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Archive for the ‘Baha’i’ Category

A new life is stirring within all the peoples of the earth

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive. Consider the peoples of the West. Witness how, in their pursuit of that which is vain and trivial, they have sacrificed, and are still sacrificing, countless lives for the sake of its establishment and promotion. The peoples of Persia, on the other hand, though the repository of a perspicuous and luminous Revelation, the glory of whose loftiness and renown hath encompassed the whole earth, are dispirited and sunk in deep lethargy.

O friends! Be not careless of the virtues with which ye have been endowed, neither be neglectful of your high destiny. Suffer not your labors to be wasted through the vain imaginations which certain hearts have devised. Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men, the letters inscribed upon His sacred scroll. With the utmost unity, and in a spirit of perfect fellowship, exert yourselves, that ye may be enabled to achieve that which beseemeth this Day of God. Verily I say, strife and dissension, and whatsoever the mind of man abhorreth are entirely unworthy of his station.

– Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Pages 195-197

Adoption denied due to membership in Baha’i faith

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Today, on the inauguration of Baha’i Rights Day, most people are posting about the persecution of Baha’is in Iran. But persecution of Baha’is is certainly not limited to Iran.

Over a month ago, I posted about how we were facing discrimination in adopting a Korean baby due to our being members of the Baha’i faith.

Despite a personal visit to the Government run agency in Korea by the top administration of the Baha’i faith in Korea, which revealed significant ignorance of the faith, the agency returned our dossier (all our application papers and funds) last week and sent our local agency a letter claiming the refusal of the adoption.
The fact that they have returned all our application papers last week and have made a final decision so quickly shows they are no longer willing to discuss this case, and it is now officially closed, as nothing can be done without those papers.

This not only affects our adoption, and any Korean Baha’is that may want to adopt in that country, but people of many other faiths adopting from other countries as well. The fact that the limited resources of the international Baha’i community are focused on the possible execution of 7 Baha’is arrested in Iran for their beliefs makes our case insignificant at the moment.

All I want to see is some justice in this case, especially considering that the agency could have informed us 6 months before, and not proposed a child to us if they had issues with our beleifs. The failure on their part to do this would no doubt guarantee successful results if pursued legally.

However we live in a world where injustice prevails and is the standard. Here we are, trying to adopt a baby from 4 different countries for over 5 years now, and despite being ideal candidates and fulfilling all legal, health, psychological, financial, and social requirements one needs to adopt, nationalism of countries and the lack of value for children in our society has left us unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Mothers abort babies every day, have children that they don’t want, and abuse them at will with little consequences.

If anything, our world has little respect for children, and is becoming more complacent and less tolerant of others beliefs than ever. The only recourse is to spread information of this case, and others far and wide so that people of faith are aware and can show the world that this is actually NOT acceptable, and we won’t be complacent when discriminated against.

Update on Korea adoption case

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for all the messages and support we have received since announcing the challenges as Baha’is we’ve been facing in adopting a baby.

Your prayers and positive energy have been effective though!

2 Baha’is on the National Spiritual Assembly of Korea visited the agency we’re dealing with there soon after hearing about our case without an appointment.

The person who is in charge of our case was not in the office because of her business travel overseas for the two weeks.
Instead they met staff and asked the reason why they decided to deny our adoption based on our beliefs.
As we expected the main reason was incorrect information they had obtained from the internet and their friends.

The Baha’is explained them about the Faith and emphasized that it was quite different than what they are thinking of, and they politely requested that they reconsider the decision again.

She said that she would read the materials about the Faith in Korean they brought, and take the proper measure once the person handling our case returns.

They will be following up soon, So keep those prayers and positive energy coming!

It’s impressive and moving how quickly and sincerely Baha’is come together to assist others when needed.

Note: Please do not post any information about this elsewhere for the next few weeks, we don’t want to jeapordize this delicate situation until it is resolved. Thank you for understanding.

Facing discrimination because I’m a Baha’i

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Recently, after 4 years of trying internationally, we were ecstatic to receive a proposal to adopt a baby boy from Korea in April.
We were shocked to hear yesterday that the government adoption agency in Korea, Social Welfare Society, has suddenly refused our adoption based on our membership to the Baha’i faith. The adoption would have completed sometime in August.

I never thought we would have to deal with discrimination based on our beliefs, which is unacceptable for many reasons, one being that in the long list of requirements to adopt from Korea, there was no mention of any religious restrictions. In addition, if there were concerns, these could have been brought up early in the process after Korea received our initial information rather than now, near the completion, after we have received detailed information on the baby and made significant time, financial, and emotional investment.
Add to this the fact that Baha’is are not only one of the most gentle and agreeable and nonthreatening people on the planet, but also have a deep respect and high regard for children and their education and upbringing.

Our agency says this is the most shocking thing they’ve encountered in their many years pioneering international adoption.

We are already in touch with the highest Baha’i administration in Korea. Rest assured, we will be taking steps to see justice is done.

Great quote regarding evolution of humanity

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

“If long cherished ideals and time honoured institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolecent and forgotten doctrines.”

– from www.bahai.org

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “One Love” Video

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “One Love”:

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens. So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
— Bahá’u’lláh

Happy Naw Ruz! Obama’s message

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Today I am celebrating Nawruz – which is not only the Persian, but the Baha’i New Year. It concludes 19 days of fasting during daylight and I look forward to this next year and am very excited about what it will bring.

Today is also my 9 year official anniversary as a Baha’i. Although many who know me may not realize it, The Baha’i faith has profoundly changed my life and brought endless blessings, rewards, knowledge and awareness in all things. It has also united me with a worldwide community in over 220 countries and territories, greatly expanding my awareness and insight into the people we share this planet with.

This marks my third new years celebration this year, Gregorian, Chinese, and now Baha’i!

Here’s Hoping you have a Happy Nawruz and fantastic year ahead, as well as a lovely spring time!


President Obama’s excellent message to those celebrating Naw Ruz:

Videos about persecution of Baha’is in Iran

Monday, March 16th, 2009

As a follow up to my previous post about a song Elika released, ‘Persecution’ about oppression of the Baha’is in Iran, I wanted to post some videos about the issues that more clearly expose Iran’s practices:

Other great videos exist that I wanted to share but they have been removed from Youtube.

Rainn Wilson

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Here is also a commentary on CNN.com by actor from ‘The Office’ Rainn Wilson:

cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/02/17/wilson.faith/?iref=mpstoryview

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New song Persecution for Baha’is in Iran

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Artist Elika Mahony has made a special release of a song we worked on called ‘Persecution’ dedicated to Baha’is in Iran who have been persecuted for their Faith despite posing zero threat to the government, or showing any signs of aggression in any way towards anyone.

You can find out more about it, and listen/download it on Elika’s blog post about it here.

It was a rushed production, so not as refined or elaborate as usual, but Elika wanted to get it out without delay to help spread awareness… The amazing thing about this kind of web release though is that within 24 hours of mixing the song, we were getting feedback from hundreds of people who had listened to it and downloaded the song! It was also impressive to see the web activity of people sharing the song online. Immediate feedback, rather than months later was very exciting.

Head of Baha\'i administration in Iran recently arrestedLeaders of the Baha’i Faith in Iran, recently arrested for their beliefs

The plight of the Baha’is in Iran is a truly sad one, many have been martyred, including Elika’s own great uncle, and the current head of the Baha’i administration in Iran were recently arrested soley for their beliefs, although the Iranian government makes up all kinds of other reasons for detaining them. Information from a friend who knows a relative of one of the prisoners who was finally able to talk to them said they use psychological torture on the prisoners, such as keeping them in a white room, in white clothes, with white food for weeks on end without beds or chairs. This is apparently so there are no signs of physical torture. The ultimate objective is to get them to recant their beliefs, as the fundamentalist clergy in Iran feel the Baha’is are a threat to Islam.

The bizarre thing is that Iran feels that by disrupting and eradicating the Baha’i Faith there, they will somehow affect the Faith in a concrete way, despite the fact that there are Baha’is in over 220 other countries and territories around the world! But perhaps the most interesting thing is the backlash that is happening in Iran and worldwide as a result of these recent arrests. Many Iranians who know Baha’is personally know this is an unjust and cruel act on the part of the government, and is causing an uprising against the government giving them more trouble than they could have every imagined.

Music Production For Worthy Charity

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I am very selective about doing charitable work because of the amount of free time I have, but I have done my share philanthropy through various productions for organizations helping those in need primarily through education, more recently for a CD in Mandarin to help children of all backgrounds throughout Asia learn spiritual attributes and virtues.

My latest such production is with talented musician and writer, Alicia Cundall who wrote a theme song for the charity organization Red House called ‘One Story’ Which I did backing tracks for, recorded, produced and mixed.

RED House is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that provides educational programs for disadvantaged and orphan children, ages 3 to 18.
Here is a video to give you a more of a sense of Red House:


Here is the website for Red House with the full length song:

http://redhousetanzania.org

It was great to help such a worthy cause that is helping youth through education. If your in Washington DC, attend the fundraiser and you can see Alicia peform this song along with a number of other talented performers.