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Old 01-16-2010, 07:52 AM   #1
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Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,303
INformation about Baha'is in Haiti...

A message to all members of Baha'i Public Information Officer Network

Dear Friends,

A message from the National Spiritual Assembly, with information on the Bahá’ís in Haiti as well as guidance on how to contribute to the relief effort there has been posted to the administrative website and to The American Bahá’í online at: The American Bah’ online edition (you’ll need to logon to the site to access the message).

As you can imagine, it has been difficult to obtain information from Haiti. From the news we have received so far, it appears that the members of the Haitian Bahá’í community are accounted for, and none thus far have been reported killed. Of course, many others are suffering terribly at this time and a special prayer service for Haiti will be held at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette on Sunday afternoon.

We hope you find comfort in the words of Shoghi Effendi as quoted in the following story posted on the public website: Prayers for Haiti | Bahai Faith | Baha'i Faith. "... When such a crisis sweeps over the world no person should hope to remain intact. We belong to an organic unit and when one part of the organism suffers all the rest of the body will feel its consequence. This is in fact the reason why Baha'u'llah calls our attention to the unity of mankind. But as Bahá'ís we should not let such hardship weaken our hope in the future... "

With loving regards,

Office of Communications
U.S. Baha'i National Center
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2009
From: Austin, TX
Posts: 5

19 January 2010

To a number of National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Bahá'í Friends and Colleagues,

With hearts grateful for the protection the Blessed Beauty has afforded the Bahá'í Community of Haïti during this difficult crisis, we write a brief message to thank you for your wonderful messages of support and your much-appreciated prayers. Your kind words of comfort and encouragement help us to feel the support and solidarity of our Bahá'í brothers and sisters throughout the world, a loving manifestation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's counsel that we "... powerfully sustain one another ...", and make us hopeful for the future.

We recently informed the Universal House of Justice that many Bahá'ís are among those who have lost their homes and all, or nearly all, of their material belongings. Yet the Bahá'í Community of Haïti has been mysteriously protected against loss of life; to date, this National Assembly is aware of just two deaths among the Bahá'ís caused by the devasting earthquake that struck dear Haïti - one, a dynamic young woman, was lost near Port-au-Prince during the earthquake itself, and the other, a woman in Cabaret, died last night due to wounds she had suffered. We imagine most of you are more aware than many of us of the horrific scenes of carnage, and the tens of thousands of dead still being counted. Of course with such a catastrophic loss of life, we are all mourning, and large numbers of Bahá'ís have lost members of their extended families.

While we are profoundly saddened by these deaths, our hearts are strengthened by the many, many stories of individual Bahá'ís who were spared death under amazing circumstances - we've learned of neighborhoods that were leveled, but somehow all the children participating in Bahá'í children's classes were spared; of individual Bahá'ís who were uncharacteristically absent from work at the moment of the earthquake when their office buildings collapsed; of a young Bahá'í child momentarily alone in a two-story house who was spared even injury because of the way the structure collapsed around him. We are humbly thankful for these evidences of divine strength and protection. We are also encouraged by the most recent and striking manifestations of the courage, solidarity, generosity, resilience and firm faith in God that characterize the Haïtian people.

Our attempt to conduct a complete inventory of the Bahá'ís in localities most affected is still underway, but we have learned of the survival of most of the Bahá'ís in three priority clusters which were violently struck by the earthquake. As we struggle to assess damage and to console, encourage and care for one another, we sincerely appreciate your messages of support, and we ask for your continued prayers that the Haïtian Bahá'í Community will be blessed by further measures of divine protection, and be strengthened by the Ancient Beauty to arise, to take full advantage of our opportunities to re-establish and even multiply our core activities, so that we may be enabled to fulfill our pledge to the Universal House of Justice to contribute at least five Intensive Programs of Growth during the current Plan.

Several of your messages indicated commitments of financial aid or requested guidance on such support. We sincerely thank you for these concrete expressions of solidarity and request that any aid be directed through the Bahá'í World Centre.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

Glen Bouchard

cc: The Universal House of Justice
Counsellor Rodrigo Tomás
Counsellor Ehsan Hemmat

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