New Baha'i Houses of Worship

May 2011
507
Australia
#1
Many of you may have read the latest Ridvan Message, and heard that the Universal House of Justice has announced the planned erection of 7 more Mashriqu'l-Adhkars around the planet. This is exciting!!

They have announced the planned establishment of a National one in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a National one in Papua New Guinea; and 5 Local ones in different countries.

What I don't quite understand, and someone else might, is, 'What is the practical difference between a Local and National one'??

Surely, anyone should be free to go to a local one as well??

Perhaps the local ones will just be open less hours; or they won't be used as an icon so much in teaching campaigns on a National level.
 
Mar 2011
315
us
#3
The difference is in the intended purposes of each House of Worship! Each House of Worship erected on earth has it's own particular purpose which is unseen to the eyes of men. That is what I believe the House of Justice means by local and national.
 
May 2011
507
Australia
#4
Thank you Armin!

And of course, someone just pointed out to me that the National Houses of Worship house the NSAs and the Local Houses of Worship will house the LSAs.
Important point, I forgot about that. ha!)
 
Jun 2006
4,319
California
#5
That is exciting! A friend of mine had shared some plans he had for a Mashriqul Adhkar in the Phillipines...
 
Aug 2010
725
New Zealand mainly
#7
Ridvan Message 2012

Those who haven't already seen my Bahai news blog or facebook might like to know thatlinks to the English and Persian texts of the Ridvan message can be found here:

Ridvan message 2012 « Sen's daily

The Mashriqu'l-Adhkars come in various types: there's a tablet from Abdu'l-Baha that praises someone who set aside an area in their home as a Mashriq, and another tablet where he says that the Persian Bahais should build Mashriqs in every village, even if it must be underground. But there are also tablets saying it must be nine-sided and circular, and "as perfect as possible in the world of being." And there are references to Mashriqs at burial places that the Bahais will visit - a little-pilgrimmage Mashriq. It would be nice to have one in London near the grave of the Guardian. Every local assembly is intended to have one, because the Guardian writes:

Nor will the exertions, no matter how disinterested and strenuous, of those who within the precincts of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar will be engaged in administering the affairs of the future Bahá'í Commonwealth, fructify and prosper unless they are brought into close and daily communion with those spiritual agencies centering in and radiating from the central Shrine of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Nothing short of direct and constant interaction between the spiritual forces emanating from this House of Worship centering in the heart of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, and the energies consciously displayed by those who administer its affairs in their service to humanity can possibly provide the necessary agency capable of removing the ills that have so long and so grievously afflicted humanity. For it is assuredly upon the consciousness of the efficacy of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, reinforced on one hand by spiritual communion with His Spirit, and on the other by the intelligent application and the faithful execution of the principles and laws He revealed, that the salvation of a world in travail must ultimately depend. And of all the institutions that stand associated with His Holy Name, surely none save the institution of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar can most adequately provide the essentials of Bahá'í worship and service, both so vital to the regeneration of the world. Therein lies the secret of the loftiness, of the potency, of the unique position of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar as one of the outstanding institutions conceived by Bahá'u'lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 186)
What surprised me in the message was the designation of the Mashriqs in Congo and Papua New Guinea as national, rather than continental. That means in fact that we have three levels of Mashriq being built simultaneously: the continental one in Santiago, two national ones, and five local ones.

By the way, there already are local Mashriqs, established at local initiative, in some local communities, mainly in the third world. There's one in Scotland that I've visited twice. It is nine-sided, and stands beside a celtic "maze" laid out in a garden. It has a raised floor about 5 metres across, tent sides and a canvas roof with skylights in it. There are simple wooden benches for about 50 people, and last time I was there, an arrangement of living flowers and ferns in the centre.

there's more on this on my blog:
Mashriqu’l-adhkar types «                   Sen McGlinn's blog
and at Bahai-library:
Exploring the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
 

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