Persecution and Development: The History of the Baha’i Community of Māhfurūzak in Mazandaran, Iran | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1354-8697
  • E-ISSN: 2040-1701



The Baha’i Faith was introduced to the village of Mahfuruzak (near Sari in Mazandaran, Iran) when the village chief invited his nephew Mulla `Ali Jan to come to be the religious leader of the village in about 1871. Mulla `Ali Jan had already become a Baha’i while studying and now gradually started to spread the new religion among the people of the village. Eventually the whole village became Baha’is as did many from surrounding villages. Mulla `Ali and his wife `Alaviyyih Khanum also began the social and economic development of the village. The progress made attracted the enmity of the Muslim clerics of the area who sent false reports to the government, resulting in an attack on the village and the arrest and execution of Mulla `Ali Jan. Despite this, `Alaviyyih Khanum continued the development of the village as well as travelling to spread the Baha’i Faith. The traditional school that had been set up in the village was transformed into a modern school. Persecution of the Baha’i community resumed during and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.


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