Baha'i woman recalls imprisonment in Iran
August 31st, 2010
11:10 AM ET

Baha'i woman recalls imprisonment in Iran

Minoo Vosough can still hear the guards' boots marching down the cold hallways of Iran's Gohardasht prison. The screams of other inmates burn her ears.

She can feel the thud of a fist coming down on her head. And the world going black as she was blindfolded and shoved in a courtroom to hear her fate.

She was arrested in Tehran more than 25 years ago - beaten, interrogated and thrown into solitary confinement. Once a week, she was taken out for a shower. She could tell if it was bright or overcast only by the small window high up in her cell. She cherished the chirping of birds outside.

All she had was a blanket, a spoon and a broken fork.

The Iranian regime accused Vosough of espionage, though she was never charged or afforded legal representation. Her crime in the Islamic republic, she says, was - and still is - her faith.

She is a Baha'i.

She has not spoken publicly about her terrifying experience in an Iranian jail. Until now.

This month, the spotlight again fell on Iran's 300,000-strong Baha'i community as seven national leaders were sentenced to 20 years each in prison for espionage, propaganda against the Islamic republic and the establishment of an illegal administration.

Seven Baha'i  leaders are  imprisoned in Iran's Gohardasht prison.

The Baha'i International Community says the charges are trumped up in an effort to stifle the religion, the largest minority faith in Iran. The sentences were condemned by human rights groups and by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sternly reminded Iran that "freedom of religion is the birthright of people of all faiths and beliefs in all places."

Iran denies mistreatment of Baha'is and says followers of  the faith are free to live in Iran. But it says  it considers activities against the Islamic state illegal and thus views the seven Baha'is accused of spying for  Israel as criminals.

Vosough, a petite, soft-spoken realtor in Atlanta, Georgia, has been following the story of the Yaran, as the seven Baha'i leaders are known. One, Saeid Rezaie, is a classmate from her days at Pahlavi University, now called Shiraz University.

Vosough has tried to keep her own heartbreaking memories locked in the crevices of her mind. But seeing Rezaie's gentle face, reading about the plight of the Yaran, everything came rushing back.

"I want the whole world to know what is happening in Iran," she said.

"What was my crime? What is their crime? We simply believe in our faith. Why don't we have that right?"

Stamped an infidel

Vosough was born in 1956 into an Iran ruled by the shah. Her religion was then just over a century old, founded by two prophets: the Bab (the gate) and Baha'ullah (the glory of God).

Baha'is consider Baha'ullah the most recent in a line of God's messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Mohammed.

She learned from her parents and from her days at a Baha'i school about the key principle of her religion: oneness of humankind.

Baha'is had never been accepted in Iran but their station in life plunged with the arrival of the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Vosough, right, had to rent a cap and gown after Iranian authorities denied her a college diploma and a place in commencement ceremonies.

A young college student then, Vosough was forced to rent a graduation cap and gown to celebrate with her Baha'i friends after she was denied an official diploma and consequently, she was unable to land a job. These days, Baha'is are barred from enrolling in universities. Or even having a gravestone.

Vosough's father-in-law was buried with just a paper marker bearing his name and the number of the cemetery plot, she says, staring at an old color photograph of the grave.
Four gladioli lie before the crude marker. Otherwise it's hard to tell that a father lies there.

The Tehran government seemed to be looking away for a while, but repression for all religious minorities in Iran has worsened since the presidential elections of 2005 and in particular after the disputed polling last year, according to a 2010 report compiled by the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

"A consistent stream of virulent and inflammatory statements by political and religious leaders and an increase in harassment and imprisonment of, and physical attacks against, these groups has led to a renewal of the kind of oppression seen in the years immediately following the Iranian revolution," the report says.

Baha'i blood is "mobah," which means members of the Baha'i faith can be killed with impunity, the report says. Iranian authorities view Baha'is as "heretics" who may face repression on the grounds of apostasy.

Since 1979, the Iranian government has executed more than 200 Baha'is and more than 10,000 have been dismissed from government and university jobs, the commission's report says. Baha'is may not establish places of worship, schools, or any independent religious associations in Iran. In addition, Baha'is are barred from the military and denied government jobs.

"This is a community that has really felt the jackboot of the Iranian government," says Leonard Leo, chairman of the commission.

Vosough says the Iranian government is determined to sow prejudice against the Baha'is. Even Muslims who associate with Baha'is are often harassed by authorities, she says.

On public forms, people are asked to mark their religion: Muslim. Christian. Zoroastrian. Jewish.

There is no box for the Baha'is.

"So you are stamped an infidel," says Vosough. "You have no rights."

Making a 13-day escape

She had been married two months in 1984 when she was arrested after a family gathering. The government suspected her of "illegal activity."

Officials stopped her car and demanded documents she didn't have. There were no Miranda Rights. No lawyer. She was wrestled away to Tehran's notorious Evin prison, her family left to scour the route she took.

She was only 27 - and frightened.

Vosough at her engagement party in Tehran.

"I didn't know what was happening," she says. "In my heart, I knew I was there because I was a Baha'i."

In jail, she reflected on her faith. That gave her strength. She recited prayers and tried to count days. That kept her lucid.

She was taken to Gohardasht prison on the outskirts of Tehran and kept in a cell by herself. Later, when she was returned to Evin for her trial, she was placed in a room with 60 other women. A Baha'i woman was nursing her six-month-old baby. Vosough gave the woman her share of prison milk. The mother needed strength.

"Why should a baby be in prison?" she asks. "For what crime? Was that baby also a spy for Israel?"

After three months, Vosough was released. But she could not escape prison. She could no longer walk the streets without fear. And when she became pregnant, a panic set in.

"I wasn't going to let my child ever be in a prison like that," she says.

Or t be unable to go to school, get a job. Or do anything freely.

On a summer day in 1985, Vosough said goodbye to Iran. She took with her only a small bag with two changes of clothing for an escape that took 13 days. She and her husband traveled by the darkness of night, on horseback, on foot, over the mountains into neighboring Turkey.

The next year, with the help of the United Nations refugee agency, Vosough began a new life in the United States. She has no Iranian passport, required of all returning Iranians. Nor does she own any documentation of the life she left behind.

In her native Iran, she is more of a nobody than before.

At 53, Vosough does not know if she will ever again touch Iranian soil. Perhaps, she fears, she has already embraced her 86-year-old mother for the last time.

But in America, she says, she can practice her faith freely.

"You don't know freedom until it has been taken away from you," she says, sitting under a framed drawing of Baha'ullah¹s son Abdu¹l-Baha in her suburban home.

"It was taken away from me."

Ensuring survival

If Vosough could talk to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she would tell him one thing: "This is not what Islam promotes."

The seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned now were the pillars of their communities, Vosough says. They are even more important because the Baha'is do not follow clergy. Instead communities plan their own meetings and services.

In Iran, the seven were working to ensure the survival of their way of life in a country that does not recognize them.

"I think I survived everything pretty good," she says, a moment of acute sadness interrupting the smile that is often splashed across her face.

But she worries that her 300,000 Baha'i brothers and sisters in Iran may not.

She has felt emboldened to write to her congressmen, to push them to apply pressure on Iran.

If the world forgets, she fears, what will become of her people?

- Moni Basu

Filed under: Baha'i • Iran • Journeys

soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. AGeek

    @vickie tedrick: everyone will be held accountable, huh? sounds like a great, loving religion. "do this, or else!" you know, I got utterly tired of that crap 25+ years ago. Got tired of the hypocrites, rhetoric, disrespect for what others think ..the entire lot of it. I'm *much* happier for shedding all that hateful thought.

    As for Iran and Islam .. the joke is on anyone who believes Islam is a "religion of peace". It's quite the opposite. To that end, Iran isn't terribly unlike many other Middle East countries. We just don't happen to like them the way we like the Saudis and so forth. They're all governed by hateful neanderthals; misogynistic, jackbooted thugs marching to the beat of Islam. They deserve nothing less than an all-expense paid trip to meet their 72 virgins.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  2. salayem

    Very touching tale. I couldn't have written it better, with my limited imagination.

    September 1, 2010 at 3:24 am |
  3. Page

    Prettey much most who have commented on this story forgot to take in the message. What is happening in Iran against the Baha'I believers is unjust. It is a systamitc attach by the government to erraticate the faith from the country. The people who have been sentenced to 20 years in prison are not criminals and do not deserve a day in prison let alone 20 years. One of the most important things to know about the Baha'i faith is that it encourages its believers to be a useful member of whatever society in which they live and obey the law of the government. Another thing to know is that the Baha'i faith teaches all to respect others' beliefs. So Baha'is do not accept that Islam is the cause of the situation in Iran.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:14 am |
  4. RobbieCanuck

    Iran is a classic example of a theocratic dictatorship and why religion should always be separatedfrom the state. Hopefully US fundamental Christians will get the message!

    September 1, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  5. bmr

    Believing that your god/religion is the only right one – having an "us vs. them" mentality – only leads to stories like the one above. Religion is a plague upon humanity. No religion, know peace.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:53 am |
  6. Greg

    I am going to start my own religion, based on something that actually exists.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  7. chris

    To all you muslim haters and pro america can do no wrong clowns out there, dissing the muslim religion as being barbaric because of this article... remember this occured 25 years ago, just to put this in contex, 25 years ago a BLACK man would have a hell of a time landing a job in AMERICA.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Frogist

      @ chris, people also forget that Islam has a very long relationship with black history. Muhammad Ali is muslim, as is his daughter Laila. So too for Kareem Adbul Jabar, Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, Ahmad Rashad, Shaquille O'Neal, Malcolm X and Michael Jackson.

      September 1, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • Frogist

      Neither are muslims all from the Middle East: Salman and Aamir Khan are both Bollywood film stars from India, the late Benazir Bhutto from Pakistan, Iman the supermodel from Somalia, Zinadine Zidane the French footba-ller. Many countries have a large percentage of the population who are muslim people: Bangladesh, Bosnia Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana etc etc. And if you want large populations in more modernized countries, how about Australia, Japan has over a million muslims, China, Canada, the UK, Russia (26 million).

      September 1, 2010 at 10:53 am |
    • Frogist

      @ chris, people also forget that Islam has a very long relationship with black history. Muhammad Ali is muslim, as is his daughter Laila. So too for Kareem Adbul Jabar, Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, Ahmad Rashad, Shaquille O'Neal, Malcolm X and Michael Jackson. Neither are muslims all from the Middle East: Salman and Aamir Khan are both Bollywood film stars from India, the late Benazir Bhutto from Pakistan, Iman the supermodel from Somalia, Zinadine Zidane the French footba-ller. Many countries have a large percentage of the population who are muslim people: Ban-gladesh, Bosnia Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana etc etc. And if you want large populations in more modernized countries, how about Australia, Japan has over a million muslims, China, Canada, the UK, Russia (26 million).
      I think people don't understand what they're talking about when they say Islam is a violent religion that doesn't mix well with western society. America has had muslims living in peace with us for years – 10 million of us are muslim. Some of our greatest heroes are muslim. It's sad that we overlook that.

      September 1, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  8. John R.

    I don't know what exactly Ba'hais believe in but their temple outside Chicago is awesome.

    August 31, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  9. N

    More stupid propaganda to justify another U.S. terror attack on another innocent country.
    Give it up already. America is broke several times over. Stop wasting taxpayer money on
    Predator Drones that slice and dice Middle Eastern chidren by the dozen.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  10. PDA9

    As a Baha'i I just wanted to point out that in no way Mrs Vossough critizised the Muslim religion. As Baha'is we believe in all the major religions as coming from the same God. It is certainly unnessecary to start attacikng religion but more the injustice and misinformation that plays out in Iran.

    August 31, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Page

      I could not agree more. This article points out the injustice that is happening today to the Baha'I believers in Iran. 7 people have been sentenced to 20 years in prison because they are Baha'Is. That should be the focus of the conversation. Attacking another religion based on the actions of those who claim to follow it is not constructive. We should all really concentrate on freedom of Idea everywhere in the world. Noone should be imprisoned or persecuted because of their religious beliefs.

      September 1, 2010 at 2:32 am |
  11. Frogist

    I am disheartened that the discussion here seems to revolve around these two things: villifying Islam or who has the more persecuted religion. That alone tells you that maybe trying to distinguish each religion as "righter" is the real issue. It's pure arrogance to use this woman's story as a way to say how wronged your religion was or how bad someone else's is. What I get out of this is that the totalitarian govt of Iran has to be held accountable for its human rights violations. And if you want to blame all of Iran's ills on Islam, seems like you are part of the problem.

    August 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  12. Elegance

    Personally, I think the Iranian gov is controlling, barbaeric, and completely intollerent of free-will.
    The Baha'i faith is a beautiful religion and has a modern blue-print for uniting the world, encourgaes equality between men and women, peace, a universal language, demolishing extremes of wealth and poverty, etc.
    No wonder a country like Iran would severly discourage such a beautiful movement and religion.
    They are doing exactly what Hitler did, removing a certain group because the Iranian gov has an evil mind-set. This is proven by the countless world crumbling behaviours that they do on the daily.
    Iran is trying to destory the world with nuclear bombs, and Baha'i's (who live ALL over the world, and from ALL cultural backgrounds) are trying to work in serried lines to help our world and our civilization.
    It's a completely frustrating situation, and I'm beyond discusted that 7 innocent people have been torn from their famalies, and are in horroble conditions!
    The conditions they are living in cannot even be considered jail.
    I could go on, and on and on.....

    August 31, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  13. weaselgal

    What happened to that woman was monstrous. The thing is, the people running that country only pay lip service to their faith. They can claim to be devout Muslims all they want, but the true God they worship is power. Power to dominate, crush opposition, and instill fear.
    As for America, sure, there's freedom of religion...as long as you're Christian, especially a right-winger. Christianity gets a free pass, whther it's being used in invocation before graduation, or before city meetings. But if it's any other faith, oh, let's say Islam, people are screaming for blood. Now it's a patriotic duty for every American to bash Islam, to torch mosques, to try and even kill them, all in the name of Christian America. I'll bet if a Buddhist or Hindu center were to be put in the place of the Islamic center, people would still act exactly the same.
    I am not Baha'i, but I know what it's like to be threatened because of beliefs. I have been stalked by rabid fundies, told if I didn't convert to Christianity God would kill my family (yes, it's ridiculous, but implied violence all the same), or that they hoped I die because I wouldn't convert. I am safe in that my employers have enough intelligence not to fire me over my faith, but I have known others hwo have lost theirs, despite the illegality of firing due to religion. We are the biggest hypocrites if we claim that we don't discriminate against other faiths in the US. And may I offer a literary suggestion to you all? Go read 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood. We could see this as the future of America if we don't do something about the religious crazies in this country.

    August 31, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • vanessa

      An under-utilized facet if the freedom of religion is that you are allowed free reign to study other faiths other than your own, or other than what is predominant. I invite you to study Islam. Read the Q'uran, with the accompanying hadith's so that you can understand it in proper context. The fact that you can compare your "suffering" to what this woman has gone through is really telling of the "victim" mindset in our country. You can compare simply HEARING a X-tian prayer to being beaten, imprisoned, and possibly killed??????? Please– try to understand that X-mas trees do not persecute you.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Frogist

      @weaselgal: I'm sorry for the persecution that has been leveled at you. I have also been threatened with the scary scary hell! LOL! Christian fundies are the price we pay for religious freedom unfortunately. And it is absolutely true that if muslims were to act like the Westboro Baptist Church who have their own christian militia protecting them, or glenn beck who wants evangelism and mormonism to be more influential on govt so he can "restore america", we would be quick to condemn Islam and all who practice it for trying to take over the world. These same christians don't understand the hypocrisy of their position or indeed the danger it poses to them to condemn all of Islam. If you take away or go around the rights of muslims, then who's next? Jews, catholics, Sikhs etc etc. We do discriminate in favor of christianity. But unlike other countries, we have the const-itution and the bill of rights to remind us that religious tolerance is not a choice and the secular nature of our govt comes first. It's not perfect, but it's a better start than other countries have. It takes people like Minoo to remind us of that sometimes.

      Also I think I will take your advice and find a copy of the Handmaid's Tale. I've been meaning to read that one for ages.

      September 1, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • weaselgal

      Vanessa, wuld you consider being stalked across campus, being sent letters telling you to convert to Christianity or suffer for eternity legitimate threats? Having people call you a Satan-worshiper? No, they don't torture people in this country for their faith, but they sure can make it very unpleasant for someone who is of a minority religion.
      The people running Iran are a bunch of nutcases, and unfortunately, they're very entrenched in their positions for any sort of political change. They use whatever method that is most efficient to rule, which often is violence and fear. They view any other faith other than their own as a legitimate threat to their power, so of course they're going to make members of other faiths feel terrified. I also refuse to believe that every living, breathing Muslim existing in the world is a terrorist. It's utterly moronic.I have read parts of the Q'uran, though I plan to get ahold of a full copy. The local library's copies were mutilated by some crazy Christian fundie recently.
      We may have more freedom here, but it's not full religious freedoms for all faiths. It took a soldier's widow enormous effort and pressure to have the symbol of his faith placed on his grave marker, while all varieties of Christian faiths were permitted, even ones not officially recognized. That's not religious equality.
      Vanessa, it's really no good to go around with such a huge chip on your shoulder. It's blocking out your view of everything else. All that hate boiling inside you is going to eat you up sooner or later.

      September 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  14. JohnnyInSNJ

    Sounds like America is taking Irans lead in religious freedoms....Go USA/Iran!

    August 31, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  15. ndlily

    Kraznador, just because you say it doesn't make it real. Prove number one. For number 2, all pacifists are "persecuted" at war time, particularly a war with a draft. As for 3, a citation, a real one please. And Ty, anyone can be persecuted for anything . . . religion, ethnicity, gender, political beliefs, sexual orientation. I'm not sure how Jews got the title as the greatest victims. Others have suffered just as much or more. You just don't read about it. Try finding out how many total people died due to Nazi programs during WWII and you will see what I mean. We have a number for the Jewish population, but no one can seem to get an accurate bead on how many others. You have to ask yourself why. Did the others not matter quite as much? Were their deaths somehow less tragic so we don't have to learn how many of them actually perished?

    But as for the "religious" in the U.S., they've been more likely in history to persecute those that don't agree with them than to be persecuted themselves. Every "bad thing" that's been done has been based on the idea that we had a "divine" right, nay obligation, to subjugate the black man and tame the savage, and so on.

    August 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  16. 2Timothy4 2-4

    This freedom of religion thing has been distorted in the US. God never meant for us to have different religions here, except perhaps for the Jews his chosen people. The Founding Fathers only meant that we could have our different CHRISTIAN denominations in America.

    August 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      What if God never meant for us to revolt against the British??? The King ruled by Divine Rule, it was a pretty controversial thing to do!

      August 31, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • The JillyBean

      @2Timothy4 2-4

      Seriously? Isn't this the same type of logic the Iranian government is working with? Modern Christian intolerance to other religions is just as bad as modern Islamic intolerance to other religions. You both give your religions and religious teachings a BAD name. 🙂

      August 31, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  17. JFH

    Why is it that some viewers just can't wait to turn anything to USA and Muslim . . ? this article is about Bahai, and freedom of faith in the most dictatorial regim in the world ( IRAN ) , who are committing crimes against humanity under the name of religion . . . are you blind? open your eyes people, we are in 21st century . . . don't let LIFE pass you bye w/o you caring about FREEDOM , what would your grand children say? what kind of world are you leaving behind ( for them )

    August 31, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  18. @vanessa

    Here's what they do to unbelievers in the Christian Bible – Numbers 31:15 "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. 16 "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    August 31, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • vanessa

      I'll grant you that. Yup– Christianity has a lot of ugliness in it as well. But, if yiou haven't actually read the Q'uran, you really shoud. Pound for pound, Islam is 10 x more intolerant, hateful, bloody, and illogical. Muhammeds "miracles" were killing thousands of innocent people without getting killed himself. Jesus cured the blind and lame, and gave humanity the ability to be forgiven of there sins. So if I'm ever forced to choose between the two– I think I know where I'll stand.

      August 31, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • @vanessa

      Pound for pound? Are you serious? You're on here telling people basically that if a Muslim isn't killing non-Muslims they're not following the Quran and you've been told over and over that most Muslims don't take the Quran literally. I show you a bible verse that shows where God led Moses' army to kill not just men and women, toddlers and infants, and then reward the soldiers with the surviving virgins who just witnessed their families being cut to pieces with swords by these same men and you want to talk about "Pound for pound???"

      You're clearly insane. Your agenda is to set a double standard where Muslims have to follow the Quran literally while Christians can ignore the Old Testament and the atrocities in it completely, even though this New Testament Verse – 2 Timothy 3:16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – says that regarding Old Testament scriptures.

      You're a liar and a hypocrite seeking to be divisive and create conflict in the world. However, you do provide a good service, because when people in the middle see the hatred, intolerance and insanity that comes from your side, they're reminded, and it often costs the Republicans votes.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • vanessa

      I speak from having read both books. Try it. If you want to critique the bible with me– that is fine. I will grant you that it gets ugly. But until you can show me that you know anyhting about Islam, you are simply parading your ignorance. So, go, get a copy. Read it with the accompanying hadith's so that you can understand it in context. Until then I have nothing more to say to you on the matter.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • @vanessa

      Hello! Wake up!!! Doesn't matter what's in it. Not all Muslims believe it literally. Not all Muslims interpret it the same way. Earth to Vanessa.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • 2Timothy4 2-4

      Vanessa, you can talk about the Bible "ugliness" all you want. War is ugly and we're at war with Islam. Most Christians wouldn't appreciate your comments about Jesus trying to make him look like some peace-loving hippie. YOU NEED TO READ YOUR BIBLE. Jesus didn't come to change the law, he came to fulfill it. He marched into the temples and called them SNAKES! If he were leading Moses' army today (and the USA is Moses' army) he would want those people exterminated because THEY ARE TAINTED and NOT part of God's world. And he'd want the same for you for twisting His Word.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • vanessa

      And not all X-tians bow to your literal interpretation either. What is your point? As of recent history, the X-tian wing-nuts pose much less of a threat than the Islamic wing-nuts. You still have yet to disprove what I say about Islam. Rather, you continually point out how things work in Christianity. So– if you are unable to intelligently discuss the Islamic faith, perhaps you ought to change your screen name to something a little less "Vanessa" centered? Just a thought.

      August 31, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • @vanessa

      You can't even be consistent in what you're saying, like you're mentally ill or something. First you say:

      And not all X-tians bow to your literal interpretation either. What is your point?

      Then you say:

      You still have yet to disprove what I say about Islam.

      Speaking as if Islam is just one entity, the same for everyone, all Muslims with the same exact beliefs. It's like you're talking out of both sides of your mouth and I have a feeling you're talking out of both sides of your mouth when it comes to your Christian beliefs too.

      August 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ @vanessa: It's often no use trying to convince those who have already made up their minds towards intolerance. Although I suppose we always have to try.

      August 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  19. Kristin

    The point of this story is that a woman was persecuted for her beliefs, and that alone is wrong. Everyone is quoting history, and who did what to who, but that is not the point. The point of this article is to simply bring awareness of what this poor woman went through. Why focus on the past, we cannot change it. We need to look to the future and hope that this will end, and someday everyone will be treated fairly and equally. Can You imagine being pregnant and having to flee your counrty so your baby won't be born in prision, for a crime you really didn't commit? No one should have to feel the fear she felt. All we can do is be supportive to those who have been through it, and pray for those who still face those fears everyday.

    August 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  20. Mike

    Men have killed in the name of Christianity, in the name of Islam, in the name of all religions, and in the name of Atheism. The common denominator is man. People kill. God created man to be good but man rebelled and now man commits evil and blames it on God. We should repent instead of blame.

    August 31, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.