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Iran: A church confiscated by the authorities for the purpose of being turned into a shrine



Iranian authorities confiscate a church and turn it into a shrine.

According to details, this issue has been raised in Iran’s parliament by a Christian parliamentarian Jonathan Bet-Kelia. He had strongly condemned the regime’s vicious attitude towards the religious minorities in the country.

Jonathan Bet-Kelia who represents the Assyrian community in Iran’s parliament, complained against the confiscation of an Assyrian church in Tehran the capital city. The Iranian governmental authorities want to convert the church into a Shi’ite shrine or ‘Hussainiya’.

In a New Year’s speech in the parliament, Jonathan Bet-Kelia criticized the Iranian regime’s attitude towards the religious minorities in the country. “What is the use of our presence in a Parliament that considers us apostates?” he questioned.

In line with details, the property belonging to the Iranian Assyrian community’s Chaldean Catholic Church in Tehran’s Patrice Lumumba Street was confiscated by the authorities two years ago, while still the authorities are refusing to hand the church back to the Christians.

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Moreover, regarding this issue, Jonathan Bet-Kelia said that he also ventured to approach Ali Younesi who is a special assistant to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on ethnic minorities’ affairs. Ali Younesi utterly refused to help him.

While in this regard, Ali Safavi- Spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran said, “The brazen admission displays first and foremost the discriminatory and sectarian policies of the regime vis-à-vis Iran’s religious minorities. At the same time, it speaks to the failure of Western policy to accommodate the regime in the futile hope that it will promote moderation and tolerance on the domestic front.”

Furthermore, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated that the case of confiscation of the Assyrian church is just a single example of a series of anti-Christian violence where “the ruling clerics have systematically suppressed people of different faiths and even denied the minority Sunni Muslim population their basic rights.”