Madison’s Ruhi Jahanpour fights to stop persecution in Iran

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The Bahai religion has been around for more than 170 years. It was born in what is now Iran.

It’s a faith that believes, among other things, that there is just one god. In Iran, to be a Bahai is to be a target of persecution, imprisonment and even death.

Madison’s Ruhi Jahanpour is active in the fight to stop that persecution.

In this week’s Leadership Perspectives interview, Ruhi has much to say about her faith and the persecution of believers.

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1 Comment

  • Ajax Lessome

    It is well-known that Baha’is seek peace, not political power, and pose no conceivable security threat. Yet Iran’s theocracy persecutes them, revealing a deep aversion to those whose only “crime” is embracing beliefs other than the regime’s.

    While all religious communities in Iran have suffered persecution since the 1979 Khomeinist revolution, none have fared worse than the Baha’is. The government has since killed more than 200 Baha’i leaders and removed more than 10,000 from government and university positions.

    Baha’is are mistreated in nearly every stage and station in life. Last year, USCIRF received reports of Baha’i babies incarcerated with their mothers. Baha’is are barred from attending colleges and universities, from starting their own schools, and from establishing houses of worship to raise their children in their faith. Baha’is can’t serve in the military and face job bias elsewhere. Authorities won’t recognize their marriages, and Iran’s media demonize Baha’is, reinforcing their pariah status.

    When Baha’is die, their relatives can’t inherit their property, have difficulty obtaining their death certificates and often witness the desecration of their grave sites, not just by vandals but by the government. Recently Iran’s Revolutionary Guards began excavating a Baha’i cemetery that is the resting place for 10 women the government hanged in 1983. They were convicted of “crimes” that included teaching children’s classes. The women chose to die rather than renounce their faith.

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