COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions
Keeping Community Alive During COVID-19: Baha’i Initiatives

From Italy to India, Australia to the United States, and in communities across the global, restrictions on gathering because of physical distancing restrictions present challenges that different communities are meeting in ways that are both traditional and new. The Baha’i community offers some examples. Guidance and examples include visiting neighbors (at a safe distance or virtually), sewing face masks, distributing disinfectants, and creating informative banners. Spiritual needs can be met through online prayer meetings, devotional programs with visual presentations meant to convey the feeling of sitting in the temple, and classes for children.

With communities that cross boundaries, adaptations and advice vary according to the local situation. Adherents of the Baha’i faith in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are participating in community-building efforts centered around making sure all have access to information about things such as proper sanitary practices, and which crops to plant to ensure food security. Young people are getting actively involved; a song is "intended to teach the whole community about the crisis and inspire solidarity as we change our daily patterns to save lives,” says one of the young songwriters, Sinclair Mbiya. It is broadcast on the radio across the country to reinforce public health precautionary messages from a trusted and hopeful source. In different communities adherents of different faiths are working deliberately together to confront the crisis. “We feel that this is the time when we can reach out to everyone for a profound conversation on spiritual and social transformation, because people have become more conscious of a central idea at the heart of Baha’u’llah’s message: we are all one, we are interdependent, and we are all called on to support one another,” said Nilakshi Rajkhowa, of the Baha’i Office of External Affairs in India.

(Based on: March 25, 2020; April 10, 2020; April 15, 2020; and April 18, 2020, Baha'i World News Service articles) 

Upcoming Event
April 30, 12:00 p.m. EDT
The COVID-19 Crisis: Adaptions and Tensions During the Month of Ramadan

How are different communities adapting traditional practices that mark the holy month of Ramadan during the shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 crisis? In this conversation, participants from Muslim communities around the world will explore the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on religious practices and gatherings during Ramadan and the role of faith leadership and communities in adapting these practices.

Please RSVP at least 24 hours in advance of the event start time to receive the webinar link.
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