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Dawn of a New Day

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of India, date unknown
  • Pages:
  • 228
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Pages 51-53

Persecution of the Baha’is in Iran

The persecutions from which the Persian friends are now suffering represent, indeed, the culmination in the long and nation-wide campaign which the authorities in that country have during the last two years launched against the Faith. In many of its aspects this campaign is reminiscent of the persecutions suffered by the early Babis,… 52
The first incident which led to this outburst of fierce antagonism on the part of the Government was in connection with the Tarbiat Schools in Tehran. The school authorities having, after due consultation with the N.S.A. and in strict conformity with the principle governing the observance of Baha’i holidays, decided to close the schools on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of Bab’s martyrdom, the authorities in the capital immediately issued orders that the schools be permanently closed, and that also no public meetings of any kind be held by the believers. This has been done in spite of the fact that other religious communities, such as the Muslims and the Zoroastrians, are allowed to celebrate their own feasts, and as such enjoy full religious freedom. Similar orders were issued to the believers in all other parts of Persia, with the result that today the friends find their activities in Persia completely paralyzed. Their schools have all been definitely closed, their meetings suspended, their correspondence intercepted, and their assemblies and committees for the most part dissolved.
The situation, as it stands at present, is highly disconcerting. The friends, however, faithful to the injunctions of the Master regarding obedience to government in all administrative matters as distinguished from those affecting their conscience and loyalty to the Cause strictly adhere to the laws and orders of the government. Their sole hope is the assurance that in due time all these restrictions are bound to disappear….
In the meantime, the Guardian would urge all the friends to patiently and prayerfully wait until these sad happenings take their due course. For the history of the Cause, particularly in Persia, is a clear illustration of the truth that such persecutions invariably serve to strengthen the believers in their faith, by stimulating the spiritual powers latent in their hearts, and by awakening in them a new and deeper consciousness of their duties and responsibilities towards the Faith. Indeed, the mere progress of the Cause, by provoking the hatreds and jealousies of peoples and nations, creates for itself such difficulties and obstacles as only its divine spirit can overcome. Abdu’l-Baha has emphatically stated that the enmity and opposition of the 53 world will increase in direct proportion to the extension and progress of the Faith. The greater the zeal of the believers and the more striking the effect of their achievements, the fiercer will be the opposition of the enemy.
Many are the passages in the Writings of Baha’u’llah wherein He foreshadows the persecutions awaiting His Faith. But side by side with such emphatic predictions is the assurance that out of these sufferings and trials His Cause will emerge triumphant and purified. May we not, therefore, gather strength from such an assurance, and with hearts filled with confident and joyous hope arise to fulfil our part in the establishment of His Cause?
January 20, 1935