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Rockford Baha'i Community Will Celebrate Founder's Bicentennial

A Rockford religious community is opening its doors this weekend for a major anniversary celebration. Members of the Bahá’i faith will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, their religion’s founder.

George Davis

Local Bahá’i George Davis says Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings center on the unity of humanity, and that all previous divine revelations all are expressions of the same God. 

“The celebration is really considered to be a joyous occasion,” said George Davis, a member of the Rockford Bahá’icommunity. “Just as people associate the birth of Jesus with the joy of Good News to the world, Bahá’i’s see Bahá’u’lláh’s birth in the same way: that this is another time in human history where a great revelator has been given to humanity.”

This year is the first time Rockford’s Bahá’i are opening the celebration to everyone. Davis said he hopes the celebration can provide a greater awareness of the faith. 

“This is the first time we’ve ever done anything in the way of a centenary type of celebration. It’s hard to say what’s typical or average,” he said. “The Holy Day celebrations that we do are generally lower key.”

Their Light of Unity Festival on Saturday evening will include poetry, music, storytelling and drama, plus a proclamation from Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 406 N. Main St., Rockford. Tea and Persian delicacies will be served.

On Sunday, they’ll have additional activities at the Bahá’i center in the Highcrest Shopping Center.