It is incredibly thrilling and exciting when a new letter from the Universal House of Justice is released to the Baha’is of the world! Dated 18 January, 2019, this rich five page document is about world peace. I have not studied it sufficiently to summarize it, nor could any summary do it any justice, so I am quoting it in full below. Continue reading
World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and it is often celebrated on the third Sunday of January. The day has been marked by hosting discussions, conferences, and other events which foster understanding and communication between the followers of all religions. Its purpose is to call attention to the harmony of spiritual principles and the oneness of the world’s religions and to emphasize that world religion is the motivating force for world unity. In many ways, celebrations in honor of World Religion Day strive to embody these words of Baha’u’llah: Continue reading
In this podcast episode from the Baha’i World News Service, Rachel Bayani from the BIC Brussels Office, Lyazzat Yangaliyeva from Kazakhstan, Arash Fazli from India, and Geoffrey Cameron from Canada discuss the efforts of regional and national Baha’i communities to participate in one particular discourse: the role of religion in society. Continue reading
In the midst of civil strife, cholera and hunger in the Houthi controlled area in Yemen, a religious community is being persecuted: the Baha’is. This video, produced by the Baha’is of the Netherlands, shares some of the details of this ongoing persecution through the voice of young Dutch children. The video, while in Dutch, has subtitles in English, Persian, Arabic, and German (if you don’t see them, click on the “CC” icon on the bottom right corner of the video). Continue reading
Reynaldo Pareja of Belize has recently released a book about the equality of women and men, available both in English and Spanish. Titled Equality of Women and Men: An Unstoppable Evolution of Humanity, Reynaldo’s book seeks to address the fact that “we are just beginning to be witnesses of the potential that women have and can foresee the brilliant future they are going to create for humanity.” The book is both informative, and a call to action. I was able to find out a bit more about this book from Reynaldo and here is what he shared with us:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I have a PhD in Communication and Sociology from the École des Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. I also hold a Masters in Communication by Cornell University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Art and Literature from Universidad Javeriana, in Bogota, Colombia.
I worked for 27 years in public health educational programs in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. I am now retired and dedicated to writing books for the propagation of the Baha’i Faith in Belize, Central America.
The Journey West podcast celebrates the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s travels to Egypt, Europe and North America in 1911-1913. Each episode features a reading of one of Abdu’l-Baha’s talks, as well as dramatized stories and historical accounts. Each episode concludes with a discussion of the talk that was featured. Continue reading
Although we’ve never met, I feel like I’ve gotten to know Jacqueline Claire over the years as we’ve connected over creating Baha’i-inspired content for Baha’i Blog. She wrote about her experiences creating imaginative spaces for elevated conversation, what she has learned in striving to be a spiritually restored and active participant at Nineteen-Day Feasts, and she shared with us some of her artwork and an arts newsletter she sent out every day of the Fast. When I heard about a new initiative she has developed that combines storytelling, art and dynamic conversation, I was eager to find out more. It’s called Awake to Your Life as a Spiritual Journey and I loved what she shared with me:
Baha’i Blog: To begin, could you tell us a little about this initiative?
Sure, I would love to. Awaken to Your Life as a Spiritual Journey is an uplifting and interactive blend of art show, storytelling and dynamic discussion designed to empower attendees to see their life path in a new way. It incorporates a series of seven mystical landscape paintings of mine called The Seven Valleys of Summer. It begins with an icebreaker that immediately creates a warm, friendly environment and starts to connect people with each other, the artwork and passages from The Seven Valleys of Baha’u’llah. I speak a little about the series and how it came about, branching in to larger concepts about life as a spiritual journey. Collectively we then discuss the Valleys, gleaning wisdom from each one.
“Stories of Baha’u’llah” is a series of short videos produced by Clark Donnelly and Mary Darling of Westwind Pictures. You may have already seen their work, such as The Baha’is, or Tablets of the Divine Plan. In each video in this sweet and sincere series, a child tells us a story about Baha’u’llah.
This particular video is called “Justice and the Tax Collector” and you can listen to an example of when Baha’u’llah sought out justice as a small child. Continue reading
“Navigating Discourse on Race Within the Politicized Landscape of Journalism” is a talk delivered by Jesse Washington at the Association for Baha’i Studies Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) in August 2018. In this talk, Jesse Washington talks about the benefits of maintaining an open mind and conversing with those who hold opposing viewpoints to your own. He discussing the effects of spiritual principles on journalism and offers some experiences of how he deals with deeply flawed and racist ideals with love as a journalist. Continue reading
Eileen Maddocks has written a book called 1844: Convergence in Prophecy for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i Faith. I love the title as I think it succinctly describes the prophetic mysteries it explores.
I have never written a book but I think it’s a fantastic achievement. I was eager to hear from Eileen about the process of putting this book together and was grateful when she offered to share her thoughts and experiences. If you’re interested in self-publishing a Baha’i-inspired book, you might find her comments particularly helpful!
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What in the world happened in 1844? It was a year of intense expectation and then disappointment in the West, and of intense searching and then Divine Revelation in the East.
Over a century later I was a late bloomer, so to speak––late to the Faith (declared in my mid-forties) and late to research and writing. But serving at the Baha’i World Centre for 16 years later in life was an incomparable education that defined the rest of my life. When I retired from the World Centre and settled in Burlington, Vermont, writing and editing beckoned me and another career path evolved.
Editing, research, and writing are lonely work. I have balanced this cerebral and lonely aspect of my life with a serious study of ballet and I dance with Ballet Vermont in its production of Farm to Ballet, a full-length classical ballet that portrays life on a Vermont farm from spring through autumn. The performances are given at various farm venues for large audiences and raise money for various agricultural and land conservation endeavors.