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Bahá'í Way of Life - The Bahá'í Community’s Contribution to Society

A Bahá'í study circle
© Baha’i Media Bank

Bahá'í Way of Life - The Bahá'í Community’s Contribution to Society

The members of the Bahá'í community around the world are working together with their family, friends, neighbours and co-workers to translate the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh into reality. Engagement in this process takes two forms: developing one's inherent potentialities, and contributing towards the transformation and betterment of society. At the neighbourhood level, Bahá’ís contribute to community building by offering moral and spiritual education for children and young people, as well as devotional gatherings where groups of people can meet in a spiritually uplifting atmosphere. At local, regional and national levels, Bahá’ís are engaged in dialogue with other interested parties on the pressing issues facing society, such as gender equality, religious tolerance and caring for the environment.

1.
How does the Bahá'í community view young people between the ages of 11 – 15 years old?
As self-consumed and problematic
As altruistic with an acute sense of justice
As consumers
As a generation that is lost in the painful changes of adolescence
This age group is known as ‘junior youth’ and it is extremely important to support and encourage them at this age as this is when their character and world views are being formulated, and they have altruistic tendencies which should be encouraged.
2.
What approach do Bahá'í communities try to adopt in the way that they carry out their activities?
A pattern of action, then reflection on that action in order to do better next time
An attitude of learning in which mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn more
Encouragement of everyone to participate
All of the above
Bahá’ís see life as a learning process. The more humble a person is, the easier it is to learn.
3.
Bahá'u'lláh said that all people have been created to…
Get richer
Carry forward an ever-advancing civilisation
Become leaders
Shun material pleasures
This applies not just to material civilisation but to spiritual progress too. Every single human being has the potential and the responsibility to contribute to the advancement of civilisation in some way. The members of the Bahá’í community around the world are working with their families, friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances to make this vision a reality.
4.
What typically happens at a Bahá’í devotional meeting?
The attendees sit in silence and meditate for 20 minutes
Spiritually inspiring passages from Bahá’í and other scriptures are read aloud in a tranquil atmosphere
The attendees discuss a passage from the Bahá’í Writings
The attendees share a meal and watch a short film together
The spiritual nature of the meeting may be enhanced by music, flowers, lighted candles and periods of silent reflection. Listening to the chosen passages may well lead to a discussion on their meaning.
5.
What is a Bahá’í study circle?
A support group for young Bahá'í students
A group course that provides people from all backgrounds with the spiritual insight and practical skills needed to engage in acts of service to humanity
A Bahá'í book club
A method used by Bahá'í parents to help children with their homework
Study circles follow a sequence of courses based on the Bahá’í Writings, which aim to enable the participants to bring about a transformation in themselves and in society. The first in the sequence of courses is called Reflections on the Life of the Spirit. It examines such spiritual matters as prayer, meditation, life and death, and the development of the soul. Study circles are open to all people from the age of 15.
6.
What does the junior youth spiritual empowerment programme try to achieve?
To assist young people to become better at sport
To provide religious education
To empower young people to develop themselves and be of service to their community
To train young people to defend themselves
The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programme is a global initiative aimed at helping young people to recognise their own talents and abilities and use them to be of service to their community. It encourages young people to strive for excellence both spiritually and intellectually and to recognise the social forces that exert an influence on their lives. It started in 1994 with a number of pilot literacy projects.
7.
What is the aim of Bahá'í children’s classes?
To provide an environment where children can learn about religion and discover and enhance the spiritual qualities latent within them
To help children learn about the differences between the Bahá'í Faith and other religions
To provide religious education for children
To give parents more free time to attend Bahá'í activities
The Bahá’í children's classes are open to children from all backgrounds and religious affiliations.
8.
What is the purpose of a devotional meeting?
To bring people together to praise their Creator
To pray for God’s blessings and confirmations
To strengthen the spiritual atmosphere in the neighbourhood
All of the above
Bahá’ís host devotional meetings in their homes and community centres, where everyone is welcome to join in.
9.
Who is allowed to attend children’s classes, junior youth groups and study courses run by Bahá’ís?
Only Bahá’ís who live in the local area
Bahá’ís, their family members and close friends who live in the local area
Bahá’ís, their family members and close friends from anywhere
Anyone
These meetings and activities are open to all and are offered as part of efforts to create stronger ties of love and friendship between the members of a geographical community.
10.
What should be the role of the facilitator of Bahá'í study circles?
To discipline the group
To enable the participants to progress through the course and to learn from one another
To see the participants as empty vessels who need to be filled up with the knowledge and learning of the facilitator
To encourage the participants to engage in lengthy discussions and debates with no clear conclusion
The role of the study circle facilitator is not to impart knowledge, but to accompany the participants to develop their capacity to be of service to humanity. The goal is for the participants to advance together, respectful of the knowledge that each of them contributes to the process.

 

Author:  National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom

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