Following the Islamic revolution in 1979, the Baha’is of Iran, who had long been the victims of periodic outbreaks of violence, the later rounds of which had been instigated by the notorious SAVAK, were subjected to a fresh wave of persecution.
In August 1980 all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran — a national council whose election and functioning are prescribed in the Baha’i teachings and which forms part of the Baha’i administrative structure in all countries — were abducted and disappeared without a trace. Undoubtedly they were executed.
Members subsequently elected to this council, as well as scores of individuals with influence in the Baha’i community, including several members of Local Spiritual Assemblies — councils operating at the local level — were executed by the government in the years immediately after.
The following video is a remembrance of the 1980 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran.
Download: NSA Iran 1980 (WMV)
April 30, 2009 8:15 pm
With unforgettable courage, the Baha’is of Iran immediately re-elected a succeeding National Spiritual Assembly to the one shown above and sadly they, too, were arrested and executed. A third Assembly was elected but disbanded itself upon passage of a law by the revolutionary government that made Baha’i Assemblies illegal.
A distinction should be noted here, classic Baha’i Administration in Iran is not practiced as it is in other countries because it is illegal. The seven prisoners in Evin Prison formerly known as the Yaran were never a Baha’i Assembly, but a simple coordinating group of basic community functions (such as burial, for example). Yet, these seven, too have been incarcerated, charged without benefit of council and live under threat.
How sublime are these courageous people! It is enough to make one weep!
As among so many outside Iran, we are humbled by the immensity of the sacrifice; no resistance was given because Baha’u’llah forbids His followers to resort to conflict in His Name.
April 30, 2009 10:59 pm
Khomaini who killed so many innocent people is now under ten feet of dirt, while Baha’u’llah’s flag of the oneness of humanity is being flown across the globe in the name of these martyrs of your Faith. How short sighted these mollahs are and have been is one of the mysteries of God! Even Eskimos have embraced the Cause of Baha’u’llah. These mollahs who have killed or continue to kill in order to live will eventually in God’s time die and go under dirt as those before them. It’s those they’ve killed that will continue to live forever.
A wise man once said, God has turned his back on mollahs and these mollahs still don’t get it. They think they can stop God by putting a period where God has placed a comma.
May 1, 2009 5:12 pm
I find it so difficult to fathom the depths of the fear and the arrogance felt by those who would continue to persecute the Baha’is in Iran, as this is senseless and futile endeavor; so unjust. But when I see the strength and dedication to Baha’u’llah, as held in the eyes and countenance of the 1980 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, this love-filled commitment encourages me to continue to endeavor and fulfill my own capacity to do God’s Will in this life, as those who have come before me have done so courageously.
May 2, 2009 3:25 pm
it is so sad in deed.
I had the honor of listening to some of these dear souls and attending their talks a few months before their dissapearance.These souls did not fear death, persecution nor torturs. Another proof of the power of Blessed Beauty.