U.S. Senate Support for Baha’is in Iran

ron_wydenUnited States Senator Ron Wyden introduced a Senate Resolution, S. Res. 71 on March 9 which addresses America’s concern over the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. The other original cosponsors include Senators Brownback, Menendez, Snowe and Whitehouse. Please contact or write to your Senators, and urge them to cosponsor this very important legislation.

Below is an excerpt of Senator Wyden’s congressional testimony:

“Mr. President, I rise today to speak in support of a resolution that I am offering with my colleagues, Senators Brownback, Menendez, Snowe, and Whitehouse. This resolution condemns the Iranian government’s persecution of its own Baha’i community and urges the Obama administration to speak out strongly against this continued injustice.

The Baha’i Faith, the world’s youngest independent monotheistic religion, was founded in Iran in 1844. Today, it is practiced by more than 5 million people across the planet, from Bangalore, India to Beaverton, Oregon. Roughly 300,000 of these adherents still live in Iran. Although Baha’i teachings emphasize equality, unity, and peace, Iranian authorities have viewed the religion as an apostasy and have treated it as a threat since the beginning.

The current Islamic Republic has been particularly hostile to Baha’i practitioners since its establishment in 1979. In 1983, Iran’s government formally banned all Baha’i religious institutions and criminalized membership in them and service to them. The regime has officially recognized Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians as religious minorities. It refuses to extend this same status to the Baha’is, even though they make up Iran’s largest religious minority.”

The entire congressional testimony and the text of the resolution are available as a PDF by clicking here.