Participants in the inauguration gathering Sunday file out of the Baha'i House of Worship in Norte del Cauca, Colombia, after praying inside for the first time.
People walk past the Temple’s ancillary buildings for their visit to the interior of the central edifice. The group was led by Carmen Elisa de Sadeghian, the representative of the Universal House of Justice to the gathering (Front row, right).
Mrs. de Sadeghian reads the message from the Universal House of Justice to the gathering. “This House of Worship stands now as a symbol of the beauty inherent in the noble people of this region and its design evokes the generosity of their land,” the message states.
Participants enter the Temple for their first visit. Five groups of about 220 people each filled the Temple for a devotional program which included prayers and readings from the Baha’i writings.
A choir sings a passage from the Baha’i writings during the devotional program inside the central edifice.
Participants sit inside the House of Worship for its first devotional program.
A woman reads a prayer during one of the devotional programs inside the Temple.
People reverently listen to prayers in the Temple.
Some of the devotional program’s readers listen to prayers inside the Temple.
The devotional program inside the House of Worship included time for quiet, private prayer.
After having visited the Temple, people walk down its stairs to participate in the rest of the inauguration gathering.
Participants leave the Temple after praying inside for the first time.
The audience listens to a talk by Mr. Gustavo Correa, a former member of the Universal House of Justice. Mr. Correa spoke about the significance of a House of Worship, explaining that its opening is a significant step in “an enterprise that aims to bring material and spiritual prosperity to a whole region.”
Dr. Farzam Arbab, a former member of the Universal House of Justice, spoke at the inauguration about the history of the Baha’i Faith in the region of Norte del Cauca.
Mrs. de Sadeghian addresses the gathering of more than 1,000 people during the dedication ceremony.
Villa Rica Mayor Jenny Nair Gómez, one of four mayors of nearby towns at the gathering, addressed the dedication ceremony’s participants.
The Temple’s architect Julian Gutierrez Chacón describes the process of designing the Temple.
A dance group performs to the song “Alma Nortecaucana,” meaning “the Soul of Norte del Cauca,” which is about the arrival of the Baha’i Faith in the region and how Baha’u’llah’s teachings are given expression in the hopes and aspirations of the people
Dancers perform the song “La Cumbia del Jardinero,” which uses a metaphor of a gardener to describe the process of spiritual education.
The audience claps along as dancers perform the song “La Cumbia del Jardinero.”
The band performs the music to the song “La Cumbia del Jardinero.”
Young people perform on stage during the dedication ceremony.
A group of students from a nearby Baha’i-inspired school perform traditional Colombian dances.
A choir sings during the Temple’s dedication ceremony.
Participants in the dedication ceremony look closely at displays showing the history of the Baha’i Faith in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia.
People look at a special carpet that had been placed in the Shrine of the Bab and was delivered for the House of Worship, signifying the Temple’s profound connection with the spiritual center of the Baha’i Faith.
Participants in the dedication ceremony tour a burgeoning native forest that is part of the Temple site. Called the Bosque Nativo, the growing forest stands in contrast to the surrounding fields of sugar cane that have overtaken the region’s once-diverse plant life.
Youth gather to sing and express the joy of the moment.
A group of youth joined together in collective singing.
Volunteers joyfully welcome and register participants in the Temple’s dedication ceremony.
Volunteers carefully arranged name tags for the participants.
Participants await the start of Sunday’s dedication ceremony.
Two girls from the Caribbean coast of Colombia smile during the dedication ceremony.
Many youth participated in the dedication ceremony.
Some of Sunday’s performers, who are students from a nearby Baha’i-inspired school, smile and wave during the gathering.
Some of the dancers pose for a photo during the dedication ceremony.