World’s coldest capital hosts Baha’i conference
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — The coldest capital city on earth was the gathering place last weekend for 1,800 Baha’is from Mongolia, Russia, and other nations – called together to celebrate achievements in community-building work and make plans for future activities at the local level.
Temperatures reached minus 30 C a day or two before the conference as people made their way to the gathering. Some of the Baha’is from eastern Mongolia had to get special permission from the government to travel during a major snowstorm, but they made it safely to Ulaanbaatar and were pleased to be part of the gathering, the first of its kind to be held in the country.
The event was one of 41 such conferences convened by the Universal House of Justice, the head of the Baha’i Faith, in cities around the world over a four-month span.
Simultaneous conferences were held last weekend in Madrid, Spain, and Sydney, Australia. The gathering in Sydney drew nearly 5,500 participants, making it the largest Baha’i conference ever held in the Southern Hemisphere. The event in Madrid included some 1,400 participants from peninsular Spain, the Canary Islands, and Portugal.
The 33 conferences to date have attracted some 63,900 people. Coming this week are events in Auckland, New Zealand, and Battambang, Cambodia, to be followed the next weekend by conferences in Frankfurt, Germany, and Padua, Italy.
Eighteen consecutive weeks of conferences will conclude on 1 March in Kiev, Ukraine.
For links to reports and photographs from all the conferences held to date, go on the Web to:
(Editor's note: The attendance figures for the gathering in Ulaanbaatar and for all conferences combined were corrected on 28 January 2009.)