On 31 October 2014, Iran’s human rights record will be assessed at the United Nations Human Rights Council in its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Now is a pivotal time to for Christians to pray that global governments will be able to pressure Iran into a greater respect for human rights.
At Iran’s previous UPR (2010), Iran accepted 126 recommendations for improving human rights, a good number of which related to freedom of religion. But Iran has fallen short on implementing all 126 of the recommendations. This second UPR will only have lasting impact for the Iranian people if UN member states make it clear that increasing dialogue and thawing relations with the Islamic Republic is contingent upon an increasing cooperation with the UN’s human rights mechanisms and a decrease in human rights abuses.
Let us pray that there will be enough leverage from global governments to ensure that Iran takes the UPR seriously, and that we see positive impact for all the people of Iran, including the suffering religious minority communities.