The Universal House of Justice , the world governing body of the Baha’is of the world, in recent months has called the Baha’is in Iran to an active participation in the affairs of Iran, its reconstruction and in the improvement of its social conditions .
In its messages [to the Baha’is in Iran], the Universal House of Justice has explained the importance of the future of Iran to the Baha’i Faith, and has asked the Baha’is, notwithstanding the current threatening conditions [for them], and despite being the largest religious monitory in Iran, to collaborate actively with other Iranians who are active in the areas of social development, without taking part in any of the many Iranian political groups.
In it’s most recent message to the Baha’is of Iran , the Universal House of Justice has asked the Baha’is of Iran to search for the foundations of sustainable social and cultural advancement in their consultation at the family and community level, through emphasis on the role of the family in children’s education, through a true understanding of justice and service to mankind.
This message, which was written on the occasion of the translation [into Persian] and publication of a collection of Baha’i teachings on family life, calls attention to the importance of consultation in these areas as an effective means for improvement of social relationships.
In this message, the Baha’is in Iran are asked to work towards the realization of a social order based on justice and unity with other Iranians. The Universal House of Justice identifies the development of family life as the prerequisite for attaining this goal. It writes: “the weakness of spiritual bonds in family life is among the signs of the moral decline of the social order of our time. The lack of complete equality between men and women in the family and ignoring children’s rights in family life leads to a culture that allows the belittlement of the station of women and children, to the imposition of one’s will over others, which leads to violence, first in the family unit, schools and workplace, and finally in the streets and on the social scene.“ 
The Universal House of Justice also warns that an unbalanced attention to the physical security of the family, in some circumstances, “can lead to narrow social views” and those who under a pretense of “family unity” may teach [a dichotomy between] “us and them” to their children,as well as those who “through the indoctrination of such poisonous beliefs” may promote “prejudice” against other social groups in the society.
According to the Universal House of Justice, this [unbalanced] education will reduce human empathy in the children; it is no surprise if children who grow up under these conditions “become indifferent to the sufferings of others” and even participate in the spread of injustice. Even when they do not become directly involved in the infringement of human rights, “since the defense and the protection of the people in oppressive society is very difficult, they will adopt the easy way of silence and tolerance with the oppressor instead of the means of justice and defense, and unknowingly will become obstacles to their own spiritual growth and to the advancement of their own people.”
This message of the Universal House of Justice is an invitation to the Baha’is in Iran to engage in reflection and consultation on these subjects within their families, and with neighbors and co-workers about “how could every member of the family play a constructive role in the creation of a positive atmosphere; and how can they ensure that in this process each generation attains astonishing progress over the previous ones.“
The Universal House of Justice views this effort as an important service for promoting the progress of Iran.
 The Universal House of Justice is the international governing body of the Baha’i Faith. See: http://info.bahai.org/universal-house-of-justice.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_House_of_Justice
 For a collection of the messages of the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran in Persian see: http://www.universal-house-of-justice-messages.org. For English translations, please contact IPW.
 Dated 24-Nov-2009, See the complete message in Persian here: http://www.universal-house-of-justice-messages.org/payam/2009-11-24.html
 The English translation of the quoted passages is a provisional translation by IPW.
[Source: Farhang Goftego (Culture and Dialogue), http://www.farhanggoftego.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=647:2009-12-08-15-43-36&catid=53:2009-08-25-13-30-02&Itemid=59; Translation by IPW]
December 30, 2009 4:52 pm
I am having trouble thinking of a social group that could possibly become the basis for prejudice. Any ideas?
December 30, 2009 6:02 pm
Could you please provide links to English language translations of these letters? Thank you.
December 31, 2009 3:01 am
I can provide English translation of some of the messages. Please contact me directly.
January 3, 2010 2:57 pm
“The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world’s population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations.”
Extract From a Letter Written by the Universal House of Justice
January 3, 2010 3:28 pm
In reading the above message, I understood the comment about a social group that causes prejudice to be one that teaches “us vs them” thinking. I have seen it in my own family where as children we were taught that anyone who doesn’t think the same way we do, or act the same way we do, or celebrate the way we do is bad, evil or just plain wrong. I have been away from that influence for 40 years but still see it in members of my family.
It is the duty of all believers in Truth, regardless of who they are, to teach that other people may be different, but they must still be respected, honored and loved. For our dear brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, our blessed children in Iran, to take the initiative and stand up for these beliefs is thrilling, challenging, dangerous and yet ultimately the best gift they can give the land of Baha’u’llah’s birth.
My prayers are with all of you, as are my hopes to someday visit Iran to meet you and to thank you personally.