Dr. Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury. (Photo courtesy of Magdalene College)
London—15 April 2014Two senior leaders of the Church of England have praised the ground-breaking action of an Iranian ayatollah who last week called for religious "coexistence" by dedicating to the Baha'is of the world, and particularly the Baha'is of Iran, an illuminated calligraphic rendering of a passage from their sacred texts. Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said the gift of Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani was of "immense significance". "It represents not only a personally gracious gesture but also a strand within... Read more . . .
Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani perfecting an illuminated work of calligraphy. The words used in this piece are from the writings of Baha'u'llah.
New York—7 April 2014In a symbolic and unprecedented move, Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a prominent Muslim cleric in Iran announced today that he has gifted to the Baha'is of the world an illuminated work of calligraphy of a paragraph from the writings of Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith. This move comes in the wake of several recent statements by religious scholars in the Muslim world who have set out alternative interpretations of the teachings of Islam in which tolerance of every religion is, in fact, upheld by the holy Qur'an. "This... Read more . . .

Photo: UN Geneva
Geneva—28 March 2014The UN Human Rights Council’s overwhelming vote today to extend the mandate of its special investigator on Iran shows that the international community is pleased with Ahmed Shaheed’s excellent work and it expects Iran to make good on its promises to improve human rights, said the Baha'i International Community. “The vote today to extend the mandate of Ahmed Shaheed is a powerful signal that the world expects action – not just words – from President Rouhani and his government on human rights,” said Diane Ala’i, Representative of the Baha'i... Read more . . .

Ming H. Chong

Viewpoint by Ming Hwee Chong Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations
New York—26 March 2014Although the priority theme of the 52nd Commission for Social Development revolved around “promoting empowerment,” there was remarkably little discussion of how people actually come to be empowered. Given that empowerment means many things to many people, I should perhaps clarify at the outset my understanding of this multi-faceted term. I understand individual and collective empowerment to be the expansion of vision, capacity and volition necessary for people to act as effective agents of human well-being and prosperity.  While the Commission... Read more . . .

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