Senior Official in Iran Questions Church Closure

06/22/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Aliakbar Gorji Azandaryani, a senior legal advisor to Iran’s President Rouhani, is publically questioning two recent incidents taken by the regime which further persecute Christians.

During Ramadan, Iranian intelligence agents and officials directly under the control of the Supreme Leader raided an Assyrian Presbyterian Church in Tabriz. The cross was torn down and the church was closed. Azandaryani has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He is also questioning the legality of a decision by the government which would ban religious minorities from working as teachers in kindergarten schools.

His comments come just days after two local officials in Shiraz faced judicial punishment for speaking on behalf of religious minorities. It is unclear whether his comments would lead to any positive resolution on behalf of the affected Christians. However, it is uncommon for government officials to publically criticize the regime, who heavily censors free speech.