Baha’is throughout Canada are inviting their friends and neighbours to festive community celebrations on March 20. For Baha’is, this is New Years Day and a holy day on which work is suspended.
The observance of holy days occupies a central place in every religion. Practically every day of the year has, at some point in history, been proclaimed as a holy day for one—and often several—of Canada’s diverse religious communities.
From sunset on February 24 to sunset of February 28, Baha’is and their friends in more than 100 000 localities in virtually every country around the world will be celebrating the festival of Ayyam-i-Ha (or the “Days of Ha”). The days mark a special time in the year intended by Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, for good cheer, charity, giving praise to God, and often includes giving gifts.
In response to reports that a gunman opened fire in a mosque in Sainte-Foy, Quebec on Sunday night, killing six people and wounding several others, the following statement was made by Dr. Gerald Filson, Director of Public Affairs for the Baha’i Community of Canada:
Director of Government Relations for the Baha’i Community of Canada, Corinne Box, participated in a recent High-Level Forum on Combatting Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hate that was hosted at the UN Headquarters in New York. She was invited to participate by the Government of Canada.
The event, which brought together people of many faiths and backgrounds, representatives from several nations and international bodies, and individuals working in a variety of sectors, saw a unified response emphasizing the need to focus on our common humanity.
As Canada moves towards re-engaging Iran, human rights must be an important part of this relationship. This was a repeated theme at a public panel discussion held at the University of Ottawa on November 22. The panel was organized by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies, foreign policy website OpenCanada.org, and the Baha’i Community of Canada.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada has announced the results of the annual election of six regional Baha’i Councils in Canada. The Councils serve the Atlantic area, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. They represent an intermediary level in the administration of Baha’i communities in Canada, between the National Assembly and Local Spiritual Assemblies.
The Canadian government again played a central role this year at the United Nations in proposing, with 41 co-sponsors, a resolution that the UN condemn Iran for its human rights violations. Canada has been the leader in initiating similar resolutions at the UN General Assembly since 2002.