As You Read This Letter, I Am Behind Bars: Baha’i Persecution in Iran

“I see the good in the world because I choose to. I don’t imagine that it’s there; it’s there waiting to be noticed.”

I seem to be on a bit of a “peace and equality” theme here, both because what I have personally seen and because of the wars currently being waged in our world today in the name of religion (seriously, my ultimate pet peeve). There is a quieter war being waged in Iran today as well. It’s not in the mainstream media so most of you probably haven’t heard about it, but it’s there. The Iranian government has been persecuting the Baha’is for decades now, and recently, there has been an increase in imprisonment and inequalities towards this group of people just because of their beliefs.
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A Stair Step to the Truth: Persecution, World Unity, and the Baha’i Faith

“Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses…”

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(I took this in Delhi at the Baha’i lotus temple)

Shirine (my name for those of you who didn’t know) is an uncommon name for a white Canadian due to the fact that it is of Persian origins, a name you would more commonly hear in Iran than where I am from. That’s because I am named after a Persian young women, a Baha’i martyr who was hung, at the young age of twenty-five (in 1983), because she would not denounce her faith. Though she could have fled, she choose instead to stay in Shiraz in order to continue serving her community. When asked how long she would hold off denouncing her faith, she said, “Even to death! I hope that God’s mercy will enable me to remain steadfast up to the last breath of my life.” Which is exactly what she did.

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