Baha'i Vigil to Pray for Leaders

January 12, 2009

Author: Erin Wiltgen

Source: The Herald-Sun’hai+vigil+to+pray+for+leaders%20&id=5524100&instance=main_article

In chant and in silence, they gathered in prayer, circled in a dimly lit, herbal-toned room with miniature lanterns draping across windows. The smell of mint tea and baked cookies whispered through the meditative songs and recitations, both in English and Persian.

The interfaith vigil, held Monday at 8 p.m. at Daria Barazandeh’s Chapel Hill home, offered support and prayers to seven Baha’i leaders facing trial today on charges of spying for Israel, insulting religions sanctities and spreading propaganda on Islam. After changing the trial date from July to August and then to October, lawyers received word in December of the latest court date: Jan. 12.

“I don’t know what the games are,” said Azadeh Perry of Chapel Hill, whose brother-in-law, Saeid Rezaie, is one of those imprisoned. “You have so much hope, you pray about it, and then you get a phone call that they didn’t bring them, it didn’t happen.”

The seven accused, two women and five men, were arrested in spring 2008 and held in Evin prison in Tehran without formal charges or access to a lawyer.