Community and administration

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

The Baha'is of the Caucasus

Of the cultural and religious components in the Caucasus, the Baha’i faith is without a doubt the smallest and least known. Regardless, it continues to expand even today, particularly in Azerbaijan and somewhat in Georgia. Born in the mid-19th century in Persia, on the margins of the Russian and Ottoman empires, the religion quickly sought refuge in the Caucasus in order to flee repression in its country of origin. Although it has been present in the region for more than 150 years, the Baha’i faith remains poorly understood by the local populations and is the object of numerous phantasms.

Although the Baha’i community experiences a certain revival which was facilitated by the establishment of foreign links, there has been an increasingly strong confusion between national and religious identity in Azerbaijan. This confusion has tended to dilute the Baha’i faith in national and official Islam, in the form in which it is promoted by institutions of religious control put in place by the post-Soviet government. The following is an exposé in three parts.

Part 1: Who are the Baha’is of the Caucasus? (Article contains a photo of Baha'u'llah)

Part 2: From Russian Tolerance to Soviet Repression

Part 3: An Independent Azerbaijan

Resignation of Counsellor Payam Shoghi

Payam Shoghi, a [former] member of the Continental Board of Counsellors, addresses the Institute Conference on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2003. Reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

"For compelling personal reasons, Mr Payam Shoghi has asked to be relieved of his responsibilities as a member of the Continental Board of counsellors in asia, and we have reluctantly assented to his request. Mr Shoghi has earned our warm gratuitude for the contributions he has made to the work of the Faith as a Counsellor, and we pray for divine confirmations to surround him as he continues his valuable labours in other fields of service to the Cause."
(Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 23 October 2006)

An earlier entry mentions Payam Shoghi: HC stays arrest of Lotus temple trustees (WebIndia)

US NSA takes the Orthodox Baha'is to court


The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States (“NSA”) (formerly known as National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States of America, Inc.) hereby moves this honorable Court to issue a rule to show cause why the alleged contemnors Franklin D. Schlatter, Joel B. Marangella, The Provisional National Baha’i Council (and d/b/a entities), the Second International Baha’i Council (d/b/a Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant) and Baha’i Publishers Under the Provisions of the Covenant (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Remeyites”) should not be held in civil contempt for their violations of the Judgment entered by this Court on June 28, 1966 (“Judgment”).

{josquote}...the Remeyites are engaged in Web publishing efforts utilizing the NSA’s trademarks and other indicia of the Baha’i Faith without the NSA’s authorization and the NSA is suffering irreparable harm as a result.{/josquote}

This motion is made on the grounds that, despite the Judgment, the Remeyites are engaged in Web publishing efforts utilizing the NSA’s trademarks and other indicia of the Baha’i Faith without the NSA’s authorization and the NSA is suffering irreparable harm as a result. The Remeyites’ Web sites bear designations such as, National Baha’i Council of the United States, Provisional National Baha’i Council of the United States, the Mother Baha’i Council, Baha’i Faith, Second International Baha’i Council, Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant, UHJ, Baha’i Faith — Universal House of Justice and Official Web Site of the Universal House of Justice at domain names such as,,,,, and, among others.

Moreover, many of the Remeyites’ Web publications contain messages that are deceptive, misleading, and damaging to the NSA’s reputation and credibility. For example, certain of the Remeyites’ publications characterize George W. Bush and the Pope as “corrupt” and “demonic” and the United Nations as “the Seat of the Beast.” Certain of the Remeyites have also filed applications for federal registration of marks bearing confusing similarity to the NSA’s marks. The use and attempted registration of marks such as UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE and BAHA’IS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE COVENANT is in violation of the Judgment.

Full story...

More background information at Baha'i Library Online and at the Orthodox Baha'i site.

Kids with Character program explores universal morals of everyday life

Annie Reneau, of Gurnee, reads 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' during the Kids with Character program.

Once a month children and adults can get a dose of virtue at the Kids With Character classes at the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee.

The free classes are courtesy of the Baha'i Gurnee and instructor Annie Reneau, who teaches the children (ages 5 through 8 years old) about the spiritual values common in every culture and religious tradition in the world.

The classes started in October with the theme courage and this month truthfulness was the topic. Generosity is scheduled for December, that time of year when people are at their most generous.

Reneau uses stories, songs and hands-on activities to keep the children's attention and push them to explore what the concepts mean.

"I had been teaching a virtues class at another Baha'i's home for the past year to see how it would work," said Reneau, who grew up in Spokane, Wash., as a member of the Baha'i. The classes evolved from her faith.

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Baha'u'llah's Birthday

My girlfriend, Naz, who is a Baha'i that I used to work with invited Bob and me to a Baha'i party last night. I incorrectly assumed it was going to be similar to the other house party that I had attended with her back in April. That was a pretty informal gathering of the youth and there was santar music and dancing. I had dressed very casually for that house party which turned out to have been appropriate. I asked Naz ahead of time what the dress would be for this party and she told me to dress up. So Bob and I put on nice clothes and picked her up and we were on our way.

We arrived at the home where the party was held and I felt like we were arriving at the Biltmore mansion. Actually that is an exaggeration but this house was enormous, with a huge circular driveway and valet attendents outside to park our car for us. The entire house was lit up so it looked very golden and it glowed. When we entered the house we were greeted by many gorgeous people all dressed up in lovely clothes. There was tons of food and a small catering staff wandered around to serve the guests. There was an excellent jazz band playing in the conservatory right off the main living areas and the music was a very nice backdrop for the evening. This was certainly not the gathering I had anticipated!

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