Stories in Volume 23, Issue 1 — April 2013-September 2013

Human Rights

“Five Years Too Many” campaign shows global support for imprisoned Bahá’ís

A global campaign to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the imprisonment of seven Iranian Bahá’í leaders led to an outpouring of support and concern for them and other prisoners of conscience in Iran. Statements calling for the immediate release of the seven came from... Read more

The Roots of Equity, Justice and Prosperity for All

[Editor’s note: The following perspective is adapted from the Bahá’í International Community’s recent contribution to the UN Global Thematic Consultation on “Addressing Inequalities.” The full statement can be read at: http://www.bic.org/statements/beyond-balancing-scales-... Read more

Averting climate change will need help from faith-based organizations, says UN official

NEW YORK—The world will need an enormous push from the private sector and civil society—including religious organizations—if humanity is to make the transition to a low carbon future and prevent the catastrophic effects of global warming, a top UN official has said.... Read more

Rachel Bayani joins Bahá’í International Community office in Brussels

BRUSSELS—The Bahá’í International Community has appointed a new representative to head its Brussels office. Rachel Bayani, a lawyer who has worked for the United Nations and more recently for the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the European Union, joined the... Read more

Role of religion in international development strong and growing, say participants in forum

GATINEAU, Quebec, Canada—The worldly practice of promoting economic progress is sometimes seen to be at odds with the spiritual goals of religion. But at a conference in August, academics, practitioners and religious leaders examined the role of religion in international... Read more

The role of religion in Canadian public discourse explored at Montreal conference

MONTREAL—Concerned about the increasing polarization between secularists and religious believers, along with the growing divide between fundamentalists and more liberal followers of every ideology, religious leaders from across Canada joined with scholars and public figures... Read more

Around the world, young people come together to talk about community service

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia—With temperatures below freezing here for most of the year, Mongolians cherish the short summer, a season for celebrating and enjoying the good weather. So it was significant when more than 800 youth from all parts of the country chose to gather in... Read more
Human Rights

In Iran, the religiously motivated murder of a Bahá’í draws condemnation and concern

NEW YORK—The assassination-style murder of a prominent Bahá’í in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas in August has drawn international condemnation—and expressions of concern over evidence that the killing was religiously motivated. Ataollah Rezvani was shot in the... Read more
Human Rights

ILO expresses concern over economic repression of Iranian Bahá’ís

GENEVA—The International Labor Organization (ILO) has expressed “deep concern” over continuing economic and educational discrimination against Bahá’ís in Iran. In a report released in June, an ILO committee charged with monitoring global compliance with the right to non-... Read more
Human Rights

Four UN human rights experts call for immediate release of the seven

GENEVA—Four high-level United Nations human rights experts issued a joint statement in May calling on Iran to immediately release the seven imprisoned Bahá’í leaders. In a press release dated 13 May 2013, the four experts emphasized that the seven are held solely because... Read more
Human Rights

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says Iranian Bahá’ís face “widespread and entrenched” discrimination

GENEVA—The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has issued a series of pointed recommendations to the Iranian government—recommendations that included a plea for Iran to ensure that all citizens, regardless of religious belief, enjoy full rights without any... Read more

Could humanity survive without religion?

Would the world be a better place without religion? It’s a question that many have asked through the ages, and one highlighted more recently by thinkers like Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, and the late Christopher Hitchens, who claimed that “religion... Read more