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Chronology of the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths and related history

This chronology is an updated, expanded version of A Basic Baha'i Chronology by
Glenn Cameron and Wendi Momen. To help add or correct entries, contact Glenn.
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century:18 - - decade:184 - year:1848 month:1848-03 day:1848-03-03

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date event locations tags firsts
2022 Ridván - 2031 Ridvån In a letter dated 25 November 2020 the Universal House of Justice announced a Nine Year Plan to begin at Ridván 2022. BWC Teaching Plans; Nine Year Plan (2022-2031)
2021 Dec The Counsellors in all continents will be called to the Bahá’í World Centre in December 2021 to take part in deliberations on the general features of the Plan to be launched the following Riḍván. At the conclusion of that gathering, they are to be joined by members of the Auxiliary Boards for Protection and Propagation to consult on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and on the decisive role that the Counsellors and their auxiliaries are to play in meeting them. [From a message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of the World dated 29 October 2020] [key] BWC Continental Board of Counsellors; Twelve Month Plan (2021-2022)
2021 - 2022 The Twelve Month Plan

At Riḍván 2021, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh will embark on a Plan lasting a single year. Brief, but pregnant with portent, this one-year endeavour will begin a new wave of Plans bearing the ark of the Cause into the third century of the Bahá’í Era. During the course of this auspicious twelvemonth, the Bahá’í world’s commemoration of the centenary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will include a special gathering at the Bahá’í World Centre to which representatives of every National Spiritual Assembly and every Regional Bahá’í Council will be invited. This, however, is to be but the first in a sequence of events that will prepare the believers for the demands of the decades to come. The following January, the elapse of one hundred years since the first public reading of the Master’s Will and Testament will be the occasion for a conference in the Holy Land bringing together the Continental Boards of Counsellors and all members of the Auxiliary Boards for Protection and Propagation. The spiritual energy released at these two historic gatherings must then be carried to all the friends of God in every land in which they reside. For this purpose, a series of conferences will be convened worldwide in the months that follow, a catalyst to the multi-year endeavour that shall succeed the coming One Year Plan. [Ridván Message 2018] [key]

BWC Teaching plans; Twelve Month Plan (2021-2022)
2020 The paintings of Maryam Safajoo depict the many forms of persecution faced by the Bahá'ís of Iran. She has exhibited her work at venues including Harvard University, the Massachusetts State House and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has been interviewed by Voice of America, BBC, Radio Farda, Iran Wire, Iran Press Watch, the Centre for Human Rights in Iran, Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre and Persian Bahá'í Media Services about this current persecution. Boston Herald wrote an article about her life. She currently lives in Champaign, Illnois.
  • See her story in Iranwatch.
  • Champaign; Illinois; United States Persecution, Iran; Arts
    2020 20 Nov Hamed bin Haydara told Al-Sharea daily newspaper that “The Houthis are applying a policy of silent extermination of our cultural and social heritage. This is a type of systematic religious cleansing crime. The Houthis are applying the same radical ideologies that they learnt in Iran, which deems members of religious minorities heretics. There is no country in the world that has persecuted the Baha'is like Iran and the Houthis. There is a great similarity between persecution against us in Iran and Sana'a, as both use the same methods of persecution, rhetoric, rumors and lies against the Bahá'ís,” he said. Hamed bin Haydara and five others were expelled from Yemen in July.

    Note: Al-Shari 'newspaper is an independent newspaper publishing since 2007 in Sana'a. In 2015 it was forced to stop publishing due to harassment and threats received by the Houthi militia and resumed its daily publication from Aden. [Arab News 20/11/2020] [key]

    Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Hamed bin Haydara
    2020 20 Nov The Bahá'í World News Service released a progress report on the construction of the Mashriqul-Adhkar in Port Moresby.

    After the laying of the foundations which was completed last December, work progressed on an intricate steel structure for the central edifice that traces the unique weaving pattern of the exterior. An innovative design for the steel dome, devised by Werkstudio, an engineering firm based in Germany and Poland, will provide the required strength with an economical use of material.

    The structural system will interfaces with the nine entrance canopies that provide lateral strength to the temple. This system, parts of which are nearing completion, will eventually support a steel dome mesh that will at its apex reach a height of approximately 16 meters above floor level.

    Designs were being finalized for wood panels that will adorn the entrances of the temple, using local timber. Planning is also under way for gardens that will surround the central edifice.

  • Photos.
  • Video.
  • Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Architecture; BWNS
    2020 16 Nov Progress report for the construction of the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was issued by the World Centre. [BWNS1467]
  • Video.
  • Photos.
  • BWC Abdul-Baha, Shrine of
    2020 2 - 6 Nov The Geneva Office of the Bahá’í International Community joined with civil society actors, academics, and representatives of UN agencies and international organizations to contribute to discussions on peace-building initiatives around the world at Geneva Peace Week, an annual event that has been held since 2014.

    In a seminar held by the Office, three members of the Bahá’í community with expertise in the fields of governance, economics, and the environment explored some of the implications of the BIC statement, A Governance Befitting, and its call for a “global civic ethic.” The BIC presenters were: Maja Groff, an international lawyer based in The Hague, Netherlands, Augusto Lopez-Claros, executive director of the Global Governance Forum, and Arthur Lyon Dahl, president of the International Environment Forum. [BWNS1465]

  • Photos.
  • Geneva; Switzerland Baha'i International Community
    2020 29 Oct The Universal House of Justice announced an increase in the number of members of the Continental Board of Counsellors from 81 to 90. The names of those appointed for a five-year term to commence on the Day of the Covenant, the 25th of November 2020 were as follows:

    AFRICA (20 Counsellors): Mélanie Bangala, Mariama Ousmane Djaouga, Alain Pierre Djoulde, Agatha Sarinoda Gaisie-Nketsiah, Augustino Ibrahim, Mati Issoufou, Hamed Javaheri, Jacques Tshibuabua Kabuya, Musonda Kapusa-Linsel (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Linnet Sifuna Kisaka, Townshend Lihanda, Izzat Abumba Mionda, Maina Mkandawire, Judicaël Mokolé, Amélia Mujinga Ngandu, Nsika Mutasa, Michael Okiria, Nancy Oloro Robarts, Djamila Tchakréo, Jean- Pierre Tshibangu

    THE AMERICAS (21 Counsellors): José Luis Almeida, Ayafor Temengye Ayafor, Louis Boddy, Natasha Bruss, Beatriz Carmona, Brígida Carrillo, Ingrid Umpierre Conter, Blas Cruz Martínez, Daniel Duhart, Farah Guchani-Rosenberg, Sonlla Heern, Badí Hernández, Irene Iturburo, Nwandi Ngozi Lawson, Ada Micheline Leonce Ferdinand, Borna Noureddin (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Arthur Powell, Pejman Samoori, Bernardino Sánchez, William Silva, Margarita Valdez Martínez

    ASIA (27 Counsellors): Yam Prasad Acharya, Jamil Aliyev, Bhavna Anbarasan, Walid Ayyash, Marjini Deraoh, Gulnara Eyvazova, Shareen Farhad, Nadera Fikri, Kam Mui Fok Sayers, Rahul Kumar, Nicholas Loh, Parimal Mahato, Tarrant Matthew Mahony, Uttam Mitra, Myint Zaw Oo, Faris Naimi, Sokuntheary Reth, Foad Reyhani (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Artin Rezaie, Hesham Saad, Niroshani Saleh, Omid Seioshanseian, Dregpal Singh, Zebinisso Soliyeva, Ircham Sujadmiko, Fang Jung Tseng Chung, Ozoda Zoidova

    AUSTRALASIA (10 Counsellors): Bob Ale, Latai ‘Atoa, Ritia Kamauti Bakineti, Kirk Johnson, Jalal Rodney Mills, Taraz Nadarajah, Daniel Pierce, Kessia Ruh, Vahid Saberi, Tessa Scrine (Trustee of the Continental Fund) To the Bahá’ís of the World 2 29 October 2020

    EUROPE (12 Counsellors): Raffaella Capozzi Gubinelli, Aistė Elijio, Orlando Ravelo Hernández, Varqá Khadem, Shirin Youssefian Maanian, Sabà Mazza, Veranika Medvedeva, Hedyeh Nadafi-Stoffel, Yevgeniya Poluektova, Mehdi Rezvan, Amir Saberin (Trustee of the Continental Fund), Paul Verheij

    The Universal House of Justice paid tribute to those retiring members:
    Vugar Alizadeh, Naisan Azimi, Ronny Brenes, Olga Daradur, Jabbar Eidelkhani, Clément Thyrrell Feizouré, Shirin Fozdar-Foroudi, Zoraida García Garro, Bernard Lo Cascio, Lee Lee Loh Ludher, Sehla Masunda, Nibras Sarmad Moqbel, Aggrey Zeyazi Munubi, Delafruz Nassimova, Ahmad Parsa, U’ileiuluwehi Pimental, Iharinirina Rakotomavo, Carmen Elisa de Sadeghian, Rajan Sawant, Mark Sisson, Christopher Kiprotich Songok, Raúl Taboada, Henry Tamashiro, Shabnam Tashakour

    BWC Continental Board of Counsellors
    2020 21 Oct The Bahá'í International Community launched the statement entitled A Governance Befitting: Humanity and the Path Toward a Just Global Order on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The launch event, which welcomed some 200 attendees across the world, was an invitation to further exploration and one of many contributions the BIC is making to discussions about the need for systems of global cooperation to be strengthened. [BWNS1461]

    The statement, which was released in September, highlights the need for systems of global cooperation to be strengthened if humanity is to address the serious challenges of our time and seize the immense opportunities of the coming years for progress.

    New York, NY; United States United Nations; Statements; BIC statements; Bahai International Community
    2020 18 Oct The groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future national Mashriqul-Adhkar was held at the temple site near Kinshasa. The event, which coincided with the celebration of the Birth of Báb, was broadcast on national television and was host to government officials, representatives of religious communities and traditional chiefs. [BWNS1460]
  • Photos of the event. [BWNS]
  • The design of the national Bahá'í House of Worship of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[BWNS1438] [key]
  • Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2020 29 Sep A progress report on the construction of the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was released. The project continued to progress with appropriate health measures in place to protect the safety of all the personnel from the pandemic.

    The central foundation of 2,900 square metres was completed in a single concrete pour. It is supported by deep underground piles.

    Next the base will be laid for the sloping gardens that will rise from the encircling path to culminate over the spot where the sacred remains of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will rest.

    Permits have been obtained for the final stages of construction. [BWNS1454]

  • Video.
  • Akka Abdu'l-Baha, Shrine of
    2020 28 Sep The passing of former Universal House of Justice member James Douglas Martin (b. 24 February 1927 in Chatham, Ontario) in Toronto.

    He was a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada from 1960 to 1985 and served the last twenty years as the general secretary. In 1985. He was appointed director-general of the Bahá'í International Community's Office of Public Information at the World Centre. He served in that capacity until 1993 when he was elected to the Universal House of Justice. He retired from the House of Justice in 2005 due to considerations of age and related needs of the Faith. [BWNS1455]

  • In 1984 he co-authored the introductory text,The Bahai Faith: The Emerging Global Religion with his friend William S Hatcher.
  • His essay, The Missionary as Historian: William Miller and the Bahá'í Faith was a review of William McElwee Miller’s book The Bahá'í Faith: Its History and Teachings.
  • His series of talks entitled Historical Consciousness and the Divine Plan was packaged as a compact disc and has been made available on Bahá'í Library.
  • His paper Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran 1844-1984 published in Bahá'í Studies in 1984 is available in PDF.
  • His article Humanity's Coming Encounter with Baha'u'llah was published in American Bahá'í in 1992.
  • In 1998 his article Bahá'í Faith was published in Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • The Mission of the Bab: Retrospective 1844-1944 as published in Bahá'í World. [BW23p193]
  • Toronto; Canada; Chatham; Ontario Douglas Martin; In Memoriam; Universal House of Justice, Members of
    2020 25 Sep The passing of former Universal House of Justice member Farzam Arbab (b. 1941 in Tehran) in San Diego where he had been living.

    He completed an undergraduate degree at Amherst College, Massachusetts in 1964 and obtained a doctorate in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968 before settling in Colombia as a pioneer.

    From 1970 until 1980 he served as the Chairman for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Colombia. In 1980 he was appointed to the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith in the Americas, on which he served for eight years. In 1988, he was named to the Bahá’í International Teaching Centre and was a member of that body until 1993, when he was first elected to the Universal House of Justice. He served until his retirement in 2013.

    He served as president of Fundacion para la Aplicacion de las Ciencias (FUNDAEC), a nongovernmental development agency in Colombia, from 1974 to 1988, and continued to serve on its board of directors until the end of his life. [BWNS1453; Bahaipedia]

  • Documents by Dr Arbab.
  • Scientific documents by Dr Arbab.
  • San Diego; United States In Memoriam; Farzam Arbab; Universal House of Justice, Members of
    2020 24 Sep The passing of former member of the International Teaching Centre Violette Haake (b.1928 in Iran) in Melbourne, Australia. She served in the United States and in Australia in the role of Auxiliary Board Member, as a Continental Counsellor in Australasia and ten years as a member of the International Teaching Centre. [BWNS1452] [key] Melbourne; Australia Violette Haake; In Memoriam
    2020 23 Sep Progress report on the construction of the Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá:
  • A tower crane was erected on the site to facilitate the work of laying the foundations for the edifice. Photo.
  • The support piles that had been driven deep at the center of the site were capped with a layer of concrete to provide stability for the structure to be erected above. Photo.
  • The foundations that will support the north and south entrances leading toward the central structure and the walls that will enclose an inner garden area were taking shape. Photo.
  • The detailed designs needed for future work are taking their final shape while preparations for further stages of construction have begun. Initial tests are underway on innovative techniques needed to build the intricate marble-clad trellis and skylights that will stretch out from the central structure to the surrounding gardens. [BWNS1419]
  • An aerial photo of the site.
  • BWC Abdu'l-Baha, Shrine of
    2020 22 Sep The Association for Bahá’í Studies UK launched a new website. The core focus was on creating and supporting special interest groups: groups that correlate Bahá’í teachings to discourses in society through activities that range from informal study and discussions to publications and seminars. London; United Kingdom Bahai Studies, Associations for
    2020 21 Sep The Bahá'í International Community issued a statement entitled A Governance Befitting: Humanity and the Path Toward a Just Global Order on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. [BIC Publications]
  • The PDF was made available in English.
  • The statement was released following the UN75 Global Governance Forum that was held on the 16 and 17th of September with the theme “the future we want, the UN we need”. [UN2020]
  • New York; United States Bahai International Community; United Nations
    2020 18 Sep The passing of Talat Bassari (b. 1923 Babol, Iran) in Los Angeles. She was an Iranian Bahá'í poet, feminist, academic, and writer with a doctorate in Persian language and literature. She was the first woman to be appointed as vice-chancellor of a university in Iran when she worked at the Jondishapur University in Ahvaz (1956–1979). In the aftermath of the Islamic revolution in Iran and because of her Bahá'í faith, she was dismissed from her university position and eventually migrated to the United States.

    In addition to her critiques on Persian literature she published a biography of Zandokht Shiraizi, a pioneer in the feminist movement in Iran. She resided in New Jersey where she worked on the editorial board of the New Jersey-based magazine, Persian Heritage. Bassari also assisted in books on the life of Táhirih and contributed with Persian to English translations in academia. [Wikiwand

    Los Angeles; United States; Iran In Memoriam; Talat Bassari; Literature; Women; Tahirih
    2020 24 Aug Wildfires caused widespread destruction in California in the summer of 2020. The National Assembly of the United States informed the Bahá'í community that “the property (Bosch Bahá'í School)sustained severe damage to a number of structures; many were a total loss, including the cabins. However, several other buildings, including most of the major structures, appear to have been spared.”

    “Bosch has for several decades served as a vital center of learning and inspiration,” the letter continued. “We have no doubt that, once the present difficulties are overcome, it will once again become a place radiating the light of the unifying teachings of our Faith and a source of spiritual power for the entire region.” [US Bahá'í News}

    Bonny Doon; California Bosch Baha'i School
    2020 30 Jul It was announced that Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, Mr. Waleed Ayyash, Mr. Akram Ayyash, Mr. Kayvan Ghaderi, Mr. Badiullah Sanai, and Mr. Wael al-Arieghie, prominent Bahá'ís that had been imprisoned by the Houthi authorities in Sana’a, were released from prison in Sana’a. Their years-long incarceration on charges of espionage and heresy had drawn worldwide condemnation.
  • Following their release, the Bahá'í International Community called for the lifting of all charges against these six individuals and the other Bahá'ís that had been charged, the return of their assets and properties, and the safeguarding of the rights of all Bahá'ís in Yemen to live according to their beliefs without risk of persecution. [BIC News 30 July 2020]
  • The release of the six came four months after the Shiite Houthis announced they had commuted the death sentence of Hamed bin Haydara and ordered his release, as well as that of the other five detainees. The six men were flown out of Yemen to Ethiopia late on Thursday, said bin Haydara’s wife, Alham. It was reported that they were living in “safe” locations in Europe, receiving medication for wounds and diseases that they contracted during their detention inside Houthi prisons. [San Francisco Chronicle 30 July 2020; Arab News 20/11/2020]
  • The six had been detained at various times:
        Mr. Haydara, an engineer, was arrested because of his beliefs at his workplace in December 2013. Following a long court case that lacked due process, he was sentenced to death in 2018. His appeal was rejected in 2020.
        Mr. Ghaderi, a project officer, was arrested in 2016 when a gathering was raided.
        In April 2017, Mr. Waleed Ayyash, a Yemeni tribal leader, was arrested on his way to Hudaydah and was held in an undisclosed location.
        The following month, Mr. Al-Arieghie, a civil rights activist, was abducted by the authorities in Sana’a.
        Mr. Sana’i, a prominent civil engineer in Yemen in his late 60s, was arrested in front of his workplace.
        In October 2017, Mr. Akram Ayyash, a manager of a nonprofit organization, was arrested during a raid by security forces on a Bahá'í celebration.
  • In September 2018, these five, along with nineteen others, were indicted at a court hearing in Sana’a under baseless charges. [BWNS1443]
  • Diane Ala'i, representative of the Bahá'í International Community, expressed gratitude to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for their support. [The National]
  • Upon their release they were immediately exiled from the country. [AL Monitor 10 August 2020]
  • Following another court hearing on 22 August 2020 the charges against the six men were not dropped and the prosecution declared the recently released men as “fugitives” despite the fact that their departure from Yemen had been a condition of their release. The prosecution asked the bailors to ensure the compulsory attendance of five of them at the next hearing scheduled for the 12th of September. [BIC News] [key]
  • Sanaa; Yemen; Ethiopia Persecution, Yemen; Hamed bin Haydara; Waleed Ayyash; Akram Ayyash; Kayvan Ghaderi; Badiullah Sanai; Wael al-Arieghie; Bahai International Community
    2020 22 Jul The Universal House of Justice addressed a message to the Bahá'ís of the United States on the subject racism in their country. [22 July 2020]
  • Audio version.
  • BWC; USA Racism
    2020 3 Jul The passing of Sir Earl Cameron (b. 8th August 1917 in Pembrooke Parish, Bermuda) at his home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
  • Earl went to Britain in 1939 and after a stint in the British merchant navy rose to fame in the 1951 movie Pool of London, where he played a merchant sailor who falls in love with a white woman. It was the first major role for a Black actor in a British mainstream film and also dealt with the topic of a mixed-race relationship, generally acknowledged as the first such portrayal in a British film. He went on to star in movies and TV shows including the 007 film Thunderball, Dr. Who, The Queen, Saffire, and Inception to name but a very few. His acting career spanned seven decades and included stage, screen, and television. As an artist and actor, he refused to accept roles that demeaned or stereotyped the character of people of colour.
  • He became a committed Bahá'í in 1963 when a friend took him to an event at the time of the World Congress in London and subsequently pioneered to the Solomon Islands. After returning to Britain his acting career experienced a revival, with a key role in the 2005 United Nations thriller The Interpreter as an African president accused of war crimes.
  • In 2012 he returned to his country of birth to open the Earl Cameron Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda. [Doctor Who News 4 July 2020]
  • He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to drama in a career spanning seven decades. [The Guardian 4 July 2020; Wikipedia]
  • His obituary in the New York Times in print on July 11, 2020, Section A, Page 21.
  • Kenilworth; United Kingdom; Pembrooke Parish; Bermuda Earl Cameron; In Memoriam
    2020 2 Jul The design for the national Bahá'í House of Worship to be built in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was unveiled through an online announcement by the National Spiritual Assembly.

    The design, created by Wolff Architects in Cape Town, South Africa, was inspired by traditional artworks, structures and natural features of the DRC, as well as by the Bahá'í sacred teachings, particularly by the spiritual concept that God’s bounty is unceasingly flowing over all people. The patterns that will adorn the outside of the dome of the central edifice will express this idea in a style reminiscent of the artwork of various Congolese peoples.

    Commenting on the design, the architects stated: “We were inspired by an image of 19th century Congolese architecture which showed the most beautiful structures that appear to have finely woven bamboo facades with a parabolic roof made of palm leaves. These houses were located amongst giant baobab trees. ... The undulating roof of the temple makes reference to this history.” [BWNS1438] [key]

    Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Congo DR; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2020 29 Jun The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Papua New Guinea issued a statement through its External Affairs department entitled Forging a Path to Gender Equality in response to a series of tragic events and a situation that intensified during the pandemic. [BWNS1439]
  • Statement on the External Affairs website.
  • Port Morseby; Papua New Guinea Equality; Women; Statements; Public discourse
    2020 19 Jun The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States issued a statement entitled Forging a Path to Racial Justice in response to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations for racial unity that followed. Wilmette,IL Racial amity; race; race unity; racism; Statements; Public discourse
    2020 12 Jun The Bahá'í World News Service provided a progress report on the construction of the first local Mashriqul-Adhkar in Africa located in Matunda, Kenya. The foundations for the central edifice have been laid and the nine walls have been raised. In addition, the supports for the roof had been put into place.
  • The Temple had already become a point of adoration. Prior to the global health crisis, people were gathering on the grounds to pray and take part in community education programs, consulting about how they can develop their capacity to offer service to their society. [BWNS1434] [key]
  • Matunda; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya
    2020 12 Jun In Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the temple site was being prepared for the construction phase while they waited in anticipation of the unveiling of the design. [BWNS1434] [key] Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2020 2 Jun The passing of Hossain Banadaki Danesh in Victoria, BC
  • His major publications were:
    • The Violence Free-Society: A Gift for Our Children. Bahá’í Studies. Vol. 6. 1979.
    • Unity: The Creative Foundation of Peace. Bahá’í Studies Publications, Ottawa 1986.
    • The Psychology of Spirituality. Paradigm Publishing, Manotick, Ontario 1994.
    • The Violence Free Family. Building Block of a Peaceful Civilization. Bahá’í Studies Publications, Ottawa, Canada 1995.
    • Conflict-Free Conflict Resolution (CFCR): Process and Methodology. with Roshan Danesh. Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall. (March 21, 2004).
    • Unity of Faith and Reason in Action 2010.
    • The Unity-Based Family. An Empirical Study of Healthy Marriage, Family, and Parenting. H.B. Danesh, MD, FRCP(C), with Azin Nasseri, PhD. Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 1 edition (1 April 2017).
  • For a more complete list see his website.
  • Documents by Hossain Danesh on Bahai-library.com.
  • YouTube.
  • See his website. iiiii
  • Victoria BC; Canada Hossain Danesh
    2020 The Bahá'í community in Iran experienced increased pressures since the COVID-19 epidemic began in Iran in February. There was an upsurge in threats and persecution particularly in Shiraz, with an unprecedented number of new prison sentences, high numbers of people being returned to prison who had been given temporary leave due to the coronavirus outbreak. There was a fresh hate speech campaign against Bahá'ís in the national media. Since the Persian new year on March 20, the Bahá'í International Community reported, at least 3,000 pieces of anti-Bahá'í propaganda had been published in Iranian state media. The community was denied the right to respond publicly to these reports and accusations.
  • In Shiraz, some 40 Bahá'ís whose cases had been suspended for months, were summoned to court, part of a growing and unprecedented trend of the city’s Bahá'ís in recent years. One judicial official in Shiraz announced his intention to eradicate Bahá'ís from that city. [Iran Wire; BWNS1433; Archives of Persecution] [key]
  • Shiraz; Iran Persecution, Iran
    2020 May The publication of A World in Travail: Understanding and Responding to the Events of Our Time compiled by Kamran Sedig. Compilations; Crisis; Integration and disintegration
    2020 29 Apr The design for the local Bahá'í House of Worship to be built in Bihar Sharif was unveiled. (Due to the coronavirus situation, the announcement was made online in lieu of a ceremony that would have marked the historic event.) News of this project was announced in 2012 along with other projects in Battambang, Cambodia; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu.
  • The architectural firm Space Matters of New Delhi was selected and the project was the creation of the founders of the firm, Moulshri Joshi, Amritha Ballal, and Suditya Sinha.
  • The design.
  • Drawing on patterns found in the Madhubani folk art of Bihar and the region’s long architectural heritage, the firm created a design with a repeating pattern of arches. The domed edifice will step up from nine arches at the base, multiplying until each segment appears to merge into a single geometry. Openings at the center of the dome and in each ring of arches will reduce the weight of the ceiling while allowing gentle light to filter in. [BWNS1421]
  • Slideshow.
  • Bihar Sharif; New Delhi; India Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    2020 28 Apr The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan federal government advisory entity. The U.S. Congress created the USCIRF to monitor, analyze, and report on threats to freedom of religion. In their annual report, USCIRF 2020 Annual Report (PDF) they documented a particular uptick in the persecution of Bahá'ís and of any local government officials who supported them in 2019. Iran’s government blamed Baha’is for widespread popular protests, accusing the community of collaboration with Israel and continued to promote hatred against Bahá'ís and other religious minorities on traditional and social media channels.

      More specifically the USCIRF released Iran Policy Brief: Increased Persecution of Iran’s Bahá'í Community in 2019 (PDF). Referring to the continuing violations of religious freedom by the clergy-dominated Islamic Republic government, the report urged the U.S. government to impose sanctions on government institutions and officials responsible for violating religious freedoms in Iran, to freeze their assets and to ban them from entering the United States.

    United States; Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Human rights; Human rights
    2020 20 Apr A new section, featuring images, videos, and music from commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb, was added to the two bicentenary websites. These websites stand as a permanent testament to how Bahá'ís and many of their compatriots throughout the world—from major urban centres to remote rural locations—commemorated the bicentennial anniversaries of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The final additions made to the bicentenary websites included country pages illustrating the diversity of celebrations that these historic occasions inspired in over 150 countries and territories. [BWNS1717] [key] BWC Bahaullah, Birth of; Centenaries; Twin Holy days; Holy days; Websites; Internet; Publications; Translation
    2020 11 Apr The Iranian government released a number of prisoners of conscience in the country as a result of health risks associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This included several Baha’is imprisoned purely for their religious beliefs. However, other Bahá'ís remained in prison, raising increasing concern for their health. [BIC News Release] [key] Iran Persecution, Iran; COVID-19
    2020 25 Mar The Houthi authorities announced the intended release of all Bahá'í prisoners in Yemen as well as a pardon for Hamed bin Haydara whose death sentence was upheld by an appeals court in Sana’a just two days prior. The six Bahá'ís that were to be released from custody were the aforementioned Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, as well as Mr. Waleed Ayyash, Mr. Akram Ayyash, Mr. Kayvan Ghaderi, Mr. Badiullah Sanai, and Mr. Wael al-Arieghie.
  • The Bahá'í International Community further advocated for the Houthi authorities to drop charges that were issued in 2018 against over 20 other Bahá'ís, to return seized assets and properties of members of the Bahá'í community, and to allow the functioning of Bahá'í institutions in Yemen. [Asharq Al-Awsat 27 March 2020]
  • The announcement was made In a general television address by Mr. Mahdi al-Mashat, President of the Houthi Supreme Political Council. [BIC 25 March 2020]
  • Notwithstanding the above, the prisoners were not released.
  • Sana'a; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; Hamed bin Haydara; Waleed Ayyash; Akram Ayyash; Kayvan Ghaderi; Badiullah Sanai; Wael al-Arieghie; Baha'i International Community
    2020 23 Mar The passing of prominent jazz musician Mike Longo. He had a distinguished jazz career as a pianist, composer, and educator, notably as longtime musical director for fellow Bahá'í Dizzy Gillespie. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The cause of death was COVID-19. [Live Stream WBGO 23 March 2020] [key] New York, United States Mike Longo; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Jazz music
    2020 22 Mar Houthi-controlled Court of Appeal upheld the preliminary ruling that ordered the execution of Hamed bin Haydara. He was not allowed to attend the trial nor was he allowed to have anyone defend him. The court ruling also ordered that his properties, as well as those of the Bahá'í institutions in the country, be confiscated. [Republican Yeman dated 22 March 2020]
  • In January 2018, Mr. Haydara was sentenced to public execution. Eighteen court hearings have been held since then, and the last one was scheduled to have taken place on March 31, before being brought forward unexpectedly to the 22nd of March. This hearing took place after more than six years of unjustified detention, false and unfounded allegations, and harsh and degrading treatment of Mr. Haydara.
  • In recent years, the first instance court in Sana'a has not only tried Mr. Haydara but has targeted more than twenty members of the Bahá'í community, including members of the Bahá’í administrative structure. Mr. Haydara was one of six Bahá'ís detained in Yemen for their beliefs at the time of this hearing.
  • The case of Mr. Haydara has received widespread media attention since his detention. See Media Coverage and Statements on the Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Sana'a, Yemen.
  • Bahá’ís have been systematically persecuted since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Iranian state even formulated its own state doctrine in 1991 with the aim of eliminating Bahá'í as a viable community in Iran and abroad. The persecution was exported to Yemen via the influence on the Houthis. [Website of the Bahá’í community in Germany]
  • For further information see BWNS 1303; BWNS 1232; BIC 21 March 2020; BIC 23 March 2020; BWNS 1036.
  • Amnesty International.
  • Sanaa; Yemen Hamed bin Haydara; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Yemen
    2020 25 Feb A hearing on the case of 24 Yemeni Bahá'ís took place in Sana’a. The presiding judge, Mujahed al-Amdi, mocked the defence lawyer when he protested at being denied access to his clients. The judge later relented yet made access to the Bahá'ís contingent on officers being present during any meeting, in violation of their rights. Judge al-Amdi also tried during the hearing to replace the defence lawyer with a lawyer of the Judge’s own choosing.

    Five Baha’is, who had been detained since 2017 and were among the 24 being tried, were present during the court hearing. The Bahá'ís later, for the first time since their original detention, were allowed to meet with their lawyer outside the courtroom. Six officers supervised the meeting as per Judge al-Amdi’s decree. The lawyer continued to be denied access to the documents presented to the court by the prosecution. [BIC 28 February 2020; BIC 23 February 2020] [key]

    Sanaa; Yemen Persecution, Yemen
    2020 27 Jan The Baha’i International Community expressed its concern with the surge in persecution by the Iranian authorities against the Bahá'í community. It had the appearance of an institutional decision that impacted Bahá'ís across the country.
  • By restricting applicants of the new Iranian national identification card to select only one of the four recognized religions—i.e. Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Zoroastrianism—those belonging to other faiths, including Bahá'ís, were forced to either lie about their beliefs or remain deprived of the most basic civil services, such as applying for a loan, cashing a check, or buying property.
  • A court has ruled that all of the properties belonging to the Bahá'ís in the village of Ivel be confiscated on the basis that Bahá'ís have “a perverse ideology” and therefore have no “legitimacy in their ownership” of any property. This outrageous decision is despite the fact that Baha’is have been resident in the area and owned properties there for generations, reaching as far back as the mid 1800s.
  • In the previous three months alone, dozens of Bahá'ís were arrested and dozens more received religiously-motivated sentences, for a combined prison term of nearly one hundred years. Individual Bahá'ís were sentenced to upwards of ten years in prison; in yet another case the gold used by a Bahá'í in his jewelry business was called for to be confiscated.
  • In the previous three months, Bahá'ís also experienced multiple home raids, attacks on properties, confiscation of possessions, dismissals from employment, and continued denial of access to higher education. In one case, a Bahá'í home was entirely destroyed. In another instance, a non-Bahá'í employer was forced to provide a list of her Bahá'í employees and then to dismiss them from employment.
  • A relentless campaign of misinformation about theBahá'í Faith targeting the Iranian public has continued in full force in the news and social media. Thousands of such anti-Bahá'í propaganda have circulated in 2019 alone. [BIC 27 January 2020] [key]
  • Iran; Ivel Persecution, Iran
    2020 23 Jan The Cambridge University Press published Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century co-authored by Augusto Lopez-Claros (former Director, Global Indicators Group at the World Bank Group), Arthur L. Dahl (former Deputy Assistant Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)), Maja Groff (International lawyer, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Global Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University College). [BWNS1279; Photo]
  • See a graphic presentatation of the proposals made.
  • The PDF may be obtained from the Cambridge University Press site.
  • See the International Environmental Forum for a brief description of the book.
  • See as well the synopsis at Global Challenges Foundation.
  • See the Wilmette Institute for a webinar hosted by the authors.
  • Cambridge Arthur Dahl; Augusto Lopez-Claros; Maja Groff
    2020 13 Jan A tree-planting ceremony coinciding with the start of the construction of the Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá was attended by the mayor of Akka, Shimon Lankri, and dignitaries representing the city’s religious communities as well as guests including leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities, officials of local government, and academics from educational institutions in the area. [BWNS1383]
  • Photos.
  • BWC Abdul-Baha, Shrine of;
    2019 19 Dec The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated for sanctions, two judges presiding over branches of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Court who, for years, had punished Iranian citizens and dual-nationals for exercising their freedoms of expression or assembly. In many cases, these judges sentenced political prisoners to death. Through their respective branches of the Revolutionary Courts, Abolghassem Salavati and Mohammad Moghisseh oversaw the Iranian regime’s miscarriage of justice in show trials in which journalists, attorneys, political activists, and members of Iran’s ethnic and religious minority groups were penalized for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, lashes, and even execution.
  • Both Salavati and Moghisseh had been sanctioned by the European Union for presiding over a series of show trials following the June 2009 Iranian presidential election, which imposed long prison sentences and several death sentences for political activists and journalists.
  • Moghisseh, Head of Tehran Revolutionary Court, Branch 28, had also pressed questionable charges against several members of Iran’s Bahá'í religious minority, prosecuting them for supposed participation in activities such as propaganda against the state and assembly and collusion against national security, after they reportedly held prayer and worship ceremonies with other members. [US Dept of the Treasury; Iran Press Watch 30 June 2017]
  • As the Head of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Judge Abdolghassem Salavati had been responsible for multiple human rights violations by presiding over unfair trials, suppressing protests, persecuting ethnic and religious minorities, making excessive use of the death penalty, and issuing heavy prison sentences for activists. He had prosecuted and delivered harsh sentences, including many death sentences, to scores of political prisoners, human rights activists, and peaceful demonstrators, earning him the moniker “the Judge of Death.” Salavati is responsible for executing prison sentences for Bahá'í professors on the basis of their faith after they were charged with national security-related charges for their work at a virtual Bahá'í university. [ifmat.org] [key]
  • Washington,DC; Iran Abolghassem Salavati; Mohammad Moghisseh; Persecution, Iran
    2019 24 Nov Progress Report on the construction of the national Bahá'í House of Worship for Papua New Guinea the first Mashriqul-Adhkár to be designated as a national Temple.

  • The House of Worship will be situated on a hilltop in the country’s sprawling capital city, Port Moresby. It will be located on the same property as the Bahá'í community’s national offices and will include gardens and other meditative spaces. The central edifice will have nine gabled-roof entrances made of timber.
  • After receiving formal approval to commence construction from National Capital District’s building board in August, the excavation work began. At the time of the report, the Temple’s foundation was being laid and it was expected to be complete by December. Work on the steel superstructure was scheduled to begin in January.
  • Slideshow. Mashriqul-Adhkar
  • Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Architecture; BWNS
    2019 17 Nov About 2,000 people were joined by representatives of the national government and members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Temple site at Lenakel, on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. A traditional wooden spade called a kakel was used to turn the soil symbolizing the start of construction on the local Bahá'í House of Worship. Local chiefs had presented the kakel to the Bahá'í community in a customary ceremony the day before to honour the eight tribes of Tanna that together offered the land for the Temple. [BWNS1373]
  • Slideshow of the event.
  • Lenakel; Vanuatu Mashriqul-Adhkar, Vanuatu; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Foundation stones and groundbreaking; BWNS
    2019 29 Oct The commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb gave rise to an outpouring of artistic expressions from people on every continent, a sure reminder of the profound influence that the life and mission of the Báb continues to have, and will increasingly exert, on artistic expression worldwide. This includes the following Bahá'í World articles:
  • Tales of Magnificent Heroism: The impact of the Báb and His followers on writers and artists by Robert Weinberg.
  • A Twofold Mission: Some Distinctive Characteristics of the Person and Teachings of the Báb by Elham Afnan.
  • Bab, Life of; Bahai World volumes
    2019 29 Oct The British Library published a blog to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb. It is a commentary on the Star Tablet of the Báb or the Haykal. London; United Kingdom British Museum and British Library; Bab, Writings of; Talismans; Haykal and daira; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; Moojan Momen
    2019 29 Oct Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb

    The Bahá'í world commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb. The bicentenary website chronicled just some of the thousands of celebrations.
  • In early October the Universal House of Justice sent a message to all who have come to honour the Herald of a new Dawn.
  • A film called Dawn of the Light was commissioned. It was made available in 10 languages in a variety of formats. The film portrayed several individuals from different continents as they related their own personal search after truth and meaning. They shared their discovery that God had sent two Divine Manifestations Whose teachings were revolutionizing human thought and behaviour, changing darkness into light. The film showed glimpses of how this same discovery was inspiring the efforts of many across the globe to serve humanity and to contribute to building a new pattern of life.
  • The site also featured four articles The Mission of the Báb by former Universal House of Justice member Douglas Martin, Religion Renewed, Divine Revelation, and Bahá'í Teachings in Action...
  • ...and small sample from among the countless artistic expressions created by individuals and communities around the world for the occasion of the bicentenary.
  • During the celebrations there was live streaming of the services held the Bahá'í Houses of Worship.
  • In addition there was an official Facebook page and an Instagram account.
  • Some national communities had their own Facebook page such as the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom and the Bahá'ís of the United States.
  • On the 8th of November the Universal House of Justice sent a message to the Bahá'ís of the World commenting on the celebrations and activities held by the worldwide Bahá’í community to commemorate the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb.
  • See the English translation of the message of the Universal House of Justice dated the 24th of October addressed to the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the sacred land of Iran.
  • Twin Holy Days; Holy Days; Bab, Birth of; Centenaries; Dawn of the Light; Internet; Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    2019 22 Oct The Bahá'í World News Service provided an update on the progress of the construction of the local Bahá'í House of Worship in Matunda, Kenya. Located just west of the town of Matunda, the site of the Bahá'í Temple is in a region that is home to some of Kenya’s earliest Bahá'í communities, where patterns of worship and service to humanity have been fostered over decades.
  • The foundation of the central edifice has been laid and work on other structural elements of the building was advancing. The 1.5-meter central mound on which the 18-meter-tall Temple will stand had been completed. Work on columns had begun and construction of its auxiliary structures, such as a visitor’s center, was well underway. [BWNS1363] [key]
  • Matunda; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya
    2019 11 Oct ‘Ali Nakhjavani, (b. 19 September, 1919 in Baku, Azerbaijan) former member of the Universal House of Justice (1963-2003), passed away in Molsheim, Alsace, France. He was 100 years old. The Universal House of Justice requested all National Assemblies that memorial services be held for him. [BWNS1361]
  • After his father's death when he was two years old, his family was advised by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to move to Haifa where he grew up. In 1939 he received the Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut, and then in the early 1940s he relocated to Iran, residing first in Tehran, then Tabriz and finally in Shiraz. In 1950 he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís Iran where he served until the following year.
  • In 1951 he and his family moved to Uganda to assist with the development of the Bahá'í community in that country. He made his living as a teacher and lecturer. During his early years there, Enoch Olinga became a Bahá'í, and in 1953 Mr Nakhjavání and his wife Violette, along with Mr Olinga and two other Bahá'ís, travelled from Uganda to Cameroon to help spread the Bahá'í Faith in that country.
  • From 1954-61 he was a member of the Auxiliary Board in Africa, and later from 1956 to 1961 he was served on the Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa.
  • In 1961 he was elected to the International Bahá'í Council and so moved to Haifa. In 1963 he was elected to the Universal House of Justice during its inaugural convention, and served as a member of that body until 2003. [Find a grave]
  • For a video tribute to Mr Nakhjavani see YouTube.
  • Baku; Azerbaijan; Beirut; Lebanon; Molsheim; France Ali Nakhjavani; In Memoriam; American University of Beirut; Enoch Olinga; Violette Nakhjavani; International Bahai Council
    2019 2 Oct The British Library marked the bicentenary of the birth of the Báb with various initiatives alongside the launch of a new website, Discovering Sacred Texts. With the launch of this website there were companion exhibitions which featured examples of the Faith’s original texts.
  • The library displayed three rare and exquisite pieces in its Treasures Gallery: an original of the Báb’s own handwriting, in the shape of a five-pointed star; calligraphic exercises written by Bahá’u’lláh in His childhood; and an example of “Revelation Writing”, the form in which Bahá’u’lláh’s words were recorded at speed by His secretaries as they were revealed. These manuscripts were on display at the library for six months.
  • Coinciding with the launch of the site and the exhibition was the publication of an article by Moojan Momen, specially commissioned by the library for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb. Dr. Momen wrote about the three original works on display at the exhibition, set in the context of a brief historical account of the life of the Bab.
  • To further mark the bicentenary, the library invited actor and comedian Omid Djalili to stage his one-man show A Strange Bit of History written by Annabel Knight. The play recounts events surrounding the appearance of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This performance ran for four days. It was first performed at the 1993 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the Spirit of the Fringe Award. Over the next four years it was performed 109 times in 10 different countries. [BWNS1358] [key]
  • London; United Kingdom Annabel Knight; Omid Djalili; Moojan Momen; Exhibitions of Bahai manuscripts and relics; British Museum and British Library
    2019 1 Oct The Bahá'í International Community announced the appointment of Dr. David Rutstein as its new Secretary-General. He succeeded Dr. Joshua Lincoln who had been serving in this capacity since 2013. The role of the Secretary-General is to act on behalf of the Universal House of Justice in the conduct of its external affairs, including its relations with Israel. [BWNS1357] [key] BWC David Rutstein; Joshua Lincoln; Baha'i International Community; Secretary-General
    2019 1 Oct The publication of the message from the Universal House of Justice marking the bicentenial of birth of the Báb.
  • An audio file of the message in English can be found on YouTube.
  • BWC Twin Holy Days; Holy Days; Bab, Birth of; Centenaries; Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages
    2019 26 Sep By a resolution of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations the international community condemned the Houthi persecution of Bahá'ís on the basis of their religion or belief. This resolution passed just two weeks after the prosecutors in a Houthi-controlled appeals court in Sana’a, Yemen who defended a previous death sentence of a Bahá'í on the basis of his beliefs, argued for the expulsion of all Bahá'ís from the country and the confiscation of their properties. [BIC News 30 September, 2019] [key] Sanaa; Yemen Hamed Bin Haydara; Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; United Nations; Human Rights Council
    2019 20 Sep The film Dawn of the Light, a feature film commissioned by the Universal House of Justice for the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb, was released on the bicentenary website. It was made available in nine languages. [BWNS1354]
  • It was also made available on YouTube.
  • BWC Film; Dawn of the Light; Twin Holy Days; Bab, Birth of; Centenaries; Documentaries; * Basics
    2019 19 Sep The Universal House of Justice released the design concept for the Shrine of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by Hossein Amanat to all National Spiritual Assemblies. [BWNS1353]
  • Images
  • BWC Abdul-Baha, Shrine of; Abdul-Baha, Passing of; Hossein Amanat (Husayn Amanat); - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
    2019 17 Sep The prosecutor in Mr. Haydara’s appeal not only restated its support of the lower court decision to execute Mr. Haydara but also called to “immediately deport… all who are considered Bahá'ís” and to “ban their entry” into Yemen, significantly escalating the scope of the judicial prosecution far beyond the mandate of the appeal. In its written statement, the prosecution further requested the court to adopt any additional measures to discourage Bahá'í beliefs and their expression in the country. At a court hearing on 1 October 2019, the judge called for the listing of the assets of Mr. Haydara and of the Bahá'í National Assembly in advance of their seizure. [BIC News 10 October, 2019] [key] Sanaa; Yemen Hamed Bin Haydara; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Yemen
    2019 10 Sep In the 42nd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, the International Bahá'í Community presented an Oral Statement addressing the High Commissioner report on Yemen.
  • See as well the BIC's statement to the 40th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the 20th of March, 2019.
  • New York,NY; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; BIC; Bahai International Community
    2019 6 Sep The Universal House of Justice announced the launch of a new website to provide information about the events held to commemorate the Twin Holy Days. The site was revealed over an eight week period and was made available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. It provided live streaming during the hours that the Bahá'í communities around the world commemorated the Birth of the Báb and the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh on the 29th and 30th of October. [BWNS1350] [key] BWC Twin Holy Days; Holy Days; Bab, Birth of; Centenaries; Websites; Internet
    2019 30 Aug The passing of Dr Udo Schaefer (b. October 19, 1926 in Heidelberg, Germany). He enrolled as a Bahá'í in 1948 and became one of the most important contemporary theologians of the Bahá'í Faith, well known for his scholarship and his defence of the Faith. He came from a family of musicians and his early studies were in in that field but he changed streams and became a lawyer. [FaceBook]
  • English translations of his work include:
  • His publications in German.
  • His publications in French
  • His publications in Spanish
  • His publications in other languages, (Russian, Portuguese, Dutch and Farsi).
  • His articles.
  • His website.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Heidelberg; Germany In Memoriam; Udo Schaefer
    2019 8 - 11 Aug The 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies–North America was held in the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. The four day conference was attended by some 1,400 persons. [BWNS1347]
  • Plenary session recordings of past sessions are available for free streaming and downloading on the ABS Vimeo page.
  • Photos.
  • Ottawa; Ontario; Canada Association for Baha'i Studies–North America
    2019 Aug Religions for Peace is the world’s largest inter-religious coalition. Their mandate is to work to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies. It is comprised of a world council of religious leaders and bodies from over 125 countries. Its organization, built over its 50-year history, comprises of six regional Interreligious Councils and is built on the principle of religious representation that reflects the fabric of religious demography.
  • The Bahá'í International Community’s Principal Representative, Ms. Bani Dugal, was elected as a co-president and member of the World Council of Religions for Peace to become part of the 51 member council of co-presidents. The election, which is held every five years, was held in August in Lindau, Germany. Ms. Dugal was elected by over 700 voting delegates.
  • Dr. Azza Karam, Professor of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands and former senior advisor on culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was elected as the body’s new secretary-general, becoming the first woman to hold the post. At UNFPA, she also served as chairperson of the UN task force on engagement with faith-based organizations. [BIC News] [key]
  • Lindau; Germany Baha'i International Community; Bani Dugal; Religions for Peace; Azza Karam
    2019 26 Jul In a message from the secretariat of the Universal House of Justice to selected National Assemblies it was announced that a new portal had been opened on the pilgrimage website (pilgrimage.bahai.org) that would allow Bahá'ís to submit, track and update pilgrimage and visit requests directly. [CBN Vol 32 No 3 Fall 2019 p6] [key] BWC Pilgrimage; Internet
    2019 20 Jul The social media platform Twitter suspended several accounts linked to Iranian state media—including the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Mehr, and Young Journalists Club (YJC), which was run by the state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)—over their coordinated and targeted harassment of Bahá'ís. It was estimated that since 2014 more than 26,000 pieces of anti-Bahá'í media have appeared on official or semi-official Iranian television channels. [Aljazeera 21 July 2019] [key] Iran Persecution, Iran; Twitter
    2019 Jun More than 30 representatives from Australia, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Germany, India, Panama, Samoa, Uganda, and the United States gathered for the consultations at the Bahá'í World Centre to explore what is being learned about every one of the Houses of Worship. The consultations touched on a range of topics, from practical requirements of managing a Temple to its profound spiritual and social impacts on surrounding populations. [BWNS1334]
  • The Baha’i World News Service interviewed representatives of Houses of Worship in Chile, India, and Uganda, which can be heard in a two-part podcast. Part one of the podcast, which focuses on the spiritual experiences people are having at Temples, can be found on SoundCloud.
  • An in depth exploration of Houses of Worship can be found in a newly published article For the Betterment of the World, to the Glory of God; The Emergence of Bahá’í Houses of Worship by Ann Boyles
  • BWC Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    2019 23 May The Baha’i World publication website was launched online this date.
  • The website made available a selection of thoughtful essays and long-form articles on a range of subjects of interest to the wider public, conveying advancements in Bahá'í thought and action and reflecting the Faith’s purpose in the world. [BWNS1329] [key]
  • BWC Bahai World volumes; Internet; BWNS
    2019 19 May The Universal House of Justice announced the appointment of the members of the International Board of Trustees of Ḥuqúqu’lláh for a five-year term to commence on the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, 24 May 2019.
  • Those appointed were: Ho Yuet Mee, Enos Makhele, Manijeh Reyhani, Adam Robarts, and William Wieties.
  • The Universal House of Justice express profound gratitude for the exemplary service rendered by Marzia Rowhani Dalalto the institution. [Bahá'í Canada posted 2019/05/27] [key]
  • BWC Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Ho Yuet Mee; Enos Makhele; Manijeh Reyhani; Adam Robarts; William Wieties
    2019 7 May In a letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies, the House of Justice announced the appointment of Hossein Amanat as the architect chosen for the design of the Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The distinguished Iranian-Canadian architect is best known for his designs of three of the buildings of the Arc on Mount Carmel in Haifa as well as the Azadi Tower in Tehran.
  • They also announced the inauguration of a Fund dedicated to the construction of the Shrine. [BWNS1325]
  • Photo Hossein Amanat.
  • Photo Ridván Gardens 1.
  • Photo Ridván Gardens 2.
  • BWC Abdul-Baha, Shrine of; Hossein Amanat (Husayn Amanat)
    2019 28 Apr The passing of Don Otto Rogers (b. 1935 in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan) a former member of the International Teaching Centre, in Picton, Ontario. He was buried in the Rose Cemetery in Waupoos, Ontario.
  • He enrolled in the Faith in 1960 while a resident of Saskatoon. [CBN No 124 May 1960 p6]
  • He served as an Auxiliary Board member and then as a Continental Counsellor followed by a decade as a member of the International Teaching Centre and upon returning to Canada, served on the National Spiritual Assembly. [BWNS1323; Wikipedia.]
  • As an accomplished artist, he was known as "Otto Rogers". He taught at the University of Saskatchewan (1959-1988) after receiving his MA in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin. Mr Rogers helped sustain the Emma Lake Workshops, a meeting place for some of North America’s leading artists including Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski and Mr Rogers himself. His work was held in more than 30 public collections including: the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
  • His website.
  • His works at the Oeno Gallery in Prince Edward County.
  • Canadian Art.
  • Video The Artist In Us Interview—Painter Otto Rogers.
  • A talk by Otto Rogers entitled Artist’s Studio.
  • The Canadian Encylopedia.
  • The National Gallery of Canada.

    His publications:

    A publications about his work.

  • Kerrobert Saskatchewan; Milford; Ontario; Waupoos, Ontario Don Rogers; Otto Rogers; Counsellor; In Memoriam
    2019 Ridván In its Ridván Message the Universal House of Justice announced the intention of constructing a Shrine for 'Abdu'l-Bahá near the Ridván Garden on the crescent traced between the Holy Shrines in 'Akká and Haifa. The day after His passing in Haifa on 28 November 1921, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s remains were placed in a vault within the sacred Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel, a temporary arrangement until such time that a separate shrine would be erected in His honor.
  • “...Ridvan messages: As early as 1923 Shoghi Effendi sent a letter of encouragement and greeting to the American national Bahá'í convention at Ridvan. Later it was his regular practice to write a Ridvan letter to the Bahá'ís of the world summarizing the progress of the Faith in the previous year and setting out general directions for the coming year. The Universal House of Justice has continued this practice. Other Bahá'í institutions, especially national spiritual assemblies, also sometimes issue Ridvan letters." [SA241] [key]
  • BWC Abdul-Baha, Shrine of; Abdul-Baha, Passing of
    2019 6 - 7 Apr The Heroes Teaching Conference was an historic gathering of over 1,000 Baha'i adults, youth, junior youth and children, as well as some of their like-minded friends from all over Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, Australia. It was organised by the Regional Bahá'í Council and Board of Counsellors, the program aimed to help its participants find their place in service to Bahá’u’lláh and humanity, by drawing on the heroism of the past, inspiring them to arise, through humble service, and become heroes of the Faith for this age. [Conference Website] [key] Brisbane; Australia Heroes Teaching Conference; Conferences
    2019 23 Mar A gathering of about 1,200 people attended the groundbreaking of the first local Bahá'í House of Worship in Africa located about 4 kilometers west of the town of Matunda in the Matunda Soy district of Kenya.
  •       Ruth Vuyiya, a much-loved Bahá'í known affectionately as "Mama Ruth", set the temple’s cornerstone on the red soil. Ms. Vuyiya was joined by her daughter, members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Kenya, construction contractors and the temple’s architect Neda Samimi. After the ceremonial groundbreaking, attendees celebrated the moment in song and ululations.
  •      The groundbreaking took place almost one year after its elegant and simple design, inspired by the region’s traditional huts, was unveiled at the same site. The design incorporated an intricate and expressive pattern that used the diamond shape, a familiar motif in Kenyan culture. Exposed roof beams punctuating the nine sides of the edifice will be drawn together at an apex skylight. Inside, the skylight will sit atop a Greatest Name symbol, and 250 people can be seated. The temple will be built from local materials. [BWNS 1317]
  • Concept Drawing.
  • Progress Report dated October 23rd: The foundation of the central edifice had been laid and work on other structural elements was advancing. [BWNS1363]
  • Matunda; Matunda Soy; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya; Foundation stones and groundbreaking first local Baha’i House of Worship in Africa
    2019 28 Feb Faruq Izadinia, Bahá'í scholar and translator, wrote an Open Letter after his court hearing in Tehran in which he described the process of his trial and the details of the court session. [Open Letter]
  • Subsequently, on 19 June 2020 Branch 36 of the Tehran Province Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and Mr. Izadinia was charged with “acting against national security through the Bahá'í Organization”. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. [Faruq Izadinia Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison] [key]
  • Tehran Persecution, Iran; Faruq Izadinia
    2019 28 Feb The Universal House of Justice announced the publication of a compilation of extracts on prayer and devotional life drawn from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and from the letters of the Guardian and the House of Justice that had been prepared by the Research Department at its request. It was made available on the Bahá’í Reference Library with a plan to produce printed editions. BWC Compilation on prayer and devotional life
    2019 2 Feb Hamed Bin Hayadara, who was facing a death sentence, appeared in a Sana’a court where he was charged with "foreign espionage" and "abandonment of religion". The judge adjourned the session until 12 March. He was among the six Bahá'ís detained in Sana'a. [SBSWorldNews] [key] Sanaa; Yemen Hamed Bin Haydara; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution, Yemen
    2019 7 Feb An estimated 5,760 members of the Bahá'í Faith had been charged (and some even executed) for 'membership of a sect' in Iran between 1979 and 2009 according to a report by press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based watchdog based their report on leaked digital files. [i24NEWS 7 February, 2019] [key] Iran Persecution, Iran
    2019 5 Feb The announcement of the publication of The Call of the Divine Beloved by the Bahá'í World Centre. The book contained revised translations of The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys as well as five newly published selections from Bahá’u’lláh’s writings, including Rashḥ-i-‘Amá (The Clouds of the Realms Above). This tablet is considered to be among the first if not the first revealed by Bahá'u'lláh after being apprised that He was to be the Manifestation of God.
  • For more information about this Tablet and its significance see 1852 (between Aug - Nov).
  • BWC Call of the Divine Beloved (book); Haft Vadi (Seven Valleys); Chahar Vadi (Four Valleys); Rashh-i-Ama (Sprinkling from the Cloud of Unknowing); Bahaullah, Writings of; Publications; Translation; BWNS; Mysticism
    2019 18 Jan On this, the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Paris Peace Conference, the Universal House of Justice released a message regarding World Peace.
  • See BWNS1368 for a short video entitled 100 years on, remembering ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s call for peace in the First Tablet to The Hague. The Central Organization for a Durable Peace in The Hague was one of the preliminary steps taken that lead to the Paris Peace Conference.
  • BWC; The Hague; Netherlands Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; Paris Peace Conference; International Peace Conferences; Promise of World Peace (statement); Peace; World peace (general)
    2019 08 Jan Imprisoned Bahá'í Hamed bin Haydara, 55, who had been sentenced to death, appeared in court in Sana'a for an unexpected hearing. Mr Haydara had been in Houthi detention in central Sana'a since December 2013. UN human rights representatives called for the rebels to overturn his death sentence.
  • In addition to Mr Haydara, five other Bahá'ís were held by the rebels in Sana'a, two of whom had been hidden since last April, They were Waleed Ayyash, 51, and Wael Al Al Ariki, 41, a human-rights activist, Sheikh Akram Ayyas, 37, had been in Houthi detention since October 2017, Badea Senai, 66, who was an urban planning adviser for the government, had been in prison since May 2017 and Qwan Mohammad Qadri, 45, who was arrested by the Houthis in August 2016. He is of Iranian descent and was an employee of the British Council in Yemen.
  • Under a prisoner exchange deal agreed at UN-led peace talks in Sweden in December, the government had repeatedly requested the release of all Bahá'í detainees held by the Houthi rebels. Each side submitted 8,000 names of Yemeni people they believe to be detained, dead or missing for the other side to locate and release as a confidence-building measure but the Iran-backed rebels have not responded to the government's request on the Bahá'í detainees. [The National 13JAN2019] [key]
  • Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Persecution, Court cases; Hamed bin Haydara
    2109 (In the year) During the year, Edward Manasyan, a prominent member of the Bahá'í community, continued to face charges of facilitating illegal migration to the country by advising Iranians wishing to settle in Armenia.
  • He had been arrested and charged in 2017 and held under pretrial detention for eight months before the trial court judge released him on bail in July 2018.
  • Local NGOs and human rights lawyers shared concerns about the surveillance of Bahá'í community members preceding Manasyan’s arrest, which they believed was approved in violation of the law because it violated lawyer-client privilege.
  • In April the Bahá'í community filed a countersuit against the NSS with the Court of Appeals, stating the National Security Service (NSS) illegally used wiretaps to surveil a Bahá'í community member and the community’s office and used the information gathered as the basis to charge Manasyan. According to the documents provided to the Bahá'í community, the surveillance authorizations were approved based on the assertion that Manasyan was the head of a “religious-sectarian” organization and was “soul-hunting,” but no charges were proffered on these grounds. [Armenia 2019 International Religious Freedom Report from the US Embassy] [key]
  • Armenia Armenia, persecution; Edward Manasyan
    2018 20 Dec The last imprisoned member of the former leadership body of the Bahá'í community in Iran was released from prison after serving a 10-year prison sentence. He was arrested on 14 May 2008 and charged with, among other false claims, espionage, propaganda against Iran, and the establishment of an illegal administration. Mr. Naeimi and the other six former members of the Yaran faced those charges more than a year after their arrest in a sham trial without any semblance of legal process. Authorities sentenced Mr. Naeimi and the other former members of the Yaran to 10 years in prison. While detained, Mr. Naeimi experienced severe health problems, often receiving inadequate treatment. Authorities made a cruel determination that the brief time Mr. Naeimi, a father of two from Tehran, spent in a hospital recovering would not be counted as part of his sentence. [BWNS1302] [key] Tehran; Iran Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Human rights; Persecution; Human rights
    2018 Dec During a dialogue with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as it considered a report on measures taken to implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination the Iraqi Deputy Justice Minister, Hussein al-Zuhairi, said Bahaism is not a religion or faith. He further expressed the Iraqi government’s commitment to legislation prohibiting the Bahá'í religion in 1970 and added that there was no religion above Islam since the Iraqi Constitution set the tenets of Islam as a source of law. He said that as Iraqi society was Muslim, it was not possible to ignore the tenets of Islam in legislation.
  • Zuhairi’s statement angered representatives of civil society and the delegations of organizations that presented parallel reports to the government’s report in which they outlined the Iraqi government’s and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s violations of the rights of minorities. His statements raised concerns for the Bahá'ís and indicated that the Iraqi government cannot solve the conflict between respecting human rights called for in its constitution and the Islamic principles that are a key source of legislation. [Al-Monitor 11 December, 2018] [key]
  • Iraq
    2018 19 - 22 Nov The second annual Arab Sustainable Development Week was held in Cairo from 19 to 22 November to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030. More than 120 diplomats, government officials, representatives of regional and international organizations, businesses, and academics attended the event. Speakers included Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, among a number of other leaders in the Arab region.
    It was the first time the Bahá'í community had an official presence at a space convened by the Arab League, a regional organization of about 20 nations in North Africa and the Middle East. Bahá'í International Community representatives were Dr. Solomon Belay, from the BIC Addis Ababa office, Shahnaz Jaberi from BIC-Bahrain and Hatem El-Hady from BIC-Egypt. The BIC statement, Summoning Our Common Will: A Baha’i Contribution to the United Nations Global Development Agenda, was distributed at the event. [BWNS1299] [key]
    Cairo; Egypt Solomon Belay; Shahnaz Jaberi; Hatem El-Hady; Baha'i International Community; Arab League; Sustainable Development; Ahmed Aboul-Gheit; Mostafa Madbouly; BIC statements first time the BIC had an official presence at a meeting convened by the Arab League.
    2018 15 Nov The passing of Shapoor Monadjem, (b. 3 October, 1933, Shiraz, Iran) at his last pioneer post in Maringá, Brazil. He had been a member of the International Teaching Center, a pioneer and member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Brazil (1963-1983), a Continental Councillor (1983-1993) as well as a Deputy Trustee of Ḥuqúqu’lláh. [BWNS1296; Bahaipedia] [key] Maringa; Brazil Shapoor Monadjem; International Teaching Centre; Continental Board of Counsellors; In Memoriam
    2018 9 Nov The Universal House of Justice announced that the Office of Social and Economic Development would be succeeded by the Bahá’í International Development Organization with a five-member board of directors to serve a five year term of service with appointment to be made on the Day of the Covenant.
  • In addition a new fund, the Bahá'í Development Fund, was inaugurated which will be supported by the Universal House of Justice, individuals and institutions. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 9 November, 2018]
  • Three days later the Universal House of Justice announced the appointment of the members of the Board of Directors for the Bahá'í International Development Organization for the five-year term beginning 26 November 2018: Elisa Caney, Maame Brodwemaba Nketsiah, Lori McLaughlin Noguchi, Sina Rahmanian, and George Soraya.
  • See also BWNS1308.
  • BWC Social and Economic Development; Social action; Bahai International Development Organization; Funds; Bahai Development Fund; Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; BWNS
    2018 1 - 7 Nov More than 7,500 people attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This forum began in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago as an effort to promote an emerging international movement devoted to promoting dialogue among religions. Since that time, it has been held in Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009) and Salt Lake City (2015). [Website] Bahá'í presenters were:
    • Bani Dugal: “The Equality of Women and Men: Divine Imperative for an Age of Transition.”
    • Hugh Locke: “Half the Sky, Half the Land: The Role of Women Farmers in Transforming Agriculture,”
    • Payam Akhavan: “Equality and Justice, Global Perspectives” and “Countering War, Hate, and Violence Assembly.”
    • Emily Wright: “Making Interreligious Chaplaincy Education Meaningfully Inclusive” and “A New Cup of Grace—A Ukulele Opera
    • Hooshmand Badee: “Interfaith Peacemaking Perspectives from Across the World.”
    • Nader Saiedi: Presenting the new documentary film The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith.
    • Paul Hanley: “Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Environmentalist.”
    • JoAnn Borovicka: “Amazing Faiths! An Interactive Workshop on Interfaith Dialogue.”
    • Robert Atkinson: “New Thoughts in Interfaith Spirituality.”
    • Robert Stockman: “The Characteristics of Bahá’í Interfaith Dialogue.”
    • Candace Hill: “From Shiraz to Chicago: Bahá’í Women of the East and the West”
    • Edward Price: “The Divine Curriculum: Understanding the Báb, Divine Educator for the Modern Era.”
    • Sovaida Maani Ewing: “Achieving World Peace: Bahá’í and Catholic Teachings.”
    • Jean Muza: “Bahá’í Civic Engagement: How to Maneuver in America’s Divisive Political Landscape.”
    • Robert Atkinson: “The Golden Rule as the Basis for a Global Justice System: An Interfaith Perspective with a Call to Action.”
    • Edward Price: “The Divine Curriculum Concept as a Framework for Interfaith Inclusion and Love.” [CBN-Preparation; CBN-Inclusion; CBN-Films] [key]
    Toronto; Canada; Chicago; Cape Town; Barcelona; Melbourne; Salt Lake City World Parliament of Religions
    2018 24 Oct The body of a Bahá'í citizen, Shamsi Aghdasi Azamian, from Gilavand, a suburb of the city of Damavand was exhumed by unknown individuals several days after being buried in the Gilavand Bahá'í Cemetery and abandoned in the deserts of Jaban in the suburbs of that city. No individual or institution has accepted responsibility for this action, although security forces had told the Gilavand Bahá'ís earlier that they had no right to bury their deceased member in this place, and that they should perform burials only in Tehran. Her son refused to move the body but found that it had been taken to Tehran which is a distance of some two hours away. [Iran Press Watch 19720]
  • Subsequently, a group of progressive Muslims strongly condemned the “desecration and excavation of the grave of a Bahá'í compatriot.” In their statement the “systematic and deeply rooted denial of Bahá'í citizens’ rights” was denounced, and the violation of their citizenship rights was called a “hateful” act, “born of ignorant prejudice.” The signatories of the statement called for an open investigation and prosecution of perpetrators and facilitators. The message can be seen at Iran Press Watch19731.
  • Gilavand; Damavand; Iran Shamsi Aghdasi Azamian; Persecution, denial of burial
    2018 11 Oct Abdullah Al Olofi, member of the Bahá'í community in Yemen, was on his way to the market in Sana’a when suddenly he was surrounded by armed soldiers in a pick-up truck. He was blindfolded and taken away. [Counterpunch 9 November, 2018] [key] Sanaa; Yemen Abdullah Al Olofi; Persecution, Yemen
    2018 Oct The announcement of the translation and publication of the Kitab-i-Aqdas into the Philippines’ second most widely spoken language, Cebuano. (Translation into Tagalog was completed in 2003.) This translation was done by Dr Gil Tabucanon and was completed after ten years of effort. Publication was done by the Philippines Baha’i Publishing Trust.
  • Among the languages into which the Kitab-i-Aqdas had been translated, in addition to English, were Albanian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Marathi, Norwegian, Oriya, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. [BWNS1294; BWNS646] [key]
  • Manila; Solano; Philippines Translation; Cebuano language; Tagalog language; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book); BWNS first translation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas into Cebuano
    2018 Oct The publication of Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist. by Paul Hanley. [BWNS1292
  • See 1982-06-09.
  • Regina,Saskatchewan Richard St Barbe Baker; Man of the Trees; Paul Hanley; BWNS
    2018 29 Sep In the second court hearing presided over by judge Abdu Ismail Hassan Rajeh, three additional Bahá'ís were sentenced to death. Five of the indicted Bahá'ís were in attendance at the court where the judge requested the prosecutor to publish the names of 19 others indicted in a newspaper, further endangering the lives of the Yemeni Bahá'í community. The judge also ordered that all of the properties belonging to the Bahá'ís indicted be frozen until the court verdict was issued. He furthermore objected to a request by the lawyer for the five to be released on bail and deferred any such decision to the next hearing to be held in a month and ten days.
  • The actions undertaken by the Houthis were condemned in two recent United Nations resolutions, one of which called for the immediate release of all Bahá'ís detained in Yemen due to their religious beliefs and to cease any harassment they are subjected to. [Iran Press Watch 4 October, 2018] [key]
  • Sanaa; Yemen United Nations; Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
    2018 21 Sep The Bahá'í World Centre announced the release of three short films that highlighted aspects of the community building endeavours of Bahá'ís and like-minded friends around the world. Totaling about 32 minutes, the new films covered three themes: nurturing younger generations, exploring the empowerment of junior youth, and communities learning to advance together. The films complement the recently produced documentary film A Widening Embrace released in April. [BWNS1286]

    The films can be downloaded using the link below:
    Nurturing younger generations
    Exploring the empowerment of junior youth
    Communities learning to advance together

    BWC Nurturing younger generations; Exploring the empowerment of junior youth; Communities learning to advance together
    2018 15 Sep Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi authorities held a court hearing that targeted some 20 or 24 Bahá'ís, most in absentia, with a string of baseless charges which included espionage and apostasy. The charges were primarily made against individuals who held administrative roles in the Bahá'í community but extended to other Yemeni Bahá'ís including a teenage girl. In a subsequent hearing on September 29, the judge asked the prosecutor to publish the names of the accused in a newspaper and ordered their properties frozen. The judge in the case was Abdu Ismail Hassan Rajeh, the same judge who presided over Mr. Haydara's in January of 2018.
  • Subsequently the governments of Australia, Canada, and Germany issued a joint statement calling for the immediate release of all Bahá'í prisoners. [Global Affairs Canada Joint Statement on the Bahá'ís in Yemen; BWNS1285]
  • Sanaa; Yemen Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Human rights; BWNS
    2018 9 Sep Ētahi Karakia Bahá'í (Book of Bahá'í Prayers) was launched at the Pūrekireki Marae in Pirongia to coincide with the beginning of Māori Language Week. For Dr. Tom Roa, professor of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato, it was the fourth significant translation of canonical Bahá'í texts he and his team have undertaken. This endeavour came amid broader efforts to revive the Maori language. Dr. Roa, who has been at the forefront of these efforts, said that Maori speakers were a declining share of New Zealand’s population. Maori people made up only 15 percent of the population, and only a fifth of them can have a conversation in Maori, he noted.
  • Providing access to prayers in Maori was a key motivation for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand when it undertook the process in 2004. A small team of Bahá'ís worked with Dr. Roa, who had translated other spiritual texts into the Maori language, including the Bible and the Quran. The 14-year translation project began first with The Hidden Words, Bahá’u’lláh’s preeminent ethical work, and then Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, an introduction to the Faith.
  • Bahá'í writings have been translated into some 800 languages to this date. [BWNS1287; Raglan23 18SEP2018] [key]
  • Pirongia; New Zealand Prayer; Maoris; Translation; Publications
    2018 summer Starting with the summer of 2018, Romania hosted the Seminars of the Institute for Global Prosperity Studies for Eastern European students. Young people from the following countries participated: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary. [Romanian Bahá'í website] [key] Romania Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity (ISGP)
    2018 22 Jul The dedication of the second local Bahá'í House of Worship in the world in Norte del Cauca, Colombia. News of this project was announced in 2012 along with other projects in Battambang, Cambodia; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Bihar Sharif, India; and Tanna, Vanuatu. (For information on the first local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár see here.) The event marked the opening of a month-long inauguration period. In a series of weekly visits to the Temple, 1,500 people were expected to participate in a special program called “My First Visit to the Bahá'í House of Worship.”
  • In the Ridván Message of 2012 the Universal House of Justice announced that national Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs would to be raised up in two countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea and that the first local Houses of Worship were to be built in Battambang, Cambodia; Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu. This was the second of those local Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs to have been completed. [Ridván 2012 Message]
  • See the message from the Universal House of Justice dated 1 August 2014 where they pointed out the "the dynamic interaction between worship and endeavours to uplift the spiritual, social, and material conditions of society" and recalled the construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs in Turkistan and in America.
  • The local Bahá'í House of Worship in Norte del Cauca, Colombia, included a budding native forest, called the Bosque Nativo, that aimed to restore the region's indigenous plants. This video in Spanish describes the Bosque Nativo's features.
  • The Universal House of Justice was represented by Mrs. Carmen Elisa de Sadeghian who read a letter addressed to the attendees. “This House of Worship stands now as a symbol of the beauty inherent in the noble people of this region and its design evokes the generosity of their land,” stated the letter, dated 22 July 2018. Also in attendance were Mr. Gustavo Correa and Dr. Farzam Arbab, two former members of the Universal House of Justice, as well as the mayors of four neighbouring towns. [BWNS1275]
  • A musical group sang and dancers performed a piece titled “The Soul of Norte del Cauca,” about the arrival of the Bahá'í Faith to the region and how Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings are given expression in the hopes and aspirations of the people. The group also performed a song called "La Cumbia del Jardinero" which was made available on SoundCloud.
  • See photo of the Greatest Name.

    Specifics

        Location: Aqua Azul, Notre del Cauca, Columbia
        Property acquired:December, 2013
        Design unveiled: 13 September, 2014
        Groundbreaking: 22 May, 2016
        Construction Period: January 2017 to July 2018
        Site Dedication: 22 July, 2018
        Architect:Mr. Gutierrez Chacón
        Architectural firm:CUNA Engineering and Sustainable Architecture
        Seating:
        Dimensions:The Temple is 18 metres tall. Inside height is 15 metres.
        Cost:
        Dependencies:
        References: BWNS1020; BWNS1047; BWNS1109; BWNS1153; BWNS1168; BWNS1222; BWNS1240; BWNS1249; BWNS1268, BWNS1277.
  • Agua Azul; Norte del Cauca; Colombia Gutierrez Chacon; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Colombia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; BWNS; Dedications; Quick facts; - Basic timeline, Expanded first...the dynamic interaction between worship and endeavours to uplift the spiritual, social, and material conditions of society
    2018 8 Jul The opening of the play about Tahirih called Daughter of the Sun to an audience of 450 people at the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama. The dramatic presentation was produced by journalist Kamale Selim Muslimgizi and came at a time when the life of Tahirih was gaining renewed attention and interest in Azerbaijani society due, in part because a book on Tahirih’s life and works that were translated and published in 2016 which catalyzed a growing interest among the people of Azerbaijan about the life of this iconic champion of women’s emancipation.
  • Tahirih wrote in Persian, Arabic, and Azeri, a widely spoken language in Qazvin and the surrounding region. Azeri is also the main language of Azerbaijan. Tahirih has long attracted interest among scholars. Western Orientalists of the 19th century wrote of her influence on literature and gender equality. In recent years, there have been numerous academic articles and books about her as well as translations of three volumes of her poetry into English.
  • The play continued its run in Baku and in the following months on stage in other cities across the country. [BWNS1276; 30 April, 1960] [key]
  • Baku; Azerbaijan Tahirih; Drama; Plays; Arts; Kamale Selim Muslimgizi; BWNS
    2018 6 Jul Mr. Javaid Rehman was appointed as the third Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since re-establishment of the mandate. The former mandate holder, Ms. Asma Jahangir assumed the mandate from November 2016 until her sudden passing in February 2018.
    Mr. Rehman was a Professor of International Human Rights Law and Muslim Constitutionalism at Brunel University, London. Mr Rehman taught human rights law and Islamic law and continued to publish extensively in the subjects of international human rights law, Islamic law and constitutional practices of Muslim majority States. Several of his published works have been translated into various languages. Overview of the mandate The Human Rights Council Resolution 37/30 requested the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its fortieth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, to permit access to visit the country, and to provide all information necessary to allow the fulfillment of the mandate.
    In the discharge of his mandate, the Special Rapporteur will:
    a) Monitor and investigate human rights violations, transmits urgent appeals and letters to Iran on alleged violations of human rights; b) Seek to undertake country visits to Iran and to the region and engage with relevant stakeholders; c) Submit reports to the General Assembly and Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; and d) Engage publicly on issues of concern, including through press releases.
    New York,NY Javaid Rehman; UN; United Nations; Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran
    2018 22 Jun Following the recitation of prayers, the carved teak Greatest Name symbol was raised 15 meters to be placed at the inner apex of the dome inside the local Bahá'í House of Worship in Agua Azul, Colombia. This marked the near-completion of the world’s second local House of Worship. [BWNS1268] [key] Agua Azul; Norte del Cauca; Colombia Mashriqul-Adhkar, Colombia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; BWNS
    2018 9 May The premiere of the film The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith in Los Angeles. The first ever documentary about the origins of the Bahá’í Faith. On May 23rd, Bahá’í communities in multiple locations showed the film as part of their Holy Day observance. The film was directed by Bob Hercules, written by Ed Price, and the producers were Steve Sarowitz, Ed Price and Adam Mondschein. [Film Website]
  • Later, about October, 2019, the film would be used to produce The Gate, Dusk of the Baha'i Faith as propaganda against the Faith.
  • Los Angeles; United States Bab, Life of; Babi history; Documentaries; Film; The Gate: Dawn of the Bahai Faith (film); Bob Hercules; Persecution, Iran The first documentary about the origins of the Bahá’í Faith.

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