Global Conferences: Striving for the greater good of humanity

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Global Conferences: Striving for the greater good of humanityParticipants of these conferences—the majority of which are taking place at the grassroots level—are seeing, in tangible form, the expression of Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of the world of humanity, which He has described as being a single unit—as one family—in the following quote: “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the drops of one sea.”

This sense of oneness was felt among participants of a conference in Chad, which brought together chiefs and religious leaders to explore how each person can contribute to the realization of collective peace. “These conferences will play an important role in the peace-building process in a country all too familiar with myriad crises, violent disruptions, and injustices,” stated Mahamat Hassane, one of the chiefs in attendance. In that inspiring gathering, all of the participating chiefs called for similar conferences to be held in their respective villages.

Elsewhere, in India, attendees of a conference held in Hinganvedhe in the state of Maharashtra addressed various social issues, including the devastating effects of alcohol consumption on families. The conference was followed by a health promotion campaign. Raju Arjun Dhatrak, a Sarpanch (village head), states: “It’s very important that we have these conferences regularly, because the Bahá’í principles that we’re exploring are giving us a new perspective on how to build for the future.”

Meanwhile, discussions at regional gatherings in the United States are setting the stage for hundreds of local gatherings that will be held throughout that country in the coming months. Among the themes that will be explored in those gatherings are the oneness of humanity and racial justice.

Provided below are images from some of the latest conferences that have taken place in countries around the globe.

A participant remarked that, “What is heartwarming is the spirit of youth present at this conference, all of whom are engaged in one way or another in activities that contribute to the progress of their neighborhoods.”

A local conference in the southwest region of Chad, which was held in the sub-prefect of Moulkou, brought together more than 120 participants, including government officials, chiefs and religious leaders.

The two-day conference explored initiatives focused on the spiritual and material advancement of their society, the oneness of humanity, and the role each person plays towards the realization of collective peace. The gathering featured songs and traditional dances about hope for the future.

In the United States, representatives from Bahá’í institutions gathered at the Green Acre Bahá’í School in Maine as well at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Illinois to discuss the upcoming local conferences, which will explore ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s vision of the spiritual future of that country and the principle of the oneness of humanity.

A three-day gathering in Italy brought together representatives of Baháʼí institutions from several countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain. Discussions were centered on contributing to social transformation and promoting educational endeavors that build capacity for service to society.

The focus of discussions among attendees of a three-day local gathering in Azerbaijan was on initiatives of the Bahá’í community aimed at the material and spiritual advancement of their society.

Here are gatherings in central and eastern Uganda, which brought together representatives from various Bahá’í institutions who shared experiences from related to the material and spiritual advancement of their communities.

A recent local conference in Panama brought together over 200 people of diverse faiths. The conference was largely conducted in the indigenous Ngöbere language. The atmosphere of the gathering was enhanced by songs inspired by Bahá'í teachings.

Some 70 representatives from Bahá’í institutions throughout Japan met via video conferencing for a two-day gathering, which featured many artistic activities.

Representatives of Bahá’í institutions throughout Kazakhstan attended a conference in-person and remotely to discuss the prevalent issues in their respective communities and how they can each work together towards the spiritual and material betterment of all peoples living in that country.

Participants in this local conference in Tabacoro, Mali, which included residents from diverse backgrounds and local officials, explained that the gathering enhanced their vision of what it means to truly live together as one people.

Jean Jacques Yem, member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Mali, drew parallels between this conference and traditional meetings of past ages in which people would gather under a palaver tree to foster mutual understanding. Mr. Yem also expressed his hope for the future, stating that these conferences are a sign of the power of unity.

Seen here is a conference in Kuching, Malaysia, with participants from across the state of Sarawak.

Representatives of Bahá’í institutions in Mongolia recently gathered to discuss plans for upcoming conferences that will be held throughout that country.

A local conference held in Morocco saw artistic expressions by children, youth and adults as they explored spiritual concepts centering on the oneness of humanity and social progress.

Seen here is a virtual gathering in the North Island region of New Zealand.

One of the attendees said: “Although these worldwide conferences are taking place against the backdrop of many difficulties in the world, we’re finding ways to work for the betterment of the world.”

The Bahá’í community of Georgia was represented at a conference in Azerbaijan.

This gathering in Azerbaijan saw contributions from youth and adults alike as they reflected on the experiences they have had serving their society over recent years and how their experience will guide their steps in the years to come.

One of the young people remarked that these conferences are an invitation for all to serve their fellow citizens. “The opportunity to serve is open to all”, irrespective of background, age, or religious affiliation.”

In the Philippines, multiple gatherings have been held in different regions of the country. Seen here are gatherings in Palawan, Midwest, and Northern Luzon.

In the southern region of Romania, participants gathered to plan an upcoming local conference that will highlight selfless service to society.

Seen here is a local conference in Tunisia.

“These conferences are the fruits of many efforts to contribute to the well-being of our society”, says Mohamed Ben Moussa. “These neighborhood conferences have come at a time when many people are searching for a path forward,” he continues. “People are finding hope for a more prosperous future.”

After a series of local conferences throughout Deolali in the state of Maharashtra, India, participants and a local official undertook a public health campaign about various issues affecting their society.

A gathering in Uganda also served as the official opening of a new facility for hosting Baháʼí community-building initiatives in the Kiyunga village.

Children, youth, and adults at a local conference in the United Arab Emirates explored how the younger generations can contribute to the betterment of their society over the coming decade.

Seen here are a number of meetings in the United States across Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Participants at these gatherings have been reflecting on the Bahá’í community’s experience in contributing to racial harmony over the past century.

Seen here is a gathering of representatives of Bahá’í institutions in Victoria, Canada, who have been preparing for upcoming conferences in the province of British Columbia.