The Baha’is in each city and suburb of the Portland metro area recently elected their nine-member governing councils or Local Spiritual Assemblies for 2011-2012. These Local Spiritual Assemblies were elected in:
- Clackamas County NW
- Clark County 1
- Clark County 2
- Columbia County
- Forest Grove
- Lake Oswego
- Multnomah County East
- Oregon City
- Washington County North
- Washington County South
- West Linn
- Yamhill County
The Baha’i community has been active in the Portland area since 1906. Local Assemblies minister to the needs of the community, organizing classes for the spiritual education of children, adult study circles, devotional programs, Holy Day observances and service projects. They also conduct Baha’i marriages, pray for the members of the community and provide spiritual counseling on matters brought to the Assembly.
In Baha’i communities around the world, local and national Spiritual Assemblies are elected during the most holy period for members of the Baha’i Faith, the Festival of Ridvan, celebrated from April 20 to May 2.
The Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), taught that in an age of universal education, there was no longer a need for a special class of clergy. Instead, he provided a framework for administering the affairs of the Faith through elected councils at the local, national and international levels. All Baha’i elections occur through secret ballot, without candidacies, nominations or campaigning. See ‘Spiritual elections’ not an oxymoron for Baha’is. There are approximately 11,000 Baha’i Local Spiritual Assemblies around the world, elected each year from among the adult believers in every locality where at least nine Baha’is reside.
The Baha’i Faith, founded in Persia in 1844, is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions and is one of the fastest-growing, with approximately 170,000 members throughout the United States and more than five million in the world.
Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Baha’i tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace. To learn more about the Baha’i Faith in America, visit www.bahai.us.