A variety of religious traditions assembled Sunday evening to pray for one thing: peace in Ukraine.
The meeting at North Presbyterian Church was assembled by the Williamsville Interfaith Clergy Association and was led by two Ukrainian clerics, one Catholic and one Orthodox. Joining them were Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, Sikh and Unitarian Universalists.
North Presbyterian Pastor Bill Hennessy said the array of clergy was deliberate.
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, United States — Each academic year, the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland offers a unique course that assists students to identify root causes of societal challenges in the light of spiritual principles, such as the elimination of all forms of prejudice, the equality of women and men, and consultation.
“Throughout college I took 35 classes, but this is the only one that changed the fundamentals of how I look at the world,” says Emily Gorey, a former student of the class.
A community of members of the Bahá’í faith, many of whom fled Iran after facing persecution, has formed in Ann Arbor and at the University of Michigan. Some of those practicing Bahá’í in Ann Arbor spoke to The Michigan Daily about their history, community and hopes for the future, saying it is their responsibility to publicly speak out since others cannot.
D. Anthony Alvarez ’21, a member of the Harvard Latter-day Saints Student Association, has attended religious services at the same congregation off campus since he arrived at Harvard as a freshman.
This semester, Alvarez said he still attends services at that same congregation. Amid Covid-19, though, he must sign up to attend ahead of time, don a mask, and eschew singing, which can spread infectious particles.
Aliyah Marandiz, who grew up a member of the Baha'i faith, said that her religion influences her actions, her perspective and how she treats other people, much the same way any religion would.
Yet while many religious communities are grappling with how to talk about race in the wake of recent protests against racism and police brutality, Marandiz said she has seen her fellow Baha'i practice their core belief of eradicating racism through service to their community.
Hadar Cohen, Ala’ Khan, Maya Mansour and Jonathan Simcosky arrived as strangers, ready to embark on a new interfaith journey.
The four roommates moved into a five-bedroom, five-bath house in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood earlier this year. They come from different faiths: Baha’i, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Cohen came from Jerusalem but had already lived in the Bay Area for a few years. Simcosky made the trek from Salem, Massachusetts, to L.A. Khan and Mansour were already in Southern California.
Young people across the United States who have been engaged in Baha’i community-building efforts are swiftly responding to a host of needs arising in their communities from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“There are deep bonds of friendship between people that have for months or years been working together to contribute to social progress,” says Candace Vance, who follows Baha’i social and economic development activities of the country. “Because of this and the love they have for their communities, many young people are finding that they can’t just watch...
For Menaka Kannan, it was bad enough when she heard that a fellow member of New York City’s Baha’i community had contracted the novel coronavirus. But she was not emotionally prepared for the news that came roughly a week later: He had succumbed to the infection and died.
“The news of his passing, of course, is very shocking,” she said.
As the community grappled with the grief, a lingering question arose: How do you conduct a funeral in the midst of a global pandemic, when a healing hug is now seen as a potential death sentence?
It was the last day of a 19-day period of daytime fasting for Baha’i believers all over the world. The Washington area’s Baha’i community would have ordinarily been looking forward to joining at night to feast in celebration and welcome in the Baha’i new year.
Instead, alone in their kitchens and bedrooms and living rooms on Thursday afternoon, they opened up a Skype window.
The sounds of religious worship these days are intermingled with the vocabulary of conference calls: “Try to mute your microphone.” “You’re frozen.” “I can...