Rainn Wilson, popularly known for his role as “Dwight Shrute” on The Office, has an article about Baha’i persecution in Iran. First he summarizes what the Baha’i faith teaches:
I am a member of the Baha’i faith. What is that, you ask? Well, long story short, it’s an independent world religion that began in the mid-1800s in Iran. Baha’is believe that there is only one God and therefore only one religion.
All of the world’s divine teachers (Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Abraham, Krishna, etc.) bring essentially the same message — one of unity, love and knowledge of God or the divine.
This constantly updated faith of God, Baha’is believe, has been refreshed for this day and age by our founder, Baha’u’llah. There. Nutshell version.
Well, it’s news to me that Jesus and Muhammad brought a message of “unity” — Jesus, after all, said “I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother…” (Matt 10:35) and Muhammad seemed quite keen on killing infidels. However, it’s a nice thing to believe and I’m all for unity, love, and knowledge.
But it doesn’t really matter what they believe. Persecuting people for their religious beliefs (or lack there of) is wrong and must be opposed.
A trial is going on in Iran for seven Baha’i leaders:
They’ve been accused of all manner of things including being “spies for Israel,” “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”
They’ve been held for a year in Evin Prison in Tehran without any access to their lawyer (the Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi) and with zero evidence of any of these charges….
In fact, since 1979, more than 200 Baha’is have been killed, holy places and cemeteries desecrated, homes burned, civil rights taken away and secret lists compiled of Baha’is (and even Muslims who associate with them) by government agencies.
What can we do?
There is a resolution on the situation of the Baha’is in Iran being sent to Congress. Please ask your representatives to support it. And ask them to speak out about this terrible situation.
I know I spend most of my time speaking against religion on this site. However, I also firmly believe that religious persecution — whether of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Baha’i, or any other religion — must be opposed. People should never be hurt or jailed because they think differently, unless they are a danger to others or their property.
We can all support an end to religious persecution, even while we yearn to free people from religious delusion.