Bloomington, Indiana (CNN) — As Zoroastrian funerary processions enter the graveyard overlooking the Tehran suburb of Ray, their sobriety is often shattered by the sound of explosions and gunfire. Frequently, the way forward is blocked by Islamic Revolutionary Guards conducting a combat exercise among the tombs. According to Zoroastrian custom, burial needs to take place within 24 hours, and the Revolutionary Guards will not halt their training activities there for the funerals.
This is just another sign of religious freedom fading in the Islamic Republic.
Much that is written about the Zoroastrians of Iran portrays them as a venerable and quaint religious community. But these followers of an ancient faith are not insulated from the tribulations of their country.
Subscribe to The Iranian newsletter
Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the top news stories delivered to your inbox.