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Encyclopedia > Religious minorities in Iran
Map showing ethnic and religious diversity among the population of Iran.
Map showing ethnic and religious diversity among the population of Iran.

There are several major religious minorities in Iran, while the majority and state religion is Shi'a Islam. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (980x970, 307 KB) (portion of Iran Country Profile) Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at The University of Texas at Austin [1] License: Above a list of maps available for download, the web site has the text: The following maps... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (980x970, 307 KB) (portion of Iran Country Profile) Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at The University of Texas at Austin [1] License: Above a list of maps available for download, the web site has the text: The following maps... Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. ... Shia Islam ( Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 20-25% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ...

Contents

Religious minority groups

Islamic

There are two minority schools apart from the main Usuli school of Shi`a Islam: the Akhbari and the Shaykhí. The latter have been persecuted since the Islamic Revolution. Usulis are Twelver Shia Muslims who favor fatwas over hadith when trying to determine what the Sunnah says about any specific topic. ... Akhbaris are Twelver Shia Muslims who favor hadith over fatwas when trying to determine what the Sunnah says about any specific topic. ... Shaykhis, religious movement in Iran. ...


Sunni Muslims (about 9% of the population - mainly among the Kurds of the north-west, the Balochis of the south-east, and the Turkmens in the north-east) and Sufi groups can also - depending on the definition of the term - be seen as religious minorities. Some argue, however, that these are valid expressions of the Iranian state religion Islam. Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples and speak Kurdish, a north-Western Iranian language related to Persian. ... The Baloch (بلوچ alternative transliterations Baluch, Balouch, Balooch, Balush, Balosh, Baloosh, Baloush et al. ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ...


Many Sufi sects are active within Iran. Examples are the Nimatullahi (the largest Shi'i Sufi order active throughout Iran) and the Naqshbandi (a Sunni order active mostly in the Kurdish and Azeri regions of Iran). Some regard the Yarsan (Ahl-e Haq) as a Sufi order but they are better considered as a separate religious minority. Sufism has long been quite prevalent among Iranians and it is often impossible to draw a line between Islam and Sufism. Sufism by definition does not adhere to traditional religious structures and the variation between a Sufi and a strict Muslim can range from very minute to quite substantial. Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... The Nimatullahi order (also spelled Nimatollahi or Nematollahi) is a Sufi Order or Tariqa originating in Persia. ... Naqshbandi (Naqshbandiyya) is one of the major Sufi orders (tariqa) of Islam. ... Languages Kurdish Religions Predominantly Sunni Muslim also some Shia, Yazidism, Yarsan, Judaism, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Iranian peoples (Talysh Baluch Gilak Bakhtiari Persians) The Kurds are an ethnic group who consider themselves to be indigenous to a region often referred to as Kurdistan, an area which includes adjacent parts... The Azeri, also referred to as Azerbaijanian Turks, are a Turkic-Muslim people. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Non-Islamic

In addition to the Islamic minorities in Iran, there exists multiple other religious minorities. They include the Bahá'í Faith (estimated 300,000), Christianity (estimated 100,000 - 300,000), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mandaeanism, Yarsan (Ahl-e Haqq), Hinduism as well as local religions practiced by tribal minorities. There are also people who describe themselves as Atheistic or Agnostic. Seat of the Universal House of Justice, governing body of the Baháís, in Haifa, Israel The Baháí Faith is the religion founded by Baháulláh in 19th-century Persia (Iran). ... St. ... A modern-day synagogue in Iran. ... Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd Zoroastrians in Iran have had a long history, being the oldest religious community of that nation to survive to the present-day. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Mandaeism. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Hindu Temple in Bandar Abbas, Iran, built during the Qajar era for Indian soldiers serving in the British Army during the British occupation. ... This article focuses on ethnic minorities in Iran and their related political issues and current realities. ... “Atheist” redirects here. ... The term agnosticism and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. ...


Historical status

During the previous regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism were considered officially accepted religions in Iran and adherence to any one of those religions was a requirement for any government or state position (at least in the application form). His Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (اعلیحضرت محمدرضا شاه پهلوی; October 26, 1919 – July 27, 1980) also knows as Aryamehr, was the last Shah of Iran, ruling from 1941 until...


Contemporary status

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as official religions. No other religious practice is legally accepted in Iran. Conversion from Islam to any other religion is considered apostasy and publicizing it can result in harassment and religious persecution. Apostasy still retains a death sentence but in recent years this has not been used. Also see judicial system of Iran. ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... Religious persecution is systematic mistreatment of an individual or group due to their religious affiliation. ... Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offense or a capital crime. ... The current judicial system of Iran was implemented and established by Ali Akbar Davar and some of his contemporaries. ...


Legally Sunni Muslims are accepted as fellow Muslims, while Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians are recognised as People of the Book and have certain legal rights insofar as members of these religions are born and brought up within their religion. The term People of the Book (Hebrew עם הספר, Am HaSefer) is used in Judaism where it refers specifically to the Jewish people and the Torah. ...


Though Sufis are considered Muslims in principle by the government, divergent practices, teaching and secretive organisation have for several of these orders led to governmental distrust and harassment at various times.


For adherents of non-recognized religions, such as Bahá'ís, evangelical Christians, the Ahl-e Haqq, and Mandaeans, or converts from an Islamic background who are considered heretics, enrollment in public university programs or work in government agencies or judiciary is not permitted and can only be achieved by wrongly identifying oneself.[1] As Bahá'ís or Christian converts may not deny their faith, this is not acceptable to them; and they are therefore totally prevented from such participation. Known in India as the Lotus Temple, the Bahai House of Worship attracts an average of three and a half million visitors a year. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Also referred to as Yarsan or Yaresan and also Ali-Ilahis or Aliullahis by outsiders, is one of many Sufi orders in Iran, combining various syncretistic and Islamic ideas with a veneration of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Muhammad. ... Mandaeanism is a pre-Christian religion which has been classified by scholars as Gnostic. ... Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Due to these restrictions on dissident religious faiths and practices, and due to the persecution of some minorities, the Iranian government has, like the government of the Shah, been severely criticized on multiple occasions by international human rights organizations, foreign governments and the United Nations. The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ...


Since the revolution many members of minority religions have emigrated.


Reserved seats

After the Persian Constitutional Revolution, the Constitution of 1906 provided for reserved Parliamentary seats granted to the recognized religious minorities, a provision maintained after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. There are 2 seats for Armenians and one for each other minority: Assyrians, Jews and Zoroastrians. The Persian Constitutional Revolution (also Constitutional Revolution of Iran) against the despotic rule of the last Qajar Shah started in 1905 and lasted until 1911. ... Image:DSC--Majlis5323. ... After Islamic Conquest  Modern SSR = Soviet Socialist Republic Afghanistan  Azerbaijan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan  This box:      The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution,[1][2][3][4][5][6] Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the revolution that transformed Iran from a monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza... The once thriving Assyrian community in Iran was diminished from around 200,000 at the close of the 20th century to a mere 5,000 while the total population of Assyrians in all of Iran hovers at around 15,000 to 20,000 (total population of Iran is estimated at... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ...


List of minority MPs in the last three Majlis:

Armenians

Assyrian

Jewish

Zoroastrian

1996

Vartan Vartanian, Artavaz Baghumian

Shamshoon Maqsudpour Sir

Manouchehr Elyasi

Parviz Rezvani

2000

Leon Davidian, Georgik Abrahamian

Younatan Betkolia Googtapeh

Maurice Motamed Maurice (sometimes transcribed from Persian as Morris) Motamed (1945- ) was elected in 2000 and again in 2004 as a member of the Iranian Parliament, representing the Jewish community which has benefited constitutionally of a reserved seat since the Persian Constitution of 1906. ...

Khosro Dabestani

2004 Politics of Iran Categories: Stub | 2004 elections | Elections in Iran ...

Gevork Vartan, Robert Beglarian

Younatan Betkolia Googtapeh

Maurice Motamed Maurice (sometimes transcribed from Persian as Morris) Motamed (1945- ) was elected in 2000 and again in 2004 as a member of the Iranian Parliament, representing the Jewish community which has benefited constitutionally of a reserved seat since the Persian Constitution of 1906. ...

Kurosh Niknam

Members of the Bahá'í Faith, Iran's largest non-Islamic religious minority, are not recognized and do not have seats in the parliament. Seat of the Universal House of Justice, governing body of the Baháís, in Haifa, Israel The Baháí Faith is the religion founded by Baháulláh in 19th-century Persia (Iran). ...


Sunni Muslims have no specific reserved seats, but can take part in the ordinary election process at all constitutional levels. There are many Sunni members of parliament, mostly from areas with strong Sunni ethnic minorities like Kurdistan and Baluchistan. For other uses, see Kurdistan (disambiguation). ... The Iranian part of Balochistan (or Baluchistan). ...


Persecution of religious minorities

The persecution of Bahá'ís has been common throughout Iranian history. In the 1950s, under the regime of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Bahá'ís and their holy places were attacked with tacit state approval. [1] Since the Iranian revolution, more than 200 Bahá'ís have been executed or killed, hundreds more have been imprisoned, and tens of thousands have been deprived of jobs, pensions, businesses, and educational opportunities. All national Bahá'í administrative structures have been banned by the government, and holy places, shrines and cemeteries have been confiscated, vandalized, or destroyed [2]. The persecution of Baháís refers to the religious persecution of Baháís in various countries, especially in Iran, the nation of origin of the Baháí Faith, Irans largest religious minority and the location of one of the largest Baháí populations in the world. ... His Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (اعلیحضرت محمدرضا شاه پهلوی; October 26, 1919 – July 27, 1980) also knows as Aryamehr, was the last Shah of Iran, ruling from 1941 until...


Even more recently the situation of Bahá'ís has worsened and the United Nations Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated on March 20, 2006, after revealing a confidential letter from Command Headquarters of the Armed Forced to identify Bahá'ís and to monitor their activities, that "The Special Rapporteur is concerned that this latest development indicates that the situation with regard to religious minorities in Iran is, in fact, deteriorating." [3] Special Rapporteur is a title given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations who bear a specific mandate from the former UN Commission on Human Rights to investigate, monitor and recommend solutions to human rights problems. ... United Nations Commission on Human Rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Similarly Christian minorities, particularly those formed largely from converts describe continuing harassment and occasionally outright persecution. Several members and church workers, most prominently Reverend Hussein Soodmand of Mashad and Rev Mehdi Dibaj were formally convicted of apostasy. Reverend Soodmand was executed by hanging. Many more ministers and leaders have been murdered under unclear circumstances (Bishop Haik Hovsepian, Rev Mehdi Dibaj, Rev Ghorban Tourani et al) (see also Christians in Iran) St. ... Mehdi Dibaj was an Iranian Christian convert from Islam who was martyred for his faith in June 1994. ... Haik Hovsepian Mehr (killed January, 1994), was an Iranian bishop, born in Tehran. ... Ghorban Tourani Ghorban Dordi Tourani (1952 - 22nd November 2005), also called Ghorban Tori(قربان دردى تورانى in Persian), was an controversial Iranian Christian lay-minister. ... St. ...


Images

Notes

  1. ^ Discriminatory law and practices, in Iran, Amnesty International report, 2005.
  2. ^ Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de L'Homme (2003-08). Discrimination against religious minorities in IRAN. fidh.org. Retrieved on 2006-10-04.

Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is a pressure group that promotes human rights. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

This article focuses on ethnic minorities in Iran and their related political issues and current realities. ... The Constitution of Iran declares that the official religion of Iran is Islam and the doctrine followed is that of Ja’fari (Twelver) Shi’ism. ... A modern-day synagogue in Iran. ... St. ... Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd Zoroastrians in Iran have had a long history, being the oldest religious community of that nation to survive to the present-day. ... Manichean priests, writing at their desk, with panel inscription in Sogdian. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Religious minorities in Iran - definition of Religious minorities in Iran in Encyclopedia (558 words)
The majority and state religion of Iran is Shia Islam.
The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism as official religions.
Due to these restrictions on dissident religious faiths and practices and due to the persecution of some minorities, the Iranian government has been severely criticised on multiple occasions by international human rights organisations, foreign governments and the United Nations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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