Erfan Sabeti, a Persian Bahá’í and Ph. D. candidate in Religious Studies at Lancaster University England, is proud of his faith although he’s suffered for his outspokenness. “One day, I was slapped by a teacher four times in front of my classmates and called an impure infidel who would pollute the Koran,” said Sabeti. Bahá’ís like Sabeti who openly declare their faith are denied university entrance in Iran. “The Iranian government restricts education to dumb down and under-develop our community in hopes of preventing the transmission of culture, leaders and heritage,” said Sina Mossayeb, who is a History Ph. D. candidate at Columbia University and is writing his doctoral thesis on religious minority groups in Iran. In May of 2006 the authorities arrested 54 Baha’i youth who were teaching English, math, and other non-religious subjects to underprivileged children in the southern city of Shiraz, according to Human Rights Watch. None of the Baha’i youth were charged with a crime.
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