McGill Teaching Fellow in International Studies at Trinity College
In a country where honest responses to simple questions such as “Are you a Muslim? Do you believe in God? Is the Holy Koran the word of God? Do you pray and read the Holy Koran? When you were growing up did your father pray, fast, and read the Holy Koran?” led to mass executions in the late 1980’s, it is very difficult to know who is secular and to what extent. In this kind of situation people do not trust each other easily and often deny their true identity. It is infinitely more complicated to conduct a survey that asks questions like “What is your religion, if any?” Therefore, this assessment of religious identification among Iranians has shortcomings in terms of a quantifiable evaluation.