7 Video Calling Apps for Staying Connected When You’re in Isolation

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many parts of the world do things. Perhaps the most profound shift has been due to the recommendations of governments for their citizens to stay in their homes whenever possible, and to reduce physical interactions in order to slow the spread of the virus.

For many Baha’is across the world, this has meant changing many activities such as holy day celebrations, Nineteen Day Feasts, children’s classes, study circles, devotional gatherings and Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programs from in-person meetings to virtual meetings. Fortunately, there are a number of readily available applications that can be used to keep communities, neighborhoods, families and friends connected through live video calls. In this Baha’i Blog post, I will briefly review seven such applications that you might find helpful: Continue reading

Mine Rich in Gems: Resources & Activities for Teaching Children & Junior Youth

Mine Rich in Gems is an incredible resource for teaching children and junior youth (from the ages of 2-14). Created by a family team made up of wife and husband, Lili and Wei, along with daughters, Kati and Christi, Mine Rich in Gems offers downloadable Baha’i-inspired activity booklets and materials in support of Feasts, Holy Day celebrations, children’s classes, home visits and other occasions. These resources are jam-packed with stories, games, puzzles and coloring sheets.

I got in touch with the team behind Mine Rich in Gems to find out more about how they came together and what they’re working on. Here’s what they shared with me:  Continue reading

Some Personal Reflections on 100 Years of the Baha’i Faith in Australia

Hands of the Cause of God Hyde Dunn and Clara Dunn with a group of Baha’is in Australia, c. 1940. Photo courtesy of the Baha'i International Community

While reading the Tablets of the Divine Plan, American Baha’i Clara Dunn looked up from her page and voiced a sincere plea to her husband Hyde Dunn:

“Let us go where Abdu’l-Baha wished to go.”

Where had Abdu’l-Baha wished to go? In the Tablets of the Divine Plan He said:

O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of [Baha’u’llah] in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it.

These tablets, written to the Baha’is of the United States and Canada in 1916 and 1917, set out strategies for ensuring that the Message of Baha’u’llah could be learned about in every corner of the world.

Clara made her plea in 1919, only two short years after she and Hyde Dunn had married. At that time, the couple was almost in a state of poverty. For many, the idea of leaving home at the ages of 52 and 65 respectively, and immigrating to a foreign land without any financial backing would be ludicrous. Hyde Dunn, unhesitatingly, answered with these words:

“Yes, we will go.” Continue reading

How Isolation Can Help Us Draw Parallels to Events in Baha’i History

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put the world at a standstill, it seems like life was paused in order to allow us some time to reflect on the current conditions of the world and to reevaluate what is important to us. Even though this time is very challenging, it is also rich in opportunities that we are yet to discover. As a Baha’i, I try to make sense of this uncertain time by looking at it through the lens of spiritual and historical perspectives. Continue reading

Celebrating 9 Years of Baha’i Blog! Some Highlights of the Year!

It’s been nine years of Baha’i Blog – yes nine! (…oooh the number nine…), and we’re so excited to have come this far!

As many of you know, we take the work we’re doing in exploring and creating Baha’i-inspired media content very seriously, and we feel blessed to have been able to continue creating Baha’i-inspired content in various avenues of media over the years! As we continue to work hard at making Baha’i Blog what it is today, we really hope you’ve enjoyed what we’ve been doing, and have found it useful and inspiring as well!.

With so much going on here at Baha’i Blog, there’s no way we can cover everything we’ve been working on in this article, but we wanted to share a few highlights of some of the things that have been keeping us busy over the last Baha’i year: Continue reading

12 Online Baha’i Resources Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With all that’s been unfolding with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, we thought we’d put together a short list of 12 Baha’i or Baha’i-inspired recourses that have been created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic so far. These resources range from the most recent message from the Universal House of Justice, to news and travel updates to the Baha’i World Centre, to an episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson featuring epidemiologist Dr. Robert Kim-Farley. It also includes a number of articles which share personal viewpoints and musings on the current global health crisis as seen through the lens of the principles of the Baha’i Faith. We hope that you find these interesting and useful. Continue reading

Introducing Baha’i Blog TV (BBTV) – Our New iPhone App with 100’s of Baha’i-Inspired Videos!

Baha’i Blog is super excited to introduce everyone to Baha’i Blog TV, or BBTV as we like to call it!

Baha’i Blog TV is Baha’i Blog’s new iPhone app that allows you to access and watch hundreds of Baha’i-inspired videos on your iPhone and iPad! So whether you’re looking for inspiring Baha’i talks, beautiful Baha’i music, or other Baha’i films to share with your friends, we’ve got it covered! Head on over to the App Store and download Baha’i Blog TV (BBTV) now for free! (Hey that rhymes!)

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Message from the Universal House of Justice for Naw-Ruz 177 BE

The Universal House of Justice has just released a letter to the Baha’is of the world on the occasion of Naw-Ruz and the beginning of the Baha’i new year 177 BE.

The letter is included in full below. You can read it online, or download it, here from the Baha’i Reference Library.

You can also listen to an audio recording of the message here on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel: Naw-Ruz 177 Message from the Universal House of Justice

And you can listen to and download the audio recording from our Soundcloud page: Naw-Ruz 177 Message from the Universal House of Justice

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Body Politic

Recently, I had a conversation with some of my public health students about the incredible coincidence that the COVID-19 pandemic was happening while they were completing their degrees in Global Health. Every decision and action (or inaction) by international organizations, national governments, universities, school districts, businesses, researchers, civil society organizations, service providers, hospitals, communities and individuals is a potential opportunity to learn about mitigating an infectious disease. It is also a personal opportunity to learn and reflect on our individual responses to the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic overlaps with the Baha’i month of fasting when Baha’is are encouraged to focus on spiritual development and service as we abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset for 19 days. So, I decided to dedicate my meditation and reflection during this Fast on the concepts of illness, disease, health and healing in the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading

Temporary Suspension of Baha’i Pilgrimage and Visits to Holy Land in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Baha’i World Centre has temporarily suspended pilgrimage and brief visits to the Holy Land in light of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), until such time as circumstances permit them to resume.

Updates advising prospective pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Land can be found here on the ‘Travel Advisory‘ page of the Pilgrimage website, and friends who wish to travel to the Holy Land are advised to refer to this page for updates. Continue reading