To capture the jubilant celebrations occurring all over the planet, the Baha’i International Community has released a special website dedicated to the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith. This official website, bicentenary.bahai.org, aims to inspire and encourage and it will unfold in the days surrounding the Birth of Baha’u’llah–so it’s definitely worth visiting over and over again. It’s also available in six languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French, Persian, and Arabic!
The website is divided into seven main sections:
This section presents the moving letter from the Universal House of Justice addressed to “all who celebrate the Glory of God.” You can read the letter in its entirety or download it.
The message provides a context in which to consider the life and mission of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, and it can be used at appropriate occasions connected with your Bicentenary celebrations, and also shared with those whom you feel might be receptive to its contents.
2. Feature Film: “Light to the World”
A feature length film about Baha’u’llah and the world-embracing effects of His teachings will be available for download on October 18th.
3. Photos and Stories of Activities from Around the World
Beginning on the 20th of October at 4:00 Greenwich Mean Time, the website will showcase celebrations and accounts from around the world.
The Baha’i World News Service describes the website with these words:
Beginning at the first sunset on 20 October in the Pacific region and ending at the last on 22 October in the Americas, the site will be updated with photos, news, and other media from scores of locations over the course of those 72 hours.
[…] The bicentenary website will connect the world by capturing the celebrations of people from all walks of life in selected localities across the globe as they celebrate the life of Baha’u’llah and His unifying message. These localities will be illustrative of the thousands of other celebrations that will be unfolding in country after country throughout the planet.
You can read the full news article about the website here: news.bahai.org
4. Video Streaming from Houses of Worship
The website will also feature streaming, beginning on October 20th, of select events occurring at Houses of Worship across the planet.
If you’d like to know more about Houses of Worship, here is an introductory article about these unique edifices.
This section highlights some of the messages of good will from local, regional or national officials or leaders, as well a sampling of the media coverage some celebrations have received.
In its 18 May 2016 letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies, the Universal House of Justice wrote:
At the heart of these festivities must be a concerted effort to convey a sense of what it means for humanity that these two Luminaries rose successively above the horizon of the world. Of course, this will take different forms in different contexts, extending to a myriad artistic and cultural expressions, including songs, audio-visual presentations, publications and books. responding to the call of the Universal House of Justice.
This section of the website gives us a taste of the myriad artistic and cultural expressions that are flourishing around the world. In this section of the Bicentenary website you can explore music, films and videos, visual art and calligraphy, poetry and storytelling, among many others.
7. Short Articles
The website also features four articles that describe who Baha’u’llah is and the effects of His revelation. The articles are titled:
- The Life of Baha’u’llah (including a short video on the concept of Manifestations of God),
- Religion Renewed (including a short video on why the world needs religion),
- The Revelation of Baha’u’llah (including a short video of reflections on the unfolding of one religion and the maturation of the human race), and
- Baha’u’llah’s Teachings in Action.
We’d encourage you to explore this website now for a dose of joy and wonder, and to continue to visit it in the coming days!