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.