Charlottesville-Area Baha\’is to Hold Public Prayer Meeting July 10th Supporting Baha\’is on Trial in Iran

Members of the Baha\’i Faith in the greater Charlottesville area will hold a Public Prayer Meeting Friday, July 10th at 8:30 pm in Charlottesville to express their support for the seven Baha\’i leaders who are to stand trial the following morning in the same Iranian Court that convicted and sentenced American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi. Those interested in sharing their support should call 979-1941 for details.

The official website of the Baha\’is of the United Sites and other news agencies announced last week that the trial of seven Iranian Baha\’i leaders, arrested in the spring of 2008, is scheduled to be held at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court on July 11, 2009. American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi was recently convicted of espionage in Branch 28 of this Court and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. She was eventually released, but only after an international outcry at the clear politicization of the case and manifestly unjust legal procedures.

The seven Baha\’i leaders have been held for over a year without formal charges or access to their attorneys. Official Iranian news reports have said the Baha\’is will be accused of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” The charge of “espionage for Israel” is punishable by death.

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Charlottesville Area Baha\’is
The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. Founded more than a century and a half ago, the Bahá\’í Faith has spread around the globe, with a significant presence throughout the United States. Members of the Bahá\’í Faith come from nearly every nation, ethnic group, culture, profession, and social or economic background. The roughly 100 Bahá’í adults, youth and children who live in the greater Charlottesville area hail from Virgina, other parts of the U.S., and other nations, including Iran, as well as Bermuda, Cameroon, Denmark, and Malawi. Bahá’ís view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Bahá’í tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace.