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Persecutions in Jahrum
Grave and manifold as are the problems confronting the struggling Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, none appear more significant, nor seem 107 more compelling in their urgency, than the incredible sufferings borne so heroically by our down-trodden brethren of the East. Recent reports confirming the news which I have lately communicated to you have all emphasized the barbarous severity practiced on the innocent followers of our Cause. They reveal the possibility of the extension of this agitation, partly instigated for political purposes and selfish motives, to neighboring towns and provinces, and dwell upon the traditional slackness of the local authorities to inflict prompt and severe punishment upon all the perpetrators of such abominable crimes. It has been ascertained that in the town of Jahrum women have suffered martyrdom in a most atrocious manner, that the knife of the criminal has mercilessly cut to pieces the body of a child, that a number have been severely beaten and injured, their bodies mutilated, their homes pillaged, their property confiscated, and the homeless remnants of their family abandoned to the mercy of a shameless and tyrannical people. In other parts of Persia, and particularly in the province of Ádhirbayján in the town of Marághih, the friends have been pitilessly denied the civic rights and privileges extended to every citizen of the land. They have been refused the use of the public bath, and been denied access to such shops as provide the necessities of life. They have been declared deprived of the benefit and protection of the law, and all association and dealing with them denounced as a direct violation of the precepts and principles of Islám. It has even been authoritatively stated that the decencies of public interment have been refused to their dead, and that in a particular case every effort to induce the Muslim undertaker to provide the wood for the construction of the coffin, failed to secure the official support of the authorities concerned. Every appeal made by these Bahá’ís on behalf of their brethren, whether living or dead, has been met with cold indifference, with vague promises, and, not infrequently, with severe rebuke and undeserved chastisement.
The tale of such outrageous conduct, such widespread suffering and loss, if properly expressed and broadcast, cannot fail in the end to arouse the conscience of civilized mankind, and thereby secure the much-needed relief for a long-suffering people. I would, therefore, renew my plea, and request you most earnestly to redouble your 108 efforts in the wide field of publicity, to devise every possible means that will alleviate the fears and sorrows of the silent sufferers in that distracted country. Surely these vile wrong-doers cannot long remain unpunished for their ferocious atrocities, and the day may not be far distant when we shall witness, as we have observed elsewhere, the promised signs of Divine Retribution avenging the blood of the slaughtered servants of Bahá’u’lláh.