St. Paul, Minn. (February 20, 2011) – With grateful thanks to individuals and groups like Roxana Saberi, author of “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity In Iran”, Bob Abernethy of “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly”, United 4 Iran, as well as others; significant numbers of people beyond members of the Baha’i Faith alone have been made aware of the plight of the Baha’is in Iran under the oppressive theocratic government there, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
From the earliest years of the faith in the mid 1800s some 20,000 believers were martyred. Discrimination and executions have continued up to the present. Currently there are seven Baha’is imprisoned with ten-year sentences who were recently transferred to more brutal sections of their prison complex.
There is the very real fear that the court and prison authorities are hoping other inmates, egged on by false accusations, will torture to death these innocent souls. International pressure has surely been what has kept the court authorities from executing these Baha’is themselves. Continued international pressure is hoped to win them their freedom.
In light of these recent developments several Baha’i communities are holding devotional gatherings for all of the Baha’is in Iran, though especially for these seven known as the Yaran (Friends in Iran).
Please accept this letter as an invitation to join your Baha’i friends on Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., at the Minneapolis Baha’i Center, 3644 Chicago Ave., for prayers, updates on these conditions in Iran, refreshments and fellowship.
Personal invitations have already been sent to local house and senate members with notes of thanks for their earlier support of resolutions condemning the treatment of the Baha’is in Iran. This invitational letter is being sent out widely to local human rights offices, interfaith organizations and the print and broadcast media.
To learn more about the Baha’is in Iran please visit: http://iran.bahai.us
Peace and Respect,
David N. Sterling
Public Information Officer for the Baha’is of St. Paul