Bahai News - U.S. demands freedom for Bahais in Iran Published: Saturday, March 18, 2000

WORTH HEARING``It seem the world has no conscience when it comes to human life. When the West wants to intervene militarily anywhere in the world, they get there in record time.''

-- Graca Machel, former first lady of Mozambique and now wife of Nelson Mandela, former South African president, commenting on the slow response of Western governments to aid her country in the wake of catastrophic floods as quoted by the Associated Press.

U.S. demands freedom for Bahais in Iran

The U.S. government has called for the United Nations to condemn Iran's persecution of members of the Bahai faith. According to the Commission on International Religious Freedom, a revolutionary court has sentenced three members of the Bahai faith to death for unspecified anti-security acts three different times. Iran's supreme court overturned the charges after the first two arrests but the men have now been detained again and await execution. The men were arrested for holding monthly Bahai ``family life'' meetings.

The Bahai faith claims 6.4 million members around the world and teaches that all religions lead to the path of truth. Believers stress peace and the unity of all faiths. But in Iran the religion is considered a heresy of Islam, and Baha'i believers have been persecuted and executed for decades.

``The Bahais on death row must be freed without delay and the systemic persecution of the Bahai community must stop,'' said the chairman of the Commission on Religious Freedom, David Saperstein. ``The Iranian government should understand that the world is watching.''

-- Clark Morphew, staff writer

©Copyright 2000, PioneerPlanet/St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press

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