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Newspapers, three more closed

This week a government supervisory body that monitors the press shut down three newspapers. Though no reasons were given for the closure of Farhang Ashdi Culture of Reconciliation and Arman Ideals, published in Tehran and Tahlil Rooz, The Day’s Analysis, published in Shiraz, all three were sympathetic to the Reformist cause. During the early years of President Khatami’s administration -1997-2005 - newspapers were given a lot more freedom. They especially challenged the role of the judiciary, and soon there was a backlash and the printed press became the central battlefield in the struggle between reformists and conservatives. Since then a number of journalists have been imprisoned, some suffering solitary confinement. As well as impacting Iran’s political life, this tight control of the press also means that the true situation regarding Christians rarely becomes public knowledge. The official line, followed by the press, is that there is freedom of religion for Christians. In reality this means there is limited freedom for Armenians and Assyrians to practise their faith using their own languages. There is no freedom for Iranian Muslims to practise Christianity using Persian.

Pray for

  • Government to have wisdom when dealing with newspapers
  • The true situation regarding the situation of Christians to be known
  • People working on newspapers to hear the Gospel