[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

To Your Highness

May Your Achievements Continue

 

After greetings, at this time when you are a nominee for membership of the National Consultative Assembly, the Baha’i community of Iran would like to wish you success in performing this great responsibility and to share with you, for your information, some facts and accounts of this religious minority. On the one hand, Your Highness, in order to carry out his duties on behalf of the people, would naturally like to be aware of the true circumstances of the various communities which live in this land, and on the other hand, the Iranian Baha’is, during 136 years of their historical existence in this country, have never been able to express their beliefs to their compatriots and to explain their spiritual ways of living, and the void produced as a result of this obscurity has been filled with unjust accusations and fallacious calumnies. We hope that Your Highness will kindly read this letter with utmost impartiality, and a heart and spirit free from any trace of prejudice.

The Baha’is of Iran constitute the biggest religious minority in this country and their population exceeds that of all the other religious minorities combined. They are the only minority which confess to and believe in the station of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), His Holy Family and the Holy Quran, while loving and holding dear, wholeheartedly, the sacred land of Iran, and believe that its government will become the most respected in the world.

Driven by their spiritual compassion and religious teachings, they make the utmost effort to lovingly and sincerely serve this nation towards its development, progress and upliftment. They sincerely obey and follow the ruling regime; in their personal and social lives, they strictly and fully avoid interference in political affairs. Their principal spiritual beliefs could be summarized as follows:

They worship God as an Unknowable Essence and consider Him as [Arabic verse][1]. They see all His Messengers and prophets as those who guide our ways and their holy religions as originating from God. They respectfully praise their historic mission and firmly believe that the foundation of all divine religions is one. They consider this oneness to be the best element for creating understanding amongst the people of the world. They consider human beings as one, no matter from what colour, race or creed, and believe in the oneness of mankind as the main principle of human civilization on earth. They consider its realization as the ultimate aim of the appearance of all the Messengers and Prophets. They accept the existence of the soul and its immortality and are assured of reward and punishment in the eternal afterlife. Piety and uprightness are their [standards] and they conduct their prayers, fasting and worship of God with love and humility.

In the relatively short time since the inception of this Faith, people of every race, tribe and ethnic group in over one hundred thousand places around the world have followed it and wholeheartedly accepted its teachings. In all these communities, love for Iran and respect for Islam have accompanied the spread of the Baha’i Faith. In Iran, the history of the Baha’i Faith was characterized for many decades by massacres, carnage, imprisonment, deprivation and exclusion. After the downfall of the Qajar Dynasty, Baha’is continued to suffer various [forms of] discrimination and persecution, and every now and then they faced a new wave of hardships and difficulties. During 136 years of Baha’i history, the followers of this oppressed community have suffered [from] disregard [for their] basic human rights and denial of natural and ordinary freedoms, such as the freedom to gather together and worship, freedom to apply for personal status, freedom to express their belief, and they have even been deprived of the right to work. Their schools have been closed and their properties confiscated.

Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic until now, the spark of justice has not appeared for the Baha’is, but a new wave of various hardships and oppressions has arisen, accompanied by accusations and false calumnies against a defenceless community. Baha’i institutions and records have been seized, our Holy Places throughout the nation have been confiscated and the Blessed House of the Bab in the City of Shiraz, which has religious significance for all the Baha’is around the world, was demolished. This community’s hospital, which was one of the oldest medical institutions in the country and the only not-for-profit private hospital, was taken from its owners without any warrant. A group of oppressed Baha’is were arrested and imprisoned and nothing is known of the fate of some of them. Baha’i employees, who are well known for their honesty, trustworthiness and good service, were dismissed in great numbers and they were denied all their rightful allowances.

During this time, the Baha’i community, while continuously going and pleading for justice to the authorities in charge, has always been hopeful for the day when the establishment of a new regime, especially the formation of the National Consultative Assembly, which is the law maker and vanguard of justice in society, would put an end to these oppressions, enabling the Baha’is, as one group of inhabitants of this land who love their country, to enjoy the most natural human rights of a nation.

Your Highness, at this time, when the first National Consultative Assembly and the Islamic government is instated, and you have risen to dutifully perform this vital duty, we beseech the Merciful Lord to bestow His ample confirmations and to assist Your Highness in fulfilling the requirements of justice and equity and that which is acceptable at Divine Threshold, so that you may succeed in all your undertakings, including the safeguarding of the legitimate rights of this community, which has always been oppressed.

Respectfully,

The Baha’i Community of Iran

 

[1] [The original text is as follows: "وحده لا اله الّاهو وحده لاشریک له وحده لانظیر له"]