LETTER: Celebrations for community

Your letters
Your letters

The world’s Baha’i community is gearing up to celebrate the twin-celebration of their Holy Days – the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha’u’llah (ie the forerunner and founder of the Baha’i Faith).

One of the world’s most recent religions, the Baha’is are today present in every continent, and have some of the world’s most beautiful houses of worship, such as the Lotus Temple in Delhi, one of the most visited buildings in the world, and the new House of Worship in Chile. This Year Baha’is Will Celebrate Bicentennial of Twin Holy Birthdays.

While the Baha’i community from all over the world are excited about the festivities, the members of the community in Iran are going to have to celebrate the events in prison. Ironically, Baha’u’llah born in the Iranian city of Tehran.

The births of the founder Baha’i faith, Baha’u’llah and his predecessor, Bab, whose ideas laid the foundation and are considered very sacred days for the Baha’is. Although their birth dates are separated from each other by a short period of time, this year the Baha’i solar calendar puts their birthdays as two consecutive days.

Additionally, they will be celebrating the bicentennial anniversaries of the Birth Baha’u’llah and the Birth of the Bab. The Twin Holy Birthdays will be October 21 and 22. Baha’u’llah and Bab are both considered to be manifestations of God. Bab is considered to have paved the way for the incarnation of Baha’u’llah.

To the West, this would translate as the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Baha’u’llah based his teachings on the ideas of Bab, and considered himself to be the subsequent incarnation of God.

The bicentennial anniversary will be celebrated on October 21 and 22 this year in around 100,000 localities around the world by more than ten million Baha’is. The only place where the festivities will not be in full vigour would be Iran, where a systematic persecution of the Baha’i by the government threatens to bring the community to extinction.

Despite repeated pleas by the leaders of the community, the Baha’i in Iran are still denied education opportunities, permission to start businesses, or jobs. This economic and intellectual impoverishment is slowly killing the Iranian Baha’i community, despite the country being the religion’s birthplace. The Baha’i are traditionally open to people from all communities and systems of beliefs. As such, the upcoming celebrations too are going to be open for all people who wish to participate.

Rooplall Dudhnath

Coltstaple Lane, Horsham

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