Religious Freedom

July 28, 2014
           Iran’s government reportedly continued to imprison, harass intimidate and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs in 2013, according to an annual report by the U.S. State Department.            Iran's foreign ministry, however, rejected the findings. "Such reports are…
September 6, 2013
            On September 4, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif used Twitter to wish a happy new year to the world’s Jews. “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah,” tweeted Rouhani. Iran is home to…
September 4, 2013
            On September 4, President Hassan Rouhani used Twitter to wish a happy new year to the world’s Jews. Iran is home to some 25,000 Jews—the second largest population in the Middle East outside of Israel. His tweet contrasted starkly with the tone of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who…
September 3, 2013
Bijan DaBell                       Iran may be the world’s only modern theocracy, but the Islamic Republic’s constitution actually mandates a political role for three religious minorities. Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians all have seats in the 290-seat parliament proportionate to their populations…
May 20, 2013
            Iran’s government reportedly imprisoned, harassed and discriminated against more people for their religious beliefs in 2012 than in the past, according to a new report by the U.S. State Department. It notes an increase in reports of the government charging religious and ethnic…
May 3, 2013
            Iran continues to engage in “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused,” according to an annual report by the U.S. Commission on International…
January 14, 2013
             Among 197 countries, Iran ranked sixth in restricting freedom of religion, according to a Pew Research Center survey. It even ranked below Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. The following are selected results from The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey published in September 2012…
September 10, 2012
On Sept. 10, the State Department applauded Iran’s release of a Christian Pastor who was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010. The charges were reportedly dropped from apostasy to evangelizing Muslims, with a sentence of three years. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released for time served,…
July 30, 2012
The State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom report focused particular attention on Iran’s Baha’is, the country’s largest religious minority at between 300,000 and 350,000.   In releasing the report for 2011, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson…
July 30, 2012
On July 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of State released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, which highlighted serious human rights violations in Iran. The new report outlines persecution of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic.At a briefing on the 2011 report, Ambassador-at-…