Joh Gainey of Sulphur was one of the local members of the Baha’i faith who traveled to Dallas recently for a conference attended by more than 2,000 members of that religion from throughout the region.


Joh Gainey of Sulphur was one of the local members of the Baha’i faith who traveled to Dallas recently for a conference attended by more than 2,000 members of that religion from throughout the region.


“The diversity of the people gathered in the Dallas conference and the spirit of love permeating the gathering were a beautiful reflection of the unity of the human race being promoted by the Human Rights statement and the fundamental purpose of the Baha’i faith,” Gainey said.


This conference was one of six such gatherings taking place throughout the U.S. During this same period, there were 41 conferences meeting throughout the world, being attended by large numbers of the 6 million who make up the world population of the Baha’i faith. During these conferences, the Baha’is of the world consult on ways that they can further promote the unity of all the peoples of the world at a time when hatred, prejudice and war are being so destructive to mankind.


Many of these conferences are taking place during the time representatives of the Baha’i International Community were gathered at an inter-religious conference at The Hague, Netherlands, to sign the 2008 Faith in Human Rights Statement. Groups and individuals around the world this month were commemorating the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the members of the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which occurred on Dec. 10 1948. The United Nations designated the anniversary each year as Human Rights Day.


The document signed at The Hague states, “While representing different faith traditions, we come together in unity to stress that religion has been a primary source of inspiration for human rights as our sacred writings and teachings clearly show.”


Organizers of the Hague conference marked the first time that major world religions have jointly emphasized the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was on hand for the signing of the document.