By Jay Sekulov, American Center for Law and Justice
Christians face more persecution today than at any time in history, from jihadist regimes, to Muslim mobs, to genocidal terrorist armies. America can and must do more to protect these persecuted Christians around the globe.
You can read my full testimony submitted to the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations here.
Below are some of the key points I will address to Congress on behalf of the ACLJ, over 150,000 of our members who have already signed our Petition to Protect Persecuted Christians, and thousands of persecuted Christians across the globe.
Despite its international obligations and constitutional promises, Iran is one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom.
Christians in Iran, especially those from a Muslim background, face harassment, loss of employment, denial of education, arrests, brutal interrogations, and the threat of death for exercising their faith. Iran has systematically closed all Farsi-speaking churches. They heavily monitor all remaining churches and forbid entrance or baptism of new members from a Muslim background. Also, Iran has banned Christian literature and Bibles in Farsi.
Iran is silently suffocating the Church. Even private worship comes at a risk. For example, Iran convicted American citizen, Saeed Abedini of intentionally threatening the national security of Iran solely because he had prayed with Christians in private homes. Pastor Saeed is presently serving an eight-year prison sentence and is suffering from untreated internal injuries that he obtained from beatings he endured since his arrest.
At the close of 2014, ninety-two Christians remained imprisoned. These are only theknown cases. Because of threats against victims and their families, the number is certainly much higher. Hundreds more have been released but face constant threats.