Agents of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry have arrested four members of the Baha’i faith in the cities of Shiraz and Mazandaran.
On Tuesday, October 22, the agents of Intelligence Ministry arrested three followers of the Baha’i faith in Shiraz, southern Iran.
The names of those arrested are Soroush Abadi, Farzan Masoumi, and Kiana Shoaei.
The agents searched their houses, confiscated personal belongings including computers and mobile phones, before taking them into custody.
The Ministry of Intelligence has accused the detainees of holding a Baha’i ceremony to overshadow the Shiite annual Arbaeen event.
Baha’is planned to celebrate the birthday of one of their faith’s primary figures; the state-run Mehr News Agency cited the head of the intelligence department as saying in the province of Fars.
Other reports say that another Baha’i, Mitra Forsatipour was detained on October 21 by intelligence agents in Damavand, Tehran for following the Baha’i faith. Her personal belongings were confiscated upon her arrest.
The Baha’i Faith in Iran is the country’s second-largest religion after Islam.
Unofficial sources say that there are more than 300,000 people following the Bahá’í Faith in Iran.
However, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize Baha’ism.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian Baha’is have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy. During the first decade of this persecution, more than 200 of Iran’s Baha’is were killed or executed, hundreds more were tortured or imprisoned, and tens of thousands lost jobs, access to education, and other rights – all solely because of their religious belief.