Inspired
by the
Baha’i Faith
The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Bahai.org. The official website of the Baha'is of the United States can be found here: Bahai.us.
GOT IT
The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
How do I become Baha’i?
News

Creating a Baha’i House of Worship in Vanuatu

Baha'i World News Service | Jul 3, 2017

PART 1 IN SERIES The Embodiment of Serenity

Interested in Other Topics?

We’ve got something for everyone.
Baha'i World News Service | Jul 3, 2017

PART 1 IN SERIES The Embodiment of Serenity

In a momentous development for the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, the design for the local Baha’i House of Worship was recently unveiled.

The captivating architectural design of the House of Worship, in its simple yet striking form, takes its inspiration from the coconut and banyan trees of the island and the natural forms of the landscape.

“This structure will be the embodiment of serenity and represent the archipelago’s history and culture,” said Ashkan Mostaghim, the Temple’s architect.

Double-sided roofs made of reeds and sugar-cane leaves rise to a central point, making the Temple appear as a nine-pointed star. The walls of the House of Worship are designed to be created using stakes and plaited reeds, drawing on the local architecture of the region.

An interior view of the Temple, which will seat 300 people.

An interior view of the Temple, which will seat 300 people.

“The interior space is defined by light,” said Mr. Mostaghim. Throughout the day, light will stream through the open screens and delicate glass oculus. The Temple has space for 300 visitors and a choir—both for community devotions and private meditation and prayer in a space of spiritual serenity.

Like all Baha’i Houses of Worship, the Vanuatu temple will welcome everyone, of all Faiths and no Faith:

O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being, and adorn them with that which befitteth them … Then, with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled with light. – Baha’u’llah, The Most Holy Book, pp. 29-30.

The joyful celebration for the unveiling of the design of the local House of Worship included children, youth, and adults.

The joyful celebration for the unveiling of the design of the local House of Worship included children, youth, and adults.

A jubilant celebration in Tanna on 18 June 2017 marked the unveiling of the Temple’s design. The program included readings from different sacred texts, signifying that the Temple is open to all.

The House of Worship will enhance the vibrant community life on Tanna. A sense of collective ownership of the Temple, even before its design had been unveiled, was already present in the consciousness of the island’s inhabitants. In the early stages of the design process, numerous people from the island, including chiefs and other tribal leaders, submitted ideas for the structure of the central edifice and gathered for meetings to discuss its purpose and implications for their society.

“The design of the House of Worship in Tanna has been inspired by the Baha’i writings, and we have endeavored to portray its principles in the structure,” said the architect. The Temple will uniquely symbolize the unity of all people and the integral connection of worship of God and service to humanity:

Although to outward seeming the [Baha’i House of Worship]is a material structure, yet it hath a spiritual effect. It forgeth bonds of unity from heart to heart; it is a collective centre for men’s souls. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 95.

Known in the Baha’i writings as “the dawning-place of the praise of God” (or Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in Arabic), the House of Worship is not simply a temple—instead, it is meant to include philanthropic institutions like schools, hospitals, hospices and other dependencies dedicated to the social, humanitarian, educational and scientific advancement of humanity:

The Baha’i House of Worship is dedicated to the praise of God. The House of Worship forms the central edifice of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar (the Dawning-place of the Praise of God), a complex which, as it unfolds in the future, will comprise in addition to the House of Worship a number of dependencies dedicated to social, humanitarian, educational, and scientific pursuits. Abdu’l-Baha describes the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar as “one of the most vital institutions in the world,” and Shoghi Effendi indicates that it exemplifies in tangible form the integration of “Baha’i worship and service.” Anticipating the future development of this institution, Shoghi Effendi envisages that the House of Worship and its dependencies “shall afford relief to the suffering, sustenance to the poor, shelter to the wayfarer, solace to the bereaved, and education to the ignorant.” In the future, Baha’i Houses of Worship will be constructed in every town and village. – Ibid., The Universal House of Justice, pp. 190-191.

You May Also Like

News

Malaysia: Promoting Unity in a Land of Great Diversity

News

The Evolving Baha’i Perspective on Interfaith Dialogue

News

Celebration Takes Participants on Journey of Baha’u’llah’s Life


Comments

characters remaining
  • Kevin Donovan
    Jul 5, 2017
    -
    Wouldn't it be beautiful if all the world could work at this level of unity day in and day out.
  • James Howden
    Jul 4, 2017
    -
    Saw the film "Tanna" after getting this news, and after watching a short video about the Baha'i community's response -- generous and spirited and capable -- to the recent deadly cyclone that hit the island. "Tanna" was great, and I'd love to see this local expression of a "Dawning Place" at the heart of Tanna before I leave the planet.
  • David Seagraves
    Jul 3, 2017
    -
    Wonderful ! I think this Temple reflect the Love the people hold in their hearts for Baha'u'llah
  • Sandra Slobodian
    Jul 3, 2017
    -
    Having spent some time on Tanna I know that the presence of this Temple is evidence of the readiness of the people to reflect the teachings of Baha'u'llah in their daily life and to serve as an example to the world.
x
x
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Welcome!
What's your name?
Thanks my friend ! We want to connect you with a Baha’i in your area, where would that be?
Thank you so much! How can they best reach you?
To put you in touch with a Baha’i in your area who can answer your questions, we would like to kindly ask for a few details about yourself.
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Get in touch with the Baha’is in your community.