American Baha'is Celebrate Holiest Period and Elect Leaders: April 21 to May 2
American Baha'is will soon celebrate Ridvan, the holiest period of the year which commemorates the Baha'i Founder's declaration as God's messenger, and will elect national and local leaders.
(Media-Newswire.com) - American Baha'is will soon celebrate Ridvan, the holiest period of the year which commemorates the Baha'i Founder's declaration as God's messenger, and will elect national and local leaders.
From April 21 to May 2, hundreds of thousands of Baha'is will observe Ridvan [pronounced RIZ-von] with fellowship and devotional gatherings that recognize the beginning of their faith. Concurrently, more than 1,000 American Baha'i communities will elect nine-member Local Spiritual Assemblies to manage affairs for the next year and send 171 delegates to the Baha'i Temple near Chicago to elect their National Spiritual Assembly or nine-member national governing council for 2010-2011.
The Founder of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah ( pronounced bah-hah-o-LAH ), announced in 1863 Persia that He was God's Messenger for today and the Promised One of all earlier religions. He declared a 12-day Ridvan period with the first ( April 21 ), ninth ( April 29 ) and twelfth ( May 2 ) as holy days when Baha'is suspend work. After His declaration, Baha'u'llah was sentenced to lifelong confinement in the prison-city of Akka ( now in Israel ) and died in 1892.
Regarding Baha'i leaders, Baha'u'llah said there's no longer a need for clergy in an age of universal education. Instead, he provided an administrative framework of elected, nine-member councils at the local, national and international levels. All Baha'i elections occur by secret ballot without candidacies, nominations or campaigning. There are more than 180 National Spiritual Assemblies and 11,000 Local Spiritual Assemblies worldwide and all Baha'is 21 and older may vote and serve.
The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world's independent monotheistic religions and one of the fastest-growing with a significant presence throughout the United States. Baha'is view the world's major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Baha'i tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace.
Note: Reporters can interview American Baha'is preparing for and celebrating these holy days at their local Baha'i Centers or at local homes. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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