Bahai News - Brazil to house Iranian victims of religious persecution

Brazil to house Iranian victims of religious persecution

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Brazil has agreed to take in 30 families who face religious persecution in their native Iran, authorities said Tuesday.

National Justice Secretary Elizabeth Sussekind said that the resettlement was part of an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The families belong to the Bahai faith, which is not accepted in Iran, a country run by fundamentalist Shiite Muslims.

The United Nations will cover the costs of the refugees' relocation and their living expenses over the course of one year. Brazil will provide them education and housing and help them find work.

The families will most likely be settled in the central western states of Tocantins, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, Sussekind said.

She added that Brazil was also considering requests from the United Nations to settle refugees from Sierra Leone and Sudan, two African countries wracked by ethnic conflicts.

Some 2,300 refugees, most of whom from Angola, live in Brazil.

©Copyright 2001, The Associated Press News Service

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