The Bahai Faith

A panel of speakers at the "The New Irish as 'Us' — Identity and Integration in Modern Ireland" conference held in Ireland on 3 August. From left to right: Karen McHugh, Donnah Vuma, Tom Reichental, Payam Akhavan, Sharon Murphy, Ann O'Sullivan.24 August 2015 Kilkenny, Ireland — One of the pressing questions in the Irish nation, as in many others across the world, is how to build a cohesive society where different groups can live together in harmony and integrate into the wider community.

Over 550 Lunda Baha’is deliberate on their contribution to the development of their people30 July 2015 MWINILUNGA, Zambia — Hundreds of members of the Baha'i Faith from the Lunda population gathered in the Northwestern Province of Zambia on 24 July to celebrate their history and deliberate on their contribution to the development of their people.

The conference brought together people of all ages in a discussion on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to the life of their society. They, in the light of the spiritual principles of the Baha'i Faith, examined various aspects of their culture, identifying those contributing to the advancement of their community and that should be carried forward and those which might need to be set aside.

The approved temple design of the local Baha'i House of Worship in Battambang, Cambodia18 July 2015 BATTAMBANG, Cambodia — As the sun rose over Battambang yesterday, the melodies of prayer filled the morning air, in a spirit of reverence, exultation, and thanksgiving. These dawn prayers began the event for the unveiling of the design of the first local Baha’i House of Worship for the people of this region of Cambodia, which has in recent years witnessed the emergence of a vibrant community life centered on worship of God and service to humanity. The events of the day involved dignitaries as well as inhabitants of the surrounding communities, numbering over 300 people. Some had walked, while others made their way using various forms of transport to arrive on time for the early morning program.

Panel on the influence of religion on youth at the 5th World Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.ASTANA, Kazakhstan — For growing populations of youth across the planet to become constructive participants in the life of society and contributors to social progress, a fundamental shift in thinking is required about the role of religion in society. This was one of the main points made by the Baha'i International Community delegation to the 5th World Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held in Kazakhstan on 10-11 June. This year's Congress, chaired by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, had 80 delegates representing some ten religions and over forty countries. Among those who attended were Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Youth study intently at the recent conference in BanguiBANGUI, Central African Republic — On the morning of 15 June, more than 400 young people from the Central African Republic (CAR) gathered with great anticipation for the opening session of a long-awaited youth conference. It was the last in a series of 114 that were held in selected cities around the world. This conference, like the 113 others, was originally planned for 2013. But in March of that year, Bangui, the capital city of CAR, was engulfed by waves of violence that swept across the country. The security situation was too volatile to allow the conference to take place.

Ambassador Hahn Choong‐hee (left), Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Daniel Perell (center), representative of the Baha'i International Community to the UN, Dr. Jinhee Kim (right), Member of the Advisory Council of UNAI Korea, at the recent seminar on Global Citizenship Education, at the UN Headquarters. — On June 15, UN permanent missions from France, Korea, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United States co-organized a seminar titled "Global Citizenship Education for a Just, Peaceful, Inclusive and Sustainable World", held at UN Headquarters in New York City. The Baha'i International Community and UNESCO were among seven NGOs and UN organizations that co-sponsored the event.The seminar—archived on UN Web TV—engaged diplomats, UN officials and civil society actors in a dialogue on fostering global citizenship. The focus was on education that engenders universal human values conducive to the construction of a more peaceful and sustainable world.

A calligraphic rendering of the invocation “O Glory of the All-Glorious” was lifted into position at the apex of the Baha'i House of Worship in Chile.SANTIAGO — In the early morning of 29 April, just before dawn, 65 representatives of various institutions and agencies of the Baha'i community, assembled within the superstructure of the Baha'i House of Worship for South America to commemorate a charged and meaningful milestone in its construction—the placement of a Baha'i symbol at the apex of the temple.

On that special day, the ninth day of Ridvan, a calligraphic rendering of the invocation "O Glory of the All-Glorious", referred to as the Greatest Name, was lifted into position some twenty-nine meters above the ground, at the highest point of the temple's dome. As it was raised towards its destination, the voices of the choir could be heard chanting sacred verses in a joyful and reverent atmosphere.

Доктор Джанаки Палто МакГілліган (ліворуч) розмовляє з  з доктором Ширін Махалаті14 April 2015 INDORE — Approximately 90 academics, development practitioners, and university students gathered for a seminar here on 7 April, to explore the direction of development planning and policies in India. Organized by the Baha'i Chair for Studies in Development at Devi Ahilya University in Indore, the seminar, titled Applying Spiritual Principles and Scientific Methods to Development Practice, brought together leading thinkers to explore how social and economic development in the country can be approached holistically and its benefits be extended to all sections of society equitably.
In preparation for the seminar, panelists studied a document prepared by the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity on the experiences of an Indian development organization, Seva Mandir, which helped to frame the discussions throughout the day. Titled, May Knowledge Grow in our Hearts: Applying Spiritual Principles to Development Practice, the paper describes Seva Mandir's efforts to apply spiritual principles and scientific methods to bring about social transformation.

  Religious leaders and World Bank officials gathered in February 2015 to discuss the moral imperative for ending extreme poverty9 April 2015, WASHINGTON — A group of diverse religious leaders has issued a statement giving strong support and "moral consensus" to a World Bank-initiated effort to end extreme poverty in 15 years.

The statement, "Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative", was released today at a media teleconference featuring World Bank President Jim Young Kim and representatives of the religious groups which drafted it, including Bani Dugal, the Principal Representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations. "Ending extreme poverty will require a comprehensive approach that tackles its root causes – including preventable illness, a lack of access to quality education, joblessness, corruption, violent conflicts, and discrimination against women, ethnic minorities and other groups," said the statement, whose authors included representatives of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh faiths. "It will also call for a change in the habits that cause poverty – greed and hedonism, numbness to the pain of others, exploitation of people and the natural world," said the statement.

  A panel discussion at "Our Whole Society: Bridging the Religious-Secular Divide" conference, held 22-24 March 2015 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.4 квітня 2015, Ванкувер - Провідні канадські вчені, державні службовці та представники громадянського суспільства зібралися для проведення симпозіуму в університеті Британської Колумбії з 22 по 24 березня, щоб дослідити важливість побудови «цілісного суспільства» та конструктивну роль релігії у світській, публічній сфері. Організована національним комітетом, що представляє ряд організацій громадянського суспільства в Канаді, в тому числі Управлінням по зв'язках з громадськістю канадської громади бахаї, конференція під назвою «Наше цілісне суспільство: подолання розділення на релігійне і світське» зібрала близько 140 учасників. Серед доповідачів - Ендрю Беннетт, посол Канади з питань свободи віросповідання; Марі Вілсон, голова комісії зі Злагоди і Примирення Канади; Джеральд Філсон, директор зі зв'язків з громадськістю громади бахаї Канади і, в числі інших, голова канадського Міжконфесійного Діалогу.