By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - Christians said Thursday they fear that the election of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s president will lead to more persecution of religious minorities.
Raisi’s declared victory came while the church in Iran grows in the strict Islamic nation, raising anger among authorities, Worthy News learned.
Despite opposition, there “are presently more than one million Christians in the country,” said Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM), a prominent advocacy group.
Todd Nettleton, who represents VOM USA, told Worthy News that the growing number of Christians comes as “people have seen the true face of Islam.”
He suggested that many Muslims turn to the Christian faith as they “do not want” to face the restrictions of Islam any longer.
With Christianity spreading, President Raisi was appointed by hardline Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei, and is seen as his intended successor, an expert said.
His election was discredited by independent election observers as Muslim reformers or moderates were reportedly banned from running for the position.
Only only half of the country's eligible voters cast a ballot, according to estimates. “There were incidents in which Iranian citizens tried to cast their votes for this year's June election but encountered attacks,” added rights group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).
Christians said they fear more attacks under Iran's newly appointed president.
As the former head of the judiciary, he was linked to jailing dissidents. He on a "death committee" that ordered the execution of up to 5,000 political prisoners, rights investigators say.
Advocacy group Amnesty International has been calling for the new president to be investigated for crimes against humanity.