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...
The first Bahá’í organization in Boston was founded in 1899. Over the past 100 years, the Baha’i community has expanded to include a dedicated religious center in the South End, several smaller groups throughout Greater Boston, and Bahá’í student clubs at local colleges and universities. The Bahá’í faith, guided by the writings of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), centers on the unity and dignity of mankind across religious, social, ethnic, and geographic borders. In addition to attending regular devotional gatherings, Bahá’í practitioners often participate in educational outreach, social...
Shoghi Effendi (1897–1957) succeeded his grandfather, `Abdu’l-Bahá, as the head of the Bahá’í Faith in 1921. In order to give the Bahá’í Faith organization, Shoghi Effendi established the institutional structure of local and national spiritual assemblies based on principles delineated in `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament and in Bahá’u’lláh’s writings. He translated many of Bahá’u’lláh’s works into English and wrote letters and essays (some 34,000 altogether) defining and clarifying many basic Baha'i teachings. He used the administrative institutions as an instrument for spreading the Bahá’í... Read more about Effendi, Shoghi
Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993) was a Vedanta teacher and disciple of the influential guru Swami Sivananda. He founded the Chinmaya Mission in India in 1953 and the Chinmaya Mission West in 1975 to teach the wisdom of the Vedanta tradition in the context of Western culture. Today there are some twenty-five Chinmaya Mission centers in the United States and Canada.
A fireside is a common type of Bahá’í meeting, a gathering in a Bahá’í home to discuss the faith. Bahá’ís are encouraged to host such gatherings regularly. Bahá’í communities also sponsor large public firesides in a home or a Bahá’í Center. These events begin with a presentation, followed by questions, discussion, and refreshments.