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

Published: Wednesday, May 15 2013 11:30 a.m. MDT

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

Chris Haston, © NBC Universal, Inc.

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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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