WASHINGTON — In a report released Monday, the United States painted a dark picture of religious freedom in Iran, documenting how the government there oppresses the followers of virtually every religious minority in the country, restricting their religious activities, limiting their economic prospects, and imprisoning them when they tell others about their beliefs.
“Government rhetoric and actions created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shia religious groups, most notably for Baha’is, as well as for Sufi Muslims, evangelical Christians, Jews, and Shia groups that did not share the government’s official religious views,” said the 2011 annual US Department of State’s report on International Religious Freedom in its section on Iran.
“Baha’i and Christian groups reported arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions, and confiscation of property. During the year, government-controlled broadcast and print media intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities, particularly Baha’is.
“All religious minorities suffered varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and housing. Baha’is continued to experience expulsions from, or denial of admission to, universities,” the report said.