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Bahá'í Chronology: years 201-

 Enter the first part of a date or an entire date, with or without hyphens, in the form Year-Month-Day. Examples:
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201-

date event locations tags firsts see also
2010 12 Jan – 14 Jun The trial of Iran's seven Bahá'í leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm begins in Tehran. The seven are charged with espionage, propaganda activities against the Islamic order, the establishment of an illegal administration, cooperation with Israel, sending secret documents outside the country, acting against the security of the country, and corruption on earth. [BWNS748, BWNS778]

  • The profiles of the accused: Profiles.
  • For information about the trail: Trial.
Tehran, Iran Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm, Yaran
2010 7 Feb Seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders appear in court for a second session of their trial. The session is once again closed and family members are not permitted in the courtroom. The hearing lasts just over one hour but does not go beyond procedural issues. No date is given for any future sessions. [BWNS756] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 20 Mar The Universal House of Justice announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Khan (member since 1987) and Mr. Hooper Dunbar (member since 1988). [BWNS763] BWC Mr. Peter Khan
2010 20 Mar The election of Stephen Birkland and Stephen Hall to the Universal House of Justice to replace retiring members Peter Khan and Hooper Dunbar. [BWNS762] BWC Stephen Birkland, Stephen Hall
2010 12 Apr The seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders arrive at the court for their third appearance and their families are not allowed to enter, signalling a closed hearing. Inside the courtroom, however, the prisoners see numerous officials and interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence – along with a film crew which had already set up its cameras. Concerned over the presence of non-judicial personnel in a supposedly closed hearing, the Baha'is – with the agreement of their attorneys – decline to be party to the proceedings. The judge adjournes the session and did not announce a date for continuing the trial. [BWNS767] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 30 Apr The visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary McAleese, visits the World Centre. [BWNS774] BWC The President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary McAleese
2010 May The publication of Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism," for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. The statement can be read at BIC10-0503. [BWNS770] Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism
2010 12 Jun The seven Baha'i leaders imprisoned for more than two years in Iran make their fourth court appearance. [BIC Report] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 24 Jul The imprisonment of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran has been extended for a further two months. They have now been held for more than two years under a series of successive orders for their 'temporary' detention, which by law, must not exceed two months. The trial of the seven consisted of six brief court appearances and began on 12 January after they had been imprisoned without charge for 20 months. During this period they were allowed barely one hour's access to their legal counsel. The trial concluded on 14 June and no verdict has since been rendered. [BIC Report] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 8 Aug The sentence of 20 years in prison is announced for members of the "Yaran-i-Iran" or "Friends of Iran". The seven Bahá'í leaders were sent to Gohardasht prison, about 50 kilometers west of Tehran. [BWNS789] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 15 Sep In the face of the chorus of condemnation for the 20-year sentence for the seven Bahá'í leaders from governments and human rights organizations around the world, the Appeals court reduces their sentences are reduced from 20 to 10 years by removing charges such as “Espionage and Collaboration with Israel”. This was verbally released to Ms. Sabet’s lawyer. [BWNS793, BIC Report] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2010 29 Oct After three years the restoration work is complete on the Ridván Garden some two kilometers southeast of the old city of Acre. [BWNS797] BWC
2010 28 Nov Excavation work began on the new Bahá'í House of Worship for the South American continent, at a location in the hills of Peñalolén, a "commune" within metropolitan Santiago, at the foot of the Andes. [BWNS800] Santiago, Chile, Peñalolén Mother Temple of South America, Continental Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
2010 7 Dec In an open letter to Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq Larijani, the Head of the Judiciary the Bahá'í International Community today contrasted the country's persecution of Bahá'ís with Iran's own call for Muslim minorities to be treated fairly in other countries. [BWNS801] Iran Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq Larijani, the Head of the Judiciary in Iran
2010 28 Dec – 1 Jan The conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors held at the World Centre attended by 79 of the world's 81 Counsellors, from some 58 countries. [BWNS804] BWC Continental Boards of Counsellors
2011 12 Feb Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet were transferred to the notorious Section 200 of Gohardasht Prison. The five men are still being held under close scrutiny in a wing of Gohardasht prison, reserved for political prisoners. [BWNS821] Gohardasht Prison, Fariba Kamalabadi, Mahvash Sabet
2011 30 Mar Six months after Iran's appeal court reduced to 10 years the jail terms handed down to seven Baha'i leaders, the Appeals Court sentence is recognized as in contrast with the Law and the prisoners have been told that their original 20-year sentences have been reinstated. [BWNS814] Tehran, Iran Yaran
2011 Apr Burundi elected its first National Spiritual Assembly in 17 years. Civil war and unrest during recent decades made it difficult for the Bahá'í community to administer its affairs. [BWNS816, BWNS822] Burundi NSA, re-elected
2011 Apr In an open letter to their fellow citizens, the Bahá'ís of Egypt offer some advice regarding the future of their nation. [BWNS817] Egypt open letter
2011 Apr After more than two years of extensive restoration work the Shrine of the Báb is complete. The project required the restoration and conservation of the interior and exterior of the original 1909 structure, as well as measures to strengthen the Shrine against seismic forces. An entirely new retrofit design – combining concrete, steel and carbon fibre wrap technology – was needed for the whole building, from its foundation and original masonry to its octagon, drum and dome. More than 120 rock anchors were fixed into the mountain behind newly fortified retaining walls. [BWNS816] BWC Shrine of the Bab, restoration
2011 3 May Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet were transported to Qarchak prison, some 45 kilometres from Tehran. [BWNS821] Qarchak prison, Qarchak, Iran, Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Qarchak prison
2011 20 May Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet are returned to Evin Prison in Tehran. They had spent a brief spell in appalling conditions at Qarchak prison, (from 3 May) some 45 kilometers from Tehran. [BIC Evin]
  • The five men are still being held under close scrutiny in a wing of Gohardasht prison, reserved for political prisoners. [BIC Report]
Tehran, Iran, Gohardasht Yaran, Fariba Kamalabadi, Mahvash Sabet, Evin, Gohardasht
2011 25 May Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet were transferred from appalling conditions at Qarchak prison to Evin prison in Tehran. [BWNS826] Qarchak prison, Qarchak, Iran, Tehran, Fariba Kamalabadi, Mahvash Sabet, Qarchak prison
2011 15 Jul The passing of former Universal House of Justice member Dr. Peter J. Khan in Brisbane, Australia. He served as a member of the Universal House of Justice from 1987 until April 2010. [BWNS840, BWNS841] BWC Dr. Peter Khan, Peter Khan, Universal House of Justice, In Memoriam
2011 27 – 28 Aug The Bahá'ís of Geneva commemorated the 100th anniversary of the start of ‘Abdu'l-Baha's journeys to the West. [BWNS854] Geneva,
2011 24 Sep The arrest of Abdolfattah Soltani, a senior member of the legal team representing a number of Bahá'ís in Iran await trial for providing higher education to youth barred from university. [BWNS849] Iran, Abdolfattah Soltani
2011 1 Dec The passing of former Universal House of Justice member Mr. Ian C. Semple in Switzerland. He served as a member of the Universal House of Justice from 2005 to 2013. [BWNS871] Switzerland, Ian Semple, Ian C. Semple, Universal House of Justice, In Memoriam,
2011 1 Dec The head of state of the Republic of Palau, President Johnson Toribiong, paid an official visit to the Bahá'í World Centre. [BWNS870] BWC, Palau, Republic of Palau, President Johnson Toribiong, Johnson Toribiong
2011 12 Dec The announcement by the Universal House of Justice of the creation of "an International Advisory Board to assist the Ruhi Institute in overseeing its system for the preparation, production, and distribution of materials, the content and structure of which now draw extensively on Baha'i experience worldwide in applying the teachings and principles of the Faith to the life of humanity. As it gradually takes up its work, the Board will be able to respond to related issues and follow the development of supplementary materials that are aligned with the direction set by the global Plans." [December 11, 2011] BWC International Advisory Board to assist Ruhi Institute
2012 1 Feb The announcement of the publication of Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh in Korean. [BWNS885] Korean
2012 20 Feb The passing of Anneliese Bopp, former Counsellor member of the International Teaching Centre at Bad Bruckenau, Northern Bavaria, Germany. [BWNS892] Bad Bruckenau, Germany, Anneliese Bopp, In Memoriam
2012 24 Feb The inaugural screening of Iranian Taboo by Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh in Los Angeles. [Iranian Taboo, BWNS890] Los Angeles, Iranian Taboo, Reza Allamehzadeh
2012 21 Apr Plans are announced for the building of the first two national Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs that are to be raised up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea. [Riḍván 2012 To the Bahá’ís of the World] Haifa, Israel, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Papua New Guinea, national Baha'i Temples, national Mashriqu’l-Adhkars, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first national Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs
2012 21 Apr Plans are announced that the Universal House of Justice is entering into consultations with respective National Spiritual Assemblies regarding the erection of the first local Houses of Worship in each of the following clusters: Battambang, Cambodia; Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu. [Riḍván 2012 To the Bahá’ís of the World] Haifa, Israel, Battambang, Cambodia; Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu. local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Local House of Worship, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
2012 11 May The Universal House of Justice sends a message to the Bahá'ís of Iran near the four-year anniversary of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of the former members of the Yárán and the more recent injustice meted out against the co-workers of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). [BWNS823, Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 11 May, 2012, In Farsi] Iran Yaran
2012 Jul The Bahá'í Chair for World Peace was assumed by Professor Hoda Mahmoudi. [Bio Professor Hoda Mahmoudi] Maryland, Professor Hoda Mahmoudi, Dr Hoda Mahmoudi, Hoda Mahmoudi
2012 26 Nov The Universal House of Justice shares, in a message to all National Assemblies, a statement prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Bahá’í World Centre, a statement on the subject of and with the title of, Social Action. The statement offers a brief overview of the involvement of the Bahá’í community in the area of social and economic development, placing it in the context of current activity at the level of the cluster. In this connection, the House of Justice has requested us to make clear that the distribution of the document should not be seen as a call for widespread action in this area; it is intended as an instrument to raise further consciousness about the nature of social action and some of the methods it employs. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 2012] BWC Socal action
2013 5 Mar The passing of Mas'ud Khamsi, former Counsellor member of the International Teaching Centre in Lima, Peru. [BWNS943] Lima, Peru Mas'ud Khamsi
2013 Mar The publication of the report entitled Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Bahá'í Community published by the Bahá'í International Community. The report documents a rising tide of violence directed against the Iranian Bahá'í community - and the degree to which attackers enjoy complete impunity from prosecution or punishment. From 2005 through 2012, for example, there were 52 cases where Bahá'ís have been held in solitary confinement, and another 52 incidents where Bahá'ís have been physically assaulted. Some 49 incidents of arson against Bahá'í homes and shops, more than 30 cases of vandalism, and at least 42 incidents of cemetery desecration were also documented. [BWNS972] Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Baha'i' Community
2013 7 Apr Mr. Ataollah Rezvani, a well-known Bahá'í in the city of Bandar Abbas was shot and killed in his car. It is of note that a few years before his murder, the Friday prayer Imam had incited the local population against the Bahá'ís, referring to them as un-Islamic. He further called on the people of the city to rise up against the Bahá'í community. [BWNS987, BWNS1031] Bandar Abbas, Iran, Ataollah Rezvani, murder
2013 11 Apr – 5 Dec The commemoration of the centenary of the visit of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá to North America. [BWNS918] Wilmette, IL centenary
2013 Ridván "In Santiago, Chile, where the Mother Temple of South America is being erected, the building work continues apace. The concrete construction of the foundations, basement, and service tunnel is complete, as are the columns that will bear the superstructure. The anticipation associated with this project is growing..." [Riḍván 2013 To the Bahá’ís of the World ] Santiago, Chile Mother Temple of South America, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Continental Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
2013 21 Apr The announcement by the Universal House of Justice in the Ridván Message of the creation of the Office of Public Discourse. [Ridván 2013] BWC Office of Public Discourse
2013 29 Apr – 2 May The Eleventh International Bahá'í Convention in Haifa and the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Convention in 1963 at which the first Universal House of Justice was elected. Those elected were Paul Lample, Firaydoun Javaheri, Payman Mohajer, Gustavo Correa, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Birkland, Stephen Hall, Chuungu Malitonga, and Ayman Rouhani. [BWNS950, BWNS951, BWNS953] BWC International Baha'i Convention, Paul Lample, Firaydoun Javaheri, Payman Mohajer, Gustavo Correa, Shahriar Razavi, Stephen Birkland, Stephen Hall, Chuungu Malitonga, Ayman Rouhani
2013 14 May The Bahá'í International Community launches the Five Years Too Many campaign to protest the 20-year prison sentences given to the Bahá'í leaders in Iran, the longest sentence given to prisoners of conscience under the current regime. The harshness of the sentences reflect the Government’s resolve to oppress completely the Iranian Baha'i community, which faces a systematic, “cradle-to-grave” persecution that is among the most serious examples of state-sponsored religious persecution in the world today. [Five Years Too Many, BWNS954] Tehran, Iran Yaran, Five Years Too Many
2013 24-26 Jun Contrary to the plans of the Department of Antiquities, the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád is razed to make way for the construction of a mosque. [Message from the Universal House of Justice date 17 July 2013, SETPE1p170] Baghdád, Iraq, House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad
2013 27 Jun In a message from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies it advises of the news of the destruction of the House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad. [Message of 27 Jun 2013]
In truth, I declare, it shall be so abased in the days to come as to cause tears to flow from every discerning eye...And in the fulness of time, shall the Lord by the power of truth exalt it in the eyes of all the world, cause it to become the mighty standard of His domination, the shrine round which shall circle the concourse of the faithful. [BA99-100, BWNS961]
Baghdád, Iraq, House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad
2013 15 Jul Iranian filmmaker and blogger Mohammad Nourizad, kissed the feet of 4 year old Artin whose parents had been arrested for participation in the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education. [Wikipedia entry ] Iran Mohammad Nourizad, BIHE
2013 Jul – Oct The holding of 114 Youth Conferences around the world at the request of the Universal House of Justice. The purpose of the gatherings were to explore such themes as the characteristics inherent to the period of youth, the historical contribution of young people to the transformation of society, the responsibilities of the present generation of youth, the society-building power of the Bahá'í Teachings, and the importance of faith and tenacity to a life of service. [List of places and dates for Youth Conferences] Youth Conferences
2013 13 Aug The passing of former Universal House of Justice member Mr. Hushmand Fatheazam in Vancouver, Canada. He served on the Universal House of Justice for forty years since 1963. [BWNS964] Vancouver, BC Mr. Hushmand Fatheazam, In Memorium
2013 1 Oct The Bahá'í International Community announced the appointment of Joshua Lincoln as its new Secretary-General. This announcement followed the announcement of the retirement of Mr. Albert Lincoln who had served as Secretary-General for 19 years. [BWNS968, BWNS969] BIC, Joshua Lincoln, BIC Secretary-General, Albert Lincoln
2013 28 Oct The release of the video Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Bahá'í' Community based on the report of the same name. [BWNS972] Violence with Impunity: Acts of Aggression Against Iran's Baha'i' Community
2013 Nov The announcement by the Universal House of Justice of the retirement of Dr. Farzam Arbab and Mr. Kiser Barnes. Mr. Arbab was first elected in 1993 and Mr. Barnes was elected in 2000. [BWNS948] BWC Dr. Farzam Arbab, Mr. Kiser Barnes, Farzam Arbab, Kiser Barnes
2013 3 Dec Mr. Hamed bin Haydara is detained and imprisoned in Yemen. It is suggested that he was arrested on the orders of Mr. Khaled al-Mawari, the Chief Prosecutor who was involved in the unwarranted arrest and detention of another member of the Yemeni Baha'i community. [BIC website, Reuters] Sana'a, Yemen persecution, Hamed bin Haydara, Khaled al-Mawari
2014 Apr In Shiraz, the Revolutionary Guard began excavation of some 200 square meters of the Bahá'í cemetery. The site, which had been in use since the 1920s, had been confiscated by the government in 1983 and the Revolutionary Guard had taken ownership of the site some three years earlier with plans to build a cultural and sports centre. It is the site of the remains of the ten Bahá'í of Shiraz who were hanged in 1983 for the crimes of being Zionists and teaching children's classes. [BWNS993, BWNS994] Shiraz, Iran cemetery, destruction of cemetery
2014 8 May Despite a worldwide outcry, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is continuing to destroy an historic Bahá'í cemetery in Shiraz. Between 2005 and 2012 some 42 Bahá'í-owned cemeteries were desecrated in a similar fashion. [BWNS993, BWNS1016] Shiraz, Iran cemetery, destruction of cemetery
2014 1 Aug "The erection of the continental House of Worship for South America is moving towards its completion in Chile. The steel-frame superstructure has been almost entirely installed, the placement of the interior translucent stone panels is under way, and the landscaping and the construction of auxiliary facilities are progressing according to schedule. The friends in Santiago, supported by others from throughout the Americas, have been diligently striving to prepare the surrounding population for the emergence of the House of Worship; increasing numbers are participating in the community-building endeavours, and a stream of visitors are being welcomed to the Temple site for prayer and discussion on the practical and spiritual dimensions of the enterprise. Measures are currently being put in place in that country in anticipation of the many demands that are sure to arise once the Temple is inaugurated in 2016." [Message from The Universal House of Justice dated 1 August, 2014 to the Bahá’ís of the World] Santiago, Chile Mother Temple of South America, Continental Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
2014 8 Sep Ayatollah Hamid Masoumi Tehrani presented an illuminated calligraphic work of the words of Bahá'u'lláh to the Bahá'ís of the world. [BWNS1017 ; One Country 23.2]
2014 14 Sep Some 500 people attend the unveiling of the design of the first local Baha’i House of Worship in Norte del Cauca, Columbia [BWNS1020]
  • Julian Gutierrez Chacon is the architect for the House of Worship.
  • The relationship between the environment of the region and the community is also expressed in the design of the House of Worship, which was inspired by the shape of the cocoa pod, a plant that grows abundantly in Colombia and is integral to the identity of the landscape and the lives and economy of the people.
  • See BWNS for pictures.
Agua Azul, Norte del Cauca, Columbia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first local Baha’i House of Worship in Columbia BWSN1153
2014 Sep The exclusion of Shadan Shirazi, an exemplary student who placed exceptionally well in the college entrance exams administered to students throughout Iran. The Iranian government deployed new tactics in their treatment of Bahá'í students to deny them access to higher education without raising the concern of the international community. The new procedure entails identifying Bahá'í university applicants and then calling them in so they can quietly be confirmed as ineligible under the government's unjust policies and then be sent away without any documentation or proof that it was because they are Bahá'ís that they were prevented from enrolling. [BWNS1021] Shadan Shirazi, denial of education
2014 Nov Fariba Kamalabadi, after having her fourth request to join her daughter Taraneh for her wedding denied, writes her a letter from Evin Prison. [Iran Press Watch] Tehran, Iran Yaran, Evin Prison, Fariba Kamalabadi
2015 20 Jan The website of the worldwide Bahá'í community at www.bahai.org has been launched in a new version, representing the latest stage in the development of an official presence on the Web that extends back to 1996. [BWNS1037]
2015 12 Feb The official opening of the new location of the Afnan Library Trust at Sandy, close to Cambridge. The Afnan Library Trust was established in 1985 to manage the collection bequeathed by Hasan Balyuzi when he passed away in 1980. It consists of some 10,000 books, as well as a vast quantity of manuscripts, original letters, maps, documents, periodicals, and unpublished items – some of them dating back to the nineteenth century. [BWNS1040] Sandy, MA Afnan Library Trust
2015 27 Feb The premiere of the film To Light a Candle by Iranian-Canadian filmmaker and journalist, Maziar Mahari. The gala in Los Angeles is part of a campaign called "Education is Not a Crime" to highlight the plight of Bahá'í' students in Iran and their recourse to the denial of education, the Bahá'í' Institute of Higher Education. The film is also screened in some 300 locations around the world. [BWNS1041, BWNS1025]
2015 14 May A global campaign called "Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Baha'i Leaders" to call attention to the long and unjust imprisonment of seven Iranian Baha'i leaders is launched on the seventh anniversary of their arrest. Each day of the week-long campaign, starting 14 May 2015, is dedicated to one member of the seven: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. [7 Days] Tehran, Iran Yaran, Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Baha'i Leaders
2015 17 July Some 300 people attend the unveiling of the design of the first local Baha’i House of Worship in Battambang, Cambodia [BWNS 1062]
  • See BWNS for pictures.
Battambang, Cambodia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first...first local house of worship in Cambodia
2015 15 Nov The groundbreaking ceremony of the first local Baha’i House of Worship in Battambang, Cambodia was attended by some 200 community members. The event coincided with the commemoration of the Twin Holy Birthdays—the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha'u'llah. [BWNS1082]
  • See BWNS for pictures.
Battambang, Cambodia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first local house of worship in Cambodia
2015 21 Dec Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a senior Muslim cleric in Iran, has courageously called on his nation's people to uphold a higher standard of justice and dignity for all of their countrymen and women. In an article on his website, he dedicated a new piece of calligraphy—a passage from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh—to the Bahá'ís who were arrested on baseless charges in November 2015. [BWNS1089, BWNS987] Iran
2016 8 Mar The earthworks for the Local Baha’i House of Worship in Battambang, Cambodia is completed. [BWNS1100] Battambang, Cambodia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first local house of worship in Cambodia
2016 29 Apr In observance of the eighth anniversary of the arrest and incarceration of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders, the Baha’i International Community is launching a global campaign calling for their immediate release. Taking the theme “Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven,” the campaign will emphasize the fact that, under Iran’s own national penal code, the seven are now overdue for conditional release. [Enough!]
  • A special campaign page has been established with information about their current legal situation and other resources. [Enough! Release the Bahá'í Seven].
  • The campaign includes an account on FaceBook.
  • and a Twitter handle. The hashtag for the campaign is: #ReleaseBahai7Now.
Tehran, Iran Yaran, Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven
2016 7 May The passing of Jenabe Esslemont Caldwell, 89 in Wailuku, Hawaii. (b. August 7, 1926 in Butte, Montana). He and his wife Elaine were named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for pioneering to the Aleutian Islands in July, 1953 where they started a king crab and salmon cannery. They sponsored the Bahá’í­ singing group Windflower that toured Europe, including the United Kingdom, in the 1980s. He was the author of the books: The Story of the Bab & Baha'u'llah,From Night to Knight, Follow the Instructions and Reflections. He is well-known for his mass teaching successes. [Bahaikipedia] Butte, Montana, Aleutian Islands, Wailuku, Hawaii. Jenable Caldwell, Elaine Caldwell, Knight of Baha'u'llah, Aleutian Islands, Windflower, From Night to Knight, Follow the Instructions, Reflections, The Story of the Bab & Baha'u'llah, mass teaching,
2016 13 May Fariba Kamalabadi, while on a five-day furlough from Evin Prison, meets with former Tehran MP Faezeh Hashemi. It is the first temporary leave she has been granted during her eight years of imprisonment.

Faezeh Hashemi is the activist daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and she previously shared a prison cell with Kamalabadi in Evin Prison. Hashemi is strongly condemned by politicians and religious leaders. A high-ranking member of the Iranian Judiciary vows that action will be taken against her. Despite the widespread criticism she has received from powerful quarters in Iran, Faezeh Hashemi publicly defends her decision to meet with Kamalabadi. [Iran Press Watch, from NY Times]

Tehran, Iran Yaran, Fariba Kamalabadi, Faezeh Hashemi
2016 22 May Some 700 people gathered on the temple land in the small village of Agua Azul, in the municipality of Villa Rica near Norte del Cauca, Colombia to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of the first local Baha’i House of Worship. [BWNS1109]
  • See BWNS1100 for pictures.
  • Following the groundbreaking ceremony the three-meter high central mound on which the 18-meter tall Temple will stand will be completed, and the foundational work for the surrounding auxiliary structures will be laid. In time, these structures will be painted in the bright colors traditional to buildings in Colombia.
Agua Azul, Norte del Cauca, Columbia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first local House of Worship in Columbia, first local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in Columbia
2016 23-24 May The first World Humanitarian Summit is held in Istanbul, Turkey. The summit, organized by the United Nations, called on government leaders as well as those from business, aid agencies, civil society and faith-based organizations to consult on the question of disaster relief. A statement released by the Baha'i International Community (BIC) for the occasion, titled "Rising Together: Building the Capacity to Recover from Within" is available at their web site. Istanbul
2016 10 Aug Armed, officers masked in balaclavas from Yemen’s National Security Bureau (NSB) intelligence agency, which works hand in hand with the armed Houthi authorities, (also knowns as Ansar Allah) stormed a Bahá’í youth educational workshop in Sana’a and arrested 65 people, including 14 women and six people under 18 without an arrest warrant. Half were Baha'is and, currently, it is believed some fourteen remain in prison, including young mothers. Further arrests were carried out later and within a week all but 10 of those who had been incarcerated had been released. [BWNS1118]
Sana'a, Yemen persecution in Yemen
2016 16 Sep For a progress report on the construction of the Local House of Worship in Battanbang, Cambodia see BWNS1120 Battambang, Cambodia Local Baha’i House of Worship, Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first local house of worship in Cambodia
2016 26 Sep The murder of Farhang Amiri in Yazd. BWNS1133
  • See also Iran Wire4167.
  • In a message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís in Iran dated the 19th of October, 2016, it states
    And at the age of sixty-three, that pure soul, that radiant and magnanimous soul, offered up his life in absolute meekness, hoisted the ensign of martyrdom and attained his Beloved's presence in the realms above, and in the Abha Kingdom joined the company of the other martyrs of this Faith--among whom number his own noble father and six other relatives who, sixty-one years ago in Hurmuzak, near Yazd, sacrificed their lives in the path of the Blessed Beauty.
  • A group of extremists murdered Amiri’s father, Hedayatollah Daftari, and six others in the village of Hormozak in Yazd province more than 60 years ago. At the time, Farhang was 13 months old. See entry for July 28th, 1955 for The Seven Martyrs of Hurmuzak.
  • See a paper by Kamyar Behrang entitled "Extrajudicial killings supported by law and Islamic jurisprudence" for an explanation of how a Bahá'í might be murdered with near impunity in Iran.
Hurmuzak, Yazd, Iran Martydom
2016 11 Oct The final newsreel on the construction of the Baha’i House of Worship for South America has been released as the highly-anticipated dedication of the Temple approaches. The video highlights major developments over the past year and the growing connection of the community to the Temple and the activities of service and worship that it has inspired. [Video][Architect Siamak Hariri] Santiago, Chile Mother Temple of South America, Siamak Hariri, Continental Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
2016 26 Oct The report from the offices of the Bahá'í International Community entitled The Bahá'í Question Revisited: Persecution and Resilience in Iran was formally released.
  • The full report can be read on-line here.
  • A list of resolutions by the United Nations and United Nations bodies that reference the situation of Baha’is in Iran since 1980 can be found at this location.
  • An annex to The Bahá'í Question Revisited is the report called "Inciting Hatred". It is an analysis of approximately 400 anti-Baha'i articles, broadcasts, and webpages from late December 2009 through May 2011 and can be found here.
  • A list of the 222 Baha’is who have been killed in Iran since 1978 can be read here.
Iran, Persecution, BIC, The Baha'i Question Revisited: Persecution and Resilience in Iran
2016 24 Nov From her cell in Evin prison, In a open letter to her six-month old granddaughter, Bajar, Fariba Kamalabadi one of the members of the imprisoned Yaran of Iran, writes about the suffering of the Bahá'í citizens and of her dreams for humanity. [Iran Press Watch 16140] Evin Prison, Tehran, Iran persecution, Yaran
2016 25 Nov In a message addressed to the Bahá'ís of the World on of the Day of the Covenant, the Universal House of Justice marked the beginning of a new five-year term of service for the Auxiliary Board Members and announced an augmentation in the number of members by 144 bringing the total to 1,134 members distributed evenly between the Propagation and the Protection Boards.

In the same message it announced plans for a series of conferences called by the International Teaching Centre where the Auxiliary Board Members would be assisted in the deepening of their understanding of the spiritual nature of their work and the wide-ranging responsibilities they will shoulder.

BWC Auxiliary Boards
2017 18 Jan The announcement of the publication of Days of Remembrance: Selections from the Writings of Baha'u'llah for Baha'i Holy Days by the Bahá'í World Centre. It is also made available in electonic format from Bahá’í Reference Library at Days of Rememberance. [BWNS1148] BWC Days of Remembrance: Selections from the Writings of Baha'u'llah for Baha'i Holy Days, Days of Remembrance
2017 15 Feb The Bahá'í International Community (BIC) announces the launch of a website for the Bahá'ís of Iran at Bahaisofiran.org. "Although the official website of the worldwide Baha'i community has recently been made available in Persian and a number of other languages, the new "Baha'is of Iran" website is the first website of the Baha'i community of Iran. This development is especially important at a time when a large volume of anti-Baha'i propaganda has proliferated in that country. Since 2013 alone, more than 20,000 such pieces have been disseminated in Iran's media." [BWNS1152, The Baha'i Question Revisited] Iran, Geneva,
2017 23 Feb Plans for the construction of the local Baha’i House of Worship in Agua Azul, a village in Norte del Cauca, Colombia, have recently reached an important milestone. Construction officially began in January after building contracts were formalized with a local firm in the region. [BWNS1153]

Concurrent with the building the House of Worship has been the reinforcement of activities that contribute to the spiritual and material progress of communities in and around Norte del Cauca. Inspired by the Temple, these community-building activities have multiplied, and a spirit of prayer, devotion, and participation has begun to increasingly permeate the area.

Parallel to this, the community has been undertaking a reforestation project, designated for a "Bosque Nativo" or native forest on an 11-hectare piece of land adjacent to the Temple site to reintroduce native vegetation which has been decimated by years of monoculture plantations of sugarcane.

Agua Azul, Norte del Cauca, Columbia local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, Local House of Worship, Mashriqu’l-Adhkar BWNS1047
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