Since the inception of the Bahai Faith in Iran, the Bahai have been persecuted. No fair account of the history of the Faith can ignore or neglect the many instances of persecution which has been systematic of its followers. Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By (page 37) writes,

For the first time in the Faith’s history a systematic campaign in which the civil and ecclesiastical powers were banded together was being launched against it, a campaign that was to culminate in the horrors experienced by Bahá’u’lláh in the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán and His subsequent banishment to ‘Iráq. Government, clergy and people arose, as one man, to assault and exterminate their common enemy.

Recently during the past 3 years, a new wave of persecution has commenced in Iran. This post is an attempt to make a compilation of the webpages and documents that will give the reader a thorough introduction to the situation of Bahai in Iran.

 

Introductions

For a more basic introduction to the question of persecution of Bahais in Iran, here, here or here.

 

The Bahai Question

In 1993 a confidential memorandum from the Iranian Government became known in which it says: “a plan shall be formulated to combat and destroy the cultural roots which this group has outside the country.” This memorandum, refers to the Bahai Question and outlines what is to be done. For more information about this, see “The Bahai Question – Cultural Cleansing in Iran”.

 

Denial of Education

One of the ways in which Bahais are persecuted, is that they are denied education. You can read more about this at this webpage.

The Bahais in Iran set up their own system of higher education as they were denied this by the government. It is called BIHE and is worth taking a look at.

 

Updated information about ongoing persecution

To keep yourself updated on news in relation to the persecution of Bahais in Iran, subscribe or regularly visit Iran Press Watch which “confines its scope to “generally surveying the role of the Persian-language press as it pertains to the persecution of the Bahai, including the translations of related articles. Iran Press Watch also provides these records in an archive accessible to the public for research and educational purposes. “

Another source of information is The Bahai World News Service. For regularly updated news related to the persecution of the Bahais in Iran and what the Bahai Community is doing to support and defend them, click this link.

Quite recently, there was a conference on “Intellectual Othering and the Bahai Question in Iran”. At this conference, which was organized by Toronto Initiative for Iranian Studies, talks where given about different aspects of this issue. All the talks are recorded and available in both English and Persian here.

 

Letters from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahai in Iran

The Universal House of Justice has written quite a number of letter to the Bahais in Iran. I have tried to gather them here but most likely I have missed a few. These letters are really interesting and many times are inspiration to us outside Iran.

2008-05-19 The Universal House of Justice letter

2008-06-03 The Universal House of Justice letter

2008-06-20 The Universal House of Justice letter

2008-07-28 The Universal House of Justice letter

2008-10-31 The Universal House of Justice letter

2009-02-09 The Universal House of Justice letter

2009-03-05 The Universal House of Justice letter

2009-03-18 The Universal House of Justice letter

2009-03-26 The Universal House of Justice letter

2009-06-23 The Universal House of Justice letter

2010-01-10 The Universal House of Justice letter

2011-03-21 The Universal House of Justice letter

 

Constructive Resilience – The Bahai Response to Oppression

In face of all these persecution and oppression, how do the Bahá’ís manage and what kind of response are they giving? In a letter (2007-09-09 UHJ To Bahais Denied Education in Iran) from the Universal House of Justice to those Bahai in Iran who were denied higher education, they use the term Constructive Resilience. Dr. Michael Karlberg has given a short talk on the matter and also written an article called Constructive Resilience – The Bahai Response to Oppression. You can also find this article on his blog.

I hope these links will be of help to you.

Advertisements