Persecuted for Their Faith
Baha’i faith is the largest non-Muslim religious minority with a population estimated more than 300,000. The Iranian regime has hurt many religious and political groups in Iran, but Baha’i community has borne an especially heavy burden. Since 1981, the group was targeted by Iran’s security services and its religion followers have been deprived of many of their fundamental rights, including access to higher education and the right to work freely. They are barred from holding government jobs. Iranian regime has also made a familiar habit of shutting their businesses and confiscating their properties. Their marriages are not recognized and their cemeteries and holy places have been desecrated. It is government policy to incite hatred of Baha’i in the official media.
More than 200 Baha’is were executed and thousands more were imprisoned in the 1980s because of their religious beliefs, the followers of the group say. Today, Baha’is continue to be arbitrarily killed.
According to Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, discrimination against Baha’is is legally sanctioned by a lack of constitutional recognition. “Baha’is continue to be systematically discriminated, targeted, and deprived of the right to a livelihood,” Jahangiri said in her March 6 report.