Religious Organizations Network

Christian Help International

Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2002 at 03:20 PM CT


Related Information 
The Untold Holocaust (35min)
ANNEMASSE: The Assyrian Tragedy, February 1934.
Human Rights Violations Against Assyrians
Indigenous Peoples Under the Rule of Islam,
Part II, III, IV, V, VI  and VII.
Negotiating Assyrian Identity in Iraq, 1919-1933

URGENT APPEAL

An appeal for urgent help to the Christians from Iran stranded in Austria (2002)

The goal of this report is to inform the reader about the serious problems which many Christians from the Islamic Republic of Iran are facing now in Austria. This report will enlighten and emphasize the emergency of the situation of these Christians who need urgent help in Austria waiting to immigrate to the USA or being accepted to live in Austria. There are some efforts since late 2001 to find some solution to help these people, but because of the seriousness of the situation for many of these Christians, the efforts should come sooner to a result. This report is an appeal to every person who has possibility to help these people. The Christians feel compelled to leave a country in which they and their families have lived for centuries as a respected minority who had a important role in this part of the world. They feel compelled to leave almost all their possession, relationships and their past with the hope to have a chance for a new beginning. But unfortunately many of them are confronted with rejection and many problems in the western countries to which they flee.

This report talks about Christians who are waiting in Austria for consideration of their application to immigrate as refugee to USA. There is a signed name list of many of these Christians which can be given to every internationally and governmentally responsible official in charge by request.

Add to the appeal the report tries to give a realistic picture of the hard life situation of Christians living among Moslems in the Islamic Republic of Iran. These facts have been gathered from the Christians and are the actual personal experiences which forced them to leave their country to find a safer place to live. Surely there are many other points which can be mentioned and added to these problems. The report sees the problems from the view of Christians who maybe experience personally some of these problems or maybe heard from other Christians having such problems.

The reason why such a report is needed is that there is a lack of sufficient information in the media internationally about the daily life struggle of Christians in an Islamic country and what pressures they face which cause them to leave their country and immigrate to a safer place to live.

This report will be sent to every responsible international institution and media worldwide to make the problems of these people public with hope they can find help from the people worldwide who can support them in any kind of help which is possible.

This part of the report is based on several surveys about the situation of Christians who have left Iran to come to Austria and they are still others who are leaving the country. More than 1000 people came via some charity organizations like HIAS, Caritas, IRC in the last 2-3 years to immigrate to USA as a refugee. This way was possible, because of the cooperation between United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Austrian government and these charity organizations. How much the Islamic Republic of Iran was and is involved in this project isn't known. But because the immigrants could depart without so many problems at the airport in Iran, it can be guessed that the government in Iran was and is aware of this project.

From late 2000 the INS began to reject more and more applications for refugee status of these Christians who were brought via this project to Austria. And especially after 11. September 2001 the negative answers to the applications are much more. Only a few are accepted as refugees and they also have to wait long time in Austria until to be able to go to the USA.

Most of these Christians of Iran left almost all their possessions to immigrate to the USA after knowing about this "legal" possibility through these charity organizations. They were given several kinds of hope of having the chance to go to the USA. But many of them are faced with very hard and harsh life conditions after being rejected by INS in Austria. They are facing in Austria different kinds of problems in marriages, psychological problems, prostituting, suicide attempts and especially the children experience hard times, the children aren't allowed to continue their education because of the type of visa permission.

Caritas and IRC have since been stopped from cooperating in this project since U.S. INS preferred to work with only one organization. The only organization which continues to make the possibility for Christian minority and other religious minorities to immigrate from Iran is HIAS, a charity organization who have more experience for immigration of Jewish and Bahais from Iran. This organization does not have enough experience with different kind of religious, social and cultural problems of the Christian minority in Iran. The applicants should pay through their relatives or friends an amount between $ 2000 - $ 3000 for each person to the offices of HIAS in the U.S. then HIAS tries with this amount to find accommodation for the applicants in Austria and prepare other necessary documents for their travel to Austria and application for USA. This amount is enough for 4 to 6 months living in Austria depended on their expenses of accommodation and other necessary needs. Many of them have to live in very small old apartments with high rent amounts without any kind of comforts in some cases for 1 or 2 years. The applicants have no official medical insurance, aren't allow to work and apply for refugee in Austria. In case of sickness they have to pay high bills on their own. They don't receive any kind of help from Austrian social services while they are under this project, because of the type of visa which they get in Iran. This visa is a special kind of visa named "D-visa".

The people are allowed to stay in Austria for the period of their application to INS in Vienna. If they are rejected by INS, they can try again and again until their cases are closed. This long time of waiting to know about the result in their application results in more expenses for their residence in Austria. They must provide for their own expense as they wait for a final response to their application for refugee status in the USA. According to a survey among ca. 400 persons, the monthly costs of living in Vienna, including the cost of the flight to Austria is between $250 - $350. This means a huge amount for the people who have been waiting more than 1 or 2 years for the result of their application. They had to sell everything that they had in Iran, borrow money from their relative and friends and also continue to ask help from every body who can help them and understandably in some cases doing illegal "not paying taxes" jobs in Austria to be able to continue to stay for the result of their application with the hope to have a better future. Many of these Christians from Iran are willing to accept this hard life condition in Austria, because of their harsh problems which they faced in the Islamic country of Iran, (this will be discussed with more details in the next part of this report) with the hope to receive help from any other Christian country of the world. They can't go back again to a country where they have no chance to have a normally human worthy life and especially after they lost almost all of their possessions and as in the next part will be reported, they had to live with several different complicated problems in the Islamic country of Iran.

If you are a Christian too, surely you can understand the pain and deep needs that some of your fellow Christians in the body of Christ is feeling and if you are a non-Christian as a human surely you will be ready to support internationally recognized rights which belong to you yourself in the time of your need of them too and you can understand how important is to take steps to make life for every person on this world better and more peaceful.

Problems of Christians in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Christians in Iran are a small minority among more than 70 million population of this 90 % Moslem country with an Islamic government which understands no separation between state and religion, which has the goal to spread Islamic ideology among all nations in the world, which lets Christians live among Moslems only with many limitations, and doesn't give them many internationally recognized human rights with the questionable argument of keeping only "Islamic human rights". Every fair expert of Islam understands the clear difference between generally recognized human rights and Islamic human rights. They are many clear differences between human rights and also Christian understanding of them and Islamic laws, which can be mentioned.

The Christians in Iran are from Armenian, Assyrian and Moslem or other religions background. Armenian and Assyrian are as recognized Christian minority in Iran, but Moslem background Christians have no right to exist among other Moslems according to the Islamic laws.

Christians in Iran could live for centuries among Moslems and they had their own communities. Because most of the governments in Iran before the Islamic republic were a kind of secular government, there was not governmental discrimination and persecution for Christian minority to live in the country, they had more cultural and religious problems on account of their fanatic Moslem countrymen. But since the Islamic republic rules the country, the Christians are gradually faced with many serious problems which forced many of them to leave their country via different ways and immigrate to mostly western world, especially to the USA. It seems that the policy of the Islamic government is to make the life situation for Christians more and more harder to force them to leave the "Islamic ground" or to convert to Islam. In this way it can hinder that Moslems become Christians and also in their Islamic understanding they can fight the "Jihad" or "the holy war" against western cultural influence. These all result in very different problems for Christians generally which can be separated in religious, social, women, economical and cultural and converted Moslems to Christianity problems as follow:

Religious Problems

  1. Publication, printing and distributing of the Bible in Persian language within Iran is forbidden.
  2. It is forbidden to bring the Bible in Persian language into Iran from other countries with severe punishment for violators.
  3. Government supports propaganda by which the Bible is presented publicly in mosques, universities, schools and via media as a book that has been changed, and Jesus Christ is denied as having been crucified, and as Son of God. The Qur'an teaching about Jesus Christ is taught among Moslems. This results especially in mixed Christians-Moslems schools and in the universities to sometimes serious discussions with Christians. And in many cases Christians are afraid to defend and explain their beliefs because of being forbidden to proselytize Moslems. This also results in depression and guiltiness feeling in Christians specially children and young people as they are forced not to testify or have to deny their beliefs . This problem is more serious for Christians who are stronger in their Christian faith.
  4. Building a new church in a city is forbidden. The repairing and rebuilding of some old churches is hindered so that Christianity and the artistic master-pieces will be gradually destroyed.
  5. The confiscation of churches and church properties and to change them to Islamic centers. Namely we can refer to Andrias church which is located in Kerman (one of the Iran's province) and Nicola (Shabane Nekoo) church which is located in Ahwaz (one of the Iran's province) and to change some of Oromieh (one of the Iran's cities) churches to Moslem prayer places.
  6. Christians, while in public, must respect all Islam rules although they aren't by the nature of Christian people, resulting in emotional stress especially for children and young people.
  7. All publication centers and also all Christian scientific centers which were active for promotion of the religious understanding were closed by Islamic government. Namely we can refer to Nore Jahan publication which was the only center for publication Christian religious books and the Bible society association and other centers which are active for this reason are nearly closed due to the pressure of Islamic government.
  8. Moslems minorities in western countries enjoy their freedom to do their religious duties and there is no discrimination in their life and religion in these countries but unfortunately in Iran the same is not true for Christians.
  9. Christians are encouraged to convert to Islam in different ways. So that they will enjoy all the rights that a Moslem has. In some cases funding is provided to religious propagandists.
  10. Surveillance of the active church members by the Islamic information organizations, the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Islamic Guidance. Also the church members are forced to give information about church activities.
  11. In some cases investigation of the church leaders about their speech or activities in the church or in the society.
  12. Obtaining written statements from active church members, in order to reduce the proselytizing of Moslems and acceptance of Moslems into church as new members.
  13. To send spies and video and audio recording with formal permission in Christian communities for knowing their active members and to make baseless and censor reports about the Christians in Iran.
  14. The Iranian justice system is comprised of criminal, executive and civil laws, but these provide no rights for non-Moslems. This is despite the fact that in Article 34 of the Constitution it is written that every person is entitled to the protection and rights of law. For example, in reality the complaints of non-Moslems against Moslems are generally disregarded. Article 8 of the Constitution allows for "command to do good, and prohibition to do wrong". But this Article is misused to allow government officials to interfere in the private and personal lives of citizens. Article 297 of the Criminal Laws Code establishes the limit of "diyeh" (blood money) with the Moslem man as the standard. In view of all this, in reality a Christian avoids the court at all costs and suffers injustices that can never be addressed. Justice is out of reach for the Christian notwithstanding Article 34 of the Constitution. The Christian plaintiff is without hope and gives in to injustice. The Christian defendant is forced to struggle against blatant discrimination.
  15. It is not easy to get permission for Christians to hold meetings and religious concerts in public facilities and also limitation for Christians for using public mass media such as radio, TV and news papers to express their religion and cultural way of living.
  16. Capital punishment is required by Islamic law for the Moslems who convert to Christianity. Those who carry out this judgment receive heavenly reward while those who do not have committed a sin. Also the harassment of all Assyrian and Armenian Christians who are active in giving the Christian messages in any way to these people.

Social Problems

  1. There is limitation for using some public athletic places for Christians. These places are under severe government control namely we can refer to swimming pool, sauna bath, and body building places.
  2. The Islamic government of Iran prevent Christians from gathering for non religious occasions such as marriage and birthday ceremonies and require formal permission with agreement of Islamic officials.
  3. There is a conflict between the Islamic laws like "Diyeh" (an Islamic law for blood money) with the known world laws. For instance the Diyeh for Moslem people is not equal to Christian people and the monetary penalty for men and women is different and less than Moslem people. Thus, because the restitution or blood money for non-Moslems is negligible there is no protection for the security of non-Moslems.
  4. There is a restitution law in Iran which is based on the principle "an eye for an eye" (Ghesas). However this law is only applicable for Moslem plaintiff. A non-Moslem has no chance to see this principle applied in a complaint against a Moslem. According to Article 297 of Islamic Criminal Code there is no supporting law for non-Moslem regarding their life security due to the law requiring very little restitution. If a Christian kills a Moslem in any way even unintentionally, he is condemned as a guilty, he is liable to maximum punishment and monetary penalty which is paid to the survivors of the deceased, it is much more than what is paid to the Christian survivors if a Moslem kills a Christian. This monetary penalty is even much more in the so called holy months "Moharram and Safar".
  5. There is limitation for employing Christians in all segments of government services and with government pressure upon them, spreading this limitation to private sectors and employing the Islamic fundamental fanatics who they are in Islamic line activity although they are not suitable for that job.
  6. Publicly slandering all Christian beliefs and forbidding Christian gatherings supposing that Christians have no right for expressing their thoughts and ideas by nature of their religion and if Christian people defend their position they are severely punished.
  7. Isolation of Christians with this belief that they are Najis (unclean) (read about it in the Islamic rules) particularly from the Moslem hard liners point of view, but it exists also in the general point of view of all Moslems especially in their physical contact with non-Moslems. The Christian minority (Armenian and Assyrian) is known easily and mostly of its accent, their names and their appearance. This matter is especially hard for Christian children when they understand the view of their Moslem acquaintances in school or in society. Many Christians and Moslems avoid to have relationship with each other because of this belief.
  8. The Christian people are most known in their living places in different cities and are being bothered by their fundamental fanatic Moslem neighbors; resulting in problems for Christians and consequently the Christians are forced to escape from them to any where else. This despite Article 23 providing for the freedom to chose where to live.
  9. To frighten Christian families in some religious areas in Iran Moslems steal Christian property since it is written in the religious books that the property of a non-Moslem and infidel should be taken and given to a Moslem.
  10. Service is refused to Christians by some service centers like dry-cleaning, barbers and beauty salons and some restaurants because they believe that Christians are Najis (from Islamic fundamental fanatic point of view). We should remember, that Christians, especially Armenian and Assyrian are very easily known because of their accent, when they speak in Persian language and their appearance.
  11. It is difficult for Christians to rent or buy a house and usually the Christians are forced to rent or buy houses from their own minority group. This is because the general idea of Moslems is, that the Christians are Najis (unclean) and infidel so the Moslem people shouldn't rent or sell their house to Christian people.
  12. Accusing the Christian people of propagandizing for the Christian religion in the society; and administrative centers for the purpose of frightening Christians and to cause emotional stress in the society.
  13. Theft of church properties and also Christian sacred places by Moslems and some organized groups. During the last 100 years many of church properties have been stolen by fanatic Moslems.
  14. To destroy the Christians' cemeteries and farms in the suburb of the cities or small villages for various fabricated reasons.
  15. In some universities the Christian students are faced with discrimination in using the university accommodations and they are obliged to rent rooms at their own expense and in many cases these students being under pressure for financial affairs and consequently they have to give up their study.
  16. Accusation of Christian boys of having relationship with Moslem girls and forcing them to convert to Islam and if they don't accept they are under punishment and vise versa for Christian girls. Also in cases of adultery the punishment is more severe for a non-Moslem than for a Moslem.
  17. Islamic law regarding inheritance gives more rights to Moslems, if there is a Moslem in a family, he/she will have right to get all the inheritance and non-Moslems in the family are totally discriminated.

Women problems

  1. There are many conflicts between Islamic laws with Christian laws in case of women issues but the Islamic laws are applied to Christian women.
  2. To encourage and in many cases force the Christian girls to unwished marriage with Moslem and taking the issue to court is useless and the court will not support Christian people. (Example: the film "Didar" addresses this issue in a supportive way)
  3. To annoy Christian girls in minority schools and make problem for them on the school way by the hard liner Moslems although this schools are known as Christian ones.
  4. There is no permission for using of some athletic places for Christian women.
  5. To force for wearing Islamic veil (in the style which the fundamental Moslem women wear) for Christian women in case of entering to some governmental places namely we can refer to Islamic court and university of "All Zahra" and this is the sign of Islamic laws imposed to Christian as a free human.
  6. There is no permission for employing Christian women in all segment of government services as long as they are willing to practice their faith.

Financial and economical problems

  1. All different kinds of religious, social and cultural problems can result in serious economical problems which many Christians are forced to deal with in their daily life. In many cases they are facing with discrimination in elementary publicly and privately.
  2. Christians fail to receive service and getting materials from the society because the Moslem officials have the baseless belief that Christian are Najis (from the hard liner Moslems point of view) and if they have to do their job, they try to discourage the Christians from purchasing the service.
  3. Most of Christians who own lands which are suitable for agriculture encounter the problem of boycotts by the Moslems and the agricultural products have not been bought by them and also the industrial workshops due to have not enough activity over these workshops they suffer financial losses every year and the owner of this workshops have to sell these working places. All these actions are just for discouragement of Christians and reducing Christians' activities within society.
  4. Because of farmland dryness in the recent years most of the Christians' agricultural farms are near to dry and the important reason behind it is the Moslem neighbors farmer didn't let running water to Christians' farmlands.
  5. The Moslems don't buy any domestic animal products from Christians (because of the Najis idea) and other Islamic laws in order to force the Christians to be only consumers in the society.
  6. There is no new formal permission for installing new food industrial workshops like as bakery, confectionary and restaurant and all workshops which are related to food stuff, and also not employing Christian people in these workshops.

Cultural problems

  1. In schools and universities an atmosphere of suppression of Christian beliefs dominates. The Christians cannot interact freely and are harassed by the Islamic authorities.
  2. There is no possibility for accepting Christian students in some public schools with the excuse that Christian people are Najes (from Moslem fundamental fanatic point of view).
  3. Preventing children of Moslem families from having relationship with Christian children because of baseless authorities propaganda and this belief that the Christian religion isn't the true guiding method for Moslems and those Moslems who have relation with Christians will be punished in the day of judgment or "last day".
  4. To make force and pressure upon Christian schools, although most of the student are Christians, to have Islamic religious orders like mass praying, Islamic morning praying, reading Koran, building Islamic praying house in Christian schools and to force the Christian students to obey the Islamic rules like as Rozeh (during the so called month of Ramazan, the Moslem are not allowed to eat or drink whole the day long) and to punish the violators.
  5. To control the Christian minority schools with administrative Moslem managers and directors instead of Christian ones.
  6. Although most of Christian schools own the school land and construction, the Moslem authorities make excuse that because there is not enough Christian student for those schools they change some Christian schools to mixed Christian-Moslem schools and this arises different conflicts and difficulties between children.
  7. Systematic making in all choosing and employing process in universities put priority for Moslems and no need for Christians in these centers and all segment being filled by Moslems.
  8. To write religious slogans against non-Moslem people such as Christians which are taken from "Koran" and "Nah'jol'balaghe" and putting negative impression to Moslem beliefs and consequently occur some conflicts and making severe stress and worries between Christians. (Example: A sentence on top of a mosque : "He who chooses a religion other than Islam will lose everything at last.")
  9. Christians are rejected from special fields of universities such as education, judicial science, political science and all military universities because the main condition for choosing people in these centers is being Moslem.
  10. To investigate on all personal and family background of Christian people who are accepted by conducting an interview in order to find fault with these people and reject their application.
  11. In some educational centers and religious cities the Christian students are forced to accept the Islamic rules regardless what is their religion.
  12. To encourage Christian students to convert to Islam and to impose the Islamic ideology to them and holding private and consultation meeting with Christian students.
  13. The minority students in case of accepting in domestic and foreign olympiads or in any other world competitions after different ideological and political processing by different Islamic authorities separated from others and forbidden them to go to these olympiads.
  14. In some universities and high educational centers the minority students who are exempted from passing the Islamic learning and Koran, and other units related to Islamic Ideology, but they are forced to pass these units and if not they are not qualified for getting their degree.

Converted Moslem to Christianity problems

  1. If their conversion is known to the authority and they aren't willing to come back again to Islam, they can be faced with serious problems like death and long time imprisonment.
  2. In the mind of Moslems, a Moslem can't change his/her religion. A Moslem is for ever a Moslem. The converts have no right to exist among Moslems, if they keep believing in Christianity. But the authority is aware about the growth of Christianity among the Iranian Moslems and because of its international relationships does not carry at the Islamic Laws towards convert in every known single cases. Because of that the converts are "allowed" to "be" still among Moslems in the country, but in many cases they are forced by various methods to repent back to Islam.
  3. If the converts want to testify their Christian beliefs, they are faced in some cases with severe punishment in the society, in their own family, in their work places, in school and university.
  4. Because of the harsh punishment against converts in the Islamic Laws and sometimes in the society, the converts are faced with huge depression, emotionally and mentally for living as Christian among Moslems. Moslem Background Christians don't have any kind of rights in the society, receive no public or private services and are not recognized as Christians according to Islamic Laws and constitution.
  5. Fear of and not trusting their Moslem countrymen are a part of their daily struggle and many of them living anonymously and underground. This kind of life causes big conflicts in their faith and being as Christian.
  6. The converts are somehow the "Fruits" of the evangelization activities of western churches and because of that they are people who have chosen Christianity through their conviction as their way to God. They are more interested than other traditional Christians to share their beliefs with others. This can cause them sometimes serious problems, especially when they haven't enough experience how to give the message about Jesus Christ to a Moslem.
  7. Their cultural background is collective and after their conversion to Christianity they are isolated from their own family members and friends and colleagues and this increase their hard life in an Islamic country.
  8. The converts are also hardly accepted in the traditionally Christian minority of Iran. (Notice that many converts are the first generation of Moslem background Christians in Iran.) Christian minority can't easily believe that a Moslem can become a Christian. The punishment for proselytizing Moslems is a serious matter which hinders them to accept converts to their communities. Especially the Children of converts are facing with hard times in their life. They aren't allowed to be in officially Christian schools and can also be faced with serious problems if they are in other schools where Moslems go. Many converted parents are afraid to send their children to officially Moslem schools. This will influence the future of them and their children very dramatically.
  9. The converts to Christianity are not recognized as Christian minority and have not the rights of Christian minority. The converts have no human rights and other civil rights regard to any laws of the country and Islam. Because of this their social and life security, economical condition, education and cultural and religious beliefs are not a matter of consideration in the Islamic country.

There are many other problems for Christians in Iran which couldn't be discussed in this report. Surely to solve some of these problems needs a totally change in the Islamic society and the process of how they can tolerate people from other religions. This needs its time, but most of these Christians who are facing now with severe problems can't wait for so long. They need urgently help and this report is an appeal to every person who is able and ready to take steps to support this people in any possible way.

Nobody can know what his/her future is, if we learn and try to care today for each other, tomorrow we may face less problems.

For further study:

Kafir or infidel

107. An infidel i.e. a person who does not believe in Allah and His Oneness, is najis (unclean). Similarly, Ghulat who believe in any of the holy twelve Imams as God, or that they are incarnations of God, and Khawarij and Nawasib who express enmity towards th e holy Imams, are also najis. And similar is the case of those who deny Prophethood, or any of the necessary laws of Islam, like, namaz and fasting, which are believed by the Muslims as a part of Islam, and which they also know as such.

As regards the people of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who do not accept the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his progeny), they are commonly considered najis, but it is not improbable that they are Pak (clean). However, it is better to avoid them.

108. The entire body of a Kafir, including his hair and nails, and all liquid substances of his body, are najis (unclean).

109. If the parents, paternal grandmother and paternal grandfather of a minor child are all kafir, that child is najis, except when he is intelligent enough, and professes Islam. When, even one person from his parents or grandparents is a Muslim, the child is Pak (The details will be explained in rule 217).

110. A person about whom it is not known whether he is a Muslim or not, and if no signs exist to establish him as a Muslim, he will be considered Pak. But he will not have the privileges of a Muslim, like, he cannot marry a Muslim woman, nor can he be buried in a Muslim cemetery.

111. Any person who abuses any of the twelve holy Imams on account of enmity, is najis (unclean).

Address: http://www.al-shia.com/html/eng/books/fiqh&usool/islamic-laws/18.html

 Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)" says the Qur'an (Surah 9, verse 5).  An explanatory note in the respected translation by A. Yusuf Ali makes clear that this is not intended metaphorically: When war becomes inevitable it must be pursued with vigour The fighting may take the form of slaughter, or capture, or siege, or ambush and other stratagems.

Another verse from the Qur'an which is not often quoted in non-Islamic contexts runs:

Ye shall be summoned to fight against a people given to vehement war: then shall you fight or they shall submit. (Surah 48, verse 16).  The meaning here is that the Muslims should fight until their opponents embrace Islam.

According to the Shari'ah (Islamic laws), non-Muslims living within Muslim societies were to be treated very much as second-class citizens. Numerous petty laws restricted and humiliated them in their daily lives at work, at worship, in the law courts etc. Those who left Islam to follow another religion were, according to the Shari'ah, to be killed. The general attitude of contempt for non-Muslims still exists in many Muslim countries and they find themselves discriminated against in many ways. Similarly the ruling that a convert from Islam is deserving of death is still followed in some countries today e.g. Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran. Even where it is illegal to kill converts, most will find themselves severely harassed and sometimes murdered with little likelihood of punishment for the murderer.

Christians and other non-Muslims living in Muslim-majority contexts suffer in a multitude of ways and feel themselves powerless and voiceless. Let us not forget our fellow-Christians around the world who are also suffering innocently. It is unfair and unbiblical to keep silent about our Christian brothers and sisters in need, just because we want to spare the feelings of Muslims. Sometimes there seems to be a conspiracy of silence about the sufferings of Christians. This only adds to their pain. They are hurt, perplexed, baffled and despairing. They cannot understand why Christians who have the freedom and power to help them will not do so. Muslims are not embarrassed to show that they care first and foremost about their co-religionists. As Christians, who follow a God of love, can we do less? Our brothers and sisters depend on us.

Address: http://www.barnabasfund.org/Archive/News%20Archive/complex_faith.htm

See also the following addresses:

http://www.hrwf.net/newhrwf/html/iran2001.html
(See "No freedom of press for religious minorities")

http://www.uscirf.gov/reports/01Nov00/iran.php3
http://www.persecution.org/humanrights/iran.html
http://www.netiran.com/Htdocs/Clippings/DPolitics/990122XXDP01.html
http://www.netiran.com/Htdocs/Clippings/DPolitics/990101XXDP01.html

Some verses from Qur'an to consider:

5/71-72, 10/67-68, 3/84&97, 9/28&72&122, 8/38, 25/51, 3/117-118, 5/50
http://www.umr.edu/~msaumr/Quran/

Some more addresses:

http://islamicity.com/mosque/quran/
http://www.quran.org.uk/
http://www.wilayah.org/english/ahkam/index.htm Taharat/Impurity of the Infidel
http://www2.ari.net/gckl/islam/law.htm
http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/legends.htm#V Jesus within Islam
http://www.visi.com/~contra_m/ab/cschirrmacher/crucifixion.html
http://www.the-good-way.com/eng/book/b06.htm The person of Christ in the Gospel and the Qur'an
http://www.unn.ac.uk/societies/islamic/quran/noble/glossary.htm



Indigenous Peoples Under the Rule of Islam, Part I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII http://www.atour.com/religion/docs/20010803a.html

 

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