Regarding the Evin seven, the Baha'is who have been held in Evin Prison in Iran for the last two years without proper access to lawyers to plead their case, they have each been handed a 20-year sentence. They are all convicted of crimes against the Earth, consorting with the Israelis and plotting against the state of Iran.
An international call has gone out against these false accusations through the United Nations, and as well, resolutions condemning this injustice have been passed by both houses of Congress. Many organizations have responded to this horrendous act on the part of a tyrannical government. But such is the fear of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith by the government of Iran that it feels it can imprison Baha'is with impunity.
Because of the health and age of several of the prisoners there is every reason to assume they will not survive their sentence. Imprisonment and torture of Baha'is has a long history going back to the followers of the Faith in 1844.
The history of the Baha'i Faith recounts the treatment meted out to Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad, the Great Announcement of the Faith in Iran in those early days. "Swift and savage persecution at the hands of the dominant Muslim clergy followed this announcement. The B?°b was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and finally on July 9, 1850 was executed by firing squad in the public square of the city of Tabriz."
Some 20,000 of his followers perished in a series of massacres throughout Persia in the following years.
I have tried to impress through my letters to the editor for the past year the importance of responding to this situation. It is my hope those within the Union-Bulletin readership who are concerned about incidents of religious persecution wherever, and to whomsoever they occur, might respond by offering their prayers for these souls whose spiritual efforts are being treated with such malignant indifference.
Baha'u'llah has said, "God is My witness, O people! I am come to you with a Revelation from the Lord, your God, the Lord of your fathers of old. Look not, O people, at the things ye possess. Look rather at the things God hath sent down unto you. This, surely, will be better for you than the whole of creation."
When man's spirit is imprisoned by tyrannical rulers, the loss is to mankind.