Vanderbilt University, a large private school in Tennessee, is enforcing rules that require all student groups receiving on campus funds to open up membership to anyone - including officer positions (story on NPR). Naturally, this is of great concern to Faith-based organizations in particular: one can easily imagine a group of atheists gate-crashing a meeting and electing their own leader to be the President/Chair/Grand Poobah of the <insert religion> Association.
Results tagged “persecution”
Non-Discrimination in the Campus Club
Request for Cosponsorship of H. Res 134 / S. Res 80 on the Baha'is of Iran
Letter to Congresswoman McCollum, and Senators Franken and Klobuchar:
The recent harrowing arrest of faculty and administrators of the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education in Iran has once again highlighted the subtle and extreme actions in which the current Iranian government is willing to engage in order to suppress the free expression of worship by the Baha'is of Iran.
This world is sadly riven with manifest injustice, often in the form of a government's abuse of its own people. Our most potent weapon against injustice is truth, in speech and deed. In a free land, who can deny that the treatment of the Iranian Baha'is -- unable to administer their affairs, to attend the official schools, to gather in communal worship of that same God to whom most of the world's peoples turn in prayer -- is unjust and unworthy of any nation?
The documentation is evident, widespread, and objective. There is a plain agenda, at the highest levels of government, to eradicate the supposed heresy of "Bahaism" in its homeland. The United States government has been a friend to the Baha'is in the past, offering the stern judgment of a nation wishing to see peace in the world. With the renewed and intensified persecution of the past few years, it is time for the U.S. Congress to join Secretary of State Clinton in remembering the Baha'i community in Iran, by raising its voice in truth, raising its voice in condemnation of the Iranian government's actions against the Baha'is and other religious minorities.
Please, join with forty-five of your colleagues in co-sponsoring House Resolution 134, and in urging that it be brought for a floor vote soon.
A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Baha'is of Iran
In preparing for the URI Global Council meeting in Antwerp, Belgium — which I'll be attending as quasi-staff in a couple of weeks — I wanted to brush up on the recent history of the persecution of the Baha'is of Iran. I found a recent (Dec 2006) detailed report that includes facsimiles of many government documents, newspaper clippings, and other first-hand sources showing the widespread repression, produced by the independent Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. Their description of the report:
This report explores how Bahá'í religious practice has effectively been criminalized inside Iran. Bahá'ís are subjected to a level of social exclusion and harassment in Iran that shocks the conscience and A Faith Denied illuminates the persistent role played by the clerical establishment in perpetuating such abuse. Community leaders have been murdered and sites of irreplaceable religious significance destroyed. The report finds rising levels of persecution since the 2005 election of President Ahmadinejad and resurgence of other conservative political figures.
Official Recognition for Baha'is of Vietnam
I wanted to share with you my excitement at hearing this piece of positive news about religious freedom:
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, about 280 people attended a reception where the government Committee for Religious Affairs presented a certificate giving recognition to Baha'i activities.
The state news agency announced the reception and quoted Ngo Yen Thi, head of the Committee for Religious Affairs, as saying, "The State policy on religion respects and ensures freedom of belief and religion for all Vietnamese citizens as stipulated in the country's first constitution in 1946 and in revised versions."
(Baha'i World News Service, March 21, 2006)