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Seperation of church & state
Zoroastrians say state discrimination holding them back
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posted January 15, 2001 10:10
TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iran's Zoroastrians are the victims of official discrimination that blocks them from holding jobs in the public sector, a community leader was quoted saying Saturday. The criticisms come after similar complaints from members of Iran's Jewish and Kurdish minority communities over the past few weeks.
"In recent years, no Zoroastrian has been employed by state organisations and the members of the community, having equal terms as others, have been rejected by recruitment officials," Rostam Gohari said.
Gohari, head of the Zoroastrian community in Tehran, told the state IRNA news agency that economic and employment problems were the "main reason" why Zoroastrians have been emigrating from the Islamic republic.
He said the Zoroastrian community in Iran now numbers around 97,000 people.
Zoroastrianism was the national religion of ancient Persia before being replaced by Islam in the seventh century.
In November, Kurdish MP Jalal Jalalizadeh denounced before parliament what he said was a campaign of repression and serial kilings against the some six-million-strong Kurdish minority in Iran.
Last month Iran's Jewish MP said systematic discrimination blocks Jews from taking advanced university degrees or moving up the ranks in the Iranian government.
All times are PT (US)
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