Iranian Christians reject US claims on religious minorities' rights
Armenian Christians in Iran say claims made by US President Donald Trump and his administration about the rights of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic and lack of freedom to perform their religious rituals are biased and baseless.
According to Press TV, Christianity in Iran dates back to the early years of the faith, predating Islam. Currently, there are at least 600 churches and over 300,000 Christians in Iran.
Under the Constitution, all divine religions in Iran have their own representatives at the Parliament and enjoy equal rights with fellow lawmakers. Their representative said the Catholic Armenians are followers of one of the divine religions in Iran who can perform religious rituals and carry out social and cultural activities in the country with full freedom.
The Iranian lawmaker also said that the US government is pursuing an opportunistic approach to minorities to meet its own interests. He said the US attitude toward colored people is a clear example in this regard and that Washington should be concerned about its own poor human rights record at home and abroad.
Under the Constitution, the official religion of Iran is Shia Islam. However, the Islamic Republic recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian religious minorities. The Constitution stipulates that investigation into individual beliefs is forbidden, and that no one may be harmed or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.