On September 1, 2017—the people of Battambang, Cambodia will celebrate the dedication of their local Baha’i House of Worship.
You can see new video footage of the House of Worship here, which captures recent progress and highlights the beauty of the Temple.
In August, the final step in the construction involved the placement of a calligraphic rendering of the invocation “O Glory of the All-Glorious,” referred to as the Greatest Name, within the Temple’s dome.
Friday’s dedication will be marked by a two-day conference bringing together over 2,000 people from Battambang, as well as every other region of Cambodia. A number of Cambodian dignitaries will attend, as well as representatives of Baha’i communities in Southeast Asia.
The Temple is a frequent topic of conversation among the local population. Even before its completion, it galvanized action towards the betterment of the community and brought together neighbors in prayer and fellowship.
In a letter dated 18 December 2014, the Universal House of Justice explained that a Baha’i House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and:
… stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society.
Baha’is view their Houses of Worship, no matter where they are located around the world, as “dawning-points of the remembrance of God.” The Baha’i writings describe those Temples as:
… one of the most vital institutions in the world, and it hath many subsidiary branches. Although it is a House of Worship, it is also connected with a hospital, a drug dispensary, a traveller’s hospice, a school for orphans, and a university for advanced studies. Every [House of Worship] is connected with these five things. My hope is that … gradually the hospital, the school, the university, the dispensary and the hospice, all functioning according to the most efficient and orderly procedures, will follow. Make these matters known to the beloved of the Lord, so that they will understand how very great is the importance of this ‘Dawning-Point of the Remembrance of God.’ The Temple is not only a place for worship; rather, in every respect is it complete and whole. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 99-100.
Baha’is build their Houses of Worship for everyone, regardless of belief. All are welcome. That welcoming atmosphere is symbolized by the nine-sided structure of each Baha’i House of Worship, which represents the various Faiths and the fact that however and from whatever direction anyone approaches the building, it welcomes all people:
The more the world aspires to a perfect civilization the more the matter of co-operation and mutual assistance becomes manifest. More and more is it evident that the continuance of humanity depends upon this inter-relationship. The [House of Worship], which is the greatest of the divine foundations on this earth, will be the means for mutual help under all conditions whether in the degrees of truth and significance or in the stations of the material world, for the doors of these places are to be open for all sects—no differentiation. Because, with one thought and one aim ye are engaging yourselves in the building of this temple, O ye servants and maidservants of the Merciful, know verily that this great project will be conducive to the union and affinity of all the children of man. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 3, p. 67.