Persecutions in Iran – A New Resource

We are pleased to share with you the following letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to National Spiritual Assemblies, dated 9 May 2023, concerning a new resource that has been made available.

“Since the earliest days of the new Revelation, the believers in the Cradle of the Faith have been the target of relentless persecution.  The earliest records of the sustained and brutal attacks on the friends of God are those faithfully documented by notable early Bahá’í chroniclers as well as Western observers present in Iran.  Regrettably, although it has waxed and waned over the years, the persecution has continued throughout the history of the Cause and has greatly intensified in recent years.  There is therefore a vast body of documents that chart the course of this persecution and its countless incidents. 

“In order to make these important records more accessible, the Bahá’í International Community has been engaged in the development of a website dedicated to the documentation of the persecution called Archives of Bahá’í Persecution in Iran, which can be accessed at  The website, available in both English and Persian, sheds light on the decades-long, systematic persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran and covers a wide range of incidents including systematic discrimination, arrests and imprisonments, physical violence and executions, economic oppression and deprivation, exclusion from education, acts of property destruction and cemetery desecration, and propaganda and incitement to hatred.

“This unique collection now contains more than 10,000 documents, images, and audio and video records of instances of persecution in Iran dating back as far as 1848, although the great majority of cases represented in the archive relate to the most recent wave of persecutions that has occurred since 1979.  These records, which include copies of government and judicial documents, clerical fatwas, newspaper articles, and other accounts, are presented not only as images of original documents but, importantly, have also been transcribed and made available in text format in Persian and with English translations.  The monumental work undertaken to date means that this site has now developed into a resource of unparalleled significance, not only for historians, researchers, film-makers, journalists, and human rights advocates, but also for individuals who may wish to learn about and remember the sacrifices made by their own friends and family members.

“The Universal House of Justice has asked us to formally bring the existence of this website to your attention as a resource to assist the worldwide Bahá’í community in defending the rights of the Bahá’ís in Iran and to support a more effective communication of the scope and severity of the persecution to governments, civil society, and the media.    

“The upsurge in the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran in recent months has given rise to countless expressions of concern and support from leaders of thought, politicians, human rights advocates, and many others.  The current social turmoil enveloping Iran has also demonstrated that the oppression which has been suffered by the Bahá’ís for generations is now being visited upon a broad cross section of the Iranian people, with the result that the example of constructive resilience as well as patience which the Bahá’ís have demonstrated throughout the many decades of persecution is becoming increasingly recognized and examined.  Although the website presents a collection of the records of the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran, it is an example to all of how injustice could be documented, so that lessons can be learned from history as humanity moves towards the stage of its collective maturity.

“As the website continues to develop and expand in scope, individuals and families may send copies of documents or other records of persecution that they have in their possession for possible inclusion on this site.  A document submission portal is available on the website itself, or alternatively, items may be sent by email to” 

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