How religious are Iranians?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 18, 2020 05:08 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 18, 2020 05:08 AM

From what I have seen here in the USA, all Iranians I have met are not religious or they practice another religion other than Islam. I have met three Iranian women in college, two of them identify as Shia, but do not practice it. The two of them also do not follow dietary laws of Islam and eat pork-derived foods. They also wear western style clothing, they do not attend the mosque or read the Quran, and they enjoy drinking vodka, bourbon, and beer. The third woman identifies as Zoroastrian.

Another interesting thing I’ve read is that some journalists, who have traveled to Iran, believe that as many as 75% of Iranians do not identify as Muslim, however, this may have actually meant many are not practicing, rather than not Muslim altogether.

Religious attendance rates in Iran have also plummeted since the 1979 Revolution, with some believing that only about 1-2% of Iranians attend the mosque regularly.

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Notably, Iranians living in the West have been known to adapt well to western society as compared to other peoples’ from Islamic countries. And many have also turned away from Islam for atheism, Christianity, Bahaism, and even back to Zoroastrianism. For example, in a 2008 survey conducted by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), the percent of Iranians in the USA identifying as Muslim was 42%, and since than, it has decreased further down to about 30% in 2012 under the same survey.

There are also many claims and reports that Christianity is now becoming the fastest growing religion in Iran; mainly from high levels of conversions. The reasons for this phenomenon are still not completely known, due to insufficient data. But some sources believe that anywhere from 100,000-3,000,000 Iranians have converted to Christianity since the Iranian Revolution, which may indicate that the number of Christians of Muslim-background now outnumber Iran’s native Christian population (mostly Assyrians and Armenians). Some estimates say that Christianity is increasing at a rate of 5.2-20% every year in Iran, while atheism may be increasing at a rate of 7.2% in Iran, with some figures showing that Richard Dawkins, one of the four horsemen of new atheism, is the most googled person in Iran.

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Turning away from Shia in Iran: ”A Tsunami of Atheism”

Christianity and atheism growing in Iran – Mission Network News

Overall, it seems Iranians from my observations, both personally and professionally, are not very religious when it comes to Islam, but many are open to other faiths as well or deny religion altogether.

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