Calling the situation of Christians in Iran “painful,” the 80 church leaders called upon Western countries “to precondition improvement” of relations with Iran “on the cessation of oppression of Christians and on a halt in executions.” They pledged their support to the international protest in Paris on July 9 which is expected to attract “more than 100,000,” Christian Today reported. 

The journal also referenced Sir David Amess’ article in Forbes this week which said it was “up to us in the West to fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice around the globe and perhaps nowhere is that more important and with more of a potential positive effect than Iran.”

Christian Today interviewed Donya Jam, an Iranian-American who fled Iran as a child after her father was arrested for opposing the regime. She told Christian Today it was her “responsibility” as a Christian to oppose “the evil of the regime” in Iran: “Jesus resisted evil and he wanted to bring love to people,” she said. In contrast, “The regime just brings hate. It has created such a dark atmosphere,” Ms Jam told the journal: “It is stoning people and amputating their hands. If that isn’t evil I don’t know what is.”

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is the largest organised opposition to the regime and has organised the protest in Paris on July 9, Christian Today reported. Ms Jam said that the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MEK) is at the centre of the NCRI, and that she has been attending their demonstrations throughout her life.

“People have said the regime can reform,” Ms Jam told Christian Today: “That obviously is not true.” 

Christian Today also reported that the Free Iran rally “comes in the same week as a barrage of more than 50 missiles hit Camp Liberty, the home of PMOI in Iraq, injuring at least 40 residents.