Clergy Gather to Protest Iran's Persecution Of the Bahai Faith

April 9, 2009

Author: John Darling

Source: Mail Tribune

Leaders of several faiths are gathering Saturday in Medford to protest the persecution of members of the Bahai Faith under the Iranian government and to show support for a resolution by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., calling for the release of prisoners being held in Iraq for their faith.

The gathering will begin at 7 p.m. in the Medford Branch Library, 205 S. Central Ave., and is open to the public.

Wyden's resolution calls on President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with the international community in condemning the Iranian regime for its repeated human rights violations, including the jailing of seven Bahai leaders last year in Tehran.

"According to the State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Report, the regime continues to create 'a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shi'a religious groups, most notably for Bahais,' " Wyden said in Senate Resolution 71. "The government routinely seizes personal property from members of the Bahai community, denies access to education and employment opportunities, and detains Bahais based solely on their religious beliefs."