310 views | Akanimo Sampson | June 21, 2020
A coalition of five distinct groups has dragged Iran before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the alleged persecution of Christians.
The groups are World Evangelical Alliance, Open Doors International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Middle East Concern, and Article 18.
They jointly submitted a report to the Human Rights Committee in May 2020 on the alleged situation of freedom of religion or belief in Iran, and the persecution of Christians.
The Human Rights Committee will issue in July a List of Issues Prior Reporting, in which it will ask questions to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The latter is due to submit a report on its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 18 of the Covenant enshrines the right to religious freedom.
According to the coalition, ‘’our report raised several issues namely the situation of the recognized traditional religious minorities, Farsi-language church services, the detention and prosecution of converts to Christianity on the basis that such activity threatens the very existence of the Islamic Republic, the confiscation of church property by Iranian authorities, and finally legal discrimination on a religious basis in civil matters.’’
Also in May, the WEA, together with the Evangelical Fellowship of Indian, submitted to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council a written statement addressing the increasing violence, threat of violence and discrimination against religious minorities in India, as well as the fallout of COVID-19 lock-down on India’s internal migrant workers.
The 44th session of the Human Rights Council will open on June 22 in Geneva, in a reduced and hybrid (online and in-person) format to guarantee distancing requirements and protect the health of the participants.
These reports were authored and submitted by the WEA UN Geneva Liaison which serves as a liaison for WEA’s constituency, namely Regional and National Evangelical Alliances, so that they themselves can participate or be represented at the United Nations in Geneva and speak out for justice and human rights.
WEA’s reports to the United Nations can be accessed at: http://worldevangelicals.org/un/reports.htm.