Iran (MNN) — Voice of the Martyrs' Canada reports that the Iranian Parliament is reviewing a bill that calls for the death penalty for apostasy.
According to policy watchdogs, the draft law is clearly aimed at deterring conversion from Islam. In the proposed legislation is a redefining of an apostate as "any Muslim who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy."
The proposal breaches Article 18 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although Iran has agreed to the principle that "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief," this latest bill seems to affirm a different direction in the Islamic Republic.
It also alarms the pundits. One published analysis indicates the law gives the regime global jurisdiction, holding groups accountable around the globe for differing from the regime on religious issues.
That would seem to target Christians. They make up less than one-half of one percent of the population. Open witness to Muslims is banned. Believers are also discriminated against in education, employment, and property ownership, and several pastors have been murdered.
Although missions are not allowed to enter Iran, many are coming to Christ. Pray for strength, wisdom, and grace for Iranian Christians as they continue to spread the Gospel despite sustained pressure from the Islamic government of the nation.