O SON OF BEING! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.
The 14 th May 2009 was the first anniversary of the detention of the “Friends” (or in Persian “Yaran”) members of an ad hoc group which provided basic informal administration for the Baha’i community in Iran. These seven innocent people are still being held in Tehran’s Evin prison without access to legal representation and in very little contact with their families. I am very concerned that the Bahá’í International Community reports that the families of the seven have been told that a new charge has been made against them that of “spreading corruption on earth” (Mofsede-fel-Arz). A charge which in post-revolutionary Iran has carried the death sentence.
IT is better to guide one soul than to possess all that is on earth, for as long as that guided soul is under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Unity, he and the one who hath guided him will both be recipients of God’s tender mercy, whereas possession of earthly things will cease at the time of death. The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God’s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! He causeth him whom He pleaseth to enter the shadow of His Mercy. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector, the All-Generous.
There is no paradise more wondrous for any soul than to be exposed to God’s Manifestation in His Day, to hear His verses and believe in them, to attain His presence, which is naught but the presence of God, to sail upon the sea of the heavenly kingdom of His good-pleasure, and to partake of the choice fruits of the paradise of His divine Oneness.
I am concerned to learn that according to Dr. Richard Land, a commissioner with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the state of religious freedom in Iran has “worsened” during the past year.
“In Iran, government rhetoric and actions worsened conditions for nearly all non-Shi’a religious groups, most notably for the Baha’is, as well as Sufi Muslims, evangelical Christians, and members of the Jewish community. The Commission has decided to designate Iran as a country of particular concern again because the situation has worsened,” said Land.
He added that the Iranian Parliament has been considering a law since September 2008, which includes a bill enshrining the death penalty for apostasy. “This proposed penal code should be rescinded,” said Land.
“The Commission urges the US government to call for the release of Muslim minorities and dissidents, including those Sufi Muslims in prison, as well as Ayatollah Boroujerdi, a senior Shi’a cleric who advocates the separation of religion and state,” he continued.
“The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based on primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused,” USCIRF’s 2009 report concluded.