Iran is home to a host of diverse religious traditions. The Iranian landscape includes faiths from the pre-Islamic era – Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians, – as well as Sunni Muslims, and the Bahai’i. Each religion has flourished in Iran, and each has experienced notable discrimination under the current regime.

Members of the Bahai’i Faith have faced persistent attacks and persecution under the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For a history of their struggles in Iran see Friedrich Affolter’s paper: The Specter of Ideological Genocide.

Check back regularly for the latest news about the Bahai’i community in Iran!

Baha’i World News Service:
Bahai’i religious leaders reach 10,000 cumulative prison days

Baha’i World News Service:
Scientists call for release of Baha’i educators

Eurasia Review:
Iran: Two More Baha’is Arrested In Shiraz

Baha’i World News Service:
UN monitor highlights failure of Iran’s justice system

Officially represented in the Iranian Parliament, Iran’s Christians face a growing level of discrimination. Conversion to Christianity from Islam can be grounds for charges of apostasy, which is punishable by death.

Christian Today Australia:
Iran releases Christian converts on bail

Unlike most other Muslim countries, Iran did not expel its Jewish population in 1948 after the founding of the State of Israel. Jews have been living in Persia earlier than 600 years before Jesus lived, and the two nations have a distinguished history. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, many Jews fled the country out of fear of persecution under a religious authority, but Jews remain there nevertheless. Approximately 25,000 Jews stil live there, making Iran home “To the largest number of Jews anywhere in the Middle East outside Israel.” As a recognized religious minority, the Jewish population is represented with 1 Member of Parliament (out of 280 seats).

The Jewish Iranians live a unique lifestyle. There are circumstances when Jews experience more freedom than their Muslim counterparts, and times when their religion leads to additional restrictions. Persian Jews cannot travel to Israel or communicate with family in Israel. Doing so puts them at risk of imprisonment, torture, and even execution as an Israeli and Zionist spy. Below there are two accounts of Jewish life inside Iran that highlight the strengths and difficulties of being Jewish in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Sephardic Studies:
Life of Jews Living in Iran

Jewish Virtual Library:
 Jews of Iran