Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Community In Peril

The Baha'i community has recently received some ominous news from Iran. The seven members of the administrative Baha'i group in Iran, also known as the "Friends of Iran", who supervised the affairs of the believers in that country until their arrest in March and May of 2008, will be tried by the Revolutionary Court next week. They are falsely accused of espionage and other crimes and have not been given access to legal counsel. The U.S. Department of State has condemned the Iranian government's charges. Amnesty International has also issued an immediate call to action.

These individuals have served their communities and their Faith, and many of them have young families. For information on their background, please see Lives of Service.

For additional background on the persecution of Baha'is in the land of their Faith's birth, Iran, please see the website dedicated to news of the Persecution of Baha'is in Iran. Baha'is in Iran are denied access to higher education, children are harassed in schools, their homes are burned, their cemeteries are desecrated, property is confiscated, employment is denied, bank loans are rejected, they are imprisoned without cause, and they are denied many fundamental human rights. Baha'is have no political aspirations and are loyal citizens of the countries in which they reside. They are persecuted solely on the basis of religious belief.

You can help by contacting your Congressional Representatives. To find contact information, see The House of Representatives and The United States Senate. Any action will be very appreciated by the Baha'i Community, as the lives of these individuals are in immediate and extreme peril. If you are motivated to do so, please make a phone call or send an email to someone in government who can help. You can also help by learning about this imperiled community, by saying a prayer or thinking a positive thought, by talking about religious tolerance to your friends, or simply by reaching out to a neighbor or co-worker of another Faith or culture. We are blessed with the freedom to believe in this country, let us show our gratitude by helping those who don't have these basic freedoms, and by promoting tolerance and unity in our own communities.

Update: The United States House of Representatives has introduced a resolution, H.Res.175, on the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. (Download PDF) . Please ask your representative to co-sponsor and vote for this resolution. Go to The House of Representatives and enter your zip code to find your Representative. Follow the instructions to send an email and ask for co-sponsorship. It takes less than five minutes and may potentially help to protect these seven individuals.


At 4:31 PM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

Anne - it is horrible that people are persecuted in such a fashion for their beliefs or for any other reason, actually. Not just these 7 who apparently are singled out for particular hatred, but any others of this faith as well. It sounds much like the treatment of Jews in Germany during the 1930's (which obviously got even worse once the total Jewish genocide began during the war). Thanks for making people aware of this.

I haven't looked at your other links yet, but hasn't Iran tended to persecute Baha'is from the very start? This is a very long standing problem, isn't it? Excuse my ignorance if not. Art

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks Art. Yes, you're right, the entire Baha'i community is suffering: denial of education, denial of employment, harassment, desecration of graves and holy places, and sometimes even arrest.

Yes, Baha'is have been persecuted since the inception of their Faith.

Let's all hope for a peaceful resolution to this and for the restoration of human rights, for Baha'is and for all peoples.

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

I hope so too, Anne.

I'll be interested in what my representative says.

I will never understand why so many insist on persecuting others and denying them human rights. It is a real flaw in our species. But a strong point in our species are those who try to do something about it. Art

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks Art, yes that's true. Many people have spoken out in defense of the Baha'is. I hope it protects them from harm and they return to their families in safety.


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