A new version of the Bahá’í Reference Library is now available. This ‘old version’ of the Bahá’í Reference Library will be replaced at a later date.

The new version of the Bahá’i Reference Library can be accessed here »

Citadel of Faith

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 third printing
  • Pages:
  • 171
Go to printed page GO
Pages 134-136


This premeditated campaign was heralded by violent and repeated public denunciations of the Faith over the air, from the pulpit, and through the press, defaming its holy Founders, distorting its distinctive features, ridiculing its aims and purposes, and perverting its history. It was formally launched by the government’s official pronouncement in the Majlis outlawing the Faith and banning its activities throughout the land. It was soon followed by the senseless and uncivilized demolition of the imposing dome of the Bahá’í Central Administrative Headquarters in the capital. It assumed serious proportions through the seizure and occupation of all Bahá’í administrative headquarters throughout the provinces.
This drastic action taken by the representatives of the central authorities in cities, towns and villages was the signal for the loosing of 135 a flood of abuse, accompanied by a series of atrocities simultaneously and shamelessly perpetrated in most of the provinces, bringing in its wake desolation to Bahá’í homes, economic ruin to Bahá’í families, and staining still further the records of Shí’ah Islám in that troubled land.
In Shíráz, in the province of Fárs, the cradle of the Faith, the House of the Báb, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh in His Most Holy Book as the foremost place of pilgrimage in the land of His birth, was twice desecrated, its walls severely damaged, its windows broken and its furniture partly destroyed and carried away. The neighboring house of the Báb’s maternal uncle was razed to the ground. Bahá’u’lláh’s ancestral home in Tákúr, in the province of Mázindarán, the scene of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s early childhood, was occupied. Shops and farms, constituting, in most cases, the sole source of livelihood to peaceful Bahá’í families, were plundered. Crops and livestock, assets patiently acquired by often poor, but always peace-loving, law-abiding farmers, were wantonly destroyed. Bodies in various cemeteries were first disinterred and then viciously mutilated. The homes of rich and poor alike were forcibly entered and ruthlessly looted. Both adults and children were publicly set upon, reviled, beaten and ridiculed. Young women were abducted, and compelled, against their parents’ wishes and their own, to marry Muslims. Boys and girls were mobbed at school, mocked and expelled. A boycott, in many cases, was imposed by butchers and bakers, who refused to sell to the adherents of the Faith the barest necessities of life. A girl in her teens was shamelessly raped, whilst an eleven-month-old baby was heartlessly trampled underfoot. Pressure was brought to bear upon the believers to recant their faith and to renounce allegiance to the Cause they had espoused.
Nor was this all. Emboldened by the general applause accorded by the populace to the savage perpetrators of these crimes, a mob of many hundreds marched upon the hamlet of Hurmuzak, to the beating of drums and the sounding of trumpets, and, armed with spades and axes, fell upon a family of seven, the oldest eighty, the youngest nineteen, and, in an orgy of unrestrained fanaticism, literally hacked them to pieces.
Following closely upon this heinous crime, the like of which has not been witnessed since the close of the Heroic Age of the Faith, an official order has been issued by the Prime Minister’s office in Ṭihrán, 136 placing an interdiction against the employment of any Bahá’ís in government service, and ordering the instant dismissal of all who insist on adhering to their faith.