Bahai News - Baha'i Faith Unity Center aims prayers at racial discrimination
Baha'i Faith Unity Center aims prayers at racial
Source: Advocate - Baton Rouge
Publication date: 2001-03-17
Arrival time: 2001-03-18
A banner above the door to the Baha'i Faith Unity Center on Perkins Road
announces nightly prayer services with the aim of eliminating racial
discrimination. A small group immersed in prayers is inside. They resemble
a United Nations sampling from the U.S., Iraq and Brazil.
They have been meeting each weekday night since March 2 and will
continue together until Wednesday to pray, chant, and sing.
They will take part in the International Day for the elimination
of Racial Discrimination, a holiday sanctioned by the United Nations
and celebrated for the first time in 2000.
J. Steven Wyandt, a member of the local spiritual assembly, said,
"Baha'is have as one of its central principles the realization of
oneness of mankind. We regard racism as a disease afflicting the
body of mankind. "It is very important for all of us to strive to
understand the cause and effects of this disease and to do the
serious work to heal it so that mankind can collectively achieve the
peace and justice it so critically needs."The Baha'i faith is an
independent world religion with over 5 million members worldwide.
They believe racism retards potentialities of its victims, corrupts
its perpetrators, and blights human progress.
"As an African American, I have seen and experienced the
demoralizing nature of racial discrimination for more than 50 years,
said Moses E. Edwards, who has been a member of the Baha'i Faith for
more than 30 years ...""The elimination of racial discrimination
seems central to the advancement of civilization. Therefore, we pray
for the spiritualization of the masses of people," Edwards said.
Another member of the Baha'i Center, Joanna Badkoobeh, an American
raised in Brazil by missionary parents, said, "My prayer is that humanity
may realize that we all came from the same original parents, therefore we
are all related ...""A humanity divided against itself cannot stand. Unity
among blacks and whites must prevail before it is too late," Badkoobeh said.
The special prayer services are open to the public and held at
7:30 p.m. at 4270 Perkins Road. For more information, call 387-5726.
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