Baha’is in Iran

Support Baha’i Rights Day!

Today the seven Baha’i leaders who have been held for more than a year in Iran without access to their lawyers are scheduled to be tried before a revolutionary court. Their charges are baseless, but they are punishable by death.

You can help. Iran Press Watch and The Muslim Network for Baha’i Rights have named today, July 11, Baha’i Right Day, and are calling on human rights supporters around the world to take a stand on behalf of basic rights for the Baha’is in Iran.

Here is what you can do:

  • Please inform your friends, family and colleagues that on July 11 they should Tweet, blog, Facebook or create any material in support of Baha’i human rights everywhere, specifically in Iran where Baha’is have been severely persecuted against for the past 30 years.
  • Please use your influence to try and get as many journalists as possible to formally recognize this day and write about Baha’is in Iran or the remaining struggles of Baha’is in Egypt and other countries.
  • Please contact other bloggers and request that they dedicate at least that single day (July 11) to write about Baha’is and their rights.
    Please Tweet about it consistently on July 11 and use the #BahaiRights hashtag in order for people to locate your comments. The idea is to make #BahaiRights a top trend on July 11.
  • If you are an artist, a website designer, a musician, or anyone with creative skills, please create material in honor of this day and in the name of all the Baha’i victims around the world who suffered persecution and violent discrimination for decades.
  • Visit the website
  • Stay informed: visit for the most up to date information.
  • Finally, remember that you do not have to be a Baha’i to participate! The idea for this Baha’i Rights Day came primarily from non-Baha’is.

As Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf said on July 9 about the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, “Human dignity and freedom must not be relegated to the sidelines.”

We Support You!

Members of the national coordinating group of the Iranian Baha’i community

As the world has been focused on the current turmoil in Iran, there is mounting continued concern for the safety of the Baha’is in that country. The Bahá’ís of Arlington stand in support with the seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran who have been in prison for over a year without access to their lawyer, formal charges or even the merest semblance of a transparent and fair judicial process. These seven individual are scheduled to stand trial on July 11th on the blatantly false and trumped up charges of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” These charges carry the penalty of death. As Friday’s New York Times noted, “The Bahais have long served as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine of Iran’s theocracy.”

In striking comparison to the injustice perpetrated against the Bahá’ís in Iran, the Universal House of Justice, the supreme administrative body for the Bahá’ís of the World, released this open letter last week. We know that the religious persecution of the Bahá’ís at the hands of the Iranian government is not in line with the desire of the Iranian people, as was stated in an open letter titled “We are Ashamed” signed on to by more than 200 academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists.

We ask that you join us in praying for the release of these seven individuals, and for the Iranian people. We pray not only for the release of these seven prisoners, but that there will be security and freedom for all citizens of Iran.

Radio Program on the Bahá’í Faith in Iran

We invite you to participate in a live online radio program on the Bahá’í Faith in Iran that will take place Tuesday March 17th on World Focus, PBS’s nightly international news program. According to the World Focus website, this program “will explore the background and history of the Baha’i faith, religious persecution in Iran and the arrest and forthcoming trial of the seven Baha’i leaders.” You are invited to submit questions for the show here.

You can tune into the live show on Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. EST at or listen after the fact at

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.