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Baha'i Haifa, Banana St. and the ultimate Other PDF Print E-mail
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Buildings
Written by Yuval Ben-Ami, +972 Magazine   
Sunday, 26 October 2014
The view from the Baha’i Gardens (Photo by Yuval Ben-Ami)

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Osnat had an interesting experience on the slopes of Mt. Carmel. It happened when she came to visit the famed Baha’i Gardens: an astounding pillar of greenery rising up from Haifa’s port district, crowned by the golden-domed Mausoleum.

The group climbed down the higher tiers of the garden, descending toward the Tomb of the Bab – the Baha’i faith’s major prophet. There are 18 tiers in all. They reflect the pillars of faith as described by the Bab, and also provide a fairly nice framework for a guided tour. A basic introduction is given at the top, with a splendid view of the bay. A few steps down, features of the garden can be pointed out, and one or two tiers later it’s time for a Q&A session.

This was a real conversation killer.

Osnat asks: “So say I would like to become Baha’i, how would I go about it?”

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Kisaasi (Uganda) residents protest Bahais' refusal to allow road construction PDF Print E-mail
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Buildings
Written by NTV, Uganda   
Monday, 20 October 2014

Residents of Kisaasi -Kikaya Zone in Kampala have held a peaceful demonstration against the Bahai Worship Centre for refusing KCCA and Energo Construction company to construct a road through their land until they are compensated Ushs3 billion. [$US1.1 million]

Residents of Kisaasi -Kikaya Zone have held a peaceful demonstration against the Bahai Worship Centre for refusing KCCA and Energo Construction company to construct a road through their land until they are compensated 3 billion shillings. The residents led by the Kawempe North MP Latiff Ssebagala have given Bahai an ultimatum of two weeks to let the construction proceed.

Currently the Bahai temple has filed a suit in court seeking compensation for the land where the road is supposed to pass.

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 October 2014 )
 
Love Means Rebuilding PDF Print E-mail
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Community
Written by Caleb Gilleland, NineBranches   
Sunday, 12 October 2014

First I want to tell you a quick story about a city. My city. Then we’ll talk about what it can mean for the growth of your local Baha’i community.

Many older Baha’is think back longingly on the 60’s and 70’s as a kind of golden era when the community was bigger, more energetic, and it was changing the world.

My wife and I recently moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, so close to Manhattan that we’re staring it in the face every morning when we wake up. JC is the definition of an up-and-coming town — there are a handful of high-rises under construction at any given time, there are tempting new restaurant options every time we walk over by Grove Street, and tens of thousands of new people like us making it home.

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Being Baha’i and Gay PDF Print E-mail
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The Subject of Boys
Written by James Howard Russell, Susan Gammage's Web Site   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
James Howard Russell

Allah’u’abha! I am a 41 year-old third-generation Baha’i. I’m also gay. On the six-point Kinsey scale I eventually nailed myself as 4.5, which is at about the 75 percent mark across the scale (0 totally straight, 3 bisexual, and 6 totally homosexual). Sadly, this means to me that 75 percent or so of my sexual interest is devoted towards men. Woops, I am one, and people have a problem with that.

I met a Baha’i recently who told me he had — living in Seattle — never even met a gay Baha’i, and so after some thought, I’ve decided to share a little of my journey from a man that has had homosexual feelings since before puberty, hated himself for them fiercely, and come out alive on the other side to write this.

Just a little background about me: like others in this country who went to school in the 1980s or prior, I was taught by American society that a man being attracted to men was considered morally wrong before I even knew to associate that concept with myself. When later I finally had accept in myself an innate attraction to other men, you can imagine the impact on my self-worth as I had to accept that my brand-new sex drive as a young man, such a part of any young man’s excitement when embarking towards manhood, was broken.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 September 2014 )
 
Help! Bahais are taking over the gardens! PDF Print E-mail
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Bahais in Iran
Written by Sen McGlinn, Sen's Daily   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The latest story in Iran’s government-approved media is that Bahais are up to no good in an extensive park on the Western outskirts of Tehran, on the road to Kharaj, known as the Vardavard gardens. A google search at 17.30 GMT today found 408 media sites expressing their concern at Bahai activities in the area, in identical words. The stories have two different titles: “The Vardavard gardens are a safe place for immoral Bahai activities” [example] and “A place for having sex with girls, on condition of becoming a Bahai.” [example]. With respect to the latter: if Iranian society is full of young men and women who want to have sex with strangers, wouldn’t they simply find one other without needing to become Bahais? And find a nice mullah who will make sex with strangers all right an proper, by giving them a sigheh marriage for an hour or two?

According to the story, the Bahais attract converts through allowing immoral acts with Bahai women and girls, and therefore they are always on the lookout for safe places. In fact they are even attracting homosexuals! They have a big property in the area of the park, with lots of rooms and a pool and sound-proofing, where they have cocktail parties for boys and girls together. One of the sites even has a photograph. The camera doesn’t lie. Not only are there Bahais drinking beer and cocktails, there are women without hejab, the doors to the street are wide open, and there are no crowds of basij and hezbollah on motorcycles. Tehran is not what it used to be.

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Singapore gets 9 religious leaders to bless F1 track again this year PDF Print E-mail
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Interfaith
Written by The Real Singapore   
Sunday, 14 September 2014

The SIA Formula 1 Grand Prix is set to start in Singapore next week and organisers have again invited 9 religious leaders to pray for and bless the track before the event.

A ceremony was held at the track yesterday (Sept 10) where the religious leaders prayed for good weather and the safety of all those involved in the race including drivers, teams, officials and spectators.

The nine different faith groups that were represented were Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and the Baha’i faith.

Organisers explained that they didn't want to leave anything to chance and that's why they continued the tradition of bringing in religious leaders to bless the track and pray.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 15 September 2014 )
 
The 60-year journey of the ashes of Alain Locke, father of the Harlem Renaissance PDF Print E-mail
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The Subject of Boys
Written by Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post   
Saturday, 13 September 2014

“Look what I’ve got!”

Black, gay and short, Locke hardly fit the stereotype of the strapping Rhodes scholar...

Joellen ElBashir is standing, smiling, in front of filing cabinets with two long, low drawers agape. On a counter, she has laid out her finds: typewritten documents and a stained brown paper bag bearing a few faint lines of handwriting. It’s not the first time ElBashir, curator of Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, has seen the bag. But every time she sees it, she’s struck.

“If Alain Locke had known, he ... ”

The container that held Locke’s ashes for almost 60 years. It was kept in a paper bag. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

ElBashir chuckles and shakes her head, but it’s clear what she means: If Locke had known his cremated remains had been inside that grubby paper bag, he’d be rolling in his grave.

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A Journey to Haifa Trailer PDF Print E-mail
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Art and Literature
Written by Nawruz Paguidopon, Vimeo   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Journey to Haifa Trailer from Nawruz Paguidopon on Vimeo.

 
Wikipedia’s edit wars and the 8 religious pages people can’t stop editing PDF Print E-mail
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Baha'i studies
Written by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religious News Service   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

He will occasionally edit pages on other religions, such as Islam or Baha’i, or general articles on Christianity.

When he was a student at Brigham Young University three years ago, Anthony Willey came across a Wikipedia page on Mormons. What he read filled him with frustration.

The article focused on polygamy, which seemed odd since Mormons officially outlawed the practice in 1890. “It didn’t say what Mormons believe or what made them unique,” Willey said. “I had the thought, ‘Who’s editing this stuff?’ and that got me hooked.”

Since editing that page and adding 50 percent to the content, Willey has made more than 8,000 edits to the editable online encyclopedia, mostly on articles related to Mormonism. His top edited pages include entries on Joseph Smith, Mormons, Mormonism, and Black people and Mormonism.

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A New Religion - America Puzzled by a Strange Faith PDF Print E-mail
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Other
Written by Mataura Ensign , Issue 1569, 23 November 1905, Page 4. Papers Past   
Monday, 11 August 2014

Having brought the Bible up-to-date, America has "unearth a Messiah," or "Prophet," and his cult, under the name of Bahai Revelation," is spreading from New York and Boston to Chicago, and thence to the Pacific slope.

The whole of this strange new religion is wrapped in mystery, writes a New York correspondent.

The temple in 58th street, to which I gained admittance, was like a little concert hall, with daylight blocked out and electric lights most cunningly arranged. The mystic password was Allah-U-Abha!" Crowds entered, chiefiv ladies. Everybody was introduced to everybody else—"Sister True, of Chicago," to "Miss Blossom, of Boston" and then "Brother" Hoare caused a lectern to revolve and rise, and gave out what sounded like a Surah of the Koran. We responded devoutly, "Allah-U-Abha!" whereupon it was announced that Brother McNutt would address the meeting. This gentleman, an American—keen, welldressed, and alert—discoursed on his travels in Syria to find the "Prophet," who has his headquarters there, and told us of his arguments by starlight with Hindu Swamis and Moslem pillars of Islam from Morocco to Baghdad.

There was no collection, and no one was amazed to find that the basic religion simply rested on the formula of Mahommedanism: "There is no god but God, and Bahai'Ullah is his prophet."

Briefly, the idea is that all the religions on earth are, as it were, so many trees of divergent kind and many species while the "Bahai Revelation" is the parent soil from which they all spring. The cult aims at uniting Jews and Moslems, Christians and Buddhists, Taoists and Hindus and Confucians, all in one fold, wherein all faiths will "consort in love and fragrance."

Full story...

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 August 2014 )
 
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