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Bahá'í Chronology: 2017-09-01

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2017-09-01

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2017 1 - 2 Sep The opening of Cambodia’s first “Local House of Worship” in Battambang, just over two years after the design of the building was unveiled in July 2015.

The Mashriqu’l-Adhkar was designed by Phnom Penh-based architect Tang Sochet Vitou. It is situated on a 9 hectare property of which 1.5 hectares is used for the temple, an administrative building as well as gardens and ponds. The temple is a frequent topic of conversation among the local population. Even before its completion, it has galvanized action towards the betterment of the community and brought neighbours together. it will help provide for the spiritual needs of Cambodia’s growing Baha’i community which, according to the Ministry of Cult and Religion’s most recent annual report, numbers about 12,000 although some adherents say the figure may now be closer to 20,000. Baha’i communities were first recorded in the kingdom in the 1920s and since 1992 they have grown steadily with the help of aid workers and Asian immigrants.

In a letter dated 18 December 2014, the Universal House of Justice explained that a Baha’i House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and “stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society.”

The dedication was marked by a two-day conference bringing together over 2,500 people from Battambang and every other region of Cambodia. A number of Cambodian dignitaries attended along with representatives of Baha’i communities in Southeast Asia. The Universal House of Justice was represented by Ms. Sokuntheary Reth who serves on the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia.

Battambang; Cambodia Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Cambodia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; Firsts, Other; Gardens; BWNS first Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in the world.
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