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Baha’is celebrate bicentennial

1bahaiFaithful of the Baha’i faith in Seychelles celebrated 200 years since the birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the faith, in a ceremony held last Friday night at the Baha’i centre in Bel Air.

In attendance were President Danny Faure, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Wavel Ramkalawan, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Pillay, ministers, members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps and friends of the Baha’is in Seychelles.

It was the chairman of the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) Antonio Gopal who officially welcomed the attendees and thanked them for sharing in what he described as a “momentous occasion”.

Baha’u’llah, who Baha’is believe is the messenger of God for today and the fulfillment of the prophecies of past religions, was born 200 years ago on November 12, 1817 in Iran and the celebration meant to commemorate this.

The Baha’i faith is one that is often misunderstood by people all across the world but its core teaching promotes unity of humankind for the betterment of the world.

2bahaiIn her opening address at the celebration Jeanne Simeon, Minister for Family Affairs, remarked on the religion’s efforts to bring about this unity and the spirit of fellowship through oneness of God, oneness of men and oneness of religions.

“The Baha’i faith enshrines guidance for world unity based on their 12 principles and the need for a new vision of globalisation that identifies with the divine concept that the world is but one country,” the minister stated.

She further added that the principles of unity and justice, as practiced by the Baha’i faith should be embraced by all humankind especially at a time when the world faces countless calamities and social injustices.

The speeches were swiftly followed by various songs, dances, dramatic readings and various other performances by Baha’i devotees.

With an estimated 1,200 followers at present the Baha’i faith made its insurgence in Seychelles in 1953 and has grown steadily, with many groupings sprouting up in different localities such as on Praslin.

Marion Gendron, the external affairs and public information officer of the NSA, told the Seychelles NATION that during the faith’s early beginnings in the country it was often difficult to make people understand what the Baha’i faith was about.

“We were often mocked and ridiculed. But, with time, people have become more open-minded and this has changed,” Mrs Gendron said.

The evening of celebration culminated with a reception in the Baha’i centre’s garden.

Source : Seychelles NATION

 

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