Today, Keivan Mohammad Hassan lives a peaceful life with his family as a civil engineer in Sacramento, California. But things could easily be very different.
Hassan believes that had he not fled his homeland as a refugee, he would likely number among the Iranian Baha'is facing years behind bars simply for working to provide younger members of their community a tertiary education.
"If myself and my wife were there, we would be imprisoned," he said.
Hassan, 31, is a member of the Baha'i Faith, Iran's largest religious minority with an estimated 300,000 members. Considered by the ruling clergy to be apostates, Baha'is have been persecuted in Iran since the faith arose there in the mid-19th century. more