‘A war of religion’: Iran accused of trying to convert young members of Baha’i minority to Islam

The move comes amid an apparent fresh crackdown on members of the minority faith, reports Borzou Daragahi

Tuesday 18 May 2021 08:09
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Members of the Baha'i religion demonstrate in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach
Members of the Baha'i religion demonstrate in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach

Iranian authorities appear to be stepping up a campaign of repression against an embattled religious minority, allegedly attempting to identify young members of the faith and convert them to Islam against the wishes of their parents.

Human rights advocates also describe raids on the homes of dozens of members of the Baha’i faith over the last few weeks and the seizing of property belonging to the religious minority.

“This is a war of religion,” said Karim Lahidji, of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), an advocacy group. “The existence of Baha’is in Iran is opposed to the ideology of the Islamic authorities. They call it a political faction, and not a religion. The repression has a political and religious goal.”

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