Stories in Volume 17, Issue 1 — April-June 2005

Civil Society

At the UN, governments and civil society try a new mode of interaction

Historic “Informal Interactive” hearings with civil society focus on core issues of UN reform, poverty, human rights, and security; the advancement of women emerges as a critical theme. UNITED NATIONS – Policy-makers at the United Nations are increasingly talking about... Read more

Veteran actor Earl Cameron brings a sense of world citizenship to UN role

LONDON – When veteran actor Earl Cameron stood at the lectern in the United Nations General Assembly hall, portraying an African despot for the film The Interpreter, he had one of those strange moments where the larger reality of things snaps into focus. On the one hand... Read more
Civil Society

At the UN, governments and religious NGOs convene a peace conference

UNITED NATIONS – At its heart, the United Nations is a secular institution. The UN Charter, for example, does not mention religion, other than to encourage nations not to discriminate on religious grounds when it comes to human rights. And for many years, in both... Read more

Perspective: Cultural liberty and freedom of belief

Editor's note: The following Perspective is adapted from a statement titled “Freedom to Believe,” which was recently issued by the Bahá'í International Community. The freedom to hold beliefs of one's choosing and to change them is central to human development. It is the... Read more
Human Rights

Upsurge in arrests in Iran raises concern

NEW YORK – In a striking upsurge in persecution, some 37 Bahá'ís were arrested and taken into custody in Iran during the months of March, April, and May 2005. Most were arbitrarily detained without any charge being filed against them. Some of the prisoners were held... Read more

Chile temple design wins architectural acclaim even before ground is broken

SANTIAGO, Chile — Though ground has not been broken and its projected completion is still three years away, the Bahá'í House of Worship planned for this city has already drawn accolades from more than 40 international architectural and design journals from as far as Italy,... Read more

In Cuba, Baha'is celebrate a renovation

HAVANA, Cuba — Government officials and representatives of diverse religious groups in Cuba gathered with Bahá'ís in May to celebrate the opening of a newly reconstructed Bahá'í Center here. First acquired in 1956, the central Havana Center had recently been completely... Read more

Some "impolite" conversation about racism

The Last War: Racism, Spirituality, and the Future of Civilization By M. L. Perry George Ronald Oxford In the minds of some, racism may seem a bygone issue. Most countries now have extensive antisegregation laws. Apartheid in southern Africa has collapsed. And human... Read more