Apr 29 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution condemning Iran’s government for persecuting the 300,000 members of the Baha’i faith.
“As the Iranian regime continues to persecute members of the Baha’i community, we stand with them and say plainly that repressing religious minorities is wrong and immoral. Religious freedom is one of our nation’s bedrock principles and our obligation to protect and promote it extends beyond our own borders. I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of our values and in solidarity with the Baha’i as we call for an end to this abuse,” Boozman said.
“Baha’is in Iran should be free to practice their faith safely and peacefully,” Wyden said. “But the Iranian government continues to wrongly imprison Baha’i religious leaders and persecute their followers, in violation of Iran’s own international commitments. This resolution puts the Senate on record supporting a foreign policy that reflects American values.”
“Iran’s continued persecution of the Baha’i community is a troubling violation of a most basic human right,” said Durbin. “They deserve to practice their faith without further harassment.”
The Iranian Baha'i community is the largest religious minority in Iran with membership of more than 300,000 people. Unlike some other religious minorities such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, Iran's Baha'is have never been recognized by their government and are often persecuted by the Iranian regime.
The regime often seizes personal property, denies Baha'i access to education and employment opportunities and detains or imprisons Baha'is based solely on their religious beliefs. Over the past 10 years, about 850 Baha’is have been arbitrarily arrested in Iran. This resolution denounces the religious persecution and calls for the immediate release of all religious prisoners.
A copy of the resolution is available here.