good news from vietnam

Vietnamese Baha'is reach milestone with election of National Spiritual Assemblyshame on me for not posting about this earlier! the Baha’i community of Vietnam, after many years of patience, elected its National Spiritual Assembly this year for the first time since the mid-1970s. the procedures for recognition were set in motion several years ago, coming to a head at Naw-Ruz of 2007, when the Vietnamese government issued a certificate to the Baha’i community authorizing their operations in the country. The final certificate, granting full recognition as a religious community, was presented to the community this July. From the Baha’i World News Service:

A certificate was presented to representatives of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Vietnam at a ceremony on 25 July.

It was the final act in a series of steps that included the election four months ago of the Baha’i Assembly – itself a landmark event in that it was the first time in many years that elections for the governing council were held. Government representatives were on hand to observe the balloting.

[…] The official government news agency reported the event and referred to comments by the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, Mr. Nguyen Thuc: “(He) said the Government’s recognition of the Baha’i religion ‘charts a new course of development for the entire Baha’i community’ and motivates followers to make more contributions to social and humanitarian activities and to drive to preserve traditional spiritual values.”

Accolades and congratulations have followed steadily from government, institutions and sister Baha’i communities throughout the world, with one of the latest expressions of praise coming from Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Truong Vinh Trong, who “expressed his appreciation of the Baha’i Faith’s philosophy and its active contributions to the community”.

vacationing in victoriaville

it’s not Cancun or the Dominican Republic, but I’m taking a short little vacation visiting my good friends Geneviève and Craig in Victoriaville, my old pioneer post. This place is amazing. Many of the locals are on vacation, so the neighbourhood is very quiet. Gen and Craig live in the foothills of a mountain, which means they can go outside and be greeted every day with a breath of fresh mountain air. Their water’s also pretty good – there’s a humble little “spring” not too far from their home that gives clean, fresh water… through a metal pipe stuck in the face of the mountain, no less. There’s a lovely river not very far where they tend to bring all their visitors to skip stones or, if it’s a particularly hot day, to swim. And my favourite – it’s only a quick drive up to the top of the mountain, where they can see all the way to the St. Lawrence River. I love this place. Whenever I return here, I’m reminded of the following quote from the book Baha’u’llah and the New Era: “Baha’u’llah loved the beauty and verdure of the country. One day He passed the remark: ‘I have not gazed on verdure for nine years. The country is the world of the soul, the city is the world of bodies.’

où sont-ils?

Voici une présentation vidéo qui expose les faits concernant l’arrestation récente des “Amis”—délégués Baha’is en Iran dont le seul crime était d’aider les Baha’is d’Iran à coordonner leurs activités et maintenir la vie de leur communauté.

Vous pouvez en savoir davantage sur la situation des Baha’is d’Iran sur le site officiel des Baha’is de France.

Articles reliés:

national baha’i magazine online

Interesting news: Baha’i Canada, the national Baha’i magazine, is now available online—all you need to do is log in with your name and Baha’i ID number and you’re getting Baha’i Canada online! Sweet! Heartbeat (the regular supplement on the Fund) and Vanguard (the regular youth supplement) are available, as well. What are you waiting for—go check it out!

spring cleaning the baha’i centre

It’s a warm, sunny Saturday in Ottawa. Saturday has become a de facto Service Day; I tend to spend most of my time here in the Baha’i Centre on Saturdays, while Sunday is quickly becoming a family-time day (for the past few weekends, anyway). This morning, our children’s class did a little spring cleaning on the grounds surrounding the Baha’i Centre, picking up trash in the parking lots and sweeping old leaves into piles to stuff into garden bags. They were proud to have offered a service to the Earth, or “one percent of a hundred percent” of the Earth anyway. The Weather Channel showed an interview this morning(!) with David Suzuki, who spoke a little about public involvement in keeping climate change and the environment high on Canada’s and the world’s agendas—mainly focusing on political action, of course. We seem to be doing our part of spreading some environmental awareness in our children’s class—we’ve already done several classes full of gardening and a few other ones about recycling and taking care of the Earth; that, and the children seem to be learning a lot about being “green” at school, which is good to see. Commuting by bike is an enjoyable way to stay environmentally friendly too—now that the sun is out, I’ve been biking to the children’s class every Saturday morning, since I don’t have a car (oh, and I just happen to live a twenty-minute walk away).

That’s all for now; time to close up shop.