From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
BWNS - Focus on key issues
"Michael Day" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:10:22 +0200
Baha'i World News Service
See story with photographs http://www.bahaiworldnews.org
For more information, contact email@example.com
Focus on key issues
HAIFA, Israel, 29 March 2004 (BWNS) -- The need for religious tolerance, the
role of the individual in building society, and HIV/AIDS are among the topics
addressed in the newly released volume of "The Baha'i World".
"The Baha'i World 2002-2003" is the 11th volume in an annual series aimed
both at Baha'i readers and the general public. Its pages describe the aims
and activities of local and national Baha'i communities around the world.
"If people want to understand the forces that cause the Baha'i community to
act and the results of those actions, then this volume is the place to look,"
said Ann Boyles, the book's senior editor.
"The articles in the book provide striking evidence of the Baha'i community's
involvement in issues of serious and global importance," said Dr. Boyles.
For example, said Dr. Boyles, the volume reprints the full text of the recent
message of the Universal House of Justice to the world's religious leaders.
That message called for decisive action to eradicate religious intolerance
and fanaticism, warning that with "every day that passes, danger grows that
the rising fires of religious prejudice will ignite a worldwide conflagration
the consequences of which are unthinkable."
The full text of the message of the Universal House of Justice is published
in the volume, as is a report of the distribution of the message to religious
leaders by Baha'i communities around the world.
Other major articles include "Facing the Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Baha'i
Perspective," by Dawn Smith, "Obligation and Responsibility in Constructing a
World Civilization," by Hoda Mahmoudi, and a "World Watch" essay by Dr.
Boyles on the role of the individual in building society.
Dr. Smith's article says Baha'is have taken a different tack in responding to
the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Not only have Baha'is begun to apply the distinctive
spiritual principles of their Faith on an individual level, they have also
launched a number of small scale educational projects to address the
epidemic's root causes, she writes.
The overarching approach is one of unity, she says. "Too often members and
representatives of the world's religions have used the HIV/AIDS epidemic to
promote discord, insisting that it is solely a problem of the irreligious or
that this illness is a punishment from God, meted out to 'sinners' or the
'unfaithful,'" she says.
"'Abdu'l-Baha emphasized the role of religion in promoting unity and in
working in harmony with science," she says.
"HIV-related stigma and discrimination are not only unjust and unkind at the
individual level, they are themselves a contributor to new infections."
Dr. Mahmoudi's article examines the nature of a spiritualized society founded
on altruism and reciprocity, based on the principles in the Baha'i sacred
"The Baha'i teachings recognize that the transformation of individuals into
altruistic persons cannot take place outside the social context, which must
provide a matrix for that transformation," she says.
Other reports featured in the book include an account of the Baha'i
participation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the annual
"Year in Review" survey, and an update on the situation of the Baha'i
communities in Iran and Egypt.
Also printed in the book are a selection of major statements by the Baha'i
International Community and a statement on social cohesion by the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom.
This 320-page book is prepared by the Baha'i International Community's Office
of Public Information. It contains numerous color photographs, and is
available for US$18.00. It can be ordered from World Centre Publications
through the United States Baha'i Distribution Service, 4703 Fulton Industrial
Boulevard Atlanta, GA 30336-2017, USA (telephone: (800) 999-9019); e-mail:
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .