Posts Tagged ‘National Spiritual Assembly’

Baha’is: No politics needed


نشر موقع       Democrat-Herald هذا المقال بقلم اماندا روبين  Posted in Religion on Monday, October 11, 2010 10:23 am

magine it: No political parties, no speeches, no campaigning. Everyone is allowed to vote and anyone could be elected.

That’s how elections in the the Baha’i faith work.

On Oct. 3, more than 100 Baha’is from 10 counties across Oregon met at the Albany Senior Center for the day-long Unit Electoral Convention. There they voted for one person to be their representative in Wilmette, Ill., in April 2011 to vote for the nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

A Spiritual Assembly is a religious governing body. The assemblies — which exist at local, regional, national and international levels — don’t tell other Baha’is how to interpret scripture. Rather they are available for organizing Baha’i events, helping with personal difficulties, assisting with Baha’i marriages and funerals, and providing educational materials for children and adults.

The Baha’i religion, which began in the mid-1800s, focuses on a single, personal, inaccessible, omniscient, omnipresent, imperishable and almighty God who is the creator of all things in the universe. Baha’is often refer to God using titles and attributes such as the All-Powerful or the All-Loving.

At the Albany convention, each person’s Baha’i ID was checked for authentication. Then there were devotionals, prayer, music and readings from scriptures.

The Baha’is are allowed to discuss amongst themselves the qualities needed for the position they are voting on, but no names can be mentioned.

“A lot of times the person who is voted for is someone who is well known by a greater number of Baha’is,” said Randall Dighton, a member of the Albany Spiritual Assembly.

Toward the end of the day, each person entered a private voting area to write down the name of the Baha’i he or she thought is best for the position of local representative.

After all the votes were in, tellers counted them and a winner was announced: Paula Siegel of Corvallis.

The same process occurs for choosing representatives for the National Spiritual Assembly and the World Spiritual Assembly.

“Any Baha’i from around the world could be voted onto the World Spiritual Assembly,” Dighton said. “But they must live in Haifa, Israel, during the five-year term.”


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