Baha’is of Urmia and Sanandaj Pressured to Convert to Islam



Translation by Iran Press Watch


According to a report from Gold News which refers to a story by Maf News, twenty-seven Baha’i businesses in the city of Urmia in Northwestern Iran, and six more in the city of Sanandaj in Western Iran, have been sealed in the last twenty days.

From mid-May 2016, in different parts of Urmia such as Madani and Khayyam Streets, twenty-seven Baha’i shops have been sealed and the owners warned that “they have no right to work in that city until and unless they convert to Islam”.

These confrontations happened because some of the shop owners decided to close their shops in observance of their Baha’i religious holidays. Soon after, around the third week of May, without any justification or explanation, these Baha’i owners were notified that on a certain day their shops would be sealed.

Concurrently, in the city of Sanandaj six Baha’i shops, including a stationery store, were sealed along Siroos Street.

Baha’is celebrate nine religious holidays that do not necessarily coincide with national holidays in the Iranian calendar. According to their teachings, Baha’is are not supposed to work on those days, and should stay home and celebrate those holidays.

The six Sanandaji shop owners declared that months ago they were warned not to observe their religious holidays.

Despite appeals to different organizations such as trade unions, municipal officials and national officials, authorities at the Office of Public Places and the police department, the owners of these shops in Urmia and Sanandaj were offered “conversion to Islam”  as their only option.


4 Responses

  1. Chaudhry Shafi

    June 19, 2016 4:03 pm

    It’s inhuman act of the Iranian government. The whole world should condemn it by way of approaching the United nation .

  2. Gamal Hassan

    June 19, 2016 7:45 pm

    When hundreds of Baha’is preferred to go to the gallows in Iran since the Revolution rather than recant their Faith, how could the Authorities in Sanandaj and Urumia expect them to do so just to save their businesses? Let us see how many of them are going to become Muslims, not to mention what quality of Muslims the Authorities will obtain from such “conversions”.

  3. vafa-canada

    June 22, 2016 10:31 pm

    Islam used the sword to convert millions of people over 1400 years ago, and still they follow the same principal in the 21st century. Where is the advancement of society ??


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