This month, a senior advisor to President Rouhani has stated publicly that Iran has a zero-tolerance policy toward evangelism.
"We, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, do not allow any individual or group to invite people to other sects or religions,” said Ali Younesi, Rouhani’s advisor on Ethnic and Religious Minorities' Affairs in an interview with the hard-line Iranian news service, Fars. Iran’s stance on evangelism has been known for a while, but this is the most clear and direct recent public statement on the subject. The policy is a clear violation of article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party, and which guarantees the right to adopt one’s religion of choice and manifest one’s faith publicly, including evangelism.
Younesi continued, “No one is allowed to deceive others. No one has the right to proselytize or carry out evangelistic activities. We will prevent them.” The way Iran prevents them is through intimidation, harassment, physical assault, denial of education or employment, arrest, torture, imprisonment and many other means of compulsion. But Iranian Christians still bravely share the good news of Jesus with others. They know well the dangers, but they are willing to take the risk for the sake of seeing the good news of Jesus extend among their friends and neighbours.