The office of Contraband Search and Seizure along with the revolutionary guards, in a routine border inspection of a bus, discovered 2 boxes, each containing 300 New Testaments, and after removing those from the bus burned them.
Monday, 14 March 2011
According to the report prepared by the Iranian Christian News Agency " Mohabat News" reporters, on Tuesday February 7, 2011, in coordinated operation between the Office of Contraband Search and Seizure and the Revolutionary Guards of the city of Salmas, in the Northwest province of Western Azerbaijan, discovered more than 300 New Testaments along with other contrabands such as alcoholic spirits, which were previously discovered and seized and in a special public viewing in the town of Derishk, burned all of the New Testaments and the seized alcohol.
Derishk is a small village bordering Turkey and is about 15 km from the town of Salmas.
According to this report, Mr. Ali Akbar Aghaee, the parliamentary member of the town of Salmas, claimed that the importation of such contraband merchandise indicate the weakness of the border guards and asked the security forces to be more alert and vigilant in these matters.
In a previous report published by "Mohabat News", on October 28, 2010, a similar search and seizure of about 300 New Testaments had taken by the security and border inspectors in a bus headed for Tehran at the border crossing of Salmas, 90 km from the capital of the western province of Western Azerbaijan.
At the time of this seizure, 2 boxed containing more than 300 New Testaments were placed in the bus, but there were no passengers to claim ownership of the confiscated boxes. The security forces did however conduct a local search of a home of a New Christian man who resided on the town of Salmas.
This shameful act of burning the Christian New Testaments was a repetition of a similar action taken by the security forces of the Islamic Republic, on June 8, 2010, in one of the western towns of Sardasht, which was reported on the media outlets loyal and in service of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In connection with this incident, the official website of the Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran accused the United States, who is currently occupying the neighboring territory of Iraq, of playing a major role in this matter and is conspiring to illegally import the Christian New Testaments inside Iran.
The Security forces of Iran are trying to justify these shameful actions by using deceptive and divertive terms such as "Apostate Gospels and Old Testament", but it is clearly evident to everyone that such insult to the integrity of the Christian Scriptures is nothing more than the continuation of the previously designed and prioritized strategy of the government to confront and oppose the growth of Christianity inside Iran.
The rapid growth of the Christian faith in Iran has somewhat threatened and created tremendous fear in the hearts of the leader of the Islamic regime that has accelerated the ugly policy of suppressing Christianity especially in the last one year. After Ali Khameniei's speech regarding the necessity of fighting and silencing the home-based churches we have witness the brutal and inhumane crackdown and arrests of many Christian Iranians inside Iran. And now, we continue to witness the shameful and disgusting actions of the Khamienie's followers who in utter disregard and disrespect of the sacred Scriptures of more than 2 billion Christians around the world and the burning of them with much rudeness.
The Holy Bible (New Testament) in Iran
The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes the rights of Christians and Jews as minorities within Iran and their right to have and use the sacred scriptures for their religious uses, but the Islamic Republic government has not only closed the operations of the Iranian Bible Society, it does not even allow the publishing or the reprinting of any Bibles or Christian literature and the possession of a Farsi language Bible constitutes a criminal offense.
Thus, due to such limitations and restrictions imposed on the Christian community and the churches, the only possible solution has been the publishing of Farsi Bibles in overseas countries, often at very expensive costs, and to secretly smuggle them inside Iran by passengers through the border towns.
The incident of Bible burning in Iran, this being the second time, even though it is a sad event nevertheless, it heralds the good news that light of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, just like the rising of the morning sun, is becoming brighter and brighter.