MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28: It’s been 90 years since the passing of Abdu’l-Baha, the center of the Baha’i covenant, and today Baha’is mark his ascension by reflecting on the widespread, interfaith influence of this religious leader. During the early morning hours of Nov. 28, Abdu’l-Baha passed away at age 77. Although his death was peaceful, in the company of family members, his life had been anything but—Abdu’l-Baha had spent several years in prison for his life’s work of promoting the Baha’i faith around the world. Abdu’l-Baha had been knighted by Queen Victoria for his humanitarian services; glorified by Baha’u’llah as the center of his covenant; and was called a true hero by Muslims, Christians and Jews at his funeral. (Baha’i.org has more.) The funeral of Abdu’l-Baha drew 10,000 mourners from many different ethnic groups and faiths. On this day in Haifa in 1921, streets were filled with Baha’i followers and thousands more that had been inspired by Abdu’l-Baha’s life of sacrifice.
Today in Haifa, Baha’is continue to promote unity and universal respect through the Green Pilgrimage Network, an effort made to address the environmental impact of religious pilgrimages.
It’s estimated that 100 million pilgrims travel to sacred destinations each year, and through the promotion of public transport, better energy and water management and more recycling facilities in these sacred areas, members of the Green Pilgrimage Network—particularly founding Baha’i members—hope to treat the earth as respectfully as the pilgrimage sites. (The Baha’i World News Service has the story.)