Here’s an AFP story posted on Yahoo News about the reaction of Baha’is in Haifa to the shelling of the city and the current conflict in the area.
Bahai faithful unshaken by rockets in Israel
British couple Gillian and Anthony Henderson have come on pilgrimage from their home in Vancouver, Canada.
Anthony is easy to spot in the near-deserted city, wearing a Scottish kilt, indicative of the diversity of the varied Bahai cultures — spanning 75 nationalities and several million followers — so says the movement.
“We decided we would come because we waited many, many years,” says Anthony. “You have to apply (to come here on pilgrimage) most of the time you wait for five or six years.”
“It’s hard to put it into words, it is the most holy place in the world for us,” says Gillian. “To be able to visit is the biggest blessing. We have to do it at least once in our life.” […] Gillian says all the pilgrims prayed together on Monday.
“It was very emotional considering the situation, we prayed very much for mankind and peace and we hoped for a peaceful resolution for all people.” […]
Followers believe in the coming unification of humanity even if the world must first go through difficult times, such as those that started with the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah on July 12.
“The world is getting darker and darker, but we have a more long-term vision,” says French architect Daniel Caillaud who has lived in Haifa since 1988.
During a visit to the pristine gardens “whose beauty shows the optimism of the Bahais” according to Indian follower Elisa Rasiwala, 53, the air raid siren shrieks once more, heralding the next rocket attack on Haifa.
“Our holy places are currently in the middle of the world in every sense. This is the eye of the storm,” says the 59-year-old. “There’s no doubt. The future is promising.”