City United by Desire to Believe

May 2, 2008

Author: Janice Peterson

Source: Daily Herald

People of all faiths gathered Thursday night to pray and learn about one another's faiths in the Provo Tabernacle for Utah Valley's National Day of Prayer celebration.

The keynote speaker for the night was Mona Heern, who spoke of her experiences with religious intolerance in Iran.

"My family experienced a lot of persecution there, and it still continues," she said.

Heern grew up in the largest minority faith in Iran, Baha'i. The Baha'i were among the first people to be attacked in the 1979 revolution, and Heern was forced to leave school at the age of 8 because of her religion. The Baha'i were no longer allowed to attend school, teach school, hold positions of power or work in certain jobs. Instead, Heern said she attended secret underground schools taught by Baha'i teachers who were no longer allowed to work.