Baha'i News -- INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE VIGIL
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Conway
2601 Fourth Avenue € Post Office Box 348 € Conway, SC 29528-0348
(843) 248-8820 € Fax (843) 248-6224
secretariat@conway.sc.us.bahai.org

NEWS RELEASE

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Bill Willis, 248-6224

Sept. 12, 2002

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE VIGIL

ConwayŠBeginning at noon on Sept. 21, the Baha'i community of Conway will join people and organizations around the world in observing the United Nations International Day of Peace Vigil. Baha'is will take turns praying and reading from Baha'i and other scriptures nonstop for 24 hours, culminating in a special devotional gathering or worship service from 11 a.m. to noon on Sept. 22 at the Baha'i Center, 2601 Fourth Ave. in Conway. Everyone from every faith is invited to take part. For more information call 248-8820 or 248-6224.

In addition, the Baha'i community of Conway urges area churches and other local communities of faith to, "demonstrate the power of prayer and other spiritual observations in promoting peace and preventing violent conflict." It is the hope of the Baha'is that many congregations will take part in this global spiritual effort to lower the level of violence and conflict in the world and forestall the outbreak of new wars.

The Committee of Religious Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations, on which the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha¹is of the United States is represented, has encouraged member organizations to participate in the International Day of Peace Vigil. According to a letter from the vigil¹s coordinator [see enclosure], "Last year, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution (55/282) designating 21 September of each year as an International Day of Peace. The intention of the resolution is to have all Member States observe a full day of global ceasefire and nonviolence. All people and organizations are invited to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner."

The letter continues by stating the following objective for the International Day of Peace Vigil: "To encourage the observation of a worldwide, 24-hour Vigil for peace and non-violence on the International Day of Peace 21 September 2002 in every house of worship and place of spiritual practice, by all religious and spiritually based groups and Individuals and by all men, women and children who seek peace in the world."

More information is available at The International Day of Peace Vigil Web Site:
http://www.idpvigil.com

In 1959 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States had initiated the commemoration of a World Peace Day to call attention to the urgent need for the establishment of a lasting peace among the nations of the world. This observation was held on the third Sunday in September. In 1985 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States decided to support the United Nations observance.

World peace is a cardinal objective of the Baha'i Faith. It has occupied a central position in the activities of the Baha'i community since 1844. Baha'is work toward a peaceful society in a number of ways. They practice decision-making in a way designed to produce agreement without confrontation. The Baha'i teachings give communities a new value system, and tend to produce individuals with a wider loyalty who are equipped to work toward common goals.

In 1985 the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Baha'i Faith, issued a document titled "The Promise of World Peace" which expresses the Baha'i conviction that peace is not only possible, but is the next and inevitable step in world development. The statement describes the spiritual and social ills that are barriers to world peace and indicates, from a Baha¹i perspective, how they may be eliminated.

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