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On Monday evening, October 28th, 2019, at the Solarium in Oakhurst, the Bahá’í Community of Decatur will celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the Báb, the forerunner and herald of the Bahá’í Faith. Born in Persia in 1819, the Báb was known during his lifetime as a champion for justice and fairness, a generous and charitable supporter of the needy, a brilliant intellect with surprising wisdom beyond his years, and a spiritual teacher with humble and constant devotion to God. The word “Báb” is an Arabic title meaning “Gate.” Bahá’ís revere the Báb as the “Gate of God,” whose dramatic ministry opened the way for the declaration and mission of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The Báb and Baha’u’lláh are considered equally important divine messengers who brought an illuminating vision of unity and equality to the world. Bahá’u’lláh wrote: “The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny.” And in another passage: “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
In the Bahá’í religious calendar, the “Twin Holy Birthdays” of the Báb and Baha’u’lláh are celebrated as a two-day festival that moves between October and November each year. In October 2017, the Decatur Bahá’í community hosted a public celebration for the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh (photos below). This began a two-year Light of Unity Festival leading to the bicentenary of the birth of the Bab in 2019. The 2017 bicentenary program was celebrated with a program of storytelling, music, and including a declaration by Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett. Approximately 160 friends and neighbors were in attendance.
Inspired by the teachings of the Báb and Baha’u’lláh, the Bahá’í community supports programs for all ages, in and around Decatur, that focus on spiritual growth and building community. These include virtues classes for young children, the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, community devotional gatherings, and study circles for youth and adults. Bahá’ís also partner with other faith communities and charitable groups in community service.
The Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb will be celebrated at the Solarium in Oakhurst, on the evening of October 28th. The program will begin with dinner at 6:30pm, followed by a prepared program at 7:15pm. This event is free and all are welcome.
Additional associated events for children, youth, and adults will begin earlier in October, and continue throughout the Twin Holy Birthdays festival, which ends on October 30th this year. Also, film showings about the lives and missions of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh are planned for November. Find more details about these events at our dedicated page for the Bicentenary of the Báb.