The international Christian ministry, Open Doors, has placed Iran as number 8 in its annual World Watch List, which ranks nations based on the persecution of Christians, with number 1 being the most oppressive.
Iran has consistently been in the 'top 10' of the World Watch List over the past decade, but Open Doors' 2021 findings are that the level of threat faced by Iran's Christian community has escalated slightly over the past 12 months. From what we are seeing on the ground, in terms of the scale of arrests, intimidation and the severity of sentencing, this conclusion rings true.
"The Iranian government sees the conversion of Muslims to Christianity as an attempt by Western countries to undermine the Islamic rule of Iran," summarises the report. "Christians from a Muslim background are persecuted the most... Secret churches are often raided, and their leaders and members have been arrested and given long prison sentences for ‘crimes against national security’."