Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A New Year of Pressure for Iranian Baha'is

It's seems that Baha'is in Iran are beginning the New Year under increasing pressure from the government and the media in a campaign that some fear may be a sign of a new wave of persecution. Below are the opening paragraphs of an article in the Baha'i World News Service detailing these ominous developments:

UN Religious Freedom Official expresses fears for Baha'is in IranUNITED NATIONS, 20 March 2006 (BWNS)
Representatives of the Baha'i International Community reacted with alarm today to a United Nations official's statement about actions of the Iranian government against the Baha'is in Iran. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, stated that she was highly concerned and expressed her apprehensions in a press release posted today about "a confidential letter sent on 29 October 2005 by the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of the Armed Forces in Iran to a number of governmental agencies." "The letter," she said, "which is addressed to the Ministry of Information, the Revolutionary Guard and the Police Force, states that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, had instructed the Command Headquarters to identify persons who adhere to the Baha'i faith and monitor their activities. The letter goes on to request the recipients to, in a highly confidential manner, collect any and all information about members of the Baha'i faith."

You can read the complete article here.

I am reminded of the Words of Baha'u'llah Who Himself suffered forty years at the hands of those blinded by ignorance, fanaticism and desire for worldy power:
Behold how in this Dispensation the worthless and foolish have fondly imagined that by such instruments as massacre, plunder and banishment they can extinguish the Lamp which the Hand of Divine power hath lit, or eclipse the Day Star of everlasting splendor. How utterly unaware they seem to be of the truth that such adversity is the oil that feedeth the flame of this Lamp! Such is God's transforming power. He changeth whatsoever He willeth; He verily hath power over all things....
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 72)