WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- This past weekend marked a period of supreme sacredness and festivity for members of the Baha'i Faith. The bicentenary of the birth of Baha'u'llah, the faith's founder, occurred on October 22, with public declarations about the event issued by the Canadian, UK, Australian, and Indian Prime Ministers, among others. Yet, the arrest of another Baha'i in Yemen struck a somber chord in the global Baha'i community.
In Sana'a, Yemen, celebrations were tainted by an ongoing campaign of persecution against the Baha'is. Houthi forces raided a family home where some friends were commemorating the bicentenary, breaking down the door with an armored vehicle and opening fire. Houthi authorities arrested Mr. Akram Ayyash, a local Baha'i.
The attack verifies the furtive role the Iranian regime is playing in Yemen's unrest. Baha'is remain heavily persecuted by the government in Iran, with 19 arrested in the country over the past weekend, and at least 95 currently imprisoned.
"We have it confirmed from several reliable local sources," said Anthony Vance, Director of Public Affairs for the Baha'is of the United States, "that Iran's backing of Houthi militias is directly influencing the persecution of the Baha'is."
This persecution has prompted renewed international concern, with a United Nations resolution, introduced on behalf of the Arab Group, calling for the release of detained Yemeni Baha'is.
Senator John McCain, moreover, stated that he was "deeply disturbed" by the recent arrests of Baha'is in Iran, "just days before their holy celebrations."
For more information about religious persecution and the rights of the Baha'is in Yemen and Iran, please contact the U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs at 202-833-8990, or visit publicaffairs.bahai.us.
SOURCE U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs