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The Baha’i Faith is an independent worldwide religion with members from almost every country and various cultural backgrounds. The Baha’is believe in the oneness of humanity, the equality of men and women, and the harmony of science and religion. Some of the principal goals of the Faith are to adopt a universal language, establish a world federation, and promote universal education. The Faith began in Iran one hundred and fifty years ago, and has undergone systemic persecution by the various governments of that country.
The Baha’i Faith is currently, the largest minority religion in Iran. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has been working since 1991 against the Baha’i community by not allowing Baha’i’s to enter universities, denying them their education. To overcome this obstacle, the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education was founded. It provides Iranian Baha’i’s with education without breaking the Iranian law and has become an academic success. Unfortunately, the Iranian government took 36 of the university's faculty members prisoner and allowed them freedom if they signed not to go on teaching at the Institute but none of them agreed.
This kind of treatment is not uncommon and is only a small part of an ongoing persecution of the Baha’i people in Iran. From 1978 to 1998, more than 200 Baha’i’s were sentenced to death, hundreds imprisoned, and thousands forced out of work; all without any true justification. Baha’i homes have been burned down, their graves dug up, and their lives destroyed.
While the government is the group responsible for this injustice, the people in the city of Tehran feel sympathy for the Baha’is and have even held demonstrations rallying for the persecuted religious minorities of Iran, including the Baha'is.
In response to this complete disregard for the human rights issue of access to education, a documentary has been created by Education Under Fire and Amnesty International to help inform the public of this current event. To see the trailer click on the link below and feel free to explore the website and learn more.