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
- Canadian Members of Parliament speak up for Ivel Baha'is (2021)
- Open Letter to the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2021)
- Government of Canada, Expression of concern about court-ordered land seizure in Ivel (2021)
- Senator Mobina Jaffer Question on the Persecution of the Bahá’í Minority (2020)
- Senators' Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Phillipe Champagne (2020)
- Statement of concern with the escalating oppression of Baha'is in Iran (2020)
- Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs on International Religious Freedom Day (2020)
- Parliamentarians' Open Letter on Persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran (2020)
- Sen. Mobina Jaffer, "Iran needs to release prisoners of conscience at risk because of COVID-19" (2020)
- Sen. Mobina Jaffer, "Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Yemen: Hamed bin Haydara" (2020)
- MP Kelly Block in Question Period (2020)
- Meeting of the International Contact Group for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2020)
- Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs on International Religious Freedom Day (2018)
- 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)
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