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Web posted Friday, March 1, 2002

19-day Baha'i Fast gets under way Saturday

Saturday, the Baha'is of the Kenai Peninsula will join 5 million Baha'is worldwide in their annual period of fasting.

For 19 days each year, March 2-20, Baha'is abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Before dawn, families awaken to pray together and have their morning meal.

The obligation of fasting begins at age 15 and continues until the age of 70.

Like Lent in Christianity and Ramadan in Islam, the Baha'i Fast is essentially a period of meditation and prayer when the individual reflects on his or her own spiritual life.

It symbolizes the importance of detachment and self-restraint and is used as spiritual preparation for the Baha'i new year which begins March 21.

The Baha'i Faith, the second most widely spread religion in the world after Christianity, has more than 5 million members worldwide of whom 142,000 reside in the United States.

Those wanting more information should contact Paul Gray at 262-9008.

©Copyright 2002, Kenai Peninsula Clarion (AK)

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