Iranian authorities seize thousands of Bibles

Iranian authorities have seized 6,500 copies of the Bible in northwest of Iran.

According to Iranian news agency, Mohabat News, Dr Majid Abhari, adviser to the social issues committee of the parliament in Iran, said "these missionaries with reliance on huge money and propaganda are trying to deviate our youth".

Mohabat News says that, in an interview with a government news agency (Mehr), Abhari added: "With regard to the activities of these Christian missionaries to deceive people specially youngsters, they have begun a huge campaign by spending huge sums and false propaganda for deviating the public."

Abhari did not present any more details about the seizure of 6,500 gospels but he did say: "These books were made with the best paper in the world in pocket size."

He added: "The important point in this issue that should be considered by intelligence, judicial and religious agencies is that all religions are strengthening their power to confront Islam, otherwise what does this huge number of Bibles mean?"

Mohabat News stated that in November of 2010, police officers and revolutionary guards seized 300 bibles from a bus after its inspection and "in a shameful action, burned them all in the village of Darishk".

According to Mohabat News, "Insulting the Christian Bible is a continuation of an organised campaign by agencies that view anti-Christian propaganda on the top of their agenda."

The news agency explains: "There have always been major concerns among Islamic republic officials about conversions to Christianity among people. This is after three decades of expensive Islamic propaganda and a generation that has been grown up in Islamic teaching and is facing this change in thought."

The agency report concludes: "Islamic republic considers itself the responsible guide for people's thoughts. So what is their fear of the importation and distribution of non-Islamic religious books?"