Plans to build new Houses of Worship announced

22 April 2012

With the construction under way in Chile of the last of the continental Baha'i Houses of Worship, plans have been announced for the building of the first two national Baha'i Temples – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea.

The historic announcement was made yesterday by the Universal House of Justice in its annual message to mark the first day of Ridvan, the holiest festival in the Baha'i year.

Baha'i Houses of Worship are distinctive buildings, open to all, where visitors can simply pray and meditate in a serene atmosphere, or listen to the holy scriptures of the world's religions being recited and sung. Each House of Worship provides a spiritual center around which agencies of social, humanitarian, and educational service are established for the surrounding population.

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  • Baha'is from the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea at a conference held in the city of Lae in January 2009. "Oro oro oro" means "Welcome welcome welcome." The… »

  • Citizens of Bihar Sharif in Bihar state, northeastern India, gather for prayers. Discussions are soon to commence about the construction of a local Baha'i House… »

  • Young people participate in a class in Norte del Cauca, in the southwest region of Colombia, south of the city of Cali. A new local Baha'i House of Worship is to… »

  • A Baha'i-inspired agency, CORDE, develops capacity for service to society in Battambang, Cambodia, where a new local Baha'i House of Worship will be built.

  • The first Baha'i House of Worship was completed in 1908 in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan, home to a large, early Baha'i community. The House of Worship itself was… »

  • The oldest surviving Baha'i House of Worship stands on the shores of Lake Michigan at Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A. The cornerstone of the temple was laid by… »

  • The Baha'i House of Worship in Tiapapata, near Apia, Samoa. Officially opened in September 1984, the House of Worship has become a well-known landmark.

  • Dedicated in 1986, the Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi, India is one of the most visited buildings in the world, receiving an average of 4.3 million visitors… »

This institution weds "two essential, inseparable aspects of Baha'i life: worship and service," wrote the Universal House of Justice.

In addition to the two new national Temples, consultations are to commence in five regions of the world on the creation of local Houses of Worship. The locations are: Battambang, Cambodia; Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu.

These are among the places where Baha'i communities are cultivating a "devotional spirit that finds expression in gatherings for prayer and an educational process that builds capacity for service to humanity," wrote the Universal House of Justice.

Referring to the Houses of Worship, the letter concluded: "From these Dawning-Points of the Remembrance of God will shine the rays of His light and peal out the anthems of His praise."

Baha'i Houses of Worship around the world
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Iconic "Lotus Temple" focus of worldwide campaign

House of Worship in Delhi depicted in 14 countries.

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