Community and administration

Entries about Baha'i community life, about Baha'i administration, and about how the two intersect.

Baha'i beliefs: The 'last' religion

The Baha’i believe in the unity of all religions: there is one God, and the various world religions have all arisen as different ways of communicating His message in different places and at different times.

All religions are gradually and inevitably moving towards bringing about world peace, and the Baha’i see their own faith as the final fulfillment of this religious trajectory.

It’s an evolution Baha’i explain through the metaphor of a school. Other religions are equivalent to the early grades, while the Baha’i are in the final class.

“But of course you still obey and respect the other religions,” Keo Davuth, a 26-year-old Baha’i based in Phnom Penh, hastens to add.

“Just like you still love and respect your grade 1 and grade 2 teachers.” The Baha’i have their own distinct set of practices, which include particular ceremonies for weddings and funerals, and a 19-day month – one of which is spent fasting.

{josquote}...the faith has come under fire for apparently draconian enforcement of certain principles.{/josquote}

In some parts of the world, the faith has come under fire for apparently draconian enforcement of certain principles.

Marriage has been a particular pressure point: members who marry outside of the faith or in same-sex ceremonies report having their “membership” revoked.

But in Cambodia, these concerns remain distant. Hou Sopheap laughs when asked about what a Baha’i funeral entails.

{josquote}...for important life events, people often opt to revert to Buddhist traditions.{/josquote}

“We haven’t done one yet, so we don’t quite know,” he says, explaining that for important life events, people often opt to revert to Buddhist traditions.


Closure of the BCCA

BCCA logo

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 '' 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 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 development.

As always, please direct all questions and/or comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With most affectionate greetings to you all,

Co-ordinating Committee

Baha'i Computer and Communications Association

Baha’i faith says no to condoms for children

THE National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Swaziland has come to clearly articulate its stand with regards to contraceptives and condoms for children.

In a statement sent to the Swazi Observer yesterday, the Baha’i Faith stated that it was far from encouraging or even condoning sexual intimacy among children and even adults, saying the Baha’i faith urged chastity and abstinence.

This follows an article carried by the Swazi Observer recently where representatives from the Baha’i Faith stated during the Global Day of Prayer and Action for Children that it would protect the rights of the child by ensuring that children had access to contraceptives and condoms so that they could choose to have children or avoid unwanted pregnancies.

{josquote}Condoms for children have no place in this endeavour{/josquote}

However, the Baha’i have come to disassociate itself with such a statement.

Full story...

Bahais demand minority status

Less than a year after the UPA government declared Jains as a minority community, the Bahai community has reignited its demand for the status. The community much like the Jains is affluent, but it asserts that the status is a matter of recognition rather than plea for help.

{josquote}We had asked for more information from the community and they did submit some… But, that was not enough for the commission{/josquote}

Bahai representatives had met Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla in this regard and she, it was learnt, referred the matter to the National Commission for Minorities. The matter was also taken up by the NCM in more than one meeting, but the commission felt that it did not have enough data on the socio-economic condition of the community to make a concrete recommendation. It is now for the Ministry of Minority Affairs to take a call. There are around two million Bahais in India and the community is perhaps best known for the Lotus Temple. The religion traces its roots to Iran — the birthplace of Bahaullah, its prophet.

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The End of the 'Mormon Moment"

{josquote}You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them.{/josquote}

LAST month, Kate Kelly, a feminist Mormon lawyer who had called on the Mormon Church to open the priesthood to women, was excommunicated on the charge of apostasy. John P. Dehlin, who runs a popular podcast on hot-button church issues and has loudly advocated for the church to welcome gay men and lesbians, also was threatened with expulsion. Other Mormons have faced sanctions for participating in online forums questioning the church’s positions on these and other matters.

This crackdown marks the end of the “Mormon Moment” — not just the frenzy of interest that rose (and largely faded) with Mitt Romney’s campaigns for the presidency, but a distinct period of dialogue around and within the Mormon community.

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