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Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran
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Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the sublime teachings of Islam, the God Almighty has created all humans equal, and only by having divine virtue and human perfection, they can have superiority over each other. Based on divine religion of Islam, race, ethnicity etc. are not the resources for superiority. Thus, discriminative perception cannot be effective in the current laws, bylaws and policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are based on Islamic Sharia; 
A) Political Area

1- The religious minorities have five representatives in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) of Iran.
Two representatives from Armenians - one representative from Assyrians- one representative from the Jews and one from the Zoroastrians. In spite of the fact that Iran has a population of 70 million and that there are only 290 MPs, we will find that religious minorities with populations of only 200 thousand have five representatives altogether in the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

2- Allocation special code from state budget for religious minorities for 17500000000 Rials annually.
a- for Armenians from Tehran and northern areas   5400000000 Rials 
b- for Armenians from Southern areas  2420000000 Rials
c- for Assyrians  3000000000 Rials
d- for Zoroastrians  3680000000 Rials
e- for Jews  3000000000 Rials
B) Cultural-Social Areas

The minorities in Iran,
1- Enjoy permits to publish various journals.
2- Are free to renovate their historical monuments.
3- Are free to have their own especial schools.
4- Are free to teach and to be taught in their ethnic language.
5- Are free to hold religious ceremonies and rites.
6- Enjoy state budget and credits.
7- Enjoy facilities for the issuance of passport and the permission to exit the country.
8- are free to choose their school principals and teachers from among their own people.
C) Legal Area
The minorities in Iran,
1- Are free in their personal affairs.
2- Enjoy pension payments.
3- Enjoy the same amount of blood money that is paid to Muslims.
4- Have seen the amendment of the religious minorities inheritance issue in favor of the minorities supported by 199 MPs.

The Christians:
 Presence of 9 Christians in the city and urban councils of the cities of Urumieh, Faridan and Fereydoun-shahr.

B) Cultural-Social Areas
The Christian minorities in Iran,
1- Are free to publish monthly or weekly newspapers, publications or magazines in the country (for example, magazines entitled Elik, araks, Peyman etc.)
2- Have 200 churches all over the country.
3- Permitting the Armenians to teach in their own languages in their schools (there are about 50 private schools for Armenians)
4- Permitting them to have a religious school called Khalifeh Council.
5- Holding more than 9 rounds of religious dialogues with the concept of peaceful coexistence.
6- Producing social and historical films in the field of Christianity.


The Jews:
1- The representative of Jews was actively present in the drafting of the Constitution in Iran after the victory of Islamic Revolution in the Experts assembly.
2- The Jewish minorities enjoy the privilege of having different active NGOs in various fields.
3- There are 32 special Jewish associations and organizations active in Iran.
The Jewish minorities in Iran,
1- Practice their religious rites and activities in 76 synagogues.
2- Can very well renovate, repair and maintain their holy sites.
3- Can continue their education at all at levels in universities.
4- Hold licenses for publishing their own periodicals (Ofogh Bina a journal affiliated with the organ of the Association of Jews in Tehran etc.)
5- Have special schools for Jews and are free to teach in Hebrew.
6- Enjoy governments support in repairing and renovating their religious sites.
The Zoroastrians:
The Zoroastrians in Iran,
1- Have one representative in the parliament (although their population is very small).
2- They have 10 representatives in city and village councils (Yazd province)
3- Freely practice their various social and civil activities in 28 associations.
3- Have special schools for Zoroastrian minorities (38 schools)
4- Are allowed to publish and distribute different books and journal    (Frouhar, Chista, Chapkhaneh Rasti etc.)
5- Can renovate, repair and maintain their holy sites.

Article 12 of the Constitution stipulates that:
The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Jafari School [in usual al-Dine and figh], and this principle will remain eternally immutable. Other Islamic schools , including the Hanafi, ShafiI , Maliki, Hanbali , and Zaydi, are to be accorded full respect and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites. In addition, article 13 of the Constitution expresses that:

Zoroastrians , Jewish and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities who within the limits of the law are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education . 
Article 19 says;
All people of Iran , whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong , enjoy equal rights and color ,race, language , and the like, do not bestow any privilege . 
Article 20 of the Constitution states:
All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human rights including political, social, and cultural rights in conformity with Islamic criteria.
Also, article 143 of the executive statute  of the Organization of Prisons and Security and Correctional Measures (ratified in 2001), stipulates that upon the entry of prisoners belonging to minority groups  to the prisons, their faiths need to be mentioned in the prison forms and the prison authorities must seek the aid of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance to provide them with the required facilities so that the said prisoners can perform their customs in the prison

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the freedom of religious ceremonies and rites, security of temples and sacred places, dignity of spiritual leaders, judiciary independence, economic activities and freedom in social relationships are equally assured for all the citizens.

 

 

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