(Persia Digest) – The Head of Tehran Jewish Community (TJC) pointed to the freedom of religious minorities in Iran, stressing: “Iran’s Jewish Community has no problems conducting its religious and cultural practices. Jewish schools and organizations conduct their activities freely in Iran.”
Speaking about human rights institutions’ claims about the violation of the rights of religious minorities in Iran, Homayun Sameyah said: “In addition to our knessets and special schools, we have special organizations for our youth who are active within the law. Our youth can promote their Jewish identity and the Islamic Republic has always supported us.”
He added: “For example, when we go to court to solve problems, the judiciary examines the issue without any discrimination; if there are any problems, it can be solved by talking to the authorities.”
Sameyah praised the positive role of the Citizen's Rights Charter in recognizing the rights of Iranian Jewish citizens adopted by the Rouhani cabinet, and said: “In Dr Rouhani's government, several problems of the Jewish community were resolved, including Saturday holidays in schools (Sabbath).
As reported by Persia Digest (PD), Jews have lived in Iran for over 3000 years after their forced immigration from Israel to Assyria, Babel, and the western and central parts of Iran over consecutive periods of time. Throughout history, Jews have had a close cultural and religious relationship with other Iranians, and they have an Iranian identity for themselves.
During the reign of Cyrus the Great, Jews were allowed to return to Israel which was part of the Achaemenid Empire by then and rebuild their temple. But groups stayed in Iran and freely safeguarded their culture and religion.
The Jews have an MP at the Iranian Parliament as provided for in the Constitution. Today, Iran has a Jewish population of around 15 thousand people who live mainly in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Yazd, Kerman, and Rafsanjan. Smaller numbers also live in other cities.
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