July 9, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“As Iran’s Bahá’í community gathers with Bahá’ís worldwide to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Báb, one of 11 Bahá’í holy days, Iranian authorities continue to persecute the Bahá’í community.
“Recently, Iranian authorities permanently closed dozens of private Bahá’í businesses across Iran after the owners had closed their doors temporarily while they observed holy days. The Iranian regime is therefore pressuring Bahá’ís to either not observe their holy days or effectively forfeit their businesses.
“This unacceptable coercion is a gross violation of the Bahá’ís’ religious freedom and is a further manifestation of the regime’s efforts to weaken the resolve and determination of Iran’s Bahá’í community to live, work and worship in their native land.
“According to the Bahá’í faith, the Báb, as one chosen by God to teach, faced persecution and was ultimately executed because of his work as a religious teacher who opposed an oppressive regime. Iranians continue to face a deeply repressive regime. This includes Iran’s Bahá’í community, whose members remain subject to abhorrent and pervasive state-led discrimination because of their faith.
“Canada calls upon Iran to uphold its international and domestic obligations to ensure freedom of religion for all its citizens, including their ability to manifest their religious faith in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
Julie Di Mambro
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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