Iran is one of only three Islamic Republics in the world. And when you get down to it, you can see how it doesn’t actually function like a republic… but here’s why this matters. For the last 40 years, politics and religion in Iran have been one and the same. It’s the Islamic Republic of Iran. So the main religion is Islam. So you can’t have any other religion other than Islam. So when you are born in Iran, you are told you are Muslim. You have to practice Islam and that’s your religion by birth. Islam is not a choice, it’s what you’re forcibly born into, and in people’s minds: the rules of the government and the rules of Islam are the same thing. There is no separation between the church and state.