Even as Iranian Christians face intensified persecution, arrest and potential execution, an increasing number of Iranians are turning to Christianity and other religions. Clearly there is an emergent trend among Iranians to seek new social and religious outlets. Since the Presidential Election of 2009, there has been a surge in Muslims leaving the faith; most of them have joined branches of Christianity, while others have also shown interest in Sufism, Zoroastrianism, Bahaism, and Buddhism.
Daily pressures from the Islamic Republic and their Revolutionary Guard tentacles have created a reactionary movement among the Iranian people, who are turning to various practices to distract them from harsh governmental restrictions. Similar to parallel movements in other countries with hard line Sharia-practising governments, Iranians are opting to experiment with different ideologies and religions to find release.
This new trend of religion surfing and underground worship has greatly agitated the Iranian regime, which does not have the best track record for practicing what it preaches. For a government that has often claimed that it has tolerance for different religions, and that even has provisions in its Constitution protecting minority groups, the recent crackdowns on Iranian Christians demonstrate the inability of the Islamic Republic to make space for differing ideologies.