Iran is the birthplace of the Baha'i Faith, has one of the largest Baha'i communities in the world (largest religious minority in Iran, actually), and is home to the most severe persecution of Baha'is. In the past couple months there has been a lot of distressing news coming from Iran. Persecution of the Baha'i community in Iran dates to the earliest days, literally, of the religion and has been punctuated by periodic tides of hatred and malice, all of which has taken on a more systematic tone ever since the discovery by UN officials of a blueprint, signed by the highest authorities in Iran, for the extermination of the Baha'i community. Denial of services, including education, layoffs, harassment, desecration of cemeteries, and indiscriminate jailings have all become routine. In recent months human rights groups have been reporting that Baha'i school children are being subjected to ridicule and harassment, even by teachers and administrators(!), and are made to sit silently while lies and distortions about the Baha'i Faith are taught. And last week things intensified when it came to light that the individuals serving on the informal administrative body for the national community (informal because formal Baha'i administrative bodies are outlawed in Iran) had their homes searched and were imprisoned, solely because of their beliefs. The last time this happened, twice in the early '80s, all the members were disappeared and never heard from again. The Baha'i world is doing all it can to make the situation known. A recent House Resolution condemning these actions is gathering more sponsors (including our Representative!), and media are increasingly shining a spotlight on these despicable actions.
More information can be found here.
And to hear what some American Baha'i children think about all this, watch this: