The Baha’i community come from all different backgrounds with shared commitments to the teachings of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i faith. They are a valued part of Australian society, and I commend their contribution to social cohesion, unity and community.
The Festival of Riḍván is usually a time for the Baha’i community to come together to commemorate the Prophet and His declaration of the sacred mission.
It is the holiest of Baha’i festivals which would normally see members of the Baha’i faith gather at their places of worship, including at the Baha’i House of Worship in Ingleside.
I know the Baha’i community will be disappointed they cannot celebrate The Festival of Riḍván in their regular way. However, as we face one of the most difficult challenges of a generation, the Riḍván message of celebration, hope and renewal is important for everyone, regardless of their faith.
Our country needs to celebrate. Celebrate our health system, our nurses, doctors, pharmacists and paramedics. We need to maintain hope that our nation will get to the other side of this crisis and our spirit will not fracture. And as the pandemic passes, as a community we must renew and look forward to many glorious days ahead.
During this crisis, I know we can draw strength from the teachings of the Baha’i. As in the immortal words of Baha’u’llah, “Let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path”.
As we continue through this crisis together, let us all burn with loving-kindness. For it is the love from individuals which will keep society together.
This year in April, also celebrates the centenary of Baha’i in Australia, so let us all contribute to a better society, like the Baha’i community.
I thank you for your contributions to our great country.