Establishing Peace on Earth

The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors – 28 June 1919

On 18th January 1919, one hundred years ago, the Paris Peace Conference was opened after the First World War with the aim of preventing another war.  Although, the agreements reached during the conference did not reflect the aim in mind,  such gathering represented the first attempt at establishing peace on earth, fifty years after Bahá’u’lláh called on the kings and rulers of the world to be reconciled among themselves and enjoined on them to establish peace.  In observing this occasion, the Universal House of Justice, the Supreme Governing Body of the Bahá’í Faith, has sent a message to the Bahá’ís of the World.

In this message, the Universal House of Justice identifies three instances at which human race thought that the peace on earth was being achieved, the Paris Conference and establishment of the League of Nations, formation of the United Nations after the Second World War, and peaceful termination of Cold War towards the end of the century. The present century has, however, brought along new challenges that have pulled humanity further away from achieving universal peace.  Religious fundamentalism, the failing of many organisations and institutions, erosion of certain shared ethical principles, and resurgence of forces of racism, nationalism and factionalism are among some of these challenges.

The Universal House of Justice refers to the document “The Promise of World Peace” , that was addressed in 1985 to the people of the world, in which the Bahá’í perspective on the condition of the world and the prerequisites of universal peace were set out. In that document, the Bahá’í community was offered as a model, demonstrating the feasibility of achieving the unity of mankind. Since then, Bahá’ís have been refining that model and are learning how to develop communities that embody the prerequisites of peace.

The complete message of the Universal House of Justice can be downloaded from Baha’i Reference Library.

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Screening of “The Gate” in Wollongong

The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith is a groundbreaking documentary that tells the amazing, true story of the Prophet Herald known as the Báb, His message and the origins of a new era in world religion.
In the midst of religious intolerance and extremism, one religion—the Bahá’í Faith—offers a path toward world peace by advocating the oneness of humanity’s major religions. Now, this groundbreaking documentary tells the amazing, little-known story of the origins of the Bahá’í Faith.
The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith recounts the founding of this new world religion in Persia by a Prophet known as The Báb. In the mid-1800s, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike were awaiting the imminent arrival of a Divine Messenger. Beginning in 1844, the Báb’s message, which included then-controversial ideas like the oneness of major religions and the empowerment of women, spread like wildfire across the region amidst this religious climate.
However, His groundbreaking new message presented a threat to religious and political leaders of the time, resulting in relentless persecution of the Báb and His followers. The Báb’s message ultimately triumphed with a growing number of faithful; today, the Bahá’í religion is practiced throughout the world by over five million people.
Combining dramatic reenactments with interviews of renowned historians, religious scholars and Bahá’í Faith experts, The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith celebrates the brief, exciting life of a prophet and the indelible impact His message continues to have on the world today.
This documentary will be screened on 8 November, 7:30 pm, Room 25-107, Creative Arts Building, University of Wollongong.
There is no entry fee and all are welcome to attend.

Celebrating the Beginning of a New Spiritual Springtime

Shrine of the Báb in Haifa

On Thursday, May 23, Wollongong Bahá’ís in par with their sister communities around the world will celebrate the beginning of a new spiritual springtime that began with the declaration of the Báb in 1844.

The Báb, meaning Gate in Arabic, announced that He was “the bearer of a Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One of all religions.” It was a time when many Christians were expecting the return of Christ based on their reading of Biblical prophecy.

In the Islamic world, people were also expecting the appearance of their Promised One.

The celebration, starting at 7:30 on Wednesday 23rd May at Wollongong Bahá’í Centre of Learning, is open to all.

 

Community Participates in the Mother’s Day Classic

 

Some Wollongong Bahá’ís participating in the Mother’s Day Classic

Wollongong Bahá’í community participated in the Mother’s Day Classic that was held on Sunday 13th of May 2018 at Stuart park.  The Mother’s Day Classic is a nation-wide community-based event that raises funds for breast cancer research. This is an opportunity for people to come together on Mother’s Day to remember, celebrate and honour those touched by breast cancer.

The walk took place on the beautiful coast along the boardwalk of the North Wollongong beach starting and finishing in Stuart Park, along the cycle/walkway of Cliff Road and loop back to Stuart park.

The Wollongong event was in its 12th year & offerered participants a 2km & 5km walk or run!

Universal House of Justice Elected

The members of the Universal House of Justice are, from left to right, Paul Lample, Chuungu Malitonga, Payman Mohajer, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Hall, Ayman Rouhani, Stephen Birkland, Juan Mora, and Praveen Mallik. The House of Justice was elected by delegates to the 12th International Baha’i Convention in Haifa.

Yesterday, delegates to the 12th International Baha’i Convention cast ballots to elect the House of Justice.

The elected members are Paul Lample, Chuungu Malitonga, Payman Mohajer, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Hall, Ayman Rouhani, Stephen Birkland, Juan Francisco Mora, and Praveen Mallik.

Members are elected for five-year terms.

Worldwide representatives gather for 12th International Convention

Delegates arriving at the International Baha’i Convention

Some 1,300 delegates representing more than 160 countries have arrived in Haifa to participate in the 12th International Baha’i Convention.

The International Convention is a unique gathering held every five years in Haifa, the administrative and spiritual center of the Baha’i world community. Delegates hail from virtually every nation. Over the course of the convention, they participate in a series of consultative sessions and elect the Faith’s international governing body, the Universal House of Justice.

The consultations at International Convention are generally concerned with the development of the Baha’i Faith and the contributions of Baha’i communities to the progress of society. One of the primary areas of discussion is how Baha’u’llah’s teachings—such as the oneness of humankind, the equality of women and men, the harmony of science and religion, and the independent investigation of truth—are finding expression in a vast array of social settings, from the remotest of villages to large urban centers, and across diverse cultural realities.

The delegates attending this year’s International Convention are members of the annually-elected governing Baha’i councils of their countries. Referred to as National Spiritual Assemblies, these institutions guide and support the activities of the Baha’i community within their respective jurisdictions.

On 29 April, the delegates will gather to elect the nine members of the Universal House of Justice, a task that is undertaken as both a sacred duty and a privilege.

Delegates have a period of spiritual preparation before participating in the Convention. This entails time to pray and meditate in the Sacred Shrines in Haifa and Akka as well as to visit historical Baha’i holy places.

A slideshow on the convention is available at Baha’i World News Service.

Screening of the film: “Light to the World”

The film produced on the life of Bahá’u’lláh and how the teachings He brought have transformed the lives of diverse nations will be screened on 25 November at Wollongong Bahá’í Centre of Learning, 7:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The film portrays a story that is unfolding. It is a story of humanity’s progress through history, propelled by the teachings of Messengers of God Who have guided humanity through its stages of development, and now to the dawn of its maturity.

Two hundred years ago, such a prophetic Figure appeared: Bahá’u’lláh. He brought teachings for this age that represent an end to division and otherness, through which––at long last––the oneness of humankind can be realized.

Discover more through accounts of people from diverse nations whose lives have been transformed by the light that Bahá’u’lláh brought to the world.

The film will be shown on big screen at Wollongong Bahá’í Centre of Learning on 25 November at 7:30 pm. There will be time for questions and discussion after the film followed by refreshments. The entry is free and all are welcome.

The film can be also downloaded and watched privately. Please visit  “Light to the World”.