Last weekend in Windhoek the Baha’i faith of Namibia celebrated the bicentenary of the birth of it’s founder, Baha’u’llah.
Responding on how the Baha’i faith views issues related to teenage pregnancies and corruption in Namibia, Samander Belete, member of the National Spiritual Assembly explained that such challenges are addressed by means of implementing programmes aimed at the development of community life.
“Teenagers (11-15 years) are taught during youth junior classes how to dedicate their lives to the good service of humanity, thus through meaningful conversations take away evil thoughts of teenage pregnancies, corruption, hatred amongst others in order to make this world a better place,” Belete said.
In addition, provision is made for children and adults to participate in these programmes. Belete said: “Children’s classes concentrate more on teaching them virtues, such as kindness, honesty and generosity, whilst adults study Baha’i writings and are also capacitated to facilitate children’s classes and junior youth groups.”
Mayor of Windhoek Muesee Kazapua when delivering the proclamation, urged Namibians to endeavour to foster recognition of the oneness of humanity, embrace diversity and establish unity in their community, country and the world. During his keynote address, National Assembly Professor Peter Katjavivi said although the adherents of the Christian religion are the majority in Namibia, including various denominations, the Namibian Constitution upholds freedom of worship, as Namibia believes that diversity promotes strength.
He furthernoted that with the attainment of Independence it was consider “absolutely vital” to put emphasis on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms.
In conclusion, Katjavivi said the Baha’I faith has become more prominent in independent Namibia and that Namibians freely follow this religion throughout the country. He said it was with pride that he considers himself a friend of the Baha’i faith in Namibia.
The Baha’i faith was established in Namibia in 1953 and today has followers all the country. It is administered locally on a yearly base by a nine-member National Spiritual Assembly selected by means of secret vote.
It does not have an ordained clergy (priest, pastor, evangelist) and does not accept funds or donations from non-Baha’i’, since donating to such fund is a privilege and not just a duty, avoiding possible unforeseen difficulties and complications with non-believers.
Members of other religious denominations are always free though to participate in programmes aimed at the development of harmonious community life.
Pic Bahai 2