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.
- An overview of the persecution of the Iranian Bahá'í community
- A comprehensive archive of Iranian documents pertaining to the persecution of Bahá'ís
- Statements by members of Parliament
- An overview of the persecution of the Bahá'í community in Yemen
- A video about Hamed bin Haydara, a Bahá'í prisoner in Houthi-controlled Yemen
Recent Reports and Statements
- MP Kelly Block in Question Period (2020)
- Meeting of the International Contact Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2020)
- Irwin Cotler and Parliamentarians Highlight Human Rights Abuses in Iran (2018)
- Government of Canada, “Joint Statement on Bahá'ís of Yemen” (2018)
- House of Commons, “Iran Accountability Week 2017” (2017)
- House of Commons, “Subcommittee on International Human Rights Condemns the Iranian Regime for its Persistent Assault on the Human Rights of Iranian People” (2016)
- Government of Canada, “Statement by Minister Nicholson on Seventh Anniversary of Arrest and Imprisonment of Bahá’í Leaders in Iran” (2015)
- Government of Canada, “Minister Nicholson Calls on Iran to Respect Religious Freedom of Bahá'ís” (2015)
- Government of Canada, “Canada Remains Concerned by Iran’s Continued Persecution of Bahá'ís and Other Religious Minorities” (2012)
- Government of Canada, “Canada Deplores Iran’s Detention of Members of the Bahá'í Community” (2010)
- Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada (2010)
- Government of Canada, “Canada Concerned by Arrests of Bahá'ís in Iran” (2008)
More information about this area can be found in the Document Library: