For Baha'i educators, a lesson in power from Iran
Eleven of the educators detained for teaching members of Iran's Baha'i community.
May 31st, 2011
09:43 AM ET

For Baha'i educators, a lesson in power from Iran

By Mitra Mobasherat and Joe Sterling, CNN

(CNN) - The three Iranian security officers rang the doorbell, politely informed the man of his arrest, thoroughly searched the house, confiscated high-tech gear and books, and whisked him away to the nation's notorious Evin Prison.

The early Sunday morning raid took three hours. Now, every second seems like an eternity for the man's anguished family members, praying for his physical safety, hoping for his release, and getting their heads around the prospect of a long stint in prison, his relatives told CNN.

His family says the reason for his arrest is his religion.

Read the full story on the plight of Iran's Baha'i educators
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baha'i • Iran • Persecution

soundoff (45 Responses)
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    November 25, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  2. Marie Kidman


    June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  3. Adelina

    Baha'i is a nice try but has no salvation. Atonement, redemption and salvation are only by Jesus Christ alone. No belief, no humanly attempt can cleanse a human from sin and save him/her from the permanent penalty of sin. Everyone needs Jesus and the complete faith in Him alone.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  4. Adelina

    The religious' ideal is morality and the secular's ideal is immorality. Even if we succeed to convince Muslims on the religious freedom of infidels, there will not be an end to human conflicts until the King returns...

    June 2, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  5. Adelina

    The West is as oppressive as Islamic nations. Oppressions of immorality. You still have freedom not to participate in the West, but they make sure to lead kids go astray in schools and by media. Governments in the West must pay for private schools. It's so unfair to the majority of religious people. Public schools are garbage dumps.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  6. Adelina

    USA is very similar to Iran like a twin. If you don't bow down to the gay-hood, you can't get counselor's degree. Perverts dominate American universities.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  7. T-party

    I really hope the folks Iran opposing the current Government will be able to have a successful uprising and become a free secular society like most of America

    June 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Adelina

    American Christians, please pray for Iran. It has a lot of Christians.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Reality

      "Most Iranians are Muslims; 90% belong to the Shi'a branch of Islam, the official state religion, and about 8% belong to the Sunni branch, which predominates in neighboring Muslim countries.[14] 2% Non-Muslim minorities include Zoroastrians, Jews, Bahá'ís, Mandeans, Christians and Yarsan. The Bahá'í Faith, Iran's largest religious minority with a population around 300 000, is not officially recognized, and has been persecuted during its existence in Iran. Since the 1979 revolution the persecution of Bahá'ís has increased with executions, the denial of civil rights and liberties, and the denial of access to higher education and employment.[15][16]

      Non-Muslim minorities have been shrinking in the past few decades as they have been emigrating and leaving Iran.[citation needed] About 11,000 to 40,000 Jews remain in Iran today, still being the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel, but it stood at about 100,000 before the Islamic Revolution. Zoroastrian, and Christian communities are seeing similar contraction.[citation needed] Today, there are about 8,000 Assyrian Christians in Iran, who belong to the Chaldean Catholic Church."


      June 1, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Daniel De Mol

      And a lot of other oppressed human beings of other religions and groups too.
      May God protect all of them dear friend, thank you for bringing their plight to our attention.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Adelina

      Government statistics under oppressive regimes are always wrong, as American athests' statistics are. Iranians, remember Chtistians in the free world are praying for you. You are the top priority of our prayers. God(Jesus) is seeing you; you are never alone. Christians in the West are suffering under oppressive hedonists. Pray for them.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • JohnR

      And note that Zoroastrianism began in ancient Persia, ie Iran. It's taken a relentless beating over the centuries and is going extinct where it began.

      June 1, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Nonimus

      "American Christians, please pray for Iran. It has a lot of Christians."

      Just curious, would pray if there were no Christians?
      Also, what do you hope to accomplish with prayer?

      June 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Adelina

      Nonimus, Christians are in every country, everywhere, and most of them are under persecutions. Christians especially pray for evey oppressive nation and area such as N.Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran and American university campuses.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • Adelina

      Prayer does many things. Those who pray fellowship with God, get to know Him, get cleansed, find His will, bring down heavenly blessings upon those whom they pray for, bring back blessings to themselves, get mature in Christ, get inspirations from God, get renewed, receive what they ask for and much, much more... among millions of other good things. Read God's Word and pray regularly in Jesus' name.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  9. HeavenSent

    Baha'i. Baho'w are ya?


    May 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I definitely prefer the fake HeavenSent, though I do disapprove of forging handles and wish CNN would prohibit it.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  10. GSA

    @Zeb – just asking a simple question, there was no disrespect intended and i'm not sure why you would take it that way. Glad my post made you LOL.

    May 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Zeb

      @GSA – That was a terribly hateful post I made there. I hate it when I write those. I was very distracted this morning but that's not really much of an excuse, is it? Sorry. I keep trying to do better but sometimes I don't do all that well.
      Well, live and learn. When I react like that I am like a loose cannon. Maybe I should trade stories with Newt Gingrich or something...

      June 1, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  11. GSA

    @Zeb – the Iranian regime is brutal and ruthless and mostly to it's own ppl. Why you think they in any way would represent all Muslims is ridiculous. Would you say that the Westboro group that picket funerals in the US represent Christians/Catholics and the true beliefs of the Bible?

    May 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Zeb

      @GSA – LOL
      I'm not even going to bother with you today. Have fun without me! 😛

      May 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Zeb

      @GSA – On second thought, I'm just bored enough to thrash your empty rhetoric before I log off.
      One – They are using their Islamic hate and intolerance to do what all the other muslim countries do – kill and torture and oppress anyone who does something they don't like.
      They are representing their faith more than christians represent theirs – whether they are Sunni or Shia.
      You can call it ridiculous all you want, but the facts are against you and not me.

      Two – There are no true beliefs of the Bible at all. So, yes, the Westboro pieces of shlt DO represent christianity – just as you do being an ass...whenever you do it based on your beliefs. You can be an ass without the Bible of course, but your brainwashed little brain will not let you get away with that very often.

      I don't think you understand much about religious beliefs and how they work. How typical of you.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  12. askhow

    The barbarism of the Iranian regime is astounding. These people continue to oppress the minority with total disregard for human dignity. They have no place in the modern world.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  13. Woody

    There's probably no shortage of Christian Fundamentalist wackos in the good old USA that would LOVE to have a Christian theocracy here, and have the same power as the Iranian wackos.

    May 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Oh, that's a given. And that's why we must continue to speak out against their agenda pro-actively. It'll be a lot easier to prevent then from taking power than it will be to regain power from them if they should ever be allowed to succeed in taking it,

      May 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Here we have an article about Iran’s suppression of other religions, but the atheists always seem to redirect prosecution back at the Christians. Sometimes I wonder if atheists are more anti-Christian bigots, than a person who doesn’t believe that a god(s) exist, for there is no other religion that is attacked more by the atheists, than Christianity.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I suspect it has more to do with the fact that Atheists in the US only get bombarded with Christianity, not others faiths. When was the last time a Muslim knocked on your door to spread the "Jayed" word ('good' in Arabic, i think).

      May 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • John Richardson

      It's very, Fidei: The Christian Right in this country pose a threat far greater than the threat Islam poses here, for simple demographic reasons. Both are threats, but one is imminent, the other much, much less so.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Ron

      "John Richardson
      It's very, Fidei: The Christian Right in this country pose a threat far greater than the threat Islam poses here, for simple demographic reasons. Both are threats, but one is imminent, the other much, much less so."

      I completely and totally agree with this statement. While the conservative/Evangel Christians condemn Islam, they would, imo, if allowed to, would create a Christian Theocracy in the U.S. and be as murderous as the Iraqi Governement. As I see it, other Christians who do not believe as they do, other religions and atheists would become second class citizens, if even that.

      May 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  14. John Richardson

    More sickening behavior by the Iranian theocracy. They need a "Persian spring" over there, after the near miss a couple of years ago.

    May 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  15. Zeb

    The religion of "peace" and "tolerance" shows it's true colors yet again...

    May 31, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Zeb

      I fully expect the next big war to happen because of the insanity of Islam.
      That the insanity of Christians would also be a factor is not nearly as bad as the fact that religious intolerance is built into every religion. It has caused wars in the past, is causing wars now, and will cause wars in the future so long as there are intolerant religions like Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
      Before anyone starts trying to defend the state of Israel, don't bother, as they have shown themselves to be intolerant many times over and are openly using Nazi techniques against ppl of other faiths.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  16. Deist

    I guess this goes to show that there isn’t a Freedom of Religion clause in Sharia Law.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  17. Budh

    ...or their excessive international communication activity and allegiance to forign sources.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Daniel De Mol

      When you insist that all human beings are your enemies it is little wonder that the Baha'is allegiance to the whole human race will upset you.
      I find the fact that you consider communicating with all the people's of the earth to be a crime speaks volumes for your ultra-nationalistic bigotry.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  18. Reality

    Obviously, the imams and ayatollahs of Iran are afraid of any kind of compet-ition!!! Time to completely isolate Iran from the world community.

    May 31, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Didn't they try that approach already ? Wouldn't it make more sense to make every attempt to integrate them in every possible way into every possible aspect of the life of the rest of the world ? If there were even one extra, safe and secure way, (the internet inevitably), developed which enabled the resisters to communicate and interact with the world, and see that the world is evolving fast and that the Arab Spring might be coming to them, it would do wonders for their confidence, and enthusiasm and recruiting efforts.
      I submit that North Korea is VERY happy that it is isolated, and would resist any attempt to change it's status.

      May 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Zeb

      So far I have seen no indication that this "arab spring" bullsht to be anything other than trading one oppressive regime for another. And by regime, I include any government that is more religious than not.
      No secular Islamic government has ever arisen in this world as yet – the so-called "arab spring" notwithstanding...

      @Bucky Ball – One does not simply integrate orcs from Mordor into polite society. You would hand them the knife with a smile. I know you mean well, but it really is unrealistic to expect anything but more insanity from religious people.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      With each passing day, I'm edging closer to your conclusion re the Arab Spring, Zeb. Not QUITE there yet.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ed

      @Zeb "Spoken like a true bigot" one ther eads to much fantasy fiction but a bigot none the less

      May 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      I did not propose to integrate the "orcs from Mordor". I was simply saying that it had been proven that isolating them, and everyone else in that society, was maybe not the most productive approach. I agree that the Arab Spring may end up being the Arab Nightmare, if all it does is trade one repressive group for another, but it is not clear yet that will happen. I also agree a "secular Islamic" state is an oxymoron. But clearly "something" was "let loose" in North Africa, and a few other places this year, even though we don't know yet how it will play out. I agree it could very easily, if not probably, lead to a horrific, (at least transitional), period. I hand no one anything with a smile. For reasons you know nothing about, I am as deeply skeptical as they come.
      "I know you mean well, but it really is unrealistic to expect anything but more insanity from religious people."
      Please don't patronize me. I know that, probably more than you will ever know.

      May 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Bucky Ball – Sorry. I was being an ass again, wasn't I? I was also lashing out at anyone I could get my hands on. Aren't you glad I am not a physically violent person? I am pretty non-violent, although there are times I would prefer it the other way...
      Anyway, my apologies to all. Except Ed. Ed is a piece of you-know-what. 😛

      June 1, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Thanks for your kind reply. No problem ! Interesting that I got this sort of "gut feeling" yesterday,that something was "bugging" you, and it took a while for that to pop itself out into my consciousness. I felt there was something wrong, but by the time that had formed into an idea I might have obliquely commented on, (but never would overtly in public), the wind in our area had blown over our transmitter, and I was off-line all night.Hope all is well. Your presence here add a lot. 🙂

      June 1, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Insecure in Bel-Air

      Add China and Cuba to BB's example of North Korea. Isolation doesn't work. Sanctions maybe.
      My neighbor, a former Egyptian, is watching very carefully what happens there, and whether the Muslim Brotherhood is allowed to strangle off the upsurge in popular democratic sentiment. He is pessimistic.

      June 1, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Reality

      isolation = sanctions

      To wit:

      From Christopher Preble:

      "The Obama administration should therefore offer to end Washington’s diplomatic and economic isolation of Iran, and should end all efforts to overthrow the government in Tehran, in exchange for Iran’s pledge to forswear a nuclear weapons program, and to allow free and unfettered access to international inspectors to ensure that its peaceful nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes.

      While such an offer might ultimately be rejected by the Iranians, revealing their intentions, it is a realistic option, superior to both feckless economic pressure and stalemate, or war, with all of its horrible ramifications."

      June 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
About this blog

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.