Earlier this week, Ban Ki-moon expressed his dissatisfaction with Iran’s human rights record, including the continuous persecution of the followers of the Baha’i Faith. Founded by the Persian nobleman Baha’u’llah in the mid-19th century, the religion is now second only to Christianity in terms of geographical spread, with some 5.5 million adherents around the globe. In the cradle of the faith, however, the 300,000-strong Baha’i community has been seriously discriminated against since the 1979 revolution as the ruling Shi’a clergies regard the religion as a heretical splinter group. While the Baha’i Faith claims to be the latest in the series of world religions, the Shi’a authorities see it as a subversive group formed and sustained by foreign powers, including Britain, the U.S., and Israel. Portraying Baha’is as ‘enemies within’, Iran continues to kill, arrest, and harass them on pseudo-political charges, while denying them their basic civil rights, including the right to education. Read full story here.
From A New Handbook of Living Religions
From A Companion to the History of the Middle East