Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Trial and Tribulation: Boston Baha'is Standing Up


Boston Baha'is mark anniversary of imprisonment

of Baha'i leaders in Iran with public event and letters to Congress


Baha'is in Boston will host a public meeting on Sunday June 7th at 2:00 pm at the Boston Baha’i Center to mark the one-year anniversary of the imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran, who have spent a year in jail without formal charges or access to their lawyer, Shirin Ebadi. The families of the prisoners were recently informed that a new accusation has been lodged against them by the Iranian government, the charge of “spreading corruption on earth,” which carries the threat of death under Iran's penal code. The seven are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All but one of the group were arrested on May 14, 2008 at their homes in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was arrested on March 5, 2008 while in Mashhad. The prosecution of the leaders is just one step in a 30-year-long systematic campaign orchestrated by the government to eliminate the Baha’i community as a viable entity in Iran, the birthplace of the Baha'i Faith.


The commemoration will feature a worship service in honor of the imprisoned Baha’is and testimonials from local Baha’is who have been directly affected by the persecution of the Iranian Baha’i community.


There will also be an opportunity for attendees to write to their members of Congress, and urge them cosponsor two resolutions, H.Res 175 and S.Res.71, currently before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, which call for the release of the Iranian Baha'i leaders and other Bahá’í prisoners. Representatives, Frank, McGovern, and Capuano have already cosponsored H. Res. 175.


The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions and one of the fastest-growing, with a significant presence throughout the United States. Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Baha'i tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace.

Updates and background on the situation of the Baha'is in Iran are posted at

http://iran.bahai.us.

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