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Defence of the Bahá’í's

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The Situation of the Bahá’ís in Iran

In most parts of the world, Bahá’ís are allowed to practice their faith freely. In Iran however, Bahá’ís - who are Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority - face severe and pervasive religious persecution, solely because of their religious beliefs. Although Bahá’ís are peaceful and politically impartial, the Iranian government adheres to an official policy of systematic repression and abuse against them. 


Between 1978 and 1998, over 200 Bahá’ís were killed, and thousands more were tortured and imprisoned. While such executions have abated, the Bahá’í community continues to face extensive human rights violations. Bahá’ís are subject to arbitrary interrogations, arrests, and imprisonment, and they suffer vandalism, raids, and attacks on their homes and businesses. Bahá’ís are denied government jobs and barred from attending university, and they are the targets of an ongoing campaign of vilification in the state-sponsored media. 


Despite the sustained efforts of the Iranian Bahá’í community to resolve the matter directly with the authorities of Iran, the rights and freedoms of the Iranian Bahá’ís has continued to be curtailed. Consequently, our office advocates on behalf of the Bahá’ís in Iran. We work closely with governmental and non-governmental organizations, including parliamentarians and civil servants, as well as the media, to raise awareness about the ongoing human rights violations in Iran, and to advocate for their freedom, dignity and human rights.

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#ItsTheirLand Campaign for Persecuted Iranian Bahá’ís & land confiscation in village, Ivel, 2021

Widespread Persecution & Incitement of Hatred for the Bahá’ís in Iran

“Iranian Bahá’ís deeply love their homeland, despite all the suffering they have endured. Regardless of the restrictions imposed on them, they fulfil their spiritual and social responsibilities.  Through participation in constructive discourse with neighbours, co-workers, friends and acquaintances, they nonetheless continue to contribute to the advancement of their nation and its people.”

Statement of the Baha’i International Community

The systematic persecution, which has been ongoing since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, has been further inflamed by a campaign to incite hatred against Bahá’ís in the official news media. Although most Iranians are not deceived by this campaign, it has been associated with a series of violent attacks on Bahá’ís and their properties—including an extensive campaign to vandalize or destroy Baha’i cemeteries.

Find out more details about questions you have around the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran. 

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