Bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Two hundred years ago in Persia (modern Iran) – at a time when that country was just beginning to engage with western ideas, was still steeped in superstition and hampered in its advancement by a powerful and deeply traditional clergy – a baby boy was born to a noble family from Teheran, the firstborn son of a much respected counsellor to the court, a man of integrity and virtue, whose advice was sought by the highest in the land.

This boy would grow to become an ardent advocate for peace, justice and change. His love of truth and the ideas advanced in his writings would see him imprisoned, tortured and banished. Despite intense persecution, his life and teachings would galvanise a growing community of disciples, setting in motion a dynamic of moral, spiritual and social progress that would spread far beyond the region to embrace the entire globe.

That movement is the Bahá’í Faith, and the words of its founder, Bahá’u’lláh, are revered today by millions of believers as nothing less than God’s message to humanity for this most critical and crucial period in our history. Never has the world been more in need of unity, peace, justice, equality and hope than now. Never was a message more relevant and timely.

The Bahá’í Community of Belgium invites you to celebrate with us the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh. Below you will find a list of activities planned for this auspicious and joyous anniversary.

Join our activities

Antwerp: Sunday 22 October, 14:00 – Spiritual and musical session, film, refreshments, presentation of the local bahá’í activities.
Athus:
Friday 20 October, Centre culturel, 20:00 – Documentary film, followed by refreshments. Activities for children aged 5-12 during the film.
Berchem-Sainte-Agathe: Saturday 21 October, 14:30 – Screening of film followed by refreshments.
Brussels Centre:
Tuesday 17 October, 17:30 – High-level commemoration – Speeches by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Mairead McGuinness, and by the Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, Mr Ján Figel’; music recital & standing dinner.
Brussels/Berchem-Sainte-Agathe:
Saturday 21 October, 14:30 – Screening of film followed by refreshments.
Brussels/Sainte-Catherine:
Saturday 21 October, Bibliothèque des Riches Claires, 15:00.
Brussels/Schaerbeek:
Saturday 21 October, 18:00 – Buffet dinner and screening of film.
Charleroi: Friday 20 October, Bois du Cazier, Marcinelle, 19:00 – Screening of documentary film followed by warm discussions and refreshments.
Eupen: Friday 20 October, Atelier Kunst & Bühne, 19:30 – Conference in German (‘Bahá’u’lláh, sein Leben, sein Anspruch’) with a short introduction by Kattrin Jadin MP.
Ghent: Saturday 21 October, Geuzenhuis, 18:00 – Concert and exhibition of photographs.
Hasselt: Saturday 21 October, 17:00 – Interreligious prayers, sandwiches, documentary film, followed by Q&A session and a closing prayer.
Liege: Saturday 21 October, Palais des Congrès, 17:00 – Lecture, film, prayer for peace, refreshments.
Liege/Neupré: Sunday 22 October, 14:00 – Film, songs and handicraft activities, followed by an afternoon snack.
Liège/Tilleur: Sunday 22 October, 14:00 – Film followed by refreshments
Louvain: Saturday 21 October, Damiaancentrum, 19:00 – Documentary film and discussion.
Louvain: Sunday 22 October, Genadedal Ontmoetingscentrum, 14:00 – Official opening by the Town Councillor Bieke Verlinden, refreshments, exhibition on the life of Bahá’u’lláh, prayers, presentation of local bahá’í activities.
Mechelen: Saturday 21 October, Wijkhuis Arsenaal (‘t Hofke), 17:00 – Unity Feast – Refreshments, musical and meditative introduction, film, cake and artistic performances.
Mons: Saturday 21 October, Maison des jeunes, 15:00 – Documentary film, African dances, coffee/tea break, discussions.
Namur: Sunday 22 October, 15:00 – Documentary film, followed by refreshments.
Rixensart: Saturday 21 October, 18:30 – Documentary film, spiritual songs, potluck supper and a surprise.
Turnhout: Saturday 21 October, 15:00 – Interreligious prayers, film, refreshments.

If you wish to participate in one of these events, please mail media.bahai.be@gmail.com for details.

 

The film mentioned in several activities is the 51-minute documentary “Light to the World” relating certain aspects of the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and showing some of the ways that his message is transforming the lives of individuals and communities.

To learn more about the Bahá’í Faith, there is an excellent programme in French from Radio Catholique Francophone (RCF) – sixty minutes of clear information punctuated by extracts from the writings and prayers of Bahá’u’lláh. Listen to the programme here