The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has stepped up its pressure on the country’s Baha’i community by preventing members of the faith from obtaining national identity cards, confiscating their property, and arresting and searching their homes.
According to the Baha’i World News Service, these measures are “part of the increased persecution of the Baha’is community in Iran.”
In the past few months, the Baha’i minority in Iran no longer have the right to receive new smart national ID cards after the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps removed the “other” option for religious affiliations other than Muslim from Iran’s new application forms.
This change has brought a series of hardships to the Baha’i community, which was founded in Iran in the middle of the 19th-century. Without a national identity card, a member of the Baha’i community is barred from obtaining a driver’s license, acquiring a passport, and opening a bank account or transferring money.
The Islamic Republic has also seized houses and farmland from the Baha’i community, most of which have been owned by members of the faith for generations.
“A court has ruled that all properties belonging to Baha’is in the village of Ivel—some of which they have owned since the mid-19th Century—be confiscated on the basis that Baha’i have “a perverse ideology” and therefore have no “legitimacy in their ownership” of any property,” according to a report from the Baha’i World News Service.
Bani Dugal, the Principal Representative of the Baha’í International Community, has called upon to the international community “to shine a spotlight on these issues, which represent a major further deterioration”
UN Special Rapporteur to Iran, Javaid Rehman, stated that the Baha’i are considered “unprotected infidels” by the Islamic Republic.
According to UN estimates, there are about 350,000 Bahai believers in Iran, making it the country’s largest religious minority. Baha’is are usually imprisoned on vague charges and denied public education on the basis of their faith.
The Baha’i faith, based on Shiite Islam, believes the values of unity and equality of all people. The Baha’i also believe that religion is orderly and progressively revealed by one God through the Manifestations of God, who are the founders of major world religions throughout history; Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammad. Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity.
Source » neweurope