Houses of Worship: Officials explore social cohesion at Chile temple
SANTIAGO, Chile — A recent gathering held at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Santiago brought together government officials, the Minister Secretary-General of the Presidency, members of Chile’s National Office of Religious Affairs, and representatives of the country’s Bahá’í community to explore how religion can contribute to building a more cohesive society.
Discussions focused on the idea that service is integral to social progress. This concept represents the essence of Bahá’í Houses of Worship, where prayer and contemplation inspire service to society.
“We feel at home here,” said Álvaro Elizalde Soto, the Minister Secretary-General of the Presidency. “The temple is marvelous and has been very well designed as a place for prayer and reflection.”
Minister Elizalde Soto expressed his appreciation for the historic contributions of the Bahá’í community to Chile and conveyed his desire for fostering a more inclusive country.
Macarena Lobos, the Undersecretary of the Ministry General Secretariat of Government, emphasized that “constructive dialogue and collaboration with religious communities are essential for advancing toward a more prosperous society.”
Verónica Oré, director of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Santiago, highlighted the pivotal role that the principle of the oneness of humanity plays in societal progress. “To apply this principle, many patterns and structures in our current social order will need to be reorganized to enable all people to participate in shaping an equitable and unified society.”
Since its dedication in 2016, the House of Worship has become a focal point for profound discussions among various societal actors, exploring topics such as the extremes of wealth and poverty, equality between men and women, the protection of nature, and the economy.