Greenbelt Interfaith News
    Greenbelt News

    October 2, 1997

    Greenbelt Bahá'ís to Host Regional Convention
    By James Fischer
    Greenbelt Interfaith News (Special Correspondent)

    The Greenbelt Bahá'í Community will host one of America's 167 annual Bahá'í unit conventions in Greenbelt on October 4. The Greenbelt Bahá'ís will be joined by more than 120 other Bahá'ís from a five-county area and the District of Columbia who will meet at the Greenbelt Community Center to elect a delegate to the National Bahá'í Convention.

    The unit convention has a two-fold purpose for Bahá'ís . The first is to elect delegates from their respective electoral unit who will vote at the Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly (the national executive and administrative body). The Bahá'í electoral process is unique among election procedures, in that nominations and electioneering are not allowed. The voter, after prayerful consideration, selects the person believed to be best qualified for the position.

    The second purpose is for the Bahá'ís to consult and to make recommendations and suggestions to the National Spiritual Assembly. This year's unit convention will feature consultation on the upcoming historic election of the first regional councils, a new element of Bahá'í administration between the local and national levels. The four councils will be formed on November 12 in the northeast, southern, central and western areas of the United States in response to the increasing needs of an expanding Bahá'í community.

    The Bahá'í religion with over five million adherents worldwide, has a membership of approximately 133,000 in the United States, including more than 1,000 in the state of Maryland. Its writings and literature have been translated into more than 800 languages. Followers of Bahá'í, the prophet-founder of the Bahá'í Faith, come from diverse backgrounds and include representatives of over 2,100 tribes and minorities.

    James Fischer is secretary of the Greenbelt Bahá'í Community.

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    ©1997 James Fischer