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Montreal, February 16,2020 – The Bahá’í Community of Montreal organized a memorable meeting to honour the life of ‘Ali Nakhjavani, who passed to the World Beyond on October 11, 2019 in France.

‘Alí-Yulláh Nakhjavání was born in 19 September 1919 in Baku, in then Azerbaijan Democratic Republic to ‘Ali-Akbar Nakhjavani and Fatimih Khánum, both Baháʼís, who rendered outstanding services to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. After his father's death circa 1921, when he was only two, his family was advised by ʻAbdu'l-Bahá to move to Haifa, where he was raised. 

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University of Beirut in 1939. In the early 1940s he returned to Iran, residing first in Tihrán, then Tabriz and finally in Shiraz. He was elected in 1950 as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, the governing body of the Baháʼís in that country, where he served until the following year. He got married in Tihrán to Violet Banáni, a daughter of the late Hand of the Cause pf God, Músa Banáni.

Violet, ‘Ali and their two young children, Bahiyyih and Mehran, moved in 1951 to Uganda, Africa to assist with the development of the Baháʼí Community in that country. While he was there he worked as a teacher and lecturer. During his early years there, Enoch Olinga (Later appointed as a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi-Effendi) joined the Faith and in 1953 accompanied by his wife along with Olinga and two other Baháʼís, travelled from Uganda to Cameroon to help spread the Baháʼí Faith in there. Three years later he was appointed as an Auxiliary Board member and in 1956 he was elected to the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa. 

In 1961 he was elected to the International Baháʼí Council — the forerunner to the Universal House of Justice, the worldwide governing body of the Baháʼí Community — and thus moved to Haifa. In 1963 he was elected to the Universal House of Justice during its inaugural convention, and served as a member of that body until 2003. After his retirement from the Bahá’í World Center, ‘Ali Nakhjavani and Violet travelled extensively throughout Europe, North America and Russian Azerbaijan. They visited Montreal several times and attended the celebration of the Centenary of the passage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to this city as well as the ceremony of the inauguration of the Shrine (Maxwell’s home)

Whether in vacation or special mission from the Universal House of Justice, he made a point to cross into African continent, where he spent one of his most cherished part of his life. The 10 years he lived there, he travelled throughout the continent in various countries, he loved its people, its culture, its spiritual openness, its dignified and simple but powerful response to the message of unity and faith. The years in Africa stayed with him until his last days on this earth. Whenever he had the chance to visit Africa, one could sense truly his love directed towards the African continent and its people. His heart was in Africa, his thoughts, his preoccupations, his pure love was for the many people he crossed paths with in his years in that torn yet wonderful continent. He loved the genuine character of the people he met, their purity, their joy and their happiness despite their difficulties. His work and tireless service in Uganda, in the remote villages and rural areas, his extraordinary travels with a small car through the crazy muddy roads to traverse various countries with his beloved wife to bring Mr. Olinga to the other side of the continent, the adventures, the crisis, the victories – all of these made his soul fall in love with Africa and created a special bond with the continent which will endure forever.

There are so many people who carry his name in Africa because, as per tradition, if you touch someone’s life, their children are given your name as a tribute, so you will find many people whose first name is Nakhjavani. Most importantly they carry his spirit: the spirit of service and dedication that he has shone forth all these years.

If one wants to remember Mr. Nakhjavani, one cannot help but also think of his beloved companion throughout his life, dear Violette Nakhjavani – together they represented an example of unity, respect and love which is rarely seen.

Jalál Nakhjavání 

17 Sep 1917 - 9 May 1982

Ali Nakhjavani would never want to be remembered without mentioning his beloved parents and his dear brother Jalal. His immense love for his father and especially for his mother is indescribable. Every service, every victory, every success of his life was not claimed by him. He would always mention the blessings of his parents and how grateful he was to them for all their love.

Mr. Nakhjavani used to say “finita la musica” at the end of every talk but as one reflects on his earthly life, so close to the celebration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb, it is timely to think that he has just joined the beginning of a musical piece, a beautiful spiritual concert in the next world.

Besides his numerous talks given in Europe, Unites States, Africa and Russia, he has authored some twenty books and articles. He continued with his writings practically until the end of his life. His outstanding books on the life of his father Mirza Ali-Akbar-i-Nakhjavani as well as “Shoghi Effendi: The Range and Power of His Pen”, are well known.

Mr. Nakhjavani passed away on October 11, 2019 at the age of 100 years old in France.

It was with sorrowing hearts that the Universal House of Justice conveyed the news of his passing in the early hours of the  morning, to the Bahá’í World: 

We mourn the loss of an extraordinary figure who leaves behind a distinguished legacy of uninterrupted service to the Cause of God. In the course of a singularly remarkable life that began in the closing years of the Heroic Age and extended to the very fringes of the second century of the Formative Age, he shone in the firmament of selfless devotion to Bahá’u’lláh and was called upon to be involved in many a major development in the rise of the Administrative Order, whether as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, as an intrepid pioneer to Africa in the Ten Year Crusade, as a member of the African Auxiliary Board when it was first created, as a member of the Regional National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa at its inception, and as a member of the International Bahá’í Council when it was first elected, a prelude to his membership on the Universal House of Justice when it was established in 1963. He brought to his decades of monumental service absolute fidelity to his beloved Guardian, an exceptional depth of knowledge of the Cause, leonine commitment to the defence of the Covenant, intense ardour for the teaching work, rare spiritual acuity, and a radiant heart brimming with love for everyone who crossed his path. His was a life of profound spiritual attainment lived at the hinge of history. May his utter consecration, his adamantine faith, and his unswerving dedication to duty inspire generations to come.

Montreal, October 27, 2019 - One of the highlights of the celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of the Báb in Montreal was surely the series of five talks given by Dr. Todd Lawson, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Toronto University.

These series of lectures, given once a year, are in memory of Raymond Flournoy – a long standing member of the Montreal Bahá’í Community -  were focussed on the Life  and earliest Writings of the Báb. The series started with an Introduction to the society in which the Báb lived, His life and Writings before He was 25 years old as well as the Writings which were composed specially before 22 May 1844, the date of His Proclamation to Mullá Husayn in Shiraz.

The series continued with the Báb’s mystical and spiritual experiences, especially in the early months of 1844, His proclamation to Mullá Husayn, revelation  of Qayyúm al-Asmá, focussing on the first chapter entitled, The Surih of Dominion.

The culmination of the series was an emotional experience listening to Todd speaking about the Portrait of the Prophet as a Young Artist! The images of the Báb’s handwriting and His exquisite calligraphic work representing a human temple in a form of a five pointed star was truely astounding! Other pieces such as a circular calligraphic work and various styles of the Báb’s handwriting were also presented.

Todd Lawson is Emeritus Professor of Islamic thought at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on Quran commentary, the Quran as literature, Sufism, and the Bábi and Bahá’í Faiths. His books, The Crucifixion and the Quran was published in 2009, followed by Gnostic Apocalypse and Islam in 2011, the Quran as sacred epic and the most recent one, Being Human in 2019. He is also the editor of Reason and Inspiration in Islam, a collection of essays bringing together the disciplines of theology, philosophy and mysticism.

Todd is convinced that the main things to appreciate is the enormous debt that society, humanity and civilisation at large owes to Islam and the Islamic venture. This has been his ongoing interest. In his surprise when he came to Canada in January of 1968, the first people he met were the Bahá’ís. it was through reading some of the Bahá’í texts that he eventually came to realise that they were full of references to the Quran, and to the Prophet Muhammad and to Islamic spirituality. And that is how all started!

*About illustrations : An unidentified pentacle by the Báb, which according to the caption under the image is "from the reproduction in Qismati az alwah-i-khatt-i-Nuqta-yi Ula," p. 26. Note also a description from Shoghi Effendi, in God Passes By page 69:

It was exclusively to His [Bahá'u'lláh's] care that the documents of the Báb, His pen-case, His seals, and agate rings, together with a scroll on which He had penned, in the form of a pentacle, no less than three hundred and sixty derivatives of the word Bahá’ were delivered, in conformity with instructions He Himself had issued prior to His departure from Chihriq.

The circular shaped talisman drawn by the Báb is also unidentified. Notice the faint imprint from a da'ira towards the bottom.

Da'ira and haykal both mean "talisman," the former being specifically a circular talisman and the latter being (usually) pentacular or square. Peter Smith explains that "the idea that physical object can provide the wearer with some form of supernatural protection" is common in religions around the world. "The Báb instructed his followers to make and wear talismans, and there are numerous references to these in his writings." While the Bahá'í teachings de-emphasize such esoteric practices, there are prayers and other Writings that mention or provide talismanic protection. (Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith, q.v. talisman) Khazeh Fananapazir adds that in the Persian Bayan the Báb refers to men as "those who possess the hayákil ('ulu'l-hayákil)" and women as "those who possess the dawá'ir ('ulu'l-dawá'ir)" (bayán-i fársí IV:4-5).

Montreal, January 4, 2020 - As the world was getting ready to celebrate the New Year, a soul took its flight to the Eternal Kingdom of God! This beloved soul who devoted most of his life to the service of humanity and who left this fleeting world, was Abdeslam Berrada. He has lived in Laval since 1973 where he served the Laval Community as the Spiritual Assembly member of the Bahá'ís of Laval until 2014. Surrounded by his family, the soul of Mr. Berrada left this world peacefully on December 31, 2019 in Laval at the age of 85.

Abdeslam Berrada was born in 1934 in Ceuta, Spanish territory of North Africa. His father was a judge and an academic who studied at one of the best Arab universities in the world. It is the Karaouiyine University of Fez, known by UNESCO as the oldest university in the world which continues to operate until now!

The name given to Mr. Berrada by his parents was "ʻAbd Salām" - it is an Arabic name which means "Servant of Peace". His name certainly influenced him because he believed deeply in the unity of humanity and the need to work for universal peace. His deep belief in these principles had guided him on his journey to accept the Bahá'í Faith.

Mr. Berrada first heard of the Bahá'í Faith in Ceuta (Spain) in 1954 during the ten-year Crusade. At the time, there were American pioneers such as John Fleming who taught the Bahá'í Faith in that city; which enabled several people, including Mr. Berrada, to become a Bahá’í in 1955 and have the opportunity to form the first Spiritual Assembly, the Local Administrative Body, in Ceuta. He was the member of this Assembly until his move to Tetouan, Morocco in 1958, where he was elected member of the Tetouan Spiritual Assembly between 1958-1963. In 1958, he married Cherifa and they had two sons, Kamal and Samir.

Following an incident in Nador in northern Morocco in 1962, a Baha’i was put in prison. The Tetouan Spiritual Assembly immediately sent four members, including Mr. Berrada, to go to Nador and obtain facts relating to the imprisonment. When they arrived in Nador, they were arrested and put in prison. Lawyers defended the case of these innocent prisoners. Simultaneously, a global campaign against social injustice and human rights forced the gradual release of prisoners, which lasted almost a year. * Ministry of the Custodians

After being released from prison, Mr. Berrada moved to Rabat (Morocco) where he served in the city's Spiritual Assembly between 1963 and 1968, the year of his departure for Canada.

After settling in Canada, Mr. Berrada became a member of the Montreal Spiritual Assembly and served in that institution with Bahá'ís such as Raymond Flournoy, Ron Stee, Loris McEwan and Abdu’l-Rahim Yazdi. He also had the privilege of knowing the early Montreal Bahá'ís such as Emeric Sala, Rosemary Sala and Rowland Estall.

Following a call to complete the number of believers necessary to form a Spiritual Assembly in Laval, Mr. Berrada and his family moved to that city where Mr. Berrada was a member of the Assembly from 1973 until 2014.

During the forty year period that Mr. Berrada was a member of the Laval Assembly, there were a large number of activities including proclamation of the Faith, firesides, prayer sessions, children's classes and summer camps. He also participated as a delegate to National Conventions.

Mr. Berrada and his wife Cherifa also made teaching trips, notably to Martinique in 1991 and to the Northwest Territories of Canada as well as to Spain.

Following Mr. Berrada’s passing, the Universal House of Justice sent a message to the family :

 … May the memory of his courage and fortitude in the face of persecution and hardship be a source of inspiration to all those who knew him. Be assured of the supplications of the House of Justice at the Sacred Threshold for the progress of his illumined soul in the Abhá Kingdom as well as for the comfort and solace of you and other members of his family at this time of bereavement. 

Reprinted from Canadian Bahá'í News Service

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, 25 OCTOBER 2019 - In her latest exhibition, Montreal artist Lorraine Pritchard is inspired by the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb

The Báb is a prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, who established an independent religion in 1844 and foretold the imminent appearance of Baha’u’llah, who inaugurated the Baha’i Faith in 1863. On October 29th, Baha’is around the world are celebrating 200 years since the birth of the Báb in 1819.

“I was always very inspired by [the Báb’s early writings], the way that the calligraphy was placed on the page, the expression in the line. I work a lot with lines, movement and rhythm. None of these things I wanted to copy or illustrate, but they were a point of departure for this project,” says Pritchard.

Pritchard also uses the concept of “circumambulation,” a pattern of reflective walking around a sacred place. Pilgrims who approach the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, Israel, will often circumambulate the Shrine before crossing the threshold into the interior to offer their prayers and supplications.

“I have always done abstract pieces, but these were related to this particular theme and from these ideas I had. They look like a language, but they are not, they are my way of drawing,” adds Pritchard. 

Another theme of the Báb’s writings is the intimate relationship between intellect and spirit, an aspect that Pritchard’s work also evokes in those who view her work. “I always think that intellect and intuition are interconnected… and we don’t fully know how they respond to each other but they work together.”

Asked how the life of the Báb can speak to us today, Pritchard reflects that the heroism and drama of His life are hard to comprehend. “I get overwhelmed when I talk about the Bab… The dramatic story of his life and the sacrifices that were made, the revolutionary nature of it. But it can inspire us in the mystery of it all, the sacrifices that were made and courage [His followers] had.

Pritchard’s exhibit is showing at the Beaux-arts des Ameriques (BADA) Gallery in Montreal from October 17 to November 16, 2019.

Click on the photo to watch the video in French!

Montreal, November 25, 2019 - The two wings of a bird, science and religion, was the theme of the Bahá'í booth this year! A popular presentation for young and old, the Bahá'í stand has attracted many visitors of all types! In a five-day book fair, over a thousand people stopped by booth # 143, asked questions, or bought books. Many were also schoolchildren who entered into a dialogue about our theme of "Science and Religion"! They have decorated the two wings of the bird which represented this principle with colored feathers by inscribing their ideas for the progress of humanity!

This year, a special place has been given for a variety of literary genres within the Book Fair program, such as poetry, imaginary literatures and essays. Major social themes such as the environment, diversity and technologies are also highlighted through various presentations.

Our guest author at the Bahá'í booth was Mrs. Heather Niderost who presented her book "The Light World". A book signing session was held on Sunday afternoon. The video of an interview about this book and others will be available to friends on this site soon.

Still popular, the Book Fair has hosted 20,000 elementary and high school students free of charge on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Mondays. Many of these young visitors stop by the Bahá'í booth and participated in our interactive science and religion project.

The 42nd edition of the Montreal Book Fair at Place Bonaventure was marked by a number of changes that greatly contributed to making this Book Fair a great success. From beginning to end, a positive and friendly atmosphere reigned, much to the delight of the craftsmen/ women of the writing profession and visitors, always so many at the rendezvous!

A warm and enthusiastic atmosphere, a refreshing and airy layout, welcoming and beautifully arranged animation scenes: this latest Fair at Place Bonaventure, was an unforgettable experience.

Bringing people together around the book in a festive and inclusive context, fostering authentic and warm encounters between readers, authors and publishers is the essence of the Fair.

With a colorful and original program, families and children were not left out! This is how the chapter of the history of the Montreal Book Fair at Place Bonaventure ends, after 42 years of encounters and discoveries in this mythical place! After this successful edition, the Salon team is looking confidently into the future and is already preparing the next unavoidable meeting of books and readers: the 43rd edition of the SLM from 25 to 30 November 2020 at the Palais des Congrès I, Montreal !

The highlights of the 2019 SLM !

  • 2300 meetings between authors and readers during the signing sessions
  • 750 publishing houses meet their readers
  • The words and music of Ukrainian craftsmen/ women highlighted at the Look at Ukraine presentation
  • An unparalleled crowd on a free Wednesday
  • 315 dedicated volunteers who gave generously 1900 hours of their time
  • 1300 books collected as part of the Literacy Foundation's Gift Lecture Program
  • A first visit for the Mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante, a second visit for the Minister of the Family Mathieu Lacombe and a first public appearance as Minister of Canadian Heritage for Steven Guilbeault
  • 1000 CPE and daycare children at the very first Children's Morning
  • 20,000 students estimated as part of School Matinees
  • The management of the SLM is not willing to measure the success in numbers, because of the large amount of imponderables that interpose the activity, such as the attendance of school matinees which continues to grow due to the free day on Wednesday and free admission for children under 12, among others.
  • On 2018, about 120,000 people had made a dive to the big Montreal Book Fair.

The Montreal Book Fair Committee warmly thanks all the volunteers who have spent hours in the Bahá'í booth and created a pleasant atmosphere to welcome the public and schoolchildren to the Salon du livre.

Montreal, September 19, 2019 - Under a radiant sun, in a warm and respectful musical atmosphere, the traditional ceremony for the International Day for Peace took place in Saint-Laurent at Parc Beaudet, also known as the "Peace Parc "! Fifty students from Émile-Legault High School and the International School of “des apprenants” participated in this celebration, as well as some twenty dignitaries from the borough, including Mayor Alan DeSousa, members of Saint-Laurent council, one of the commissioners of Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board and representatives of community, institutions and organizations.

This event is organized each year in collaboration with the Borough of Saint-Laurent, the Saint-Laurent Intercultural Committee of COSSL (Committee of Social Organizations of Saint-Laurent) and the Bahá'í Community of Montreal.

The Mayor of Saint-Laurent, for whom the theme "Climate change and preservation of Peace" is a very important subject, spoke about climate change and the importance of building together a healthy planet in which we can live in harmony with others and with our environment. The representative of the Bahá'í Community mentioned that "world peace is not only possible but inevitable" and that we must work for unity in diversity and social justice. The ceremony followed with a dialogue with students on the primary causes of conflict between people. The most touching presentations were made by the youth from both schools and a young ABC Center volunteer “Slamer” who is the winner of the Lions Club's 2018 Peace Poster Contest.

At the end of the ceremony, each participant made a commitment to take a specific action to combat climate change and promote peace.

Photo: The Mayor of Saint-Laurent, Alan DeSousa, the City Councilor for the Côte-de-Liesse District, Francesco Miele, and the Councillor for the Norman-McLaren District, Aref Salem, surrounded by representatives from various borough organizations and students from the International School “des apprenants”.

 

Montreal, November 9, 2019 - As part of the Bicentennial activities of the Birth of the Báb, the Herald of the Baha'i faith, an arts festival was organized by the Montreal Community.

A premiere in Montreal's artistic activities, the Festival has brought together a considerable number of musicians, painters, graphic artists and authors for all tastes!

This event was very well received by Community members and friends from all over the island of Montreal. We also had the pleasure of having an author from British Columbia, Bernice Muir, with her excellent book: "Single, Alone, and Lowly, the story of a lady with an unshakeable faith and her journey through life! "   http://bernicelmuir.com

The author, professor emeritus at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal and a distinguished member of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian shared with the audience the story of Lua Getsigner (November 1, 1871, Hume, NY - May 2, 1916, Cairo, Egypt.), One of the first American Bahá'iís and the disciple of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá!

'Abdu'l-Bahá gave her the title of ‘Livá’ meaning ‘banner’, which allowed her to serve the Faith in many places, namely in Paris and on the American continent; she taught the principles of Bahá'u'lláh at the Unity and Peace Conference in India and represented the Faith during her visits to Muzaffari'd-Dín Shah of Persia when she went to Paris as well as to maharajah of Jhalawar.

Lua Getsinger had begged 'Abdu'l-Bahá to give him the blessing of becoming a martyr, but Master had advised her to teach the Faith instead! When Lua died suddenly of a heart attack in Egypt on May 2, 1916, at the age of forty-three, 'Abdu'l-Bahá named her a martyr posthumously.

In her presentation, Heather Niderost shared her experience of becoming the author of her first book. She had taken an art course at McGill university and while she was a student there she was undoubtedly inspired by the mentorship of Betty Galbraith-Cornell, a renowned Montreal landscape painter and portraitist who spent her time every summer at Metis Beach , in Gaspésie. Betty has taken Heather under her wing so to speak! Her environment was the source of inspiration for her paintings and the sketchbook was and still is her diary. Our house, she says, was designed by us, the studio and my books all reflect this genius inside.

Heather published her first book "The Quest" following her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The book tells the story of a mad and wonderful journey of three young people searching for spiritual answers to today's conflict and chaos. The journey reveals a silver thread, a "promise", that runs through our human history as a whole and ultimately leads us to a solution that will save humanity from the clutches of its madness. It is a huge gallop in time, an intensive course of progressive revelation, a fundamental concept that is reflected in the Bahá'í Faith. The heroes of this epic - Lumina, Eric and Sophie - have arrived in the imminent world of existence, the "Light World", where all the questions arising from our earthly lives will have answers! Sophie joins Lumina and Eric, who call themselves "The Light Knights" and engage in this bold pursuit by taking us with them. Following the publication of this book, Heather's grandson commented that he had always thought that religions were confused and disconnected, but after reading "The Quest", he sees an explanation that makes sense!

Several musical interventions emblazoned the evening. Pierre Tremblay with his ensemble of instrumentalist musicians and vocalists made the evening a happy event! Rachel Luce, Mira-Clair Lepage, Gustaff Besungu, Jonathan, Ophélie Weldon and Pierre have created a very warm and enthusiastic atmosphere throughout the Festival. The artists invited to this Festival were Rachel Tremblay and Elham Paiandeh who presented their magnificent works, a delight for the eyes and an inspiration for souls! A display of variety of books written by authors present was available to view or buy.

A considerable number of authors, painters, photographers and filmmakers were among the participants in the Festival. This event was organized by the Montreal Bahá’í bookstore and the Montreal Bahá’í Authors group as an annual event where a variety of books, authors, visual artists and musicians are featured. 

"The arts, crafts and sciences elevate the world of being and are conducive to its exaltation. "

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Montreal, September 11, 2019 – Twenty five students from Kyoto Imperial University of Japan visited Montreal as part of their continuing studies to learn about Canadian Culture and languages. The group of five who study Religious Diversity visited the Montreal Bahá’í Shrine accompanied by their tutor. The visit included a presentation about the Faith, Maxwell family and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sojourn in Montreal as well as a short history of the Faith in Japan. Numerous questions were asked about the Faith and the relationship of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with Maxwell family. Questions were also asked about the Administrative System of the Faith and the non-partisan election in the Bahá’í World Community. A gift of literature and relevant information was offered to the students.

The McGill School of Continuing Studies has an international reputation as a leader in continuing education. The instructors are dynamic and engaged, the student body, smart and diverse, bringing with them a wide range of experience from all walks of life. There are over 150 countries represented at McGill University, the most international student body in Canada.

The number of students at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies is 15 000! Career Advancement and Professional Development, Language Learning, Translation and Written Communication, Personal Growth and Lifelong Learning as well as arts, religious diversity and indigenous studies are included in the program.

Kyoto Imperial University in Japan was founded by imperial ordinance on 18 June 1897, the second university to be established in Japan. It has been in partnership with six universities in Canada and with McGill in particular since 2014. One of Asia’s leading research-oriented institutions, Kyoto University is famed for producing world-class researchers, including 17 Nobel Prize laureates, 2 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner.

The Bahá'í Faith in Japan begins after a few mentions of the country by `Abdu'l-Bahá first in 1875. Japanese contact with the religion came from the West when Kanichi Yamamoto was living in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1902 accepted the Faith; the second being Saichiro Fujita. Fujita would serve between the World Wars, first in the household of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá and then of Shoghi Effendi. In 1932, the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in Tokyo. In all of Japan there were 19 Bahá'ís then. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 15 650 Japanese Bahá'ís in 2005 while the CIA World Fact book estimated about 12 000 in 2006.

Montreal, October 29, 2019 - The celebrations that encircled the planet brought to vivid life the well-known passage of Bahá’u’lláh: “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.

Two centuries ago during His brief and dramatic ministry, the Báb suffered exile, imprisonment, and martyrdom at the hands of a fanatical leadership that was determined to snuff out His light and keep the populace in darkness. He Himself during His imprisonment in the remote fortress of Máh-Ku was kept in darkness, denied even a candle at night. In contrast to that oppression, His Shrine on Mt. Carmel stands lit every evening as a reminder that His light, and indeed the light of Bahá’u’lláh for Whom He paved the way, cannot be put out.

In Montreal neighbourhoods, the celebrations were a tapestry of art and culture representing the rich cultural feature of this city, blessed with the footsteps of the Master ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1912!

Starting with NDG where numerous friends, parents, youths and children celebrated the event with songs, sketches and drama at the Community Centre.

A large celebration in Montreal attracted close to 200 participants. The Bahá’I Choral from «Coeur de l’Est» and musicians from iMusici de Montréal created an unforgettable evening. The event was held at the Reception Hall of Dawson College.

Saint-Laurent neighbourhood celebrated a memorable evening with the Mayor of the borough, Alain DeSousa, city counsellors and various representatives of Community organizations. In his welcome speech, the Mayor of the borough praised generously the efforts of the Bahá’í Community toward Peace and Harmony. He underlined the fact that the Bahá’ís all over the world are celebrating the Bicentenary in an atmosphere of fellowship and harmony and he and his collogues of City Hall are honoured to be with us in this celebrations. It is impressive, he said, that the Bahá’ís are settled in over 100 000 localities throughout the world which means that the followers of this Faith are contributing to the well-being and advancement of the society in four corners of the world. He mentioned that one of the fundamentals of the Faith is to be in the service of humanity and get involved in the life of the society. We are pleased to have this privilege in Saint-Laurent to be a part of this generosity to collaboration with the Bahá’ís and organize the International Peace day since 1985! A decree was signed on that day by previous mayor of Saint-Laurent to commemorate the event annually and we are faithfully doing it.

The mayor concluded his speech by thanking warmly the members of the Bahá’í Community who try very hard to bring about a better world!

The community of Outremont/ Petite Patrie featured a four day Art Exhibit at Gallery
Erga featuring the art of Munirih Campbell and Lorraine Pritchard. The public were invited to visit the gallery and take part in the celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of the Báb.

 

 

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