Advocacy

The following statement was shared by one of our trusted ministry partners:

“Iranian Christians know the reality of what Jesus meant when he said that the world would hate his followers because of His name.  Christians – especially converts to Christianity- are daily at risk of discrimination or persecution.  Jobs, homes, opportunities for education, even custody of children can be snatched away because of faith in Jesus.  The threat of an apostasy conviction hangs over converts from Islam, which, for men, would result in the death penalty if applied.

Christians in ministry, including those ministering in underground house churches and those ministering in registered churches, are regularly arrested and interrogated. Many are later brought to trial, convicted on false political charges, and handed long, unjust prison sentences.”

What is advocacy?

It’s the act of supporting a cause.  It can involve pleading, petitioning and recommending.  But most of all it calls for positive change.

Advocate and be a voice for the people of Iran.

If you have a heart4iran, speak up; don’t be shy. You are entitled to your opinion and to voice your concerns.

Share with your family and friends about the reality of persecution and the needs of the church in Iran.

Be a rebel and remind people of the importance Article 18, that all people have the right to choose their religion and belief system.  Promote the idea that all people everywhere deserve the right to freedom and happiness.

“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching” Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Indicators of a Lack of Religious Freedom:

The International Religious Freedom Act defines five violations of religious freedom:

Arbitrary prohibitions on, restrictions of, or punishment for: (i) assembling for peaceful religious activities such as worship, preaching, and prayer, including arbitrary registration requirements; (ii) speaking freely about one’s religious beliefs; (iii) changing one’s religious beliefs and affiliation; (iv) possession and distribution of religious literature, including Bibles and other sacred texts; (v) raising one’s children in the religious teachings and practices of one’s choice.

When reviewing a country’s state of religious freedom, we look for laws or policies that:

  • Restrict the right to hold a religious belief;
  • Limit the right to change religious belief;
  • Restrict the freedom to have an allegiance to a religious leader;
  • Disparage individuals or groups on the basis of their religion;
  • Discriminate against religious persons in education, the military, employment opportunities or in health services;
  • Require the designation of religion on passports or national identity documents, either overtly or in code;
  • Restrict religious assembly;
  • Restrict religious expression.

The International Religious Freedom Report http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/