Baha'i Community Prays for Persecuted

January 17, 2010

Author: Mary Garrigan

Source: Rapid City Journal

It’s always hard for Baktash Aazami to think about the religious persecution that Baha’i believers suffer back in his native Iran, but Tuesday was an especially difficult day for him and other Baha’i in the Black Hills.

“It’s really hard knowing the day-to-day trials that Baha’i always face in Iran, but knowing what’s going on with these seven Baha’i, especially today, they’ve been in my thoughts and in my prayers throughout the day,” Aazami said.

Aazami, 34, is a member of Rapid City’s small Baha’i community that gathered Tuesday night to pray for seven Baha’i leaders who have been jailed in Iran for nearly two years without formal charges. On Tuesday, they had their first court appearance, where the Iranian government officially accused them of “spying for foreigners” — including Israel and the United States — and spreading “corruption on earth,” propaganda against the Muslim faith and the Islamic Republic of Iran.