The Situation in Iran and Yemen

The Office of Public Affairs represents the Bahá'í community in communications with the federal government and national leaders concerning the persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran, Yemen, and other countries.

In both countries, Bahá'í face significant challenges and obstacles to their participation in society due to discrimination and limits on their freedom of religion.

Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Canadian Members of Parliament have taken the floor in the House of Commons more than 120 times to express their concern about the ongoing persecution of Iran’s Bahá'ís. The MPs who have done so over this time come from 10 provinces and territories and represent every political party. Since 2008, members of Canada’s Senate have added their voices to the call for an end to the persecution of the Bahá'ís.

Canada’s Department of Immigration led the world in admitting and resettling Bahá'í refugees who were able to escape from Iran or were stranded overseas during the 1980s. Several other countries followed Canada’s lead, and together they welcomed more than 10,000 Bahá'ís from Iran in the years after the Islamic Revolution.

Canada’s foreign ministry has also been an outspoken defender of the human rights of the Bahá'ís of Iran. Over the years, one Minister of Foreign Affairs after another has made statements condemning the persecution, and under their leadership Canada has co-sponsored and voted for strong resolutions both at the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Bahá'í representatives enjoy regular and substantive meetings with senior foreign ministry officials and participate in government organized roundtable discussions on international freedom of religion or belief.

Recent Reports and Statements

Further Reading

More information about this area can be found in the Document Library: