Iran’s Religious Minorities: the Forgotten People at the Berlin Gathering

Fred Petrossian–80,000 people in Germany’s capital have been marching in solidarity with protesters in Iran. On 22nd October, demonstrators came to Berlin from all over Europe. A statement was read at the end of this historic gathering which talked about periods of repression and state violence from the beginning of the Islamic Republic to the present. The statement also mentioned the repression and discrimination of ethnic and sexual minorities. However, incredibly, no mention was made in the statement about the persecution and suffering of religious minorities during the last 43 years. For more than four decades, the “Islamic Republic” has deprived millions of people of their basic rights as citizens. […]

Iranian Christian Converts in Sweden: Birth of a social movement*

Fred Petrossian–The “I am A Christian too” campaign was launched by a group of Iranian Christian converts living in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 2020 in order to pursue policy change in Sweden and Iran. “I Am A Christian Too” is a loosely organized but sustained campaign among a group of Iranians who share Christianity as their core belief and set their main goal of being recognized as refugees by the Swedish government.   As of July 2022, this campaign has held almost 50 gatherings in Stockholm, making it the most persistent street movement among Iranian religious minorities and even Iranian asylum seekers in the diaspora. At each meeting, between 20 […]

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 […]

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 […]