The Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been informed that kids from families belonging to the Church of Iran denomination in the cities of Rasht and Shiraz have been told they must either study Shi’a Islam, or leave school.
The majority of these children are second generation Christians.. As a major aspect of a minority confidence group perceived in the Iranian constitution, they are permitted, by law, to approach religious guideline composed by individuals from the Christian community, and affirmed by the Ministry of Education.
As of not long ago, their families could display a marked letter from the denomination that exempted them from studying Shi’a Islam. The authorities are now rejecting this letter on the grounds that the church is an “illegal organization”, and are insisting the children either agree to study Islam, or go home.
Sources have disclosed to CSW that “the message is clear: convert or leave.” It asserted schools are demanding youngsters either consent to consider Islam, or go home.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas stated: “It is stressing that the education of such a large number of kids will be unduly hindered until the point when their folks concur for them to consider a religion distinctive to their own.
“Education is a fundamental right which Iran has attempted to ensure to the majority of its nationals. Children should not be victimised in an effort to penalise their parents for exercising the right to adopt a religion of their choice.
“Since education is the duty of focal government, we encourage the Special Rapporteur on the privilege to education and other key international human rights experts to make urgent representations with President Rouhani, with a view to ensuring the country fulfils its national and international obligations to respect the right of the child to education, and particularly to religious education commensurate with the convictions and beliefs of their parents.”
A number of leaders in Church of Iran have confronted action in recent years – normally linked to evangelism. They often face charges of acting against the state.