Baha’is among voices of faith offering perspective in troubled time
As civil society and media start to shine a brighter spotlight on the role of faith in getting people through the COVID-19 pandemic, a Baha’i perspective is increasingly being sought.
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Mayor Allen Joines organized a “Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Citywide Hour of Prayer and Inspiration” that was streamed on Good Friday, April 10, and archived on YouTube.
Tony Baker, a Baha’i in Winston-Salem, joined representatives of several faith communities — including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist — in offering prayers and thoughts on the resilience of the human spirit and the crying needs of these times.
Baker offered prayers from the Baha’i writings on healing and assistance for the homeless and for those who suffer from food disparities.
He concluded: “On behalf of the Baha’i community, our prayer is that our community, our nation and the world remain safe, peaceful and healthy.”
In Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Times asked faith representatives to “offer words of wisdom for a time such as this” with Easter, Passover, Ridvan and Ramadan following each other in close order.
John Hatcher, a Baha’i in Plant City, quoted a message from the Universal House of Justice, global governing council of the Baha’i Faith:
“Seldom has it been more evident that society’s collective strength is dependent on the unity it can manifest … and we know that you are giving your support to the essential efforts being made in this regard to protect the health and welfare of all.”
He said the “objective of Baha’i communities throughout the world is helping to establish and foster vibrant and spiritually motivated neighborhoods” and he said this crisis “has not deterred that spirit.”
Hatcher offered the hope of Baha’is, in closing, that when people emerge from this crisis they “may never forget the lessons we will have learned from regarding one another as members of a unified and loving human family.”
In Enid, Oklahoma, an Enid News & Eagle series titled 2020 VISION offered a detailed look at the Enid and Edmond Baha’i communities in a feature story, “Principles of unity, equality and peace emphasized in local Bahá’í community.”
The article touched on the history and teachings of the Baha’i Faith in the world before turning to the local Baha’i community.
Nathan and Jodi Palmer were quoted about why they embraced the Faith and how the Enid community has evolved to the point it has about 50 members.
Because Enid Baha’is often travel to Edmond for larger gatherings, Terri Angier described that community and its Baha’i Center for the article.
In San Diego, California, Allysene Watson gave his congregation, University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an 18-minute introduction to the Baha’i Faith and the ways the church is partnering with the Baha’i community to achieve goals of social justice.
Stories from the life of Baha’u’llah, prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, were integral to Watson’s presentation.