An absence of Freedom

I live in a part of the world where I can mostly take freedom for granted. And I think it fair to say that this is how it should be, everywhere. As I read the speeches of the Romans and the Greeks, I see how much they loved the idea, and the promise, of freedom. The framework of America builds on this message of hope, believing that the souls thrive best when they have room to go. I think even that some American teenagers wouldn’t believe that freedom barely exists in some parts of the world. It’s the twenty-first century after all; wasn’t that all a thing of the past?

But for many, the lack of basic freedoms – even something as primary as one’s belief in God – still prevails to this generation. Case in point are my fellow Bahá’ís in the Middle East and thereabouts. My wife’s family fled persecution to become refugees. Can you believe she couldn’t even pursue a medical school education while living in her own country? 1

Sadly, such persecutions are as fresh as the past two weeks. It seems that the Yemenese government has detained a Bahá’í family for deporation back to Iran, the very country and government they left in hope of greater freedoms elsewhere. You can read the news article here. Nor is this all that remote of an incident, since one of the people being deported is the father of my aunt’s friend.

I’m posting this notice to get the word out there, since many citizens of these governments simply don’t know what’s going on. Their media just doesn’t report it. But we who live in the land of freedom can.

  1. If it seems incredible, read this account by Ahmad Batebi, who describes his misadventures with the repressive tactics of the Iranian regime.↩︎