An Expansive Prospect, a new documentary film produced by the Bahá’í World Center, highlights efforts in four regions of the world where individuals, communities, and institutions are working together “to release the society-building power of the Bahá’í Teachings.”
The film premiered at the 13th International Bahá’í Convention held recently in Haifa, Israel. The convention was attended by 1250 delegates, members of 176 National Spiritual Assemblies including the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Hawaiian Islands. More recently it was screened for the delegates to Hawaii’s 58th Bahá’í National Convention, held May 26-28 in Honolulu.
“The film is inspiring,” said Ed Young, a delegate to the convention from Oahu. “Bahá’ís all over the world are engaged in a process of community building, using a similar approach. Seeing some of the communities where efforts have been underway for some years and are quite advanced encourages those of us in places where efforts are still fledgling to persevere. We can see that this approach uplifts people and communities given time.”
“I thought it was interesting that the four regions shown in the film—in Malaysia, Brazil, North Carolina (USA) and Kenya—were very diverse. Some were rural and low-income, others urban or middle-class. They were religiously and culturally diverse too, but people were working together effectively. It seems that the process of development being employed in the Bahá’í world works in all kinds of situations.”
“I was impressed that the Bahá’í community highlighted in Kenya was collaborating with a Christian pastor to enhance the devotional character of their community,” commented Haleh Samimi, a delegate from Molokai. “And that a Muslim imam liked to pray in the Bahá’í House of Worship. We could see the Bahá’í principle of the unity of religions in action.”
“It seemed that in each region another Bahá’í principle, the equality of women and men, was being widely adopted, with many women assuming key roles in the development process, and men taking a stronger supporting role within their families.”