Prayer gatherings in ‘Akká-Haifa have welcomed all people, irrespective of their cultural or religious backgrounds, in a shared spirit of kindness and fellowship.

Fostering hope and fellowship: Series of gatherings in ‘Akká-Haifa promote warm interactions

January 4, 2024
Listen

BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE — In recent weeks, the ‘Akká-Haifa area has seen a series of heartwarming prayer gatherings welcoming all people. Friends and neighbors, irrespective of their cultural or religious backgrounds, including those from Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities, as well as those who do not identify with a religious tradition, have come together in a shared spirit of kindness and fellowship.

These gatherings, most of which have been co-organized by representatives of the Bahá’í Faith, have drawn together local residents to share prayers or inspiring readings from their religious traditions. In these challenging times, such exchanges have fostered warm interactions and kindled hope among attendees, who have valued the opportunity to engage with people from different backgrounds in a meaningful way.

A gathering this week in the vicinity of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Bahjí brought together residents from the nearby towns of Kafr Yasif, Sheikh Dannun, Clil, and Yarka, sharing prayers and music from their diverse traditional backgrounds.

One of the residents at that gathering noted: “When you see such souls, you believe that the world is still good.”

An earlier gathering in the series held in Bahjí included a visit by some 30 youth from the Akko Center for Arts & Technology (A-CAT)—an organization fostering societal harmony among that city’s diverse population.

Naim Obeid, CEO of A-CAT, captured the essence of these gatherings: “When people with diverse perspectives meet in such spaces, they meet the ‘other,’ and the ‘other’ becomes ‘us.’”

Below is a selection of images from these gatherings.

Seen here is the recent gathering with residents from nearby towns of Kafr Yasif,  Sheikh Dannun, Clil, and Yarka, who visited Bahjí, sharing prayers and music from their traditional backgrounds.

Seen here is the recent gathering with residents from nearby towns of Kafr Yasif,  Sheikh Dannun, Clil, and Yarka, who visited Bahjí, sharing prayers and music from their traditional backgrounds.

A group of ‘Akká youth visited the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and gathered at the Bahjí Visitors’ Centre to pray together.

A group of ‘Akká youth visited the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and gathered at the Bahjí Visitors’ Centre to pray together.

Local residents at a gathering in Haifa at the Visitors’ Information Centre of the Bahá’í World Centre.

Local residents at a gathering in Haifa at the Visitors’ Information Centre of the Bahá’í World Centre.

A 20-member delegation from the Greek Orthodox community and members of the Congregational Council as well as the Archbishopric Women’s Movement visited the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and then gathered at the Bahjí Visitors’ Centre for prayers.

A 20-member delegation from the Greek Orthodox community and members of the Congregational Council as well as the Archbishopric Women’s Movement visited the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and then gathered at the Bahjí Visitors’ Centre for prayers.

An interfaith prayer gathering held at a Maronite church brought together some 90 people of diverse faiths with prayer readings in different languages. Ariane Sabet (Bottom-left, right), Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahá’í International Community, expressed her appreciation for the gathering and read a prayer about unity.

An interfaith prayer gathering held at a Maronite church brought together some 90 people of diverse faiths with prayer readings in different languages. Ariane Sabet (Bottom-left, right), Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahá’í International Community, expressed her appreciation for the gathering and read a prayer about unity.

Seen here is another gathering with residents from nearby towns of Kafr Yasif, Sheikh Dannun, Clil, and Yarka, who visited Bahjí.

Seen here is another gathering with residents from nearby towns of Kafr Yasif, Sheikh Dannun, Clil, and Yarka, who visited Bahjí.