Religious Rights

Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first unified Iranian nation-state, is celebrated for affording freedom of religion to all of his subjects--a policy commemorated both in a declaration printed on a clay cylinder bearing his name and in the Old Testament. This venerable tradition has been abandoned by the Islamic Republic of Iran: affronts to the dignity of Iran's religious minorities, including Sunni and Sufi Muslims, Christians, Jews, Yaresanis, Zoroastrians, and Baha'is are enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic and in the Islamic Penal Code. Furthermore, in recent years religious identity itself has often been the only pretext for arrest and imprisonment. The following resources highlight some cases of religious discrimination.

Responsible Leaders

Witness Statement of Danial Shahri

In this IHRDC witness statement, Danial Shahri--a 21 year old son of Christian converts from Isfahan, Iran--recalls his activities with a home run church in Iran that eventually led to his arrest in April 2010 and resulting imprisonment. ... Read more

Community Under Siege: The Ordeal of the Baha’is of Shiraz

The sentencing of twenty-two members of the Baha'i community of Shiraz to death for refusing to recant their faith in 1983 resulted in the largest ... Read more

Crimes Against Humanity: The Islamic Republic’s Attacks on the Bahá’ís

This report complements two earlier publications, A Faith Denied The Persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran (2006) and Community Under Siege: The Ordeal of the ... Read more