In a speech to Shia preachers in Qom, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi reported that Christianity is spreading in “parts” of Iran. “These converts are ordinary people whose jobs are selling sandwiches or similar things,” he said [Persian link].
“We had no choice but to summon them to ask them why they were converting,” said Alavi. “Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace. We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that: ‘All the time we see Muslim clerics and those who preach from the pulpit talk against each other. If Islam is the religion of cordiality, then before anything else, there must be cordiality and peace among the clerics themselves.”
“It is not the job of the intelligence community to find the roots of these conversion [from Islam]. But it’s happening right before our eyes,” he explained.
Also during his speech, Alavi tried to justify high levels of inflation under President Hassan Rouhani’s government. But a group of seminary students listening to the speech objected.
“Dear students who want to proselytize, would you treat a person who does not share your opinions this way? Let me finish what I have to say and then you can say what you want,” Alavi replied. “Seeing everything through the lens of politics is not scientific, scholarly or intellectual,” he added.