Apologies if this is not the best SE site for asking this question, but I really wasn't sure which one would match. Posting anonymously because of the sensitive subject.
My fiancée and I recently married (civil marriage). We live in my native country, in Europe; my fiancée, who came here a couple years ago as a student, was born in Iran, from muslim parents, and thus legally a muslim, although she is agnostic at heart. I'm an atheist myself, though I was raised catholic (and know it well enough to pass off as christian if needed.)
Her parents are completely OK with our relationship, know we live together, have visited several times. They know of our beliefs, but they do have a lot of respect for me, as I meet their standards of virtue by my own morals, without the coercion of religion. The rest of her family a little bit less open-minded, but they can tolerate her marrying a christian, if not an atheist, something I have no trouble pretending to be.
However, If I understand correctly, from the point of view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, our marriage would not be considered valid if I'm not muslim.
Of course, all this will only be a problem if we decide to visit Iran. We are very happy with our life here, but she is not ready to abandon completely her family, and the perspective of never being able to return home, even as a tourist, is not easy for her.
Ensuring her safety is my first priority. What could be the consequences for her, if the government was to find out that she has married a non-believer abroad, even with the approval of her father?
I could convert, but if I understand correctly, apostasy is also punishable by death. That alone makes this belief system abhorrent to me. Furthermore, faking a conversion goes against my core values. I'm also worried of the possible consequences of being considered an apostate, or being caught not practicing. What would be the consequences for me, if I'm caught not observing Islam while we are visiting Iran?
I also wonder if, after the required time, when she applies for citizenship in my home country, she could drop her Iranian citizenship and be free from the religious laws applying to citizens?