Today the WSJ has a front-page report on the Shiite shrine of Iman Reza in Iran:
Inside Iran’s Holy Money Machine
Each year, more than 12 million Iranians, Iraqis and other Shiite Muslims journey to the shrine here in northeast Iran to pay homage to Imam Reza, a revered ninth-century martyr. All come to pray before his tomb — and many to stuff bank notes in a gold-and-silver cage that protects his ancient bones.
The shrine has for centuries intermingled faith and money, collecting donations of cash, land, jewelry and works of art from the devout. Today, it is not only Iran’s most sacred religious site but also, by some reckonings, the Islamic republic’s biggest and richest business empire.
The WSJ has a slide show: Giving Back at the Shrine of Imam Reza
Read the whole article, and don’t forget the late Paul Klebnikov’s report on Iran’s Millionaire Mullahs
A nuclear threat to the rest of the world, Iran is robbing its own people of prosperity. But the men at the top are getting extremely rich.