NZ communities celebrate the birth of a global faith
New Zealand communities celebrate the birth of a global faith
Auckland, New Zealand (Friday 13 October 2017)
Worldwide celebrations are being held on October 22 to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i Faith. Celebrations will be held in over 100,000 communities worldwide, including more than 100 here in New Zealand.
“The festivities here in New Zealand will be the first in a global day of celebration, including almost every country, nation and ethnicity around the globe,” said Dr Shirin Foroughian from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of NZ. “The diversity of these celebrations will demonstrate how Baha’is and their friends are working towards Baha’u’llah’s vision of a unified global community.”
National leaders around the world have made tributes in honour of the bicentenary, including Prime Minister Bill English, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the President and Prime Minister of India, and the Prime Minister of Singapore. In his tribute, Rt Hon Bill English acknowledged the significance of the anniversary and praised New Zealand’s diverse cultural landscape.
The Baha'i Faith has its roots in Iran. The youngest of the world's major religions, it has rapidly spread since its inception and been accepted by people of all backgrounds and classes. Baha’u’llah’s teachings emphasise the oneness of humanity and unity in diversity. Around 2,100 indigenous tribes, races, and ethnic groups are represented in the global Baha’i community, and Baha’i writings and other literature have been translated into more than 800 languages, including te reo Māori.
“Baha’u’llah has offered humanity a firm hope that the many conflicts and power struggles affecting every society will be resolved – conflict between different races and ethnicities, different political ideologies and classes, different faiths and worldviews,” says Mr Aidan MacLeod from the NZ Baha’i Office of Public Affairs. “Baha’u’llah taught that all human beings are inherently noble, and that by working together towards justice and unity we will bring about a new era of peace and shared prosperity.”
The Baha’i community hopes that the festivities in October provide an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect and consider the role we each can play in contributing to the betterment of the world. In neighbourhoods around New Zealand, Baha'is and their friends are learning how to apply Baha'u'llah's teachings to their lives and the life of the community. “People from all walks of life are learning to improve the material and spiritual conditions of their community by carrying out practical and systematic acts of service, such as moral education classes for children and groups for the spiritual empowerment of youth,” said Dr Foroughian.
Anyone interested in participating in the upcoming bicentenary celebrations or learning more about Baha’u’llah and his teachings can contact the Baha’i National Office on 0800 BAHAIS or visit bahai.org.nz.