What Is The Baha'i Faith And What Do Followers Believe? - Grunge

Since the 19th century, the Baha’i faith has spread all over the world, and in many places, adherents have faced discrimination and sometimes violent repression. In the eyes of many Muslims, the Baha’i are technically heretics, who have strayed from the correct path by denying Muhammad is the final prophet. Baha Allah himself was persecuted while he was alive and kicked out of Persia by the religious authorities there. Exiled to the Ottoman Empire, he didn’t fare much better and eventually died in an Ottoman prison in Palestine.

In Iran, attitudes have not progressed much since the 19th century. The ayatollah’s regime still persecutes members of the faith today. Amnesty International reports that as recently as 2022, believers have been subject to a ferocious round of arbitrary arrests, beatings, and systematic land confiscations. According to the U.S. Department of State, Baha’i is the largest non-Islamic faith group in Iran today, and persecution is a regular occurrence.

In Yemen too, Baha’i lives are at risk in the modern era, and troubling sectarian violence in the country has resulted in a threatening atmosphere for the group. In 2018 for example, the leader of the Yemeni Houthi faction, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, suggested that the “infidel” group should be met with violence (per LSE). Sadly many Houthi have obliged him. Baha’i faithful have been arrested, exiled, and attacked, and in 2023, a story broke that Yemeni Houthi militants broke into a Baha’i religious meeting and “disappeared” those in attendance (via Human Rights Watch).