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"Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?"

~Bahá'u'lláh

Bahá’í World News Service
The Bahá’í World News Service reports on current Bahá’í activity around the world.

Youth Conferences

Message from The Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Baha’i’s,addressed to the 114 Youth Conferences throughout the World, dated 1 July 2013.

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The Baha'i House of Worship of India

The Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi, which is considered as India’s symbol of communal harmony by the Government of India, was dedicated to the people of India and all humanity in December 1986.

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News

As human-rights violations against Baha’is in Iran escalate, global ‘Education is Not a Crime’ initiative gains momentum

Public Information

Bahaí Office of Public Affairs

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi

20 February 2015

For Immediate Release

 

An intensification of the persecution of the Bahaí community in Iran over the last 18 months has prompted declarations of support for that country’s largest religious minority from prominent voices, and has spurred a worldwide initiative called “Education is Not a Crime”.

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran marked the beginning of what has become systematic and state-sponsored persecution of the Bahaís in the land of their Faith’s birth – solely because of their religious belief.

The last year and a half has seen an alarming escalation of well-documented cases that drew comment by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, of illegal detainment, closure of Bahaí-owned businesses, arbitrary house searches and arrests, destruction of Bahaí cemeteries, anti-Bahaí propaganda disseminated through government channels – and denial of entry into higher education.

The documentary “To Light a Candle”,  which inspired the Education is Not a Crime initiative,  highlights the constructive resilience of Iran’s young Bahaís who have developed an informal arrangement known as the Bahaí Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) through which they could have access to university-level courses.

Creating awareness around the issue is now critical - in March the U.N. Human Rights Council will hear from the Iranian government regarding which of the recommendations made during its 2014 Universal Periodic Review it intends to accept.

On 27 February – designated as Education is Not a Crime Day – “To Light a Candle” will be screened at hundreds of locations worldwide – including at the Bahaí House of Worship (Lotus Temple) in New Delhi, and at various educational institutions throughout India.

Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has endorsed the Education is Not a Crime campaign, stating, “The Iranian government says that education is a crime for Bahaís. But I want to tell you that we can change that – we can give voice on their behalf.”

Four other Nobel Peace laureates  - Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman, Jody Williams and Mairead Maguire - have also expressed their support.  The initiative has also earned the endorsement of a number of international artists and intellectuals including Rainn Wilson, an American television star, and Mohammad Maleki - former president of the University of Tehran.

“We are heartened by the outpouring of support, both in India and beyond, for the plight of the Bahaí community in Iran,” said Shatrughun Jiwnani, Director – Public Information, Bahaí Office of Public Affairs, “and hope that it will result in significant improvement of the human-rights situation in Iran when the matter comes before the U.N. Human Rights Council in March.”

“To Light a Candle” will be screened at the Information Centre of the Bahaí House of Worship (Lotus Temple) on Friday, 27 February at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The documentary was produced by Maziar Bahari, an acclaimed journalist who was imprisoned in Iran in 2009 as a former Newsweek correspondent in Tehran. Bahari, who is not a Bahaí himself, launched the Education is Not a Crime initiative last November.

A section of the Education is Not a Crime website provides information on how individuals can become involved. Numerous videos have been posted by people around the world who have sent messages supporting the right of the Bahaís to study.

“Education is a basic human right,” says one person in his video posted on the website. “It’s like....the right to livelihood, safety or work, right to shelter. It’s not a crime. Deprivation of it is a crime.”

For more information, go to http://educationisnotacrime.me  or www.bic.org

 

 

____________________________________

 

Contact for Media:

Shatrughun Jiwnani

Director-Public Information

Bahaí Office of Public Affairs

E-mail:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Office:    # 2647 0526

Mobile:  #  98118 34544