It is Freedom Day!
33 years ago a military coup put an end to a 48 year old dictatorship in Portugal. It was the beginning of the "third wave of democratization" as Samuel P. Huntington called it. The coup was followed by two years of political and social turmoil. There were constant friction between liberal democratic forces and communist ones. The African colonial wars ended and the colonies got their independence (a handover of power with no free elections). And the Portuguese people and politicians had to learn how to live with the rules of democracy.
Those were hard times.
But today we live in a liberal democracy. And we enjoy freedom.
For the Bahá’í Community the Revolution meant the end of oppression and persecution by the former political police. At last we were free to gather, to teach the Faith,… we were free to be Bahá'ís. In 1975, the Baha’i Community of Portugal was official recognized as a religious community.
As a Bahá’í celebrating Freedom Day, my thoughts are with those followers of the Baha’i Faith in other countries who do not enjoy freedom. I hope they will live to celebrate a holiday like Freedom Day.
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The following video presents a series of photos taken during that day, 25th April, 1974. The music is Grandola, Vila Morena; it was broadcast on Portuguese radio as a signal to start the revolution.
Read more about the Carnation Revolution.