The recent sentencing of seven innocent members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran is testament to the continued mistreatment of this religion under the Iranian government. Persecution of Bahai’s began in the nineteenth century and has continued to the present day. Many members of this minority religion in Iran have been imprisoned and executed. Iranian Bahai’s now face increasingly restrictive laws concerning employment, education, marriage and the right to assemble.

Why do Bahai’s face such opposition in Iran? What tenets of this religion are particularly problematic for the government? Why has religious intolerance continued to escalate even in the face of increased pressure from the U.N. and from many other countries?

A discussion of the Baha’i Faith and the chanting of some Baha’i prayers will follow a short history of the oppression of the Bahai’s in Iran.

Speaker: Janet Youngdahl, D.M.A.; M.M.

Janet Youngdahl is a Professor of Music at the University of Lethbridge, and was formerly a Professor at the University of Calgary. Janet is a singer, conductor and music historian specializing in medieval and baroque music. She appears on numerous CD recordings on the BMG, Centaur, BIS, and Toccata Classics record labels, and is a frequent soloist in concerts of baroque music.

Janet holds a doctorate of music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan. She currently serves as the chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of Lethbridge.

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