The world governing body of the Baha’i Faith praises Bahai’s of Iran for their “unrelenting pursuit of knowledge”, describing BIHE as “one of the most outstanding examples of constructive resilience in the modern age”

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Translation by Baha’i World Center


The world governing body of the Baha’i Faith1 has written an open letter 2 to the oppressed Baha’is of Iran which is so important and so eloquent that Iran Press Watch has decided to quote extensively some of its relevant passages:

Regrettably, in your land, truth has become a flexible plaything in the hands of those who are drunk on worldly power. So institutionalized has lying become in official circles that statements made by the authorities increasingly lack any credibility. This is in sharp contrast to the way in which your compatriots are able, with growing clarity, to see and understand your posture. For the sake of upholding the truth and not uttering a simple false statement about your belief that would open up to you every social and economic opportunity, you maintain your integrity and refuse to deny or dissimulate your faith. Among your fellow citizens and on the international stage, this commitment to truthfulness has won for you high standing and immeasurable praise. Little wonder, then, that some of those who attack the Faith in the virtual space now pretend to speak in the voice of the Bahá’ís. Knowing that the words of your avowed adversaries are devoid of any credibility, these hapless antagonists attempt to sow dissension in your midst by commandeering your voice so as to use its moral authority, won by your honesty, to undermine your unity. This effort is so transparent that none take it seriously, but it is an indication of the desperation and frustration of those who oppose you.
This same deceitful attitude is in evidence in the manner in which Bahá’í youth are denied higher education. Every year a new ruse is used to deceive; this year was no exception. But the diligence with which the Bahá’í youth in Iran, despite every obstacle, continue to pursue justice and seek knowledge has again won the admiration of the people of the world and their governments. Whether in the determination and integrity of the young student who, having passed the entrance exam, demands evidence to know why she is being denied her right to higher education; whether in the heart-rending lines written by a child in defence of her sister against manifest injustice; whether in the fearless audacity and resolve evinced by the concerned father who travels hundreds of miles to set forth the truth to those in seats of power; or whether in the gestures of support and solidarity from your compatriots—in all your countless other unmarked acts of fidelity and steadfastness, as well as in acts of nobility and valour on the part of the people of Iran, a unique and instructive account is being written in deeds.”
Yet your actions are not confined to efforts to seek justice. Your unrelenting pursuit of knowledge is perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of constructive resilience in the modern age 3. In a world where education is not immune from the forces that promote a materialistic conception of human life, and where, for some, university degrees have become commoditized, your admirable pursuit of learning for its own sake, for the sake of the powers of the human mind that it enhances and the capacities for service that it develops, stands in sharp contrast. But what is all the more remarkable is that this attitude, this understanding, this value you rightfully attach to learning is not confined to a certain small section of your community. The imperative to educate is a central concern for your young and old alike; for the students, certainly, but also for those who risk their all to teach and impart knowledge, for those who organize educational endeavours, for those parents who sacrificially ensure their children are able to continue their education, for those who generously offer hospitality, for those who pray for this effort and wish it well, and for countless others who in a myriad other ways make this collective act possible. This resolute spirit and these selfless deeds deserve the highest praise.”
2. The complete letter can be downloaded from Universal House of Justice, Oct 2014.



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