[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Ketab-e Avval


Art Centre of Islamic Propagation Organization 

Address: Hafez Avenue, between Somayeh and Taleghani

The current building of the Art Centre, which is a place for supply innovation and production of cultural products, with an area of more than 2,000 square metres and traditional architecture, was the Haziratu’l-Quds, or House of Worship, of the Baha’is, before the Islamic Revolution.

After the Revolution, martyr Morteza Avini, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and many other young, revolutionary artists turned that place into a place for revolutionary arts.

Now, after twenty-two years of artistic activities, the Art Centre is a centre that includes Surah cinema services, screening films in ninety cinemas of the country, Surah University, with art [courses], the Institute of Visual Arts, the Artists’ Foundation, the Scientific and Applied [Arts] Centre, the Music Centre, the Office of Literary Creations, the Screenwriting Workshop, publications, a printing house, a well-equipped library with many art books, the photographer’s house and a press unit.

Another active section of the Art Centre is the Institute of Islamic Culture and Art, which, by gathering researchers, produces books in the field of Islamic and non-Islamic art in the fields of architecture and....

The traditional dining room of Shabestan is another active part of the Art Centre with live performances of local and traditional Iranian music.

Baha’is are the followers of Baha’ism, which has about 200,0000 followers worldwide. Iran is the cradle of the Baha’i Faith, and the first person who called himself Baha’u’llah was a person by the name of Mirza Hossein-Ali Nouri, born in the year of 1310 after Hijrat [1892] [sic].

He was imprisoned after a group of Babis attempted to kill Nassereddin Shah, and then was exiled with his brother Mirza Yahya Azal, known as Ṣobḥ-e Azal. He spent some time in Baghdad amid the followers of Babism and then, in the appearance of a dervish, he roamed in Sulaymaniyah and Kurdestan. When he returned to Baghdad, he claimed, in the presence of some people, to be none other than the one “who was promised by the Bab” [sic].

After the suppression of the followers of Baha’ism during the Qajar period, which was ordered by Amir Kabir, the Baha’is remained silent in Iran for some time. Then in the second Pahlavi period and the early decades of the 1300s, the Baha’i Faith revived due to the financial and political support of the United States and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and a place was dedicated to them.

The Haziratu’l-Quds, or “heaven”, the house of worship of the Baha’is in Tehran, was built like a magnificent palace with architecture of the Qajar era and in imitation of the royal palaces, with traditional tile and mirror works in the middle of a green area. The two-storey building was built as a hall, consisting of high ceilings and beautiful plasterwork. However, since Baha’ism was recognized as an anti-divine religion, the followers of Baha’ism moved their base after the Revolution from Iran to the [United States of America] [sic].

Now the Baha’i Faith is managed by a council. The magnificent building of the council, called the “Mashriqu’l-Adhkar” [sic] is being built in Haifa, Israel.