Monday, August 24, 2009

Persecution of the Baha'is in Iran

I have started reading the book, OLYA'S STORY, by Olya Roohizadegan.

It is the true story of a woman who was imprisoned in Iran in the 1980's. Her crime: choosing to be a Baha'i. I am choosing to read it now, because there has been a resurgance of persecution of Baha'is in Iran..even this week some Baha'is have gone missing. I am amazed by the strength of this woman and those around her...She wrote not out of bitterness of what she went through. I think she simply wanted others to know what happened to her and her friends and family. The amount of adversity she went through -was willing to go that her Faith would survive.

Integrity-–noun 1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

That word sums her up. She would not lie even if lying would save her life, the life of her family, or the harship of being imprisoned and tortured. Her faith was a part of who she was -heart and soul and she would not "sell out".....and when she was faced with "death" she was filled with joy..the joy of the detachment from this world...and the joy that they did not force her to give up her faith even after torturing her physically, emotionally, spiritually... She did survive and this is her story.


"Counting the seven people in Tehran who constituted the group that was known as the Friends in Iran, at least 31 Iranian Baha’is are in prison because of their religion. The seven “leaders” have now spent a full year in jail, six of them since 14 May 2008 and one since 5 March 2008.
The number of Baha’is in detention in Iran varies frequently as new people are arrested but others released after surrendering business licenses or posting property deeds or cash as collateral. Since March, there have been arrests in Shiraz, Semnan, Karaj, Tokeabon, Babol, Hamadan, Miandoab, Yazd, and Sari.
The collateral, or bail, required for temporary release from custody is often exorbitant. For example, six people arrested earlier this year in Tehran and released on bail in March (including a woman who had worked as a secretary for Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi) had to post the equivalent of more than $70,000 each.
As of 1 June, the cases of at least 220 Baha’is are still active with the authorities. This includes individuals in prison, those who have been released pending trial, those who have appealed their verdicts, those awaiting notification to begin serving prison sentences, and a few who are serving periods of internal exile. Thousands more have been questioned, threatened, or deprived of pensions, livelihood or education."

207 Baha'is have been executed in Iran since 1978.

They were executed simply for being Baha'is.

What does it mean to be a Baha'i.

What We Believe
© Bahá’í International Community
The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha'is come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Baha'i Faith the second-most-widespread religion in the world.
Baha'is view the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, is recognized as the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.
The central theme of Baha'u'llah's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for humanity’s unification into one global society. While reaffirming the core ethical principles common to all religions, Baha'u'llah also revealed new laws and teachings to lay the foundations of a global civilization. “A new life,” Baha'u'llah declared, “is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth.”
The worldwide Baha'i community, composed of people from virtually every racial, ethnic and religious background, is working to give practical expression to Baha'u'llah’s vision of world unity. We invite you to learn more about the Baha'i Faith and benefit from the spiritual and practical insights found in the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, God's message for humanity in this day.

taken from:

This next link is the famous "Mona" video from the eighties about the execution of a 16/17 year old girl.


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