Bahai News - Baha'is pray for the departed, for healing, and for America
Baha'is pray for the departed, for healing, and for America
Atlanta, GA - 12 September 2001 - Members of the Baha'i Faith, like people
all around the world, grieve for the victims and families of all those who
were affected by the terrorist attacks on the United States yesterday.
Responding to the requests for prayers, individual Baha'is and many who
assembled in groups around metro Atlanta turned to specific prayers their
A number of prayer vigils are being organized by Baha'is in and around metro
Atlanta; the first will occur at the Baha'i Unity Center tonight beginning
at 6 p.m. The Baha'i Unity Center is located at 2370 Wesley Chapel Road in
"It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to make sense of such tragic
events," said Al Viller of Duluth. "Our only solace is to turn to God in
prayer." Viller explained that many Baha'is turned to specific pages in
their prayer book when tragedy struck. They said prayers for assistance and
healing for the victims and their families, prayers for the departed for
those who ascended to the spiritual world, and prayers for protection.
Additionally, many Baha'is said a special prayer for America that was
written by the son of Baha'u'llah (whose name means the Glory of God), the
Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith.
PRAYER FOR AMERICA
- "O Thou kind Lord! This gathering
is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and
spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this
American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has
aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious.
Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of
humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most
glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This
American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make
it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal."
As many people return to their daily lives, still overwhelmed, they will
turn to God for answers, comfort, and protection. Baha'u'llah wrote a number
of prayers for protection. "Whenever we travel," said Viller, "we say a
prayer for protection. After it's said, we know that we are in God's care
and 'Thy Will be done'."
"O God, my God! I have set out from my home, holding fast unto
the cord of Thy love, and I have committed myself wholly to Thy care and
Thy protection. I entreat Thee by Thy power through which Thou didst
protect Thy loved ones from the wayward and the perverse, and from every
contumacious oppressor, and every wicked doer who hath strayed far from
hee, to keep me safe by Thy bounty and Thy grace. Enable me, then, to return
to my home by Thy power and Thy might. Thou art, truly, the Almighty, the
Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting."
Another prayer for protection written by Baha'u'llah's son, Abdu'l-Baha
(whose name means "Servant of the Glory") addresses the tragic circumstances
with which we are trying to deal:
"O my Lord! Thou knowest that the people are encircled with pain
and calamities and are environed with hardships and trouble. Every trial
doth attack man and every dire adversity doth assail him like unto the
assault of a serpent. There is no shelter and asylum for him except under
the wing of Thy protection, preservation, guard and custody.
O Thou the Merciful One! O my Lord! Make Thy protection my armor, Thy
preservation my shield, humbleness before the door of Thy oneness my guard,
and Thy custody and defense my fortress and my abode. Preserve me from the
suggestions of self and desire, and guard me from every sickness, trial,
difficulty and ordeal.
Verily, Thou art the Protector, the Guardian, the Preserver, the Sufficer,
and verify, Thou art the Merciful of the Most Merciful."
Additionally, Baha'i prayer books may be obtained by contacting
firstname.lastname@example.org. Other Baha'i prayers may be found on the web at
For more information about the Baha'i Faith, visit www.us.bahai.org or
About the Baha'i Faith:
In just over 100 years, the Baha'i Faith has grown from an obscure movement
in the Middle East to the second-most widespread religion after Christianity,
with over five million members in 235 countries and dependent territories.
Embracing people from more than 2,100 ethnic, racial, and tribal groups, it
is probably the most diverse organized body of people in the world today.
Its founder, Baha'u'llah or "the Glory of God" (1817-1892), teaches that
there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the
world's religions have been stages in the revelation of God's purpose for
humankind. As Baha'u'llah wrote: "The earth is but one country, and mankind
Baha'is in the United States:
Baha'i membership in the United States reflects the racial and cultural
diversity of the American population. Baha'is reside in approximately 7,000
localities, including over 100 Indian reservations. There are approximately
144,000 Baha'is and over 1,100 local governing councils in the United
States. Approximately 2,000 reside in Metro Atlanta.
References to the Baha'i Faith should appear in printed publication with
both the words Baha'i and Faith beginning with initial capital letters
(i.e., the Baha'i Faith). For more information about the Baha'i Faith,
visit www.atlantabahai.org and click on NEWS CENTER.
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