Stories in Volume 23, Issue 2 — October 2013-December 2014

Post - 2015

Informal breakfasts become an important venue for dialogue on post-2015 development agenda

NEW YORK — Can the world effectively move forward with a post 2015 development agenda if most countries are mired in policies of economic austerity? To what extent do conflict and violence prevent the world from meeting development goals? What kinds of new... Read more

Builders of Civilization: Youth and the Advancement of Humankind

[Editor’s Note: The following is a statement of the Bahá’í International Community to the 2014 World Conference on Youth, held 6-10 May 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.] It is often said that youth are the leaders of tomorrow, the future of humanity. This is clearly true, but... Read more

Sri Lanka youth conference demonstrates global concern of young people

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — A global youth conference, designed to incorporate substantive input from the youth of the world to the post-2015 development agenda process, drew some 1,500 people from an estimated 150 countries from 6-10 May 2014. Sponsored by the government of... Read more

Unprecedented act of senior cleric for religious coexistence resonates across religions

NEW YORK — In a symbolic and unprecedented act, Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a prominent Muslim cleric in Iran, announced on 7 April 2014 that he has gifted to the Bahá’ís of the world an illuminated work of calligraphy of a paragraph from the writings of Bahá’u’... Read more

In the Arab and Muslim world, a new discussion on religious coexistence emerges

MANAMA, Bahrain — Throughout the Arab and Muslim world, a new discussion on how to live peacefully side by side with the followers of all religions has begun to take shape. This discourse has been inspired partly by the dramatic call of Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-... Read more

In from the cold: love, compassion and governance explored in Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — The words “love” and “compassion” are rarely juxtaposed with terms like “governance” and “leadership.” And, yet, shouldn’t they be? That was essentially the main theme of the Spirit of Humanity Forum, a rather bold and brave conference held 10-12... Read more
Human Rights

New report examines Iran’s failed promises from 2010 Universal Periodic Review

GENEVA — Iran has completely failed to live up to a series of promises it made regarding its treatment of Iranian Bahá’ís four years ago, according to a new report from the Bahá’í International Community. Titled “Unfulfilled Promises,” and launched 15 September 2014 at... Read more
Human Rights

At 2014 UPR, Iran’s faces numerous questions about religious freedom and Bahá’ís

GENEVA — During a major review of Iran’s human rights record at the Human Rights Council in October 2014, governments from around the world repeatedly called attention to Iran’s lack of religious freedom — and its continued persecution of Iranian Bahá’ís. During the four... Read more

UN Experts: The inclusion of minorities can help stem extremism and hatred

NEW YORK —Two United Nations high level experts issued a plea for a greater emphasis on the inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities in the process of governance as an antidote to violence and extremism. “When you don’t include minorities in the government, you don’t... Read more
The Arts

Prize-winning film sheds light on misunderstood minority in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar — Often misunderstood in their own homeland, members of the Kayan Lahwi minority are known in particular around the world for the coils of decorative brass rings they wear around their necks. A film about their lives — Kayan Beauties — has recently... Read more
Global Ethics

In China, Nishan Forum examines global values in a changing world

JINAN, China — Humanity’s increasing interdependence, coupled with closer relationships among people of all nations, offers new possibilities for a global conversation about common values and ethics. That was among the main themes of the Third Nishan Forum on World... Read more

Design of Colombian House of Worship unveiled

NORTE DEL CAUCA, Colombia — The design for the local Bahá’í House of Worship in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia was unveiled at a meeting in September at the site designated for its construction. A small team from the Colombian architectural firm CUNA presented... Read more
Women and Development

Post-2015 forum calls for a comprehensive approach to women’s empowerment

UNITED NATIONS—The post-2015 development agenda needs a comprehensive goal to promote the equality of women and men, said panelists at a major UN forum on women’s issues and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Speakers at the forum, held 4-5 December 2013, also said... Read more

Prime Minister of Samoa pays tribute to Bahá’í community on 60th anniversary

APIA, Samoa — The Prime Minister of Samoa has expressed his gratitude to the country’s Bahá’í community for its long service to the development of Samoan society. The Honorable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made his remarks on 14 January 2014 during celebrations marking... Read more
Human Rights

Three high-level UN human rights experts condemn the destruction of a historic Bahá’í cemetery in Iran

GENEVA — One month after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards resumed demolition of an historic Bahá’í cemetery in Shiraz, three high-level United Nations human rights experts issued a call to Iranian officials to do more to halt the destruction, saying the action is an “... Read more
Human Rights

Three Bahá’ís stabbed in Iran, emblematic of widespread religious hate crimes

BIRJAND, Iran — It was a quiet Monday evening in February in this provincial capital in eastern Iran when a man surreptitiously entered the home of the Moodi family. He was wearing a mask. And he immediately moved on the attack, stabbing Ghodratollah Moodi, his wife,... Read more
Human Rights

In reports and resolutions, the United Nations expresses its concern over human rights in Iran

NEW YORK — In a series of reports and resolutions issued from late 2013 through the end of 2014, the United Nations and its special representatives have made clear that the human rights situation in Iran has not improved, amounting to a collective call for Iran to take... Read more

Documentary film charts Iranian Bahá’ís’ peaceful response to oppression

LONDON — A powerful new documentary film, telling the story of the Bahá’ís of Iran and their peaceful response to decades of state-sponsored persecution, had its UK premiere on 12 September 2014. Using interviews, personal stories, and archival footage — often smuggled... Read more