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|1981 5 Dec
||The Bahá'í cemetery in Tehran was seized "by order of the Revolutionary Court. Five caretakers and eight temporary workers were arrested and the cemetery was closed. [Mess63-86p510]
The Baha’i cemetery, known as “Golestan-i-Javid” – the Eternal Garden – was confiscated. Ten years later, the City of Tehran demolished the cemetery in order to build the Khavaran Cultural Complex. In accordance with Shi’a jurisprudence, the conversion for the purpose of so-called “improvement” of a cemetery is only permissible after 30 years, but in this case only ten years had passed. The construction of the Khavaran Cultural Centre required deep excavation and the disinterment of more than 1,000 bodies. The design for the sunken yard and the vast basement of this complex was in reality a modern solution to the doctrinal problem of cleansing the soil of the “contamination” of the “unclean” remains of Bahá'ís. During the excavation and recycling of the soil, the remains of the “non-believer” Bahá'ís were apparently used in the foundation for the road and a new overpass. [Iran Press Watch 11 June 2018]
For the historical background of the mistreatment of the dead in Iran see Iran Press Watch 19288.iiiii
Since the Baha’is have always been prohibited from burying their dead in Muslim cemeteries, the acquisition of burial grounds has been a major goal of the Baha’i communities. From the earliest days, Baha’i dead have been buried in their own private properties, in plots of land donated by individual Baha’is to the community as local endowments, or, where possible, in the community-owned cemeteries obtained by collective financial contributions of individual Bahais. A systematic process of acquiring separate Baha’i cemeteries, however, was inaugurated in most Baha’i communities in the 1920s and continued in later decades. Prior to the 1979 revolution, most of the principal Baha’i centers had their own cemeteries run under the supervision of the local Spiritual Assembly. After the revolution most of them have been destroyed and desecrated. [BAHAISM v. The Bahai Community in Iran by V. Rafati]
||Cemeteries and graves; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Destruction; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution; Golestan-i-Javid; Eternal Garden; Khavaran Cultural Complex; Persecution, denial of burial; Z****