APR 28 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Wyden, (D-OR), Dick Durbin, (D-IL), and John Boozman, (R-AR) introduced a resolution condemning the Iranian regime for persecuting the 300,000 members of the Baha’i faith.
The Iranian Baha’i community is the largest religious minority in Iran with membership of more than 300,000 people. Unlike other religious minorities such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, Iran’s Baha’is have never been recognized officially and are often subjected to persecution by the Iranian regime.
The regime often seizes personal property, denies Baha’i access to education and employment opportunities and detains or imprisons Baha’is based solely on their religious beliefs. Over the past 10 years, about 850 Baha’is have been arbitrarily arrested in Iran. This resolution denounces the religious persecution and calls for the immediate release of all religious prisoners.
Dear Senator Rubio;
Thank you for standing in defense of the human rights of the Baha’is of Iran. I teach psychology online to the Baha’i students of Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE). The Islamic Regime has banned Baha’i students from attending university. Almost all of my students suffer from symptoms of PTSD. They have experienced generations of authorities raiding their homes, searching, confiscating their belongings, handcuffing, and taking away their parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents. One of my present students was telling me how she cannot focus, sleep, or manage her anxiety about what can happen next. She shared how when she was in 1st grade, her teacher was told the class Baha’is are infidels, enemies of Islam, defiled and bring God’s wrath to anyone who befriends them. My student, in her purity of heart, questioned the teacher’s view. The teacher became angry, grabbed her by the hand and dragged her out of the class into the schoolyard, and told her she will throw her in a deep well filled with hungry rats to eat her and drag her bones to hell. To this date, my student has nightmares about this incident.
The Baha’is of Iran see themselves as a solution to the problems of their country and the world. They see the Baha’i message of oneness of humanity, harmony of science and religion, independent investigation of truth, as an antidote to ignorance, prejudice, and inhumanity in their country. They are magnanimous and resilient, but they cannot persevere without support. To be resilient, we all need support.
Thank you for being a support for the cause of good, support for the forces of light, love, and global hope and oneness of all humanity.