The national organization for the Baha'i faith paid $1.2 million in May for a 2,863-square-foot vintage American Foursquare-style house on Sheridan Road in Wilmette, almost directly across the street from the landmark Baha'i House of Worship.
Built in 1921, the brick house had not officially been listed. The sellers were a couple who bought it in 2013 for $895,000, netting them a $305,000 profit in less than two years.
The house is at the northwest corner of Sheridan Road and Linden Avenue. To the north of the home is a vacant lot that the Baha'is own, and then across the street to the north is the temple.
Glen Fullmer, director of communications for the Baha'is of the United States, said the Baha'is bought the home to diversify their investment portfolio.
Just like ... the just-reached seminal decision by the U.S. Supreme Court granting marriage equality in all fifty states, realization of the Oneness of Mankind "implies an organic change"...
As the Confederate flag of South Carolina goes down – literally and figuratively – and others, like Mississippi’s and Alabama’s, and even previously revered collectibles like the famed Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Confederate Matchbox Car, fall with it in rapid succession, many of us stand in awe that such a change is actually happening.
While these moves were unimaginable just two weeks earlier, my thoughts inevitably turn to the nine slain worshippers in the Emanuel AME church of Charleston, who deserve the honor bestowed upon martyrs for racial equality and justice. The fact that President Obama broke out in song during his moving eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney attests to how profoundly he, along with a quiet majority of humanity, have been moved not just by the tragedy of the loss of those innocent worshipers, but also by the faith, fortitude, and forgiveness shown by the victims’ families, and by the wider community of Charleston coming together for a greater good that must–absolutely must–be realized.
This is an extremely difficult letter for us to write. We are saddened to announce that, after nearly a quarter century of services provided to the Baha'i community world-wide, the BCCA is closing down all services as of 31 July 2015.
This shutdown includes all email lists and websites that are currently managed by the BCCA. After that date, however, lists for Assemblies, clusters, teaching institutes and groups will be created and maintained under the newly-formed 'bahai.email' domain. Topical lists, such as Baha'i Writers and Baha'i Women will be discontinued. The Daily Readings and Baha'i Announce lists will also continue. Websites for National Spiritual Assemblies will be maintained by a different service provider.
It bears repeating to say that e-mail services to Assemblies, councils, clusters, teaching institutes and specific Baha'i-oriented services will be continued under the bahai.email domain. Additional information as to this transition will be announced as the 31 July date approaches.
Founded in 1992, the BCCA has offered a variety of list services as well as web services to the Baha'i community around the world. These services have been offered free of charge to individuals and the Institutions of the Faith. The BCCA was, and still is being, operated by volunteers. For many
years financial support was obtained solely from individuals, whereas for the last few years it was obtained from its sponsor.
Initially, the BCCA responded to a number of the communications possibilities offered by the then rapidly developing Internet and World Wide Web services as well as to the new and increasingly inexpensive personal computer technologies. Since 1992, Internet and personal computer usage have deeply penetrated almost all levels of society world-wide. Over the last ten years or so, wireless and mobile telephone technologies have increased even further this penetration and we all live in an increasingly connected world. New tools and services, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, to name but a few, together with a very ubiquitous use of mobile devices, are creating new and challenging changes in the very structure of society, breaking down communication barriers and creating unprecedented and as yet poorly understood patterns of human behaviour and communications modalities.
As a consequence of all this, the Internet world has become so complex that the demand today on our human resources is simply too great for us to keep operating in an effective way. As you may appreciate, our own volunteers, all of them accomplished professionals, have been devoting their free time and energies to keeping the BCCA services running, some for more than 2 decades.
We wish to thank all of you who have been loyal supporters over the years and who have been patient when we have encountered difficulties. We wish to also thank our formal sponsor and all those who have contributed their own personal resources, financial and material, over the years to the BCCA.
Finally, to all BCCA list subscribers and website clients, we send our sincerest thanks for having used our services over the years. We sincerely hope that they have been of some use to you in all your efforts to serve the Cause of the Blessed Beauty as well as in your own personal spiritual
As always, please direct all questions and/or comments to
This posting will explore the principles and procedures that determine the ‘prohibited degrees of marriage’ in Bahai law. How closely does someone have to be related to you, to be too close for you to marry? The term “affinity” is used to include blood relationships and marriage relationships.
Bahai readers will no doubt ask, why do we need a systematic explanation of this now? It is not as if there is a problem: we do not have a prevalence of first cousin marriages in Bahai communities, our assemblies are not overburdened by requests from fathers wanting to marry their daughters. Our lack of interest in the issue is indicated by the fact that the Bahaikipedia section on marriage laws does not mention the prohibited degrees of marriage. Apparently, we are quite satisfied to obey the civil laws and use our common sense.
However the lack of a systematic presentation in terms that are understandable for people from an Islamic background has given room for numerous Islamic scholars and anti-Bahai web sites to tell the people they can influence that Bahais “marry their sisters.”
A gay California man who's advocated for LGBTs in the Baha'i faith recently withdrew from the religion over its anti-gay stance.
Sean Rayshel, 36, is a third-generation American Baha'i who founded the LGBT Baha'i Twitter account Gay Baha'is United, is co-administrator of the Facebook group "LGBTQ Baha'is and Allies," and heads LGBT Baha'i online site Gay/Lesbian Baha'i Story Project.
A May 2014 letter that Rayshel believes was circulated by Baha'i leadership says, "To regard a person who has a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain is entirely against the spirit of the faith."
However, the letter from the faith's Universal House of Justice's Department of the Secretariat also says, "Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and sexual relations are only permissible between husband and wife."
Written by Manya Brachear Pashman, Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Great Lakes Naval Training Center has dismissed a number of civilian volunteers who offered services for a handful of minority religious traditions, including Unitarian Universalism, the Baha'i faith, Buddhism, Christian Science, Church of Christ and Earth-centered traditions, also called nature worship.
The ouster, conveyed to volunteers last month, echoed a similar expulsion last May in which Muslim leaders were dismissed. That decision was rescinded a month later, with a caveat that if uniformed personnel were available to lead, volunteers would be asked to step aside.
Critics of the latest decision, including leaders of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit that in the past has sued the Pentagon for ignoring policies that ban mandatory religious practices, said Tuesday the dismissal trounces the recruits' constitutional rights.
"They're basically deciding who are the religious winners and who are the religious losers and desecrating religious protection," said Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "This is absolutely establishing religion in direct denial of the First Amendment."
But not every religious volunteer affected by the policy change plans to fight the decision. Doug Marshall, 62, of Highland Park, said he enjoyed sharing Baha'i teachings with curious recruits, especially during such an intense time in their lives. He doesn't understand the Navy's motivation, but Baha'i teachings include respect for the government, so seeking court action is not likely, he said.
It was great while it lasted.
"We were their guest," he said. "We're always told to be obedient to our government, and the Navy is part of our government. It's their choice. It's the Navy's game. They invited us up there 12 or 15 years ago, whenever they started having it. It was great while it lasted."
Over the past few years, Iranian officials have championed ‘national’ tech development projects (such as the National Information Network (SHOMA) and Iranian versions of Western services), while eschewing foreign platforms like Viber and WhatsApp.
One of the most recent examples of this dynamic can be found in the February 2015 launch of three Iranian search engines: Parsijoo, Gorgor and Yooz. While this was announced in February, it should be noted that Parsijoo was in fact launched a few years ago, and Yooz was launched in early 2010. It’s unclear why the authorities are presenting them as “new”.
Government officials insist that Iranians can use domestic search engines without any disruption from the filtering system, regardless of what terms they search for. The authorities also maintain that these search engines can compete with Google and other Western alternatives.
The results on all of the Iranian search engines were overwhelmingly hostile to Baha’is, with many referring to them as “the misguided Baha’i sect.”
Small Media’s latest report put these claims to the test. We picked six potentially keywords: ‘sex,’ Baha’i,’ ‘Mir Hossein Mousavi,’ ‘BBC Persian,’ ‘Facebook,’ and ‘VPN,’ and searched for them on the search engines mentioned above plus google. Here’s what we found:
Roushangar was one of 30 winners of the premier graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants. The recipients, chosen from a pool of 1,200 applicants, were selected for their potential to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture or their academic field.
While winning the award is a high achievement, what Roushangar had to overcome is equally praiseworthy. Roushangar was born in Oman, to an Iranian father and Egyptian mother, and grew up and attended high school in Cairo, Egypt.
Facebook posts paint Jordan as a free-spirited young man who shared his father’s Baha’i faith...
Louis Jordan’s Facebook page foreshadowed his fate. A year ago, the 37-year-old South Carolina man began posting photos of himself on his beloved 35-foot sailboat, Angel, which he had painstakingly restored. Over the coming months, he uploaded pictures of food he had jarred and fish he had caught for dinner. Jordan, it seemed, was preparing for a journey.
On Dec. 28, 2014, he posted a video to Facebook. It was grainy footage of a woman recounting a near-death experience.
Less than a month later, Jordan would be the one facing death at sea.