Three local Bahá’ís, Tahereh Samsami, Golshah Naghdy and Fazel Naghdy were among 5000 Bahá’ís from all around the world who participated in the dedication of Chile Bahá’í Temple in Santiago which took place from 13 to 16 October. This signifies a historic conclusion to a century-long process of raising up continental Bahá’í Houses of Worship around the world.
The Chile Temple has nine identical wing-like panels of translucent cast glass curve around to form the temple’s dome. Natural light passes through the glass and floods the white marble interior while at night, light emanates softly from within the structure.
The construction of the Temple has taken a Toronto-based architectural team, and hundreds of other contributors from all around the world, some 14 years to bring to completion. The development of the Temple has been a combination of innovations in technology and design and traditional Chilean craftsmanship and materials. Every fixture, the seating and the lighting, has been treated with the same, loving attention to detail.
A House of Worship is a pivotal institution of Bahá’í community life, ordained by Baha’u’llah as a sacred structure open to all and referred to as “Mashriqu’l-Adhkár”which translates to “Dawning Place of the Mention of God.” Although a Bahá’í Temple is a universal place of worship, its purpose is not solely to provide a place for prayer and meditation. Rather, Houses of Worship are conceived of as institutions that will contribute to the social and economic progress of the populations for whom they are sanctuaries of peace and reflection. They are expressions of the deep connection between worship and service. Around each House of Worship, essential dependencies will in time emerge, dedicated to social, humanitarian, educational, and scientific pursuits.