Monday, July 27, 2009

Bahai Candlelight Vigil

On Friday, August 7th, from 7:30 to 9:15 PM, the Baha’i Community of Santa Fe will present a devotional and musical program and candlelight vigil on the Santa Fe Plaza in support of the Baha’i’s imprisoned in Iran and facing imminent death, and to promote freedom of all religions and worldwide human rights. The Honorable Mayor David Coss of Santa Fe and a representative of the Baha’i community of Santa Fe will address the gathering.

For more information and interesting details: Click on left sidebar "Bahai Candlelight Vigil"

On May 14, 2008 Iranian government officials arrested six well-known Baha’i’s and took them to the notorious Evin prison, in Tehran. A seventh Baha’i was arrested on March 5, 2008. Now, one year later “The Yaran 7” (The 7 Friends)”, as they have become known, are scheduled for a staged trial that will determine their fate. The last time a similar event occurred, in 1980 after the Iranian Revolution, all nine Baha’i’s taken into custody were executed. No charges have been filed. Their only crime is being a Baha'i.

Not even Nobel Peace Laureate and attorney, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, who volunteered to represent the Baha’i’s, has been permitted to meet with and interview the prisoners.

Arrested were: Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr. Vahid Tizfahm, and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet. All live in Tehran.

Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran has ratified, guarantees "the right of thought, conscience and religion," as well as the right to change religion and "to manifest ... religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

However, in Iran, active repression of the Baha’i community is official government policy. This policy was outlined in a secret memorandum that was uncovered and published by the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 1993. Written by the Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council in 1991 and signed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, this document provides a blueprint for the suppression of the Iranian Baha’i community. It contains specific guidelines for dealing with the Baha’is so that “their progress and development are blocked.”

Some 300,000 Baha’is live throughout Iran, making the Baha’i Faith the country’s largest minority religion. Baha’is have been targets of discrimination and violence in Iran since the religion began there in the mid-nineteenth century. More than 200 Baha’is were killed in Iran between 1978 and 1998, the majority by execution, and thousands more were imprisoned, suffering torture. Today the Iranian government regards Baha’is as apostates and “unprotected infidels.” Baha’is in Iran have no legal rights, and they are not permitted to elect leaders of their community. The Baha’i Faith has no clergy, and community affairs are coordinated by democratically elected governing councils called Spiritual Assemblies.

About the Baha'i Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. Its founder, Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahá'ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization. The principal challenge facing the peoples of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification.

One of the purposes of the Bahá'í Faith is to help make this possible. A worldwide community of some five million Bahá'ís, representative of most of the nations, races and cultures on earth, is working to give Bahá'u'lláh's teachings practical effect. Their experience will be a source of encouragement to all who share their vision of humanity as one global family and the earth as one homeland.

For further information about the plight of the Iranian Baha’i community, please visit the web site:

For further information about the Baha’i Faith and the global community of Baha’is, please visit the website: