ID framework in Iran another attempt to intimidate, hound Christian converts in the country
Another form of persecution against Christians in Iran, especially those who have converted from Islam, emerged this week, with citizens now obliged to declare their faith when applying for national ID cards.
It is compulsory for every citizen above the age of 15 to have a national ID card in Iran.
The national census bureau removed the ‘other religion’ option from its application forms, thus forcing people to chose between the four state-sanctioned religions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Zoroastrianism.
Iranian society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights of and professional prospects of Christians are heavily restricted. Converts from Islam often face persecution and even jail sentences. As a result, many Christians choose to keep their faith secret.
The compulsory ID cards are needed to obtain credit cards, passports and driving licenses, and basic government services cannot be accessed without them.
Last year, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi, admitted that new converts to Christianity are rising in the country, despite official and growing persecution.