Iranian government confiscating Buddha statues from stores

Government officials in Tehran are apparently confiscating Buddha statues from stores to stop the spread of Buddhism in Iran. An official for the protection of cultural heritage has labeled them “a cultural invasion” and said that authorities wouldn’t let a belief be promoted through the items.

A Tehran shopkeeper says customers who buy the statues don’t seem to be interested in Buddhism and just want them to decorate their homes.

While Iranian officials have previously confiscated Western influences like Barbies and cartoon characters, this may be the first time they’ve opposed Eastern symbols.

Iran’s constitution recognizes Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian beliefs alongside the official state religion of Islam and says that in general, the rights of non-Muslims should be respected.

(Photo: Stephanie Kraus via flickr, CC-BY license)