts also ruled that they “did not make any propaganda against other groups”. The IRGC-mandated courts were presented to the group to “bring them back on the straight and narrow.”

Christian converts in Iran also face discrimination, particularly regarding their children and efforts to force Islamic studies on them. A group of Iranian Christians issued a joint statement protesting the pressure of Islamic studies in education. Other non-Muslims are exempted from studying Islamic studies in schools, but children of Christian converts, who are considered by the state to be Muslims, must either attend or be excluded from school.

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