Bahai Faith gets recognition on World Religion Day

Members of the Bahai faith were on hand at the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building courtyard recently, to accept a county proclamation declaring Jan. 15 as World Religion Day.

Joanne Farlander of the Kaua‘i Bahai Faith community said that having World Religion Day recognized by Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste helps draw attention to what their faith is all about.

“People have been celebrating World Religion Day since 1950,” she said.

“It’s a very important day to set aside. This brings attention to what we believe, that all religions come from the same source, and that religion is intended to be the cause of unity.” The goal of World Religion Day, Farlander said, is to build unity within the community.

“The basic underlying of the Faith is that we really are one family, one racially and economically.

It’s a reminder that we all come from the same root.” There was no major celebration on the day, but a performance put on by members of the Bahai Faith community on Kaua‘i and members of the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai did happen the following day, at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration at Kukui Grove Center.

Patrick Parks, a follower of the Bahai Faith and a member of the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai, put together the Bahais’ portion of the celebration.

“World Religion Day isn’t directly related to Martin Luther King Day, but more so indirectly in that the Bahai Faith is about unity. Each group had a five-minute presentation,” he said. “It’s an indirect connection.” Members of the Bahai Faith believe that every civilization and culture was built on religion, and that each of God’s messengers brought a code of both spiritual and social laws for their time period, given in the language of the day.

“The proclamation is commemorating what we’ve been celebrating for years,” said Farlander.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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