“This must stop”: Anti-Bahá’í propaganda intensifies in Iran, evokes global outcry. US Congress Holds Hearing Today

BIC GENEVA — In recent months, the Iranian government’s decades long campaign of hate speech and propaganda against the Bahá’ís in Iran has reached new levels, increasing in both sophistication and scale. The unfolding strategy to demonize the Baha’i community is reflected in a growing and coordinated network of hundreds of websites, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels and Clubhouse rooms.

“History is replete with the victims of grievous crimes incited by hate speech,” says Diane Ala’i, Representative of the Bahá’í International Community (BIC) to the United Nations in Geneva. “We are concerned that the increasing spread of disinformation targeting the Bahá’ís may signal a severe increase in the persecution meted out against them.”https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/et9kkJYYa98

In the United States, a congressional human rights commission has invited a representative of the Bahá’í community to testify about the status of the Bahá’ís in Iran at a hearing today.

Around the world, government officials, human rights activists, religious figures and other prominent people are raising alarm about the intensification of the state-sponsored anti-Bahá’í propaganda, as history shows that flagrant violations of human rights often take place in a climate of hate and disinformation.

Canadian Member of Parliament Kerry Diotte states: “I wanted to join the chorus of many people in the world who are concerned about the persecution of people of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran. Religious freedom is one of the most basic elements of civilization. This religious persecution of the Bahá’í must stop.”

A message posted on Twitter by Canadian Member of Parliament Kerry Diotte.
A message posted on Twitter by Canadian Member of Parliament Kerry Diotte.

The CIJA, which represents hundreds of thousands of Jewish Canadians across Canada, issued a statement expressing grave concern about the latest developments in Iran. “As Jews, we understand the deadly consequences of a relentless repetition of falsehoods and myths against an entire community. Left unchecked, the Iranian regime’s indoctrination will instill a belief that Bahá’ís are outsiders in their own land, who deserve to be discriminated against and even subjected to violence.

“This must stop. Canada must play a role in holding Iran to account for the countless human rights violations it commits against the Bahá’ís with impunity.”

Nadine Maenza, Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), says, “We are dismayed by news that Iran has expanded anti-Bahá’í incitement in state-sponsored media. Iran must guarantee Bahá’ís and other religious minorities in Iran freedom of religion or belief.”

A message posted on Twitter by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
A message posted on Twitter by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Rev. Dr. Patrick McInerney, director of the Catholic Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations in Sydney, Australia, says, “I deplore the recent escalation of hate speech and incitement to hatred against Bahá’ís and their religion in Iran. Don’t let history repeat itself. Stop hate propaganda against the Bahá’ís. In place of hate, let there be respect, compassion, and love.”

Spreading falsehoods has been a central weapon in the Iranian government’s assault against the Bahá’ís since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The goal is to demonize the Bahá’ís and to try to provoke public hatred for the community, thus justifying crimes against them, a very common tactic used by oppressive governments throughout history.

Despite this vile and ongoing campaign, the Bahá’ís in Iran have neither the right to legally appeal against these statements nor are they permitted to respond and present their own case to their fellow citizens in any of the country’s media, all of which are government controlled.

A new microsite of The Bahá’ís of Iran website has been set up to provide credible information from independent sources in an effort to respond to baseless accusations and misinformation produced by the machinery of propaganda targeting the Bahá’ís.
A new microsite of The Bahá’ís of Iran website has been set up to provide credible information from independent sources in an effort to respond to baseless accusations and misinformation produced by the machinery of propaganda targeting the Bahá’ís.

A new microsite of The Bahá’ís of Iran website called Raasti (Truth) has been set up to provide accurate information, including from independent sources, in an effort to respond to baseless accusations and misinformation produced by the machinery of propaganda targeting the Bahá’ís in Iran.

video released yesterday by the BIC calls on people to join the global outcry over the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran, launching the hashtag #StopHatePropaganda on Twitter.

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The Baha’i Community of Huntsville invites you to add a spiritual component to your July celebrations! Please find a statement from the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly, “Forging a Path to Racial Justice, printed in its entirety in Sunday’s Huntsville Times, in the Main section on page A2.
Further, We encourage you to participate in the community study and discussion meetings on the Race Unity letter advertised in the Sunday’s paper.  The discussions will be held via Zoom on July 25 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm.  To obtain the Zoom link and passcode, please email  helenkosings@hushmail.com.  Read the Statement here.


We lovingly invite you to join us this week in commemorating the Martyrdom of the Báb.  
The meeting will be held via Zoom.
Date:  Friday, July 9, 2021 Time:  1:00 pm CT

Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89512022949

This Friday, July 9, Bahá’ís around the world will observe the Martyrdom of the Báb, commemorating the 1850 execution of the co-founder of the Bahá’í faith, the Báb, in Persia.

On July 9, 1850 the Báb, who was thirty years old at the time, was charged with apostasy and shot by order of the Shiite Prime Minister of the Persian Empire. Apostasy is the abandonment or rejection of a religious belief. The Bab’s Mission was to renew religious belief and herald the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, not to refute Islam or the preceding faiths of the previous prophets.

On that morning, the Báb was taken to a Tabriz courtyard filled with nearly ten thousand people wishing to watch his execution. The Báb and and one of his companions, a youth named Anís, were suspended on a wall in front of a firing squad of 750 riflemen.

But a serious complication arose—earlier that morning Sam Khan, the commander of the Armenian regiment of soldiers ordered to execute the Báb, had begged his forgiveness in advance. “I profess the Christian faith,” the Russian officer told the Báb in his cell, “and entertain no ill will against you. If your Cause be the Cause of Truth, enable me to free myself from the obligation to shed your blood.”

The Báb gently told the commander: “Follow your instructions, and if your intention be sincere, the Almighty is surely able to relieve you from your perplexity.”

At noon that day Sam Khan gave the order to fire and when the musket smoke cleared the Báb had disappeared. Anis stood alone completely unscathed at the base of the wall, the ropes that had bound him and the Báb hanging in tatters. Astonished, the crowd shouted that they had witnessed a miracle. Sam Khan, now relieved from his perplexity, immediately ordered his regiment to march away, swearing that he would never again obey such an order, even if it cost him his own life.

After Khan’s troops left the square, the colonel of the official Sunni Tabriz bodyguard volunteered to carry out the execution. After the guards found the Báb in his cell peacefully dictating letters, He and Anis were again suspended by robe for their execution.

It had been a mere six years after the Báb’s announcement of His new Faith in 1844. The Persian government and the Islamic clerics had already gruesomely tortured and killed more than 20,000 of the Báb’s ardent followers during the short, intense duration of the Babi movement.

For many years after the Báb’s death, his followers secretly transported his body from place to place to avoid the desecration of his remains. The Báb was finally laid to rest at the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa on the middle terrace of the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa, Israel. 

Shrine of the Báb.

The Martyrdom of the Báb is one of nine holy days during which work and school is suspended. 

Huntsville Times: Forging A Path To Racial Justice

The Baha’i Community of Huntsville invites you to add a spiritual component to your July celebrations! Please find a statement from the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly, Forging a Path to Racial Justiceprinted in its entirety in today’s Huntsville Times, in the Life section on page C4.  It will also be printed next Sunday, on July 11.
Further, We encourage you to participate in the community study and discussion meetings on the Race Unity letter advertised in today’s paper.  The discussions will be held via Zoom on July 11 and July 25 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm.  To obtain the Zoom link and passcode, please email  helenkosings@hushmail.com.  Read the Statement here.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — One hundred years ago, in May, the first race amity conference in the United States was held in Washington, D.C., by the American Bahá’í community, a defining moment on the path toward racial unity in the country.

The description on the program read, in part: “Half a century ago in America slavery was abolished. Now there has arisen need for another great effort in order that prejudice may be overcome. Correction of the present wrong requires no army, for the field of action is the hearts of our citizens.”

To mark the centenary of that historic gathering, the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs brought together academics, civil society leaders, and other social actors for a three-day online symposium titled Advancing Together: Forging a Path Toward a Just, Inclusive and Unified Society.

Panelists of a three-day online symposium held by the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs titled Advancing Together: Forging a Path Toward a Just, Inclusive and Unified Society.

“For those of us gathered here today, we are conscious that we are engaged in a process aimed at profound organic change in the very structure of society,” said P.J. Andrews of the Office at the gathering.

“The change required to create justice in the country,” he continued, “is not only social and economic but moral and spiritual.”

The latest episode of the Bahá’í World News Service podcast provides highlights from the symposium at which panelists discussed topics including the role of language in fostering a sense of shared identity, the relationship between truth and justice, and the need to address systemic changes in efforts toward social justice.

The discussions at the symposium looked at experiences of the U.S. Bahá’í community in fostering collaboration and strong bonds of friendship among people of diverse backgrounds in neighborhoods across the country. Some of these efforts are pictured here.

Woven throughout the conversations at the gathering was the spiritual principle of the essential oneness of humanity. Drawing on the Bahá’í teachings, May Lample, also of the Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs, stated: “Any movement that seeks to eradicate all forms of racism from our society has to be predicated on a notion that all human beings are in their essence the same, that they are deserving of dignity, that they possess unique skills and abilities, and that they are worthy of safety and security.

“And without an understanding of our oneness and interconnectedness our differences appear too vast, rather than adding necessary and valuable complexity and beauty to our lives.”

This symposium was part of an ongoing contribution of the Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs in the United States to the discourse on race unity. Recordings of discussions at the symposium can be viewed here.

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Evening Fireside On The Light of Bahá’u’lláh: You Are Invited!

The world is depressingly engulfed in spiritual darkness, and as predicted by the Hebrew Bible, the gospels and the Qur’an, the spiritual ‘sun’ has become darkened. Bahá’u’lláh has appeared at a time when the religions are represented by many divisions and their light is obscured by ‘clouds’ of superstition and divisive traditions — instead of promoting unity, love and understanding, the sects emphasize that their particular version of faith and obsolete and limited comprehension represents the only ‘way’ of truth and spiritual life.

Bahá’u’lláh has come, not so much to create a new religion, but to renew and reanimate faith, to declare that the ‘Will’ of the One God – the Source of all inspiration, in this Day is to remove the barriers that divide humanity and to forge bonds of affection between the various subdivisions of humanity. Thus the Light of Baha’u’llah is one and the same as in the past, but is laser focused on the Oneness of humanity and the Oneness of faith.  

Everyone is welcome to comment and contribute to the discussion.  

The Zoom meeting will be held at 6:30 CT on Friday June 25, 2021.   

Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89512022949


The Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly has announced with great pleasure that a befitting monument has been approved for the gravesite of Mr. Robert C. Turner—the first African American to embrace the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Mr. Turner was a believer so outstanding as to be designated a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Herald of the Covenant by Shoghi Effendi. The grave site monument will be located in Colma, California

Born into slavery in Virginia in 1856, Mr. Turner was later hired by Mrs. Phoebe Hearst as a butler, a post that he occupied for 26 years. He first heard about the teachings of the Faith while serving tea to her guests Edward and Lua Getsinger.

Together with Mrs. Hearst and other early American believers, Robert set sail on pilgrimage to the Holy Land to meet with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. May Maxwell recalls in her memoir, An Early Pilgrimage, that on the morning of their arrival in ‘Akká in 1899, the Master summoned the small group of honored pilgrims to His room. “Seeing that one of the believers was absent, He asked, ‘Where is Robert?’…In a moment, Robert’s radiant face appeared in the doorway and the Master rose to greet him, bidding him to be seated, and said, ‘Robert, your Lord loves you. God gave you a black skin, but a heart white as snow.’” You are encouraged to enjoy other stories and additional materials available on http://www.RobertTurner.org, a website dedicated to the life of this stalwart believer, which will be updated regularly as this project progresses.

Be assured of our prayers that the spirit of Mr. Turner may inspire all those who act in his name and strive to bring to fruition ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s reported promise to him: “Robert, if you remain firm and steadfast to the end, you will be a door through which a whole race will enter the Kingdom.”

The memorial was designed by award-winning Bahá’í artist, Masud Olufani. Installation of the monument at Mr. Turner’s gravesite in Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma—previously marked by a simple plaque—is slated to coincide with the 165th anniversary of his birth, on October 15, and to complement the activities being held this year to honor the life of the beloved Master as we commemorate the centenary of His Ascension.


As a part of the Baha’i Faith’s commitment to the unity of mankind, the Huntsville Local Spiritual Assembly would like to encourage every member of our Baha’i and greater faith community to look at this list (or other events – this list isn’t comprehensive), choose an event that they’d like to support and then attend it in the spirit of love and unity. It would be lovely to hear back from everyone what their experiences were.

A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, 2021


On June 19, 1865 — nearly nine decades after our Nation’s founding, and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free from bondage.  As those who were formerly enslaved were recognized for the first time as citizens, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today.  In its celebration of freedom, Juneteenth is a day that should be recognized by all Americans. And that is why I am proud to have consecrated Juneteenth as our newest national holiday.

Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and power.

A day in which we remember the moral stain and terrible toll of slavery on our country –- what I’ve long called America’s original sin.  A long legacy of systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity.

But it is a day that also reminds us of our incredible capacity to heal, hope, and emerge from our darkest moments with purpose and resolve.

As I said on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore the most painful chapters of their past. Great nations confront them.  We come to terms with them.

On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice.  And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility.  That work has been led throughout our history by abolitionists and educators, civil rights advocates and lawyers, courageous activists and trade unionists, public officials, and everyday Americans who have helped make real the ideals of our founding documents for all.

There is still more work to do.  As we emerge from the long, dark winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, racial equity remains at the heart of our efforts to vaccinate the Nation and beat the virus.  We must recognize that Black Americans, among other people of color, have shouldered a disproportionate burden of loss — while also carrying us through disproportionately as essential workers and health care providers on the front lines of the crisis.

Psalm 30 proclaims that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and discrimination, and the promise of a brighter morning to come.  My Administration is committed to building an economy — and a Nation — that brings everyone along, and finally delivers our Nation’s founding promise to Black Americans.  Together, we will lay the roots of real and lasting justice, so that we can become the extraordinary country that was promised to all Americans.

Juneteenth not only commemorates the past.  It calls us to action today.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth Day of Observance.  I call upon the people of the United States to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.


Provided above is a special Race Unity Day Devotional PowerPoint program for your personal observance. For .pdf email copies of the program, requests for other devotionals or general information request timtyson@gmail.com.

Currently, zoom based devotional programs are offered every Sunday morning 9:00am – 10:00 CST. Add you name to the notification list timtyson@gmail.com.


You are cordially invited to a Race Unity Day devotional program.

Topic: Race Unity Day Sunday Devotional

Time: Jun 13, 2021 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

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