March 29, 2016

Percentage of Continental Counsellors who are women – 1980-2010

The table above represents a historical overview of the percentage of women serving as members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors for the period from 26 November 1980—when the number of Boards was fixed at five—until now [2010], including the most recent appointments that took effect on 26 November 2010. Percentages have been calculated on the basis of the appointments made at the beginning of each five-year term; mid-term appointments have not been considered. 
(Included with a letter dated 23 January 2013 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice)

March 26, 2016

1844: Bushihr, Persia - Wooden sailing vessels

An old-time wooden sailing vessel like this was used by the Báb to sail for Mecca in October of 1844. With Him were the Letter of the Living Quddus and an Ethiopian attendant with a large basket of  sweet lemons to make up for the absence of fresh water. The voyage took about two months. They sailed 3,000 miles around Arabia to the Red Sea and to Jaddih, the port of Mecca.(source: 'Land of Resplendent Glory', by the International Baha'i Audio-Visual Centre, 1971)

March 24, 2016

Picture of the original door to the House of the Báb

(source: 'Land of Resplendent Glory', by the International Baha'i Audio-Visual Centre, 1971)

March 19, 2016

Ílkhání Mosque in Shiraz, Persia

The The Ílkhání Mosque in Shiraz, Persia where many of the Letters of the Living were housed during their forty-day-long search for the Promised One. (‘Pilgrimage to the House of the Báb’, 1977)

March 15, 2016

1957: First Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God - recalled by John Robarts

(Excerpt from a talk given by Hand of the Cause John Robarts at the Association for Baha'i Studies in 1980)

March 10, 2016

First Baha’i Temple

The world's first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar was built in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, bordering northern Iran.
A women's meeting shows the interior design of the Ashgabat Temple. The women and girls would take turns reading or chanting prayers.
The front arch of the Ashgabat House of Worship

March 7, 2016

November 14, 2015: Battambang, Cambodia — first groundbreaking for a local Baha'i House of Worship

Some 200 community members attended an event marking the groundbreaking.
Community members participate in the groundbreaking at the spot marking the center of the central edifice.
People from surrounding neighborhoods make their way to the event commemorating the groundbreaking.
Members of the community work together to build a fence around the Temple land.

Some two hundred community members from the region of Battambang in Cambodia gathered to celebrate the momentous occasion, beginning with prayers at dawn. The event coincided with the commemoration of the Twin Holy Birthdays—the Birth of the Bab and the Birth of Baha'u'llah.

Though yet unbuilt, the House of Worship is becoming part of the fabric of community life, and developments related to its construction are viewed as a collective endeavor, galvanizing the surrounding population. It is, as described by the Universal House of Justice, connecting "two essential, inseparable aspects of Baha'i life: worship and service".

The groundbreaking commemorated yesterday marks a milestone—the first of its kind—among the seven locations announced by the Universal House of Justice in 2012 to raise a Baha'i House of Worship in the coming years. 
(Baha’i World News Service)

March 3, 2016

1893 Chicago: World's Parliament of Religions - a letter describing Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith was read

Chicago's World Columbian Exposition in 1893 celebrated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus. The World's Parliament of Religions was one of many conferences planned to coincide with the fair and was the world's first ecumenical meeting. It met for 17 days in the Hall of Columbus at the Art Institute of Chicago. Clergy from many Christian denominations took part, as well as representatives of other faiths, which included the following: Muslim, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Confucians, and Jains… There was no member of the Baha'i Faith present. A Christian missionary in Syria sent a letter describing Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith that was read at a conference session. The Parliament caused a great interest in comparative religions amongst Chicagoans. When a Syrian Baha'i named Ibrahim Kheiralla came to Chicago in 1894 hoping to make his fortune, he initiated classes on spiritual healing, which included some Baha'i prayers and principles. Students in those classes became the early Baha'is of Chicago. 
(‘Images of America – Baha’i Temple’, by Candace Moore Hill)