[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Dated Wednesday, 14 Azar 1358 [5 December 1979]
To the presence of His Holiness Grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, the Supreme Leader, may His exalted shadow be extended
While submitting our utmost respect and reverence, we would like to bring to your attention the oppressions committed against this defenceless community that compel us to write this letter. The Baha’is have existed in this country for 136 years, and are considered the largest religious minority. They confess to the oneness of God, and believe in the truth of all Prophets and Messengers and Sacred Imams―peace be upon Them―and attest to all the Holy Books, including the Words of God, the Holy Quran. They are [supporters] of the oneness and unity of the whole of humanity, are obedient to the government and national authorities at all times, and are continuously engaged in serving the interests of our homeland. Before the Revolution, this community was targeted by notorious oppressions, including injuries, murder, plunder, demolition and burning of their homes. More than a thousand of their houses and businesses were destroyed.
According to numerous promises by Your Holiness, regarding protection of the rights of all minorities, this community was hoping for some relief following that intensity. Following the victory of the Revolution, this minority proved its absolute obedience and servitude, both verbally and in action; nevertheless, the same restrictions and difficulties were repeated. Armed people attacked the offices of this community in various localities and took away all their papers, publications and books. Then all properties and organizations related to this minority, even some of their cemeteries, were confiscated without any questions or trials. Then some holy places of this community were demolished, which brought anguish to the hearts of a multitude of people. The oppressed Bahá’ís were expelled from their own homes, and many became homeless and vagrant. Now, a large number of government employees who have spent their lives in utmost honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty, serving the country and its people, are being expelled by various baseless accusations which this community has suffered from a century ago up to now.
Although referrals were made in writing to all authorities regarding the aforementioned restrictions, not the smallest result was obtained. As many petitions were submitted to the Assembly of Experts to consider their personal issues and freedom in worship, absolutely no results were attained. Therefore, we now extend our hand toward your exalted authority and take up the precious time of that powerful leader to seek justice, and to request a resolution to the following problems by your capable hands:
- Restoration of all properties related to this community.
- Adjudication of the rights of all civil servants and employees in any way deemed suitable.
- Permission to [conduct] the personal affairs of the Bahá’ís and [to enjoy] freedom in their worship.
We firmly believe that, with the inherent generosity existing in that great leader, this community will benefit from your mercy, kindness and favour in removal of the present restrictions and the establishment of proper orders. Our hopes are that in future―and rightly so, as in the past―the level of obedience and servitude to the government by this minority will be proven and demonstrated more than ever in your sight.
With utmost respect,
On behalf of the Bahá’í Community of Iran