The Observer-Dispatch in Utica, NY carried a story today about a Baha’i family that immigrated to the United States. The family of four lived in Isfahan until five years ago, where the father of the family, Rouhollah Madhi (52), ran a car shop. After the Islamic Revolution he was denied the right to study at a university because of his faith, and therefore opened a business. The mother, Farangis Behinaein (51), was studying to be a nurse when she was asked to sign a document proclaiming that she is a member of one of the recognized religions in Iran. When she refused to lie, she was kicked out school. Their son, Farshad Madhi (25), was a very successful musical student in high school, but was denied the right to study music in the university because of his faith. He described how his grandfather, who worked for an iron factory for 15 years, was fired from his job following the Revolution in 1979 for being a Baha’i.

According to Kit Bigelow, the director of the office of external affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly in the United States, there are 13,000 Iranian Baha’i refugees currently living in the States.