Citation: 2019 RLLR 31
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 21, 2019
Panel: M. Hayes
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Olha Senyshyn
RPD Number: TB9-11210
Associated RPD Number(s): TB9-11276, TB9-11290, TB9-11291
ATIP Number: A-2021-01124
ATIP Pages: 000179-000182
REASONS FOR DECISION
On November 21, 2019, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) heard the claims of [XXX] who claim refugee protection under sections 96 and 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). On that same day, the panel rendered its oral positive decision and Reasons for decision. This is the written version of the oral decision and Reasons that have been edited for clarity, spelling, grammar and syntax with added references to the documentary evidence and relevant case law where appropriate.
 I have considered your testimony, and the other evidence in the case, and I am ready to render my decision orally.
 These are the reasons for the decision in the claims of [XXX] (the Principal Claimant or PC), [XXX] (the male claimant), [XXX] and [XXX], who claim to be citizens of Iran, and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 The allegations of your claims are fully set out in your Basis of Claim (BOC) forms. In short, you allege that you, the PC, practiced Christianity in secret in Iran, and your home was raided by intelligence officers who searched the house and arrested and detained you overnight. You were released on bail and called to court later that month. You, the male claimant, were suspended from your job as a [XXX] and [XXX] as a result of the charges of apostasy against your wife. Fearing further detention and mistreatment at the hands of the Iranian authorities because of the PC’s conversion from Islam to Christianity, you fled to Canada to make refugee claims.
 I find that you are Convention refugees as you have established a serious possibility of persecution.
 I find that your identities as nationals of Iran are established by the documents provided, including certified true copies of your Iranian passports, and the testimony of the PC.
 I find that you have established a nexus to section 96 by reason of your religion.
 I found you, the PC, to be a credible witness. There were no material inconsistencies between your testimony and your BOC, and other documents before me. Your testimony about your Christian faith appeared to be heartfelt. Based on your testimony, the documents you have provided, and the information in your BOC forms and narrative, I note no serious credibility issues. You submitted two letters from the Pastor of your church in Toronto that corroborate that the four claimants attend church regularly and have done so for the past eight months, and the three adult claimants are on a waiting list to be baptized. You also submitted the court summons that you received by mail in Iran, the letter suspending the male claimant from work, as well as a support letter from a friend who is a Pastor at an Iranian Christian Church in California. I have no reasons to doubt the authenticity of the evidence, and accept, on a balance of probabilities, that you are practicing Christians, and that the PC was accused of apostasy in Iran.
Well Founded Fear of Persecution
 Your subjective fear of persecution as Christian converts is objectively well founded. Based on the country condition evidence in the National Documentation Package (NDP) for Iran, March 2019, the country condition documents submitted by you, and your credible allegations, I find that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in Iran by reason of your conversion to Christianity.
 The preponderance of the documentary evidence corroborates that one of the most significant human rights problems in Iran is the severe restriction on civil liberties such as freedom of religion.1 Iranian law prohibits citizens from converting from Islam to another religion and Christian converts are not recognized as Christian under the law. Christians who convert from Islam experience arrest, detention, and high levels of harassment and surveillance. Many Christian converts are forced to practice their religion in secret.2 Severe human rights violations targeting religious minorities, especially Christian converts, continue.3
Nature of the harm
 The harm you would face upon return to Iran, detention and mistreatment by the authorities, clearly amounts to persecution.
 Since the state is the agent of persecution in your case, I find that it would be objectively unreasonable for you to seek the protection of the state and, therefore, you have rebutted the presumption of state protection.
Internal flight alternative
 I find that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Iran, given the documentary evidence that the authorities operate similarly throughout the country. Therefore, I find there is no viable internal flight alternative.
 Based on the analysis above, I conclude that you are Convention refugees and accept your claims.
1 Exhibit 3, National Documentation Package (NDP) for Iran (March 29, 2019), Item 2.1.
2 Ibid., Item 12.1.
3 Ibid., Item 12.2.