Worldwide, Baha'i communities respond to terrorist attacks in the U.S. with prayers and offers of service

1 October 2001

NEW YORK — At the international, national and local levels, Baha'i communities around the world responded to last month's terrorist attacks in the United States with prayers, voluntary acts of service, donations and messages of condolence.

Many of the world's 182 Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies issued statements, messages of condolence, and calls for prayer meetings.

In New York City itself, some members of the local Baha'i community rushed to the site of the World Trade Center complex and offered help. Several individuals donated time working in restaurants to help prepare food for rescue workers. Other Baha'is donated blood or items like clothing or food.

Baha'is in all four boroughs of New York City held prayer services immediately after the attack. The New York Baha'i Center, which is located on 11th Street, was inaccessible to the general public for much of the week because it is below 14th Street, in the area cordoned off by police. However, by Friday, 14 September, that area was opened and the community sponsored a service at the Center as part of a national day of prayer and mourning.

On the same day, in cities large and small, thousands of Baha'is in hundreds of communities gathered to pray, light candles, and remember the thousands of people who died in the attacks. In the Baha'i House of Worship for North America, located outside of Chicago, 800 people gathered on Friday for a noon prayer service.