Mohammad Abolghassem Doulabi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s special representative in clerical affairs

Senior Cleric Claims Religion In Iran Weak, 50,000 Mosques Closed

Friday, 06/02/2023

A senior Iranian cleric says around 50,000 of Iran's 75,000 mosques are closed, showing the declining numbers of Iranians attending. 

Expressing regret over the low numbers engaged in worship, Mohammad Abolghassem Doulabi, who serves as the liaison between Ebrahim Raisi’s administration and the country’s seminaries, said on Thursday that the numbers are a "worrying admission” for a state built around the principles of Islam.

Doulabi, who is also a member of the Assembly of Experts – a deliberative body empowered to appoint the Supreme Leader – said the outcome of religion in Iran has led to people leaving religion.

Emphasizing the weakening of religiosity among society and in turn, a weakening legitimacy of a government ruling by religious diktat, he said: “When people look at the output of the religion, they decide to enter the religion or leave the religion," with reasons including “the humiliation of people in the name of religion," “falsification of religious concepts and teachings,” and “depriving people of a decent life and creating poverty in the name of religion.”

He made the remarks as growing numbers of Iranians of all ages are becoming weary of the regime's justification of Islam as the base of its brutal dictatorship, reflected by months of violent protest since September in the wake of the death in morality policy custody of Mahsa Amini, arrested for the inappropriate use of her hijab.

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