Jihad Watch (Link)
- Marisol (August 19, 2011)
As the propagation of non-Islamic faiths is forbidden under
Islamic law, missionary work is banned. But that won�t stop the mullahs from
being paranoid about it, and taking the opportunity to remind the unbelievers of
their place in the Islamic Republic of Iran. �Iran Seizes 6,500 Bibles to Stop
�Deceiving� Christian Missionaries,� by Fionna Agomuoh for the
Post, August 17:
Iran has seized 6,500 copies of the Bible in northwest
Iran in what appears to be the latest crackdown by Iranian authorities
against Christianity in the country.
Few details are known about the seizure, however,
Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports that Dr. Majid Abhari, adviser
to the social issues committee of the parliament in Iran stated, �These
missionaries with reliance on huge money and propaganda are trying to
deviate our youth.�
In a government interview with Mehr news agency, Abhari
explained that the Bibles were taken because of governmental concerns that
Christian missionaries mean to �deceive� young Iranians with �false
�The important point in this issue that should be
considered by intelligence, judicial and religious agencies is that all
religions are strengthening their power to confront Islam, otherwise what
does this huge number of Bibles mean?� he told Mehr.
According to persecution advocacy group, Voice of the
Martyrs, missionary work is banned in Iran, though Christian conversion has
been growing in the majority Islamic country in recent years.
Conversion from Islam to another religion, known as
apostasy, is also a crime in Iran, and offenders are often arrested and
tried in court. Recent legislation is aiming to have the crime of apostasy
punishable by death.
The death penalty for apostasy comes from
Muhammad�s own orders, and has clearly survived in Shi�ite as well as Sunni
Mohabat News noted that in another Bible seizing in
November 2010, a bus was inspected in the village of Darishk and 300 Bibles
were taken and burned.
Several Christian churches in Iran have also been closed
in order to discourage conversion. One such church is the Assyrian
Pentecostal Church in Tehran that closed in March 2009 after threats from
The Christian Post reported in February 2010 that
Evangelical Pastor, Rev. Wilson Issavi was arrested and his church, the
Assyrian Evangelical Church in Kermanshah, closed.
Mohabat News commentates that Islamic republic officials
have been concerned about Christian conversions despite their own Islamic
propaganda against Christianity in recent decades. The fact that conversions
continue in the wake of arrest and persecution is also noted.
�Islamic republic considers itself the responsible guide
for people�s thoughts. So what is their fear of the importation and
distribution of non-Islamic religious books?� Mohabat News has reported.
That is exactly their fear. Losing their monopoly on
�people�s thoughts.� �