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The Baha’is of Iran

1 September 1991

The Baha’i Faith is one of the world’s newest religions. Founded in the mid-19th Century, its early followers faced persecution at the hands of state authorities. Over the next century, the Baha’i Faith grew both inside and outside its Iranian homeland and presently there are over five million Baha’is worldwide.

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran has resulted in severe repression of members of the Baha’i community, although the Baha’is have never, individually or collectively, advocated violence. They are enjoined by their own ordinance not to participate in politics. Persecution reached its height in the early 1980s with attacks and executions of individual Baha’is and the destruction of shrines, cemeteries, homes and businesses. In the 1990s persecution has abated somewhat, but the Baha’is still face enormous problems.

The Baha’is of Iran outlines the history and evolution of the Baha’i community and its present perilous position in Iran. It provides detailed evidence of the policies being followed by the Islamic government. Written with precision and clarity it is essential reading for all those interested in religion, the Middle East or human rights, as well as followers and sympathizers of the Baha’i Faith.

Please note that the terminology in the fields of minority rights and indigenous peoples’ rights has changed over time. MRG strives to reflect these changes as well as respect the right to self-identification on the part of minorities and indigenous peoples. At the same time, after over 50 years’ work, we know that our archive is of considerable interest to activists and researchers. Therefore, we make available as much of our back catalogue as possible, while being aware that the language used may not reflect current thinking on these issues.

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Roger Cooper