bahai faithful unshaken by rockets in israel

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.”

Read the whole story.

3 thoughts on “bahai faithful unshaken by rockets in israel

  1. Perhaps you have misunderstood the original post which may have been meant to imply that, in contrast to the destruction of human life and buildings in the Middle East and else where for that matter, the Baha’is, despite the destruction, see a future in which world peace is historically and developmentally inevitable. This picture of the future is not one of ?rose coloured glasses? but the reverse- historically, the peoples? and nations of the world will tire of war and calamities and, out of desperation, will seek world peace. While many may not see such a future at this time, it is entirely a pragmatic perspective given the current and foreseeable developments of humanity as a whole. This perspective is also important because it reveals the reality that peace is very definitely achievable if only the various factions and governments will seek (a) their shared common grounds, beliefs and essential spiritual nature, (b) what is best for collective humanity and (c) consult together about how their various needs may be met. It is this view of (1) recognizing the universality of all human beings with a spiritual nature created by God and (2) seeking the well-being of collective humanity that is the key to achieving world peace, both of which are generally universally accepted as good ideas but not implemented nor given the importance they require. The sooner these two realities are implemented and universally proclaimed, the sooner we will all have world peace. This is admittedly a difficult path to follow, but eventually they will be perceived as the only viable path to follow.
    Jim Desson

  2. I think this passage from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Founder of the Baha’i Faith can help us understand the response by Baha’is to the current situation in the Middle East:

    The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

    We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the
    disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy.

    Incline your ears to the sweet melody of this Prisoner. Arise, and lift up your voices, that haply they that are fast asleep may be awakened. Say: O ye who are as dead! The Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life. Hasten and drink your fill. Whoso hath been re-born in this Day, shall never die; whoso remaineth dead, shall never live.

    Baha’u’llah spent much of His life as an exile from His native Iran. He challenged religious and political hypocrisy and bade His followers “be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age” we live in. Baha’is primary concern, therefore, is for the well-being of humankind.

    Of course, we want everyone to know about Baha’u’llah’s healing message for humankind and we invite people to join us on the path of spiritual development and of service to humankind. We’d be very selfish and hypocritical if we kept the very thing we believe will bring an end to war and will promote human flourishing to ourselves.

    Even a little investigation of the Baha’i scriptures and the life and service of Baha’i individuals and communities would show very clearly our concerns for the well-being of humankind.

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