Bahá’ís face discrimination in Iran

Members of the BaháâÄôí Faith , IranâÄôs largest religious minority, have been subject to systematic persecution by the Iranian government for more than a century. In recent years, they have been victims of arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, searches and seizures. Their activities are closely monitored, several of their cemeteries have been vandalized and destroyed, and they are routinely denied access to higher education. Anti-BaháâÄôí propaganda seeks to misrepresent the BaháâÄôís and to incite hatred against them. The BaháâÄôí Faith is considered heretical by the Iranian government and clergy, who consider Muhammad to be the last and final prophet and deny the possibility of subsequent divine revelation. BaháâÄôís, while accepting the divine origins of Islam, believe that their founder, BaháâÄôuâÄôlláh , has come with a renewed message for humanity suited for the age in which we live. BaháâÄôuâÄôlláhâÄôs teachings include the oneness of God, the oneness of humanity, the common origin of all major world religions, the equality of men and women, the abandonment of all forms of prejudice and the independent investigation of truth. The human rights violations perpetrated against the BaháâÄôís of Iran, as appalling as they are, present an important opportunity for the international community to come together and demand religious freedom and human rights for all. Some progress has already been made, ranging from U.N. and national government resolutions to initiatives such as the World Art Collective that allow participants from across the globe to voice their support. It is our hope that as awareness of the issue spreads and unified action is taken at all levels of society, the BaháâÄôí community of Iran will at last be allowed to freely work for the betterment of the world and to add its efforts to those of the many who share this noble goal. Daniel Greuel is a member of The Bahá’í Campus Association. Please send comments to [email protected]