It is almost impossible to think of a national situation as extreme for its disregard for human values and human rights as the recent sentencing of Iran’s 7 Baha’i leaders to 20 years imprisonment. Over the last 100 years, several governments around the world have placed constraints on the Baha’i Faith, and the Baha’i Faith has always complied with those rule. The USSR prohibited the Faith and confiscated the House of Worship in Turkmanistan, and nothing was known of the Baha’is of those states until the dismantling of the USSR. It was found that a smattering of Baha’is, mostly very old, still held their candle. And today there are thriving Baha’i communities throughout all the old USSR states. And why not? Homo sapien sapien is not just a strange latin phrase, but an indicator of the very spirit that rises within us. And that spirit is about finding ways of sharing the energies of our life with every one we come in contact. In this new era, that is everyone on the planet sharing with everyone else on the planet.
And these 7 Baha’i leaders, totally in compliance with the orders of the Iranian government who banned the administrative system of the Baha’i Faith but needed an unofficial body to coordinate some care of the 300,000 membership, were only ever sharing and helping every one about them to have a better quality of life. Yet, for all of their peacefulness, love, and hard volunteered work, they have been dragged off to prison for 2 years, on charges that they have been complicit in spying for every western nation on the planet and organising the riots against the Iranian government. No doubt this sentence itself is a form of coercion under which they will be offered clemency for signing a guilty document, renouncing their faith, denouncing the worldwide body of the Baha’i Faith as agents of western nations, etc, etc. Of course throughout western nations, political parties know that Baha’is refuse to become members, so averse are we of divisive politics; and all secret service agencies around the world have investigated the Baha’i Faith for their allegiances and found none except to the mission of Baha’u’llah which is a mission for the advancement of the human condition and a planet living in peace under justice, asserting a straightforward obedience to the laws of every nation Baha’is reside. His teachings are publicly available to everyone, and almost all Iranian religious leaders have been reading at least some of those teachings for 160 years.
So, be sure the sacrifice these seven make is consciously made, not for themselves or even for the Baha’i Faith, but the whole of humanity. They stand on that same spot that Jesus of Nazareth stood over 2,000 years ago, when the religious leaders of that day asked for the release of a violent revolutionary over the peaceful one. As the sons and daughters of humanity, they innocently have gone to lie on the same altar as Isaac. In my deep respect for these friends who are making such a huge sacrifice for humanity, I will avoid my usual tendency toward ironical statements about the rationale behind their incarceration. I know, apart from some few of the power mad and superstitious, the people of the world are with them. And I am sure that they know that the people of the world being with them in spirit makes their sacrifice completely successful. Yet, please pray that, as with Isaac, God shall find humanity shows the correct submission, and orders their early release.