• Top Sunni Cleric Support for Taliban “created a division among Baloch society”
    Molavi Abdolhamid, a prominent Sunni religious leader and the Friday prayer leader in Zahedan, welcomed the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan, which surprised many in Iranian society and provoked various reactions.   Afshin Shahi, a senior lecturer in Middle Eastern politics and International Relations at Bradford University, discussed with Mvoices the possible impact of Molavi Abdolhamid’s Taliban support on Iran’s Sunni community: “First and foremost, we have to remember that there is no such thing as a singular Sunni community in Iran. The Sunni population of Iran is very diverse. They are made of different ethnicities. They speak distinct languages and dialects and are geographically scarred. This reality is reflected through […]
  • Christian Converts “Place2worship” campaign: A struggle for the rights of all Iranians
    Fred Petrossian–Imagine you are having a get-together with some friends in your home, drinking coffee or tea, talking about religious issues, praying, and reading the Bible. Kids are around and playing together. These very innocent get-togethers have been a target for the Iranian state for decades as its security forces attack these homes, arresting Christian converts and sending them to prison.  The Iranian state has forcibly closed Persian-speaking churches and forced many Christian leaders to leave the country. Christian converts are deprived of the right to have a church or place of worship in Iran, and the state does not even tolerate worship in their homes. The “Church is the […]
  • The impact of the water shortage crisis on Mandaeans Living in Khuzestan province
    Behnaz Hosseini*–Acute water shortage in Khuzestan has affected the lives of all residents living in this southern province of Iran; however, it has made things even more complicated for a religious minority, whose rituals are heavily dependent on water. Mandaeans living in Ahvaz perform baptisms in the Karun River, where the water is neither suitable for drinking nor for agriculture due to pollution. A sharp decline in the flow of water in the Karun River and its pollution has made things very difficult for the Sabean-Mandaeans to conduct their religious ceremonies. Mandaeans in Iran, like other ethnic groups and minorities, are facing many challenges and hardships. They are followers of […]
  • The Islamic Republic targets Bahá’ís: From Instagram to Villages in Iran
    Recent reports indicate the Iranian State continues its repressive policy and violence against the Bahá’í community, using almost any imaginable means in recent months: hate speech on social media such as Instagram and Clubhouse, confiscating lands from Bahá’í villages, closing shops, banning them from higher education and imprisoning them.  Such hostile actions have occurred since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution. However, in recent months, according to the Bahá’í International Community (BIC), “this machinery of hateful propaganda to demonize the Bahá’í community is reflected in a growing and coordinated network of hundreds of websites, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels, and Clubhouse rooms, with content such as “ Bahá’ís  are unclean and […]
  •  “Koolbars”, new “slaves” in Kurdistan    
    Mvoices invites a variety of people, including equal rights activists, researchers, and journalists, to share their experiences and their views on the challenges, achievements and rights of the religious minorities and civil society in Iran at the Mvoices’ “Carte Blanche”.  In this issue, Awin Mostafa Zadeh / Kurdpa Human Rights Organization writes the story of “new slaves” in Iran, “Koolbars”.The Kurds suffer from discrimination for being both Sunni Muslims as well as an ethnic group in Iran.     The people living in Iranian Kurdistan have been systematically targeted by economic deprivation, such that on the one hand Koolbari is imposed on them but on the other hand they are killed […]
  • Our Goals: Defending the Rights of the Yarsan Minority and Achieving National Reconciliation
    The Yarsan faith, or Ahl-e Haqq, is a religious minority not recognized by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a result, its followers face constant discrimination and harassment in Iran as many of them are forced to deny their faith in public. Some have even resisted the government’s de-identification by organizing cultural groups and publishing open letters to officials. Seyed Amin Abbasi, a member of the Yarsan Civil Activists Advisory Council, told Mvoices: “The forced abandonment of faith by some Yarsanis has weakened their identity and promoted hypocrisy among them. Religious acceptance is no longer based on individual interest, desire, or awareness, but primarily aimed at obtaining […]
  • Religious Minorities in Iran: Violence, Resistance and Hope
    Fred Petrossian–It is enough just to take a look at the newborn babies in an Iranian hospital. The future of a child under the rule of the Islamic Republic, even with hard work and high intelligence, can be easily predicted in a few words. The child for the rest of his/her life will be deprived of the most fundamental human and civil rights because he/she comes from a family belonging to a religious minority. In the future, he/she may be called Najis, or unclean; he/she may be sent to prison and even forced to leave his/her homeland or deprived of work and education. In any case, he/she will be a […]


  • “You’re Jewish, you can only leave the country once”
    The Iranian citizens in “Your Voice” talk about the discrimination against religious minorities that they have witnessed. They provide short stories about the suffering of millions, who have become “simple incidents” in Iran. This is a story of Neda, a Jewish woman, who shares her testimony when she had to go through a “humiliating “ process to get a passport. It was the year 1987 that she set to apply for a passport and leave Iran but for her, getting a passport was not as much of a breeze as she once thought it was; actually, the Jews had to face questioning and contempt by the authorities in the process. […]
  • The Bitter Taste of Discrimination
    The Yarsan faith, also known as Ahl-e Haqq (People of the Truth) is estimated to have about two million followers in Iran, most of whom live in the western, predominantly Kurdish provinces, especially in Kermanshah. This religion also has some followers in Turkey and Iraq. This religious minority is not recognized by the Iranian Constitution, and the members of this community have faced continuous discrimination and persecution in the country. Sirvan, a follower of the Yarsan religion, from Sarpol-e- Zahab in Kermanshah province, remembers a bitter day of discrimination in school 25 years ago. Sirvan says: “I grew up in a moderately religious Yarsani family. The Yarsan religious traditions and […]


  • A Social History of the Zoroastrians of Yazd
    A Social History of the Zoroastrians of Yazd was written by Dr. Ali Tashakori, a historian and history professor at the History Department of Yazd University (Yazd, Iran), and published by Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies in February 2020 in the USA. The three-volume book published in Persian discusses the treatment and lives of Zoroastrians from “the arrival of Islam” to “the Islamic revolution.” The first volume covers “the arrival of Islam in Iran to the establishment of the Nasseri Anjoman.” The second volume discusses “from the Nasseri Anjoman to the Fall of the Qajar.” The last volume focuses on the Zoroastrians’ situation from the rise of Reza Shah […]
  • “The Burden of Baggage”, Cultural Challenges of Iranian Christian converts
    In “The Burden of Baggage”, Roy Oksnevad, a church pastor, writer and missionary conducted surveys among different Iranian churches outside of Iran. He presents an insightful look inside the community of first-generation converts. He shows how Iranian culture carries over into the church and impacts both its strengths and vulnerabilities. Roy Oksnevad (PhD Intercultural Studies) was the director of the Muslim Ministry Program at the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism and started a coalition of ministry to Muslims in North America. His missionary work has been to Muslims, especially among first-generation Iranian Christians.  The number of Christians in Iran is “without a doubt in the order of magnitude of several […]

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