National Bahá’í Conventions: A unique electoral process
BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE — The past weeks have seen Bahá’í communities around the globe elect their national governing councils—known as National Spiritual Assemblies. The series of annual conventions will conclude with Guam, where Typhoon Mawar has caused some delay.
National conventions bring together delegates who have earlier been elected in district or “unit” conventions across the country. National conventions provide an opportunity for delegates, from each unit, to carry out their sacred responsibility of voting for the members of the National Assembly in a joyful and spiritual atmosphere.
The election of the National Assembly follows the basic Bahá’í electoral procedures: there is no nomination or campaigning, secret ballots are used, electors consider moral character and capability, and those women and men who receive the most votes are elected.
There are also consultations among the delegates, who explore insights from Bahá’í endeavors toward social transformation at the local, regional, and national level. These endeavors involve educational programs that build capacity for community-building, as well as social action, and participation in societal discourses.
The images below offer a glimpse into various national conventions that recently took place across the world over.
The 73rd national Bahá'í convention in Canada brought together 171 delegates to elect the National Spiritual Assembly. As part of the convention program, participants visited the site of the future National House of Worship.
Delegates and guests gathered at the 53rd national convention of the Central African Republic.
Delegates at the national convention of the Bahá’ís of the Caroline Islands gathered for two days and evenings, consulting on how to intensify Bahá’í efforts in their communities toward social transformation.
The three-day national convention of the Bahá’ís of India was held at the site of the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi.
The 62nd national Bahá’í convention in Peru took place in a spiritual atmosphere as delegates carried out their sacred responsibility of voting for members of the National Spiritual Assembly.
On the first evening of the 93rd national convention of the Bahá’ís of Germany, delegates visited the Bahá'í temple to spiritually prepare for the election of the National Spiritual Assembly.
In Kiribati, evening programs at the 57th national Bahá’í convention featured devotions and traditional dance. At a separate event at the State Guest House, the country’s President (bottom row, center) greeted the delegates.
Delegates and other attendees at the national convention of the Bahá’ís of Tunisia.
Delegates of the 115th national Bahá'í convention in the United States, gathered in Foundation Hall at the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois to elect their National Spiritual Assembly.
Seen here are images of the 47th national Bahá’í convention for New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands.
Participants gathered at the 60th national Bahá’í convention in Tanzania.
During the national convention held by the Bahá'ís of France, delegates had the opportunity to walk in the gardens surrounding the apartment where ʻAbdu'l-Bahá had once stayed during his brief visit to the country.
The delegates of the national convention for the Bahá’ís of Vanuatu at the local Bahá’í temple on the Island of Tanna.
The 65th national convention of the Turkish Bahá’í community.
Delegates representing Bahá’ís communities throughout Vietnam gathered at the 16th national convention.
Delegates at national Bahá’í convention in Australia explored insights from their local communities.
The national Bahá'í convention held in Fiji included traditional dance performed by the younger members of the community.
Delegates at the national convention of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom reflected on the path traversed over the last 100 years as they celebrated the first election of their national governing council in 1923.
Delegates were uplifted with a renewed determination to contribute in their communities to promoting a materially and spiritually prosperous world after attending the 61st national convention for the Bahá’ís of Honduras.
Delegates at the 25th national convention of the Bahá’ís of Lithuania reflected on efforts to contribute to the betterment of humanity and discussed how these efforts could be intensified in the coming year.
The 40th national convention of the Bahá’ís of Gabon.
Delegates at the national convention for the Bahá’ís of Norway contributed to a profound consultation on experiences to promote material and spiritual prosperity in their country.
Attendees at the 63rd national convention of the Bahá’ís of Ecuador included 30 delegates representing communities from across the country.
The 54th national convention of the Bahá’ís of the Samoan Islands took place at the site of the House of Worship. Delegates visited the resting place of Hand of the Cause of God, Dr. Ugo Giachery, after dawn prayers.
Delegates at the 30th national convention in Tajikistan represented Bahá’í communities across the country.
The 55th national Bahá’í convention in the Virgin Islands took place at the National Centre on the island of St. Thomas.
Delegates gathered for the 33rd national convention of the Bahá’ís of the Russian Federation.
Delegates of the 52nd national Bahá’í convention in the Solomon Islands.
Joy and enthusiasm permeated the national Bahá’í convention in South Africa with delegates attending from Bahá’í communities across the country.