Christians in Iran

Iran's human rights record continues to be of serious concern to the UK, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has designated it as one of its Human Rights Priority Countries.

It is wrong that members of religious minorities should face restrictions and discrimination for peacefully practising their beliefs. Despite notionally benefiting from constitutional recognition and protection, Christians continue to be persecuted in a systemic and institutionalised manner. It is unacceptable that four recent converts to Christianity were each sentenced to ten years in prison in June 2018, and that 114 Christians were arrested on charges of proselytising in December 2018.

Please be assured that the UK will continue to hold Iran to account for its human rights record. This includes backing human rights resolutions on Iran at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly, and supporting the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran. I am glad the UK will also coordinate with EU Member States on the next EU-Iran human rights dialogue.

The previous Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also ordered a review by the Bishop of Truro into the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. Ministers have drawn up an implementation plan for the Bishop of Truro's various recommendations, dividing them into short, medium and longer term priorities.

As a Christian myself, I will continue to support the UK's efforts to tackle the persecution of all religious and ethnic minorities, including Christians, and I will engage with Ministers.