Persecution of religious minorities in Iran

Sir, – Dr Masoud Eslami, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Ireland, simply denies all persecution or harassment of minorities in his country (Letters, August 4th).

Several reliable and independent world media sources have reported on the persecution of the Baha’is and local Christian groups in Iran.

The Islamic State of Iran is inherently hostile to minorities: Zoroastrians, Jews, Baha’is, Sufis and Christians, especially recent Iranian Christian Evangelical converts.

In the dedications listed in my recent book, The Western Christian Presence in the Russias and Qajar Persia, c.1760–c.1870 (Brill, 2017), I paid tribute to the persecuted and martyred Iranian Evangelical clergy and laity. These Christians, who congregate in their “house churches”, are repeatedly hounded and persecuted.

I have had 50 years of experience of Iran before, during and after the Islamic Revolution. I can vouch for the wonderful kindnesses, hospitality and innate goodness of Iranians, qualities predating the advent of Islam. The people will survive the disastrous rule and corruption of the ayatollahs.

As I write, there is only one Catholic church in Tehran open at weekends, and only for expatriates. All Protestant churches remain shut. I much look forward to revisiting the peoples of the Persian plateau as soon as the current nightmare passes. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 24.