Stories in Volume 22, Issue 2 — March-May 2012

Human Rights

Iran's justice system deeply flawed, says UN special investigator

GENEVA — Last year, the UN Human Rights Council decided to appoint a new independent investigator to monitor human rights in Iran, after nine years without one. This March that investigator made his first full report to the Council, offering not only a sharp critique of... Read more

The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges

The critical role of women in advancing agricultural and rural development, and in ensuring food security, has been widely acknowledged. Member States have committed to providing rural women with equal access to productive resources and to markets — recognizing their agency... Read more

In Morocco, symposium explores religion, spirituality and education

MARRAKECH, Morocco — What is spirituality? How can religious education encourage it? And what role do both religion and spirituality play in fostering human well-being? Those were among the questions considered by representatives from the world’s religions — including... Read more
Status of Women

Forum at UN discusses role of rural women farmers

NEW YORK — Listening to and supporting rural women is fundamental to ending poverty and hunger, and achieving peace and development that is sustainable. That was the message from Michelle Bachelet, executive director of UN Women, who opened the annual UN Commission on... Read more
Poverty Eradication

Inequality between rich and poor highlighted by UN roundtable

UNITED NATIONS — While the economic crisis has led many to focus on inequalities at the national level, the gap between rich and poor internationally has widened — and also needs to be examined. That was among the themes raised at a roundtable discussion on 1 February... Read more

In Chile, construction of House of Worship reaches important milestone

SANTIAGO, Chile — A significant milestone has been reached in the building of the Bahá’í House of Worship here with the signing of contracts essential to its construction. The innovative design for the Temple consists of nine translucent elements that rise from the... Read more
Human Rights

Persecution intensifies as anniversary of imprisonment of Baha'i leaders is marked

GENEVA — In May, seven former leaders of the Iranian Bahá’í community began their fifth year in prison amid an intensification of the persecution of their co-religionists. The seven prisoners each face the bleak prospect of 16 more years in jail for crimes they did not... Read more

UK government launches "year of service" initiative at Baha'i center

LONDON — A government-sponsored initiative to encourage people of all beliefs to help improve their local neighborhoods was launched at the national Bahá’í center here in February. The program, titled “A Year of Service,” aims to recognize the role of faith in inspiring... Read more
Sacred Texts

In South Korea, a new translation makes Baha'i holy writings widely available

SEOUL, South Korea — An ambitious project to translate a collection of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings into Korean reached fruition with the book’s publication in February 2012. The volume, known in English as Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, is the first Bahá’í book... Read more

The “most personal” and “most difficult” film the director has ever made

Iranian Taboo: a documentary film By Reza Allamehzadeh In his 40-year career, Reza Allamehzadeh has never shied away from exploring the darker side of life in Iran, making documentaries that have resulted in considerable personal risk for the filmmaker. In 1979, his... Read more