• White Torture, a Story about the Suffering and Resistance of the Iranian Christians
    Mvoices conducted an interview with Mansour Borji, executive director of Article 18, a London-based Christian advocacy organization that helps former Christian prisoners overcome trauma, about how former prisoners survive this psychological torture and the challenges that they face after being released from the Islamic Republic’s torture chambers. White torture is a psychological torture technique, in which inmates are held in solitary confinement for very long periods of time. It is intended to produce complete sensory deprivation and isolation in the victim. It is one of the most brutal torture methods used in Iranian prisons alongside physical torture. Many Iranian prisoners of conscience, including Christians, Bahais, journalists, women and civil rights […]
  • Sabean-Mandaeans and Emigration: Motives and Reasons
    Behnaz Hosseini*–Sabean-Mandaeans are one of the numerous religious minorities in Iran. Despite being considered by some high-ranked religious clerics as one of the monotheistic religions, it is not recognized by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution. They are emigrating at increasing rates, with inflows mainly to European countries, the United States, and Australia. Difficult living conditions, lack of civil liberties, and religious discrimination are the major motives to emigrate. The number of the Sabean-Mandaeans, according to non-official statistics, has dropped to just 2,000 people. It was estimated at 10 to 20,000 before the Islamic Revolution. One of the religious rituals of the Mandaeans is “Daily Baptism”, which is often performed […]
  • Baha’i villagers ordered to “separate their cows from the ones belonging to Muslims”
    The persecution of Baha’i villagers became “stranger than fiction” when the Baha’is were ordered to “go to Israel ” and separate their own cows from cows belonging to Muslims in Ivel, a village in Mazandaran Province.  This issue of systematic expropriation of the Baha’is in Iran and in Ivel was highlighted during a webinar hosted by Evin Incir, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), from the Swedish Social Democratic Party on the 4th of February 2021.  The panelists included Miloon Kothari (former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing), MEP Antonio Lopez-Isturiz White, Member of the Swedish Parliament Anders Österberg, and Diane Alai (Representative of the Bahá’í International Community Geneva). […]
  •  “For many Iranians, Atheism is equal to Satanism”
    We are going to invite 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”. For this number, we have invited Sepideh Nasseri, a civil rights activist, artist, and atheist based in Sweden, to share her experience of being an atheist in Iranian society: Let’s start with the problems atheists face in Iran. According to a recent poll by the GAMAAN Institute in the Netherlands, 9% of Iranians have claimed/claim to be atheists, and only 32% of Iranians consider themselves the followers […]
  • Religious Minorities in Iran: Persecution Meets Resistance
      Fred Petrossian*–Security forces break into your house in the middle of the night. They confiscate your cell phones, photos, and religious books. They interrogate you, and maybe even have you beaten and jailed. You will be deprived of your business and education. Your crime, in the eyes of the Islamic Republic, is your religious identity—and the authorities will do all they can to break it. Many members of religious minorities who have not surrendered to the will of the regime and its de-identification policies had this bitter experience. Some were even murdered or executed. It seems this de-identification policy aims to publicly dehumanize religious minorities when the leading figures […]
  • Destruction of Baha'i cemetery Shiraz by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 2014
    Silence of Victims, Denial of Rulers
    Reza Kazemzadeh is a Belgium based psychologist and writer. He is the head of Exile, which is a medical psychological center for victims of torture. He spoke with MvoicesIran about why the Iranian society is, in many cases, indifferent to the persecution of religious minorities and its silence and the internalizing of fear during 40 years of repression and discrimination. Last year,when the  Islamic Republic of Iran  removed the “other religions” option from the national ID card application form, a move that appeared to be designed to deny millions of Iranians full citizenship such as Baha’is, Christian converts,Yarsans,there were no big protest or campaign within Iran’s society. why? When considering […]
  • Baloch children in Iran
    The Unbearable Burdens of the Baloch People
    Balochis have faced government discrimination, both as Sunni religious practitioners and as an ethnic minority group, according to several international reports. According to Baloch activists, the Iranian State controls and imposes many restrictions on their religious activities, resulting in refused national identity cards for their children. Many Baloch people are harassed or beaten, and many are forced to leave their homes and find another place to live. Nasser Boladai, spokesperson for the  Balochistan People’s Party, talks with MvoicesIran about the challenges of the two million-strong Baloch minority,  who live in the undeveloped area near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. For years, thousands of Baloch children were deprived of their […]
  • The Dervish House of Worship in Beydokht; Sufi Gonabadi dervishes is a persecuted religious minority in Iran
    Freedom of Belief—A Human Right under Pressure in Iran
    International organizations, including the United Nations, have condemned the Islamic Republic several times for violating human rights and the rights of religious minorities. Sanctions on those minority communities have ranged from imprisonment to being banned from university and from losing jobs and property to even being killed. MvoicesIran talks with Said Mahmoudi, Professor Emeritus of International Law at the University of Stockholm to discuss religious and conscious rights in international law, violation of those rights in Iran, and the capacity of international organizations to curb such actions by States. The rights to freedom of thought, religion, and conscience, which include the freedom to change religions or beliefs and to worship […]
  • The Birth of a Minority: Iranian Christians
    Fred Petrossian The fate of Iran’s Christians, as the Islamic Republic turns 40 years old, could perhaps be viewed through the lens of Forrest Gump’s famous quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The Christian community of just a few thousand Muslim converts in 1979, after four decades of state-run repression, has grown to several hundred thousand, or even one million according to some sources. Churches have been closed down, the Bible in Persian banned, Christian leaders murdered, and hundreds of women and men sent to jail and forced into exile. This has been part of the Islamic Republic’s policy over the […]