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06/04/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) –  Contrary to Iran’s own laws, the country’s Organization of Welfare has issued a ban forbidding religious minorities from teaching in kindergarten due to a difference in “religious values.” The policy applies to all kindergartens except those used solely by religious minorities.

The Director General said that they are increasing focus of Islamic values for kindergarten aged children. Therefore, it is not possible for a religious minority to teach core classes at kindergartens, although it is possible for them to teach “extra-curricular activities” such as sports. The children of religious minorities often face difficulties in getting exempted from Islamic focused classes.

This directive violates Iran’s own laws which obligate the country to eliminate discrimination and create just opportunities for everyone. Christians who can prove their family was Christian prior to the 1979 Revolution have some limited constitutional provisions which protect the practice of their faith. Muslims who convert to Christianity have no legal protections.

This kind of directive once again shows the extent to which the Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to separate religious minorities from mainstream culture. Iran ranks as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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