Government minister praises Baha'i contribution to Luxembourg

24 July 2011

The Luxembourg Baha'i community's involvement in society has been praised by a high-ranking government minister on a special visit to the national Baha'i centre.

Minister of Finance Luc Frieden made his remarks at a celebration marking National Day, the official birthday of His Royal Highness Henri, Grand-Duke of Luxembourg.

Citing the importance of the values of tolerance and unity, the minister expressed the government's gratitude to the Baha'is for their commitment to the life of the country.

"The value of a religious community, or any other organization, should be a reflection of the contribution it makes towards the development of society," said Mr. Frieden.

To that end, Mr. Frieden spoke of the importance of people being involved in the community in which they live, "looking more to the common good and the effects of their actions on others."

Amir Saberin, the chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Luxembourg described the occasion as "very historic and significant for us."

"For the first time, Mr. Frieden came in order to show the government's appreciation and recognition of the work of the Baha'i community," said Dr. Saberin.

"He wanted to know what we are doing practically. We talked about education and how we are particularly trying to be involved with our fellow citizens to give responsibility to, and develop the potential of, young people."

Dr. Saberin also mentioned the situation in Iran today where young Baha'is are barred from entering university, and their subsequent efforts to continue their education are branded as illegal.

In response, Mr. Frieden expressed his support for an increased focus on education, mutual respect and the "fundamental values inherent to all civilization."

The minister was accompanied at the event – which took place on 21 June – by two deputies of the Luxembourgish Parliament, Martine Stein-Mergen and Fernand Kartheiser.

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