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Baha’is mark 200th anniversary of founder’s birth

The Baha’is of Spokane mark the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith, with a Light of Unity Festival from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22, at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley.

David Gregory, public information officer for Spokane Baha’is, said their spiritual leader Bahá’u’lláh (1817 to 1892), whose name means “The Glory of God,” said in 1863 that he was the bearer of a new revelation from God.

His teachings spread globally, bringing social transformation and community building among diverse cultures. The Light of Unity Festival celebrates the impact of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings.

“His vision of the oneness of humanity is an antidote to the racial prejudice and materialism that corrode American society,” David said. “Now more than ever we need positive models of social change that bring people together rather than divide them.”

The festival is a series of grassroots activities around the country to reinforce Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of the oneness of humanity. Activities include drama, music, art exhibits, storytelling, service projects, prayer and devotions.

Nationally, the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Ill., began nine weeks of programs in early September, applying the principle of humanity’s oneness to today’s challenges of environmental justice, race relations, indigenous peoples, human rights, and the harmony of science and religion.

David said Bahá’u’lláh’s coming was heralded by the Báb (1819 to 1844), whose name means “the Gate.” He declared his mission in 1844, which is considered the beginning of the Bahá’í Era.

“Called by different names through the ages, the one eternal God, Creator of the universe, is limitless, all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. The reality of God is beyond human understanding, though we may find expressions of God’s attributes in every created thing,” David said, adding that beyond diverse cultures, classes, customs, opinions and temperaments, each individual is a member of one human family.

 Baha’is believe humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities were previously cultivated by founders of religions—Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ and Muhammad. David said each religion originates from God for its age and locale, so religion progressively unfolds.

In less than 200 years since the Bahá’í Faith began in Iran, it spread to every country and has more than 5 million adherents.

Bahá’ís consider service to humanity the highest form of worship, he said. Private and corporate prayer are considered essential spiritual nourishment. 

The faith, which has no clergy or sacraments, has simple practices for such transitions as marriage and funerals.

For information, call or text 270-9210, email dhngregory@comcast.net or visit spokanebahais.org.





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