Bicentenary Celebrations [2017 - 2019]

Bahá'í gardens with olive trees in Akka, Israel.

“Light to the World”
This film was commissioned by the Universal House of Justice, the Bahá’i world-governing body, for the occasion of the 200th Birth of Bahá’u’lláh in 2017. Regarding this Movie, the Universal House of Justice has stated: “it is hoped that the friends, in addition to their many other activities, will put on screenings that stimulate conversations about the Person of Bahá’u’lláh, about how He was willing to bear extraordinary hardship so that humankind might be rescued from its confusion and suffering, and about how He now inspires the efforts of millions of people who derive from His teachings inner strength and spiritual direction for their lives.”

“Dawn of the Light”
This film was also commissioned by the Universal House of Justice, the Bahá’i world-governing body, for the occasion of the 200th Birth of the Báb in 2019. This movie portrays several individuals from different continents as they relate their own personal search after truth and meaning. They share their discovery that God has sent two Divine Manifestations—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh—Whose teachings are revolutionizing human thought and behavior, changing darkness into light. The film shows glimpses of how this same discovery is inspiring the efforts of many across the globe to serve humanity and to contribute to building a new pattern of life.

Follow this link to see the historic bicentenary commemorations, worldwide.

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In observance of these anniversaries, many events were planned in Salem and surrounding communities. Below are highlights of some of those events:

Shrine of the Báb on Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel.

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. – Celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb:
A program containing arts and music, reading a few passages and prayers revealed by the Báb, stories, showing of the movie "Dawn of the Light" and serving of appetizers and desserts were planned. We were honored by attendance and speech of the Mayor of Salem, the honorable Chuck Bennett.
See pictures of this celebration.

Tiger Rose Japanese maple tree and the plaque.

Sunday, April 14th, 2019, 2:00 p.m. - On behalf of Bahá'ís of Oregon we planted a Tiger Rose Japanese maple tree in honor of the 200th Births of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, the twin Prophet-Founders of the Bahá'í Faith. A plaque, commemorating this occasion, was also installed. We are grateful to the Peace Plaza Board and the City of Salem officials and employees who made this possible. An open house was held at the Baha'i Center, after the planting ceremony.

The inscription on the plaque reads:
“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.” -Bahá’u’lláh

Gift from the Bahá’ís of Oregon on the bicentennial celebration of the Births of the twin Prophet-Founders of the Bahá’í Faith: The Báb and Bahá’u’lláh
29 Oct. 2019 & 22 Oct. 2017

Please visit this tree and the plaque in the Peace Plaza, located just south of downtown Salem, in the Vern W. Miller Civic Center between City Hall and the Public Library at 555 Liberty St. SE, Salem, OR. Public parking is available next to the Library and the Civic Center.
See pictures of this event.

Sunday, October 14th, 2018, 7:15 p.m. – Screening of the movie "The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith". As the world suffers from the divisive forces of strife and intolerance, a new Faith advocates the oneness of humanity’s major religions as a path toward world peace. The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith is the groundbreaking documentary that tells the amazing, true story of the Prophet Herald known as The Báb (Arabic: The Gate), His message and the origins of a new era in world religion.

Venue: Salem Cinema at Salem Cinema 1127 Broadway St NE, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 378-7676

Following the 1-hour long movie, we will have discussions and answer to any questions from the audience.
Admission is free. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

“The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith” – Trailer

Also, of interest is a short interview with Steve Sarowitz, the executive producer of this film:

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. – Devotions & Fireside conversation on Bahá'í principles, at the Salem Bahá'í Center: An Evening of Music and Stories with Luke Slott. Luke is a singer and composer from Ireland. He was born into a musical family and studied piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has released 6 albums of both vocal and instrumental music. He has toured giving concerts and workshops in 20 countries. Luke uses music and stories to introduce friends to the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and to transport them through the early history of the Bahá'í Faith. This will be a very special night and is a wonderful opportunity for friends of the Faith to learn more. Please arrive early so that the presentation is not interrupted. Admission is free.

A sample of Luke Slott's songs: “One Hundred Thousand Veils”
Composed for International Human Rights Day, One Hundred Thousand Veils focuses on the plight of the Bahá'ís in Iran: the country's largest religious minority, who are subjected to systematic persecution by the Iranian government.

Sunday, June 10th, 2018, 2 p.m. – Screening of the movie ‘A Widening Embrace’: This film is a new innovative documentary film commissioned by the Universal House of Justice about the community-building efforts of the Baha’i world, as seen through the eyes of local populations.

Across the globe, followers of Bahá’u’lláh and their friends are striving in earnest to contribute to the well-being of their communities and the advancement of society. 'A Widening Embrace’ captures some experiences and insights from a selection of neighbourhoods and villages, in rural and urban settings. Here, a process of building vibrant communities is unfolding through individual and collective action propelled by a commitment to learning, in the words of Bahá’u’lláh, how to “translate that which hath been written into reality and action.”

Produced through a creative, grassroots process in which teams of often young people have documented the efforts of their own communities around the world to effect social change, the documentary draws on footage taken by those teams over the course of a year, and tells a story of transformation unfolding in 24 communities representing different realities and contexts. It focuses on three main themes: universal participation as a path toward collective prosperity, the vital role of young people in the transformation of society, and the emergence of a range of social and economic development initiatives that spring up from the spiritual aspirations of a population.

Approximate running time is 77 minutes. We will watch this movie at the Salem Bahá’í Center. Following the movie we will have discussions and refreshments.

You may now watch the full movie "A Widening Embrace" here.

Sunday, May 20th, 2018, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Screening of "Changing the World, One Wall at a Time", a documentary feature film on "# Education Is Not A Crime" initiative – one of the world’s largest street art and human rights campaigns, which raises awareness of education discrimination by Iran’s government against tens of thousands of Bahá’ís.

This film was directed by film director & journalist Maziar Bahari. The film features interviews with popular street artists from around the world – as well as activists with experience of the American Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, and human rights work on behalf of Iranians of all backgrounds. Local Iranian Bahá’ís with personal experience of being denied their right to higher education will share their stories after the screening.

Venue: Salem Cinema at Salem Cinema 1127 Broadway St NE, Salem, OR 97301, (503) 378-7676

Following the 1-hour long movie, we will have discussions and answer to any questions from the audience.
Admission is free. Limited seating. RSVP to:
Please visit this film's website.

“Changing the World, One Wall at a Time” – Trailer

You may now watch the full movie "Changing the World, One Wall at a Time" here.

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. — The 200th Anniversary Celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh was held at the Salem Bahá’í Center. The celebration included a short talk by Dr. Amir Badiei, music, prayers, presentations by children and youth, lunch together, a movie (“Light to the World”, prepared at the Bahá’í World Center, see above), socializing and dessert.
See pictures of this celebration.

Friday, October 20th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. — Celebration of the Birth of the Báb at the Salem Bahá’í Center. Beginning of the special Twin Holy Birthday celebrations. Devotionals, music and refreshments were planned for this evening.

Monday, October 9th, 2017, 6 p.m. — The mayor of Salem, OR, the honorable Chuck Bennett, at the City Council meeting in City Hall proclaimed 22 October 2017 as "A Day Honoring the Oneness of Humanity" in Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.
See pictures of this event…

Sunday, October 8th, 2017, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. — Public talk by Dr. Saghar Sadeghian, “Unity of Mankind: Bahá’u’lláh’s revolutionary message from 19th century Iran” at the Salem Public Library, Loucks Auditorium, located at 585 Liberty St SE, Salem, OR. Dr. Saghar Sadeghian, the Assistant Professor of History at Willamette University and Associate Director of Yale Iranian History Internet Archives (YIHA).
Read more about Prof. Sadeghian's talk…

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Public talk by Dr. Allen McKiel, Dean of Library Services at Western Oregon University. His topic was "Who is Bahá’u’lláh?" It addressed this question by exploring His teachings. He spoke at the Monmouth Public Library, 168 S. Ecols St, Monmouth, OR. Dr. McKiel is a Bahá'í and author of two books about religion: "Beyond Tolerance: Religion and Global Community" and "Being Human: Reflections from Psychology and Religion".




Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory. -Bahá’u’lláh
The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy peace. The day star of blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the kingdom of the name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the name of thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Arise before the nations of the earth, and arm thyself with the power of this Most Great Name, and be not of those who tarry. -Bahá’u’lláh

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