Provincial Governments Greet Baha’is at Naw-Ruz

Provincial Governments Greet Baha’is at Naw-Ruz

TORONTO, 23 MARCH 2017, (CBNS)

The Alberta and Quebec governments, among others, greeted the Baha’is on their Naw-Ruz (New Year) this year.

The Quebec Natonal Assembly passed a unanimous motion:

"That the National Assembly mark the first day of spring, celebrated as a New Year by Quebecers, and Quebeckers from Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Tajikistan, and by the Bahá'ís. "

In Alberta , the Baha’i New Year was acknowledged in the Alberta Legislature by Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Sherwood Park Annie McKitrick.

On receiving an invitation to attend a celebration of Bahá'í New Year, Ms. McKitrick invited members of the community in her riding to come to the Legislative Assembly and be introduced to its members. Ten Bahá'ís attended from Sherwood Park and Beaumont.

In her presentation to the Legislature, Ms McKitrick stated that the Bahá'í Faith has been present in Canada since 1898.

"It is based on the teaching of Bahá'u'lláh, who taught that there is only one God, that there is one human family and that all major religions represent unfolding chapters in God's teaching for humankind. Bahá'ís undertake various community-building initiatives aimed at empowering residents of their communities to take charge of their own spiritual, social and intellectual development."

Bahá'í New Year or Naw-Ruz is celebrated on the date of the vernal equinox, this year falling on March 20. The Bahá'í teachings encourage that during such special days, good works and philanthropic institutions should be founded that would benefit the whole community. Ms. McKitrick reflected this focus in her remarks to the Legislative Assembly.

Ms. McKitrick noted that several members of the Bahá'í community in her riding serve on the Strathcona County Diversity Committee with her. The diversity committee, formed a year ago, reflects a focus of the MLA, who herself has served internationally in Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and for a nongovernmental organization responsible for refugee and community development programs in Southeast Asia.

The Strathcona County Diversity Committee has so far sponsored an interfaith event and a blanket exercise done in the Indigenous tradition which illustrates the harmful effects of colonization on the original peoples of Canada. The committee is also planning a cultural event for the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.