Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Core activites aspect of Baha'i peace education

A concise presentation of the Core Activities

Integrated into the Faith's ongoing community development, and central to the expansion and consolidation of the Faith:

Referred to as the Core Activities of the Baha'i community, they constitute a four-fold process of community development for peace involving small community study circles, devotional gatherings, neighborhood moral and spiritual education classes for children, and gatherings for youth. Learning is facilitated by local community members who complete tutor training programs and subsequently engage the wider community in creative, culturally appropriate applications of development activities. They are described in more detail in Table 1. The Core Activity initiative began in Colombia some 20 years ago and has since spread to over 100 countries in all four continents. Local, regional, national and international statistics and anecdotal summaries on the progress of the Core Activities are gathered every three months from all Baha'i communities around the world. From the local to the international level, statistics and lessons learned are analyzed and used for increased understanding, to stimulate areas of promising growth and to encourage local human resource development. Anecdotal data is compiled thematically into regular international circulars informing the Baha'i community around the world about progress made towards community development for a peaceful world.

Table 1: Core Activities



Ruhi Study Circles

To build communities of learning composed of Baha'is and their friends, colleagues and associates, that promote individual and collective spiritual transformation through study and practical application of thematically grouped sacred texts. Two of the seven units of study are devoted to the spiritual education of children and youth, an understanding of their spiritual destiny in the processes of peace building, and encouragement of all youth and adults in the community to mentor, teach and value children.

Neighborhood children's classes

To engage Baha'i and non-Baha'i children and their parents in moral and spiritual transformation and competency development through service learning.

Junior youth gatherings

To engage adolescents of all or no religious affiliation, between the ages of 11-14, in peer clusters of positive influence and mutual support. Junior youth animators are frequently young adults who work creatively to address issues of identity, moral leadership and build skill in contributing towards solving local problems. The young adults also serve the function of role models for the younger teens and provide them with alternatives to risky behaviors while developing confidence and leadership capacity.

Devotional gatherings

Devotional gatherings. Goal: To provide neighborhood forums for people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, to say prayers together, read from sacred writings and discuss spiritual themes in a collaborative and artistic manner.

Each of these four themes operates in local, regional, national and international settings. They involve a unique blend of structure and agency balancing guidance from Baha’i Sacred Texts, administration and mentorship from Baha’i Institutions who regularly seek dialogue and feedback opportunities to inform decision making, and individual initiatives that are encouraged and supported by the Institutions.

From the document Baha'i Faith and Peace Education, by Marie Gervais, University of Alberta Canada

[DOC] Baha'i Faith and Peace Education chapter

What are Core activities? What are Baha'i Core activities?


Leif Nabil said...

My favorite description of the core activities is the first paragraph of the Ridván 2008 message. Attaining Dynamics of Growth -- Images from five continents juxtaposes the paragraph with photos of the core activities being implemented.
It is a must-see and -share!

Alex B said...

Thank you very much, Leif, for alerting us to that concise and lucid summary of the central activities we are engaged in as Baha'is around the world!

The direct link to the paragraph you refer to is here:

The Ridván 2008 Message of the House of Justice is available here: