Launching 200 New Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith in Honor of the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

The Baha’i Blog team is excited to announce that starting tomorrow, we’ll be launching another 200 portraits and personal reflections from people around the world as a part of our “Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World” initiative, and this time it’s in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab.

Baha’i Blog’s “Personal Reflections” initiative started last year to honor the bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, and approximately every 24 hours, we shared one of 200 photographs taken of Baha’is and their friends, each coupled with an extract taken from an interview about what the Baha’i Faith means to them personally, and how it has touched their lives. Continue reading

Universal House of Justice Announces Creation of the Baha’i International Development Organization

On the occasion of the Twin Holy Days, the Universal House of Justice has joyously announced that the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Baha’i World Centre has blossomed into a new global institution: the Baha’i International Development Organization. This organization will assist development work occurring and emerging around the planet. Continue reading

Newly Translated Prayers Revealed by Baha’u’llah

If you haven’t already heard, the Baha’i Reference Library now lists 109 newly translated prayers, passages and a compilation — you can read all about it here on Baha’i Blog!

In honor of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, I thought it would be a perfect time to share and reflect on these newly translated prayers, and for ease of access, I’ve included them below. You can also find them, and others by Abdu’l-Baha, on the Baha’i Reference Library. Continue reading

Afire with the Vision: A New Book of Messages from Shoghi Effendi to Latin America

The US Baha’i Publishing Trust has just released a new volume of Shoghi Effendi’s writings. It is titled Afire with the Vision: Messages from Shoghi Effendi to Latin America and it is the last of the continental collections of letters from the Guardian’s ministry.

The US Baha’i book distribution describes the work with these words:

Its contents have been carefully gathered over the course of several decades from official Baha’i archives and the papers of individual believers throughout the hemisphere. Not only does this volume stand as a tribute to the tireless efforts of the many pioneers and first Latin American believers, it constitutes a further record of the inestimable role of Shoghi Effendi in advancing the vital interests of the Cause of God throughout the world.

I believe that so much can be learned by studying the correspondence of Shoghi Effendi. Ali Nakhjavani gave a course in Acuto, Italy in 2006, which has been transcribed into a book called Shoghi Effendi: The Range and Power of His Pen (you can download it as a free e-book here). In this course, Mr. Nakhjavani was asked how we can systematically and realistically increase our love for Shoghi Effendi. He replied:  Continue reading

Interfaith-ish: A Podcast Series About Humanity’s Common Ground

Interfaith-ish is a podcast series that features “conversations about what we believe, why we believe, and how we navigate the common ground and differences between our traditions!” It is hosted by Jack Gordon, a professional media producer and photographer, and it has a unique and unifying format. Jack comes from a family with Jewish, Christian, and Baha’i relatives, so he has a deeply personal understanding of the importance of building positive interfaith relationships. I wanted to learn more about his fascinating podcast series and how it came about. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

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Educational Leadership – A Book Reflecting on 40 Years of Development Work in Guyana

In my travels I have had the privilege and honor of meeting incredible people who are doing incredible things in loving and humble ways. Brian O’Toole is one such person I recently met and I’m so grateful our paths crossed. Brian recently put out a book that offers some of his thoughts and honest reflections on the last four decades of development work that he’s been involved with in Guyana, where he has pioneered with his wife. The book is called Educational Leadership: A Guyanese Perspective, and I decided to ask Brian about his book and his work and here’s what Brian had to say:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about the book? What’s it all about?

We have now been 40 years in Guyana having left the UK as a young married couple. Guyana has proven to be a very receptive country to the Faith with Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism well established in the country. By the early 1980s, Guyana had more than 7% of the population as declared Baha’is. My thinking was: if a significant percentage of the population embraces the Faith and nothing seems to change then what is the point? This led us to introduce a number of development projects in literacy, youth leadership, disability and education to see what it means to try and put the principles of the Faith into practice. The book is a reflection on these efforts.

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My Thoughts on a Coherent Approach to Dating

I got married about 8 months ago but I realise I have no advice yet to give on marriage itself. I am a bit clueless and my husband and I are just trying to deepen our very limited understanding of what marriage is and how to keep building our fortress of well-being. Marriage is a beautiful adventure that we cherish and enjoy so much, and I know many of us also want to embark on this journey. However, it is the pre-courtship and courtship phase that many of my friends have challenges with. How many times have you said or heard someone say, “there is no one, no one I could get to know in the Baha’i community or elsewhere”?   Continue reading

A Resource Website for Studying the ‘One Common Faith’ Document

Shahin Sobhani and a team of friends have put together a fantastic website for anyone who would like to study One Common Faith, a document released by the Universal House of Justice about unity and the role of religion in today’s societies.

It’s always useful and exciting when study materials are created to help us study Writings, guidance and letters from the Universal House of Justice (here is a short list of other materials you can find online to help you in your studies of the Baha’i Faith). Shahin and his friends took the initiative to create a website, onecommonfaith.net, dedicated to this profound document and I was eager to learn more about it. Here’s what Shahin shared with me:  Continue reading

Papua New Guinea Baha’i House of Worship: An Interview with the Architects

I grew up in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and it holds a special place in my heart. I was especially excited when the design of its Baha’i House of Worship was revealed several months ago, and you can read a news story all about the design here

This House of Worship will be one of two national Baha’i Houses of Worship (also often referred to as temples) to be constructed in the world in the coming years, signifying a new milestone for the Baha’i world community.

Henry Lape (left) and Saeed Granfar, Architects of the National Baha’i House of Worship of Papua New Guinea.

It’s incredible to see the uniqueness of the Houses of Worship around the world, and Papua New Guinea’s temple is no exception: it is unlike all the others, yet it is faithful to its surroundings.

Henry Lape and Saeed Granfar are the collaborating architects behind the temple’s stunning design, and I was so excited when these two dear friends agreed to chat with us about the temple. Here’s what they had to say:  Continue reading

10 Questions About the Future International Auxiliary Language

Many of us may have heard about Baha’u’llah’s call for the future adoption of an international auxiliary language. However, the implementation of the idea seems so far away that most of us haven’t thought much about the specific guidance on its implementation and the role it will play in society.

What do the terms “international auxiliary language” mean? Do we pick a language or create one? Will it be an organic process or a more intentional one? My aim with this article is to look through the Baha’i Writings for guidance and clues as to how Baha’u’llah envisioned the international auxiliary language and to answer 10 questions I had on the topic. I hope you will find my exploration interesting.  Continue reading