Can you imagine through torture and turmoil, persecution and hate crimes, holding on tightly to your own beliefs with a heart full of rapture and love? Every day, across the globe, this is what people of numerous religions have to face. Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists – name a religion and you can likely assume that at one point its followers have been persecuted, or will be. One might even claim that this is a component of being a religious follower. When we observe these individuals we become aware of their reality, and see the strength that they have in their beliefs; we see that the persecution and torture they face often makes them firmer in their beliefs. It is astounding what humans can endure when their faith is tested. We expect these people to fall, to collapse under the pressure of their lives when all that they have is taken away, but instead we see an incredible response of strength illuminating from them.
There are many directions that this discussion could take. Should I discuss the persecution of religious believers by governments, or the uproar this causes in neighbours and friends of believers? Or perhaps I should discuss how this does not merely happen in non-democratic nations, how it happens right here in Canada and in the United States. Perhaps the best route to take is to discuss the common theme that runs throughout this entire issue: that the human race will not stand for this or any kind of persecution based on beliefs.
In one article from the Huffington Post http://huff.to/1f9gCsY Anthony Vance discusses how the religious minority of Baha’i’s in Iran have been persecuted since the birth of their religion and are still, to this day, being persecuted, simply because they are part of a religion that arose after Islam. They are restricted from pursuing any form of higher education, prohibited from working in many types of businesses, some are threatened and attacked on the street, and many are imprisoned with little explanation from the government. Vance discusses in this article, that the global community is becoming much more aware of this issue and as a result have responded with overwhelming intolerance to the persecution and support for the Baha’i’s and have, in fact, requested a call for action from the government of Iran.
In another article from the Huffington Post http://huff.to/MO4OGw Imam Muhammad Musri speaks out against the actions of many followers of his own Muslim faith, in order to stand up for those individuals of many different religions, who are being persecuted. He states that a large number of Muslims, in fact, disagree with this kind of harmful oppression. Once again we see that the global community will not stand for these kinds of injustices. Even if it requires speaking out against believers of one’s own religion, for the sake of justice and protection, friends and strangers, will stand up to fight religious persecution and injustice.
– AE #205