Baha’is cel­e­brate founder

South Canterbury Herald - - TEMUKA NEWS - ES­THER ASHBY-COVEN­TRY

The small Ti­maru Baha’i com­mu­nity is pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate the 200th an­niver­sary of the birth of the re­li­gion’s founder by vis­it­ing rest homes, tree plant­ings, mak­ing a mu­ral, and mu­sic.

Baha’is are ad­her­ents of Baha’u’llah, who was born in Iran in 1817 and died in 1863, after spread­ing his mes­sage of one God and the unity of ma­jor be­lief sys­tems.

There are about 25 Baha’is in Ti­maru. They will cel­e­brate the bi­cen­te­nary on Oc­to­ber 21.

Mem­ber Af­saneh Howey said

‘‘In­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion after truth is en­cour­aged.’’

Baha’is be­lieved Baha’u’llah was sent as a mes­sen­ger to guide hu­man­ity in much the same way as Chris­tian­ity’s Je­sus Christ and Is­lam’s Muham­mad.

She sees Baha’u’llah as of­fer­ing a pro­gres­sive rev­e­la­tion.

When some­one de­cided to fol­low Baha’u’llah’s teach­ings they did not need to give up any other be­liefs they may al­ready hold, Howey said.

‘‘In­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion after truth is en­cour­aged.’’

Fel­low Baha’i Ace-Adri­enne Sut­ton be­came a be­liever in her early 20s after her two broth­ers and her mother be­came ad­her­ents.

‘‘I knew about it but it wasn’t un­til I got mar­ried and had kids that I thought about it and agreed with it.’’

Howey’s hus­band, Tony, chair­man of the Lo­cal Spir­i­tual As­sem­bly of the Baha’is of Ti­maru, said the Baha’i com­mu­nity wanted to in­vite all New Zealan­ders to join in the up­com­ing cel­e­bra­tions.

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