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Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

'The Office' star Rainn Wilson campaigns for imprisoned members of his faith

By Abby Stevens, Deseret News

Published: Wed, May 15 11:30 a.m. MDT

 THE OFFICE -- \

THE OFFICE -- "Parking" Episode 4014 -- Pictured: Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston

(Chris Haston, NBC Universal, Inc.)

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on NBC’s “The Office”, has been speaking out to raise awareness of injustices toward members of his Baha'i faith.

Wilson spoke to CNN on May 9 about the "Five Years Too Many" campaign, which calls for the release of seven Baha'i volunteer leaders who have been held in an Iranian prison for the past five years. Their jail sentence is 20 years.

“The charges against them are just preposterous," Wilson said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "It’s like, ‘spying for Israel,’ and ‘corruption unearthed.' This campaign of ‘Five Years Too Many’ is really to let people know, ‘hey, there are Baha'is rotting in jail in a 20-year sentence in completely trumped up charges simply because they have a certain set of faith beliefs that run against the theocracy in Iran.’”

Baha'is believe “the purpose of life is to know and worship God, to acquire virtues, to promote the oneness of humankind and to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization,” according to bahai.us.

Wilson said he is thankful for the peace he finds in his faith.

“My faith grounds me and centers me and gives me focus and purpose, and I’m very grateful for that,” he said.

Wilson's interview discussing his Baha'i faith and his thoughts on finishing "The Office" is available on CNN's website.

A video about Baha'i beliefs is available on the Baha'i Faith website.

Abby Stevens is an intern for the Deseret News Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of BYU-I. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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1. I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT,
May 15, 2013

Random fact:

The Baha'i faith is one of the only religions outside the LDS Church that believes in ongoing revelation from God to His servants on the Earth.

2. A Scientist
Provo, UT,
May 16, 2013

I know it. I Live it. I Love it wrote:

"Random fact: The Baha'i faith is one of the only religions outside the LDS Church that believes in ongoing revelation from God to His servants on the Earth."

That is not true. All the major Christian religions (Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestants of various kinds) have theological conceptions of "continuing revelation".

Please cease from misrepresenting religions you do not understand.

3. Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX,
May 16, 2013

"A Scientist

That is not true. All the major Christian religions (Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestants of various kinds) have theological conceptions of "continuing revelation"."

Really? Is that why during my mission all those good Protestants and Catholics clucked their tongues and waved their fingers in my face while they quoted Revelations 22:18-19? If they truly believed in revelation then they wouldn't believe in a permanently closed cannon. After all, if God is talking to a prophet, shouldn't the world hear about it? Wouldn't a prophet talking to God receive information to clear up a basic doctrine like say, baptism?

I'm sure that each of those faiths believe in answers to prayers, and the Catholics believe the pope receives spiritual guidance, but certainly not in the same way that LDS do that we have an open cannon.

By the way, as a life long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have noticed many inaccuracies in your comments about the LDS church. I would hope that you please cease from misrepresenting religions you do not understand. Because trust me, you don't understand us.

4. A Scientist
Provo, UT,
May 16, 2013

Red Headed Stranger,

When will LDS RMs ever realize that Bible bashing with random, anonymous people who are NOT officials in respective religions, does not make you an expert on those religions you are attacking?

As for my alleged "misrepresentations", I am married to a temple-worthy LDS woman. I attend Church meetings regularly. I have degrees from BYU. I know Mormonism much better than most Mormons! If you claim I have made "inaccuracies", please feel free to point them out. Be specific. I would be happy to discuss it, if the Editorial folks would allow it...

And I was raised very actively in one of the religions about which you speak (and about which you clearly know very little). I know their catechisms and theology very well, from personal experience as well as university studies.

And my statement is true. I stand by it.

5. DSB
Cedar Hills, UT,
May 16, 2013

@Scientist - as I've read your posts, I also have concluded that you know far less about the LDS religion than you claim. Seems more like the prophecy of Paul to Timothy - "Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." Also, other scriptures about being learned and thinking you're wise.

Try a simple Google search to see if authoritative figures in Catholic and mainline Protestant churches believe the scriptural canon is closed with the Bible, and therefore doctrinal revelation as well. Red Headed Stranger has merely repeated what most traditional religions teach as truth, and why their ministers revile against us for our claim to continued revelation.