Welcome to the launch of our new website!

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The UK National Baha’i Community is delighted to announce the launch of its newly designed website: www.bahai.uk.org

Along with a new look, we have included some features that we hope will make visiting the site easier and a more interactive experience.

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Some of the main features of the site include a section on Baha’i beliefs, various aspects of community life, a section dedicated to sharing stories about some of the early British Baha’is, and a section exploring ‘Abdu’l- Baha’s visits to the UK.

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We will be rolling out new pages and functionality over the coming months, and hope that you enjoy visiting the new website.

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We invite you to start exploring!

Lord Nick Bourne visits UK National Bahá’í Centre

On 14 September 2016, a group of Bahá’ís from all over London gathered to welcome a visit from the Lord Nick Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to the National Bahá’í Centre in London.

As part of the visit, Lord Bourne enjoyed a brief tour of the National Bahá’í Centre and was given an introduction to the work of the Office of Public Affairs and the social discourses with which they are involved. Lord Bourne also attended a devotional gathering where prayers and music were shared.
In addressing those present, Lord Bourne commended the Bahá’í Community of the UK for its contributions to interfaith activities and dialogue within the country.
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He then had the opportunity to meet with a diverse representation of the Bahá’í community, and in particular youth, and discuss with them their efforts to build ties of friendship and community in their neighbourhoods.
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APPG on the Baha’i Faith hosts seminar exploring denial of economic rights to religious minorities

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The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Baha’i Faith hosted a special seminar in parliament on 19 July exploring the denial of economic rights to members of religious minorities in Iran.

The event was chaired by Craig Williams MP, who was joined by panellists representing Open Doors UK & Ireland, Human Rights & Democracy at the Foreign Commonwealth Office, and the Office of Public Affairs of the Baha’i Community of the UK.

The event also saw the UK launch of a special report by the Baha’i International Community entitled, “Their Progress and Development are Blocked: The Economic Oppression of Iran’s Baha’is” https://www.bic.org/publications/their-progress-and-development-are-blocked

Craig Williams MP opened the event and stressed the importance of raising awareness of the violation of the economic rights of members of religious minorities, and particularly those of the Baha’is and Christians in Iran.

Daniel Wheatley, a representative of the UK Baha’i Community, emphasised how even today “the Iranian state can at any time remove the means of livelihood for Baha’is”. Baha’is continue to be denied jobs, property, access to higher education, and the basic human right of freedom of belief. The suppression of any economic activity by Baha’is in Iran is reinforced by the clear government mandate that categorically prohibits the issuing of a work permit – for activities ranging from working in a café to owning a flower shop – to any Baha’i.  Wheatley likened this denial of social and economic opportunities as a “systematic persecution that is geared towards the bloodless strangulation of a peaceful and loyal community”.

Whilst the Iranian constitution does recognise and, to some extent, provide protection to Christians (alongside Jews and Zoroastrians), in practice this protection is limited and is only accorded to more ‘traditional’ Christians. As Zoe Smith, the Open Doors representative
, stated, “This quiet oppression eats away at the soul of a person – the knowledge that you can never progress or provide for your family in a way that you could if you followed a different religion – knowing that you will forever be a second class citizen.”

Drawing on various research with regard to the persecution of religious minorities, an FCO official emphasised the clear correlation between the economic prosperity of a nation and the upholding of human rights for all its citizens. “Defending the freedom of religion and belief and respect for human rights can counter violent extremism and contribute to generating sustainable development and greater economic prosperity for all.”

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