Condemning persecution of Baha’is in Iran

Condemning persecution of Baha’is in Iran


In early October, members of the Memphis Baha’i community met with US Rep. Steve Cohen requesting his support of House Resolution 744, which “condemns the government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of international covenants on human rights.”

During the meeting, Cohen indicated he plans to co-sponsor this important resolution.

The Baha’i community in Iran, with approximately 300,000 members, is that country’s largest non-Muslim religious minority. Since its inception, followers of the Baha’i Faith have been persecuted, despite the Bahá’í premise of allegiance to the laws and principles of government and nonviolence.

Following the Islamic revolution in 1979 thousands of Baha’is have been detained, expelled from school or work, denied higher education, had their homes, businesses and bank accounts confiscated or destroyed and hundreds have been executed with false charges and without access to proper legal representation . In recent weeks, the persecution of the Baha’i has heightened and resulted in the destruction of homes of many Baha’i families in northern Iran and the arrests of dozens of Baha’is merely for their beliefs.

In January 2020, changes to applications for national identification cards require all citizens to designate their religion as Muslim or one of three minority religions, (Christianity, Judaism or Zoroastrianism). Failure to select one of these four religious designations results in the inability to obtain a national ID card, effectively stripping many religious minorities of their basic rights and access to the most fundamental services as citizens, such as the ability to own property, obtain a driver’s license, apply for loans, credit cards and passports.

Over the past 35 years, both the US House of Representatives and the Senate have passed at least 13 resolutions condemning the government of Iran for its systematic persecution of members of the Baha’i Faith. House Resolution 744, now pending in the House of Representatives, currently has 84 bipartisan cosponsors. Baha’is are grateful to Congressman Cohen for agreeing to co-sponsor House Resoulution 744, which will help save innocent lives and can help stay the hand of the government of Iran in possibly perpetrating even more egregious actions against the innocent Baha’i community in that country and to also bring attention to these violations of human rights across the world.

The Baha’i Faith has more than five million adherents worldwide. The principles of the Baha’i Faith include a belief in one God, a belief that all major religions derive from the same God, and a belief that all people are the children of one God.

For more information about the Baha’i Faith, visit For additional information about the Baha’is in Iran, visit For information about the Memphis Baha’ i Community, go to or visit or on Facebook

Patti Didier is public information officer for the Memphis Baha’i community.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Condemning persecution of Baha’is in Iran


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Jorge Oliveira

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