Faith Awareness course of eight lectures on the Bahá’i Faith

Monday evenings at 7.30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road, Leicester


Session 1 Monday 26 September

Introduction to the Bahá’í Faith
George Ballentyne

An overview of the Bahá’i Faith that will lead into the subsequent talks.
George is the Voluntary and Community Sector Engagement Manager of Leicester City Council and has a long personal experience of Inter Faith and publishing, having managed the Baha’i Publishing Trust.


Session 2 Monday 3 October

Bahá’u’lláh & His Revelation
Beverley Matthews and Lou Armitt

In November 2017 the Baha’is worldwide will commemorate the bi-centenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah. This presentation will introduce people to the person of Bahá’u’lláh and the themes of His Writings
Beverley is a scriptwriter and actress. Originally from Canada she has worked as a television script writer in Australia and toured the United States as an actress. Currently living in Wellingborough she continues to pursue writing and acting projects.
Lou is a film maker and photographer and has worked on many projects aimed at empowerment, for example with prisoners, and collaborated with her composer husband, Richard Leigh, on a major Inter Faith musical work called ‘Rivers’ and performed at St John’s Smith Square in London.


Session 3 Monday 10 October

Progressive Revelation
Dr Khazeh Fananapazir

Baha’u’llah has explained in His Writings that the various religions of the world are from the same source of inspiration and have been progressively revealed.
Khazeh is a heart specialist and surgeon at Glenfield Hospital and lecturer in Leicester University Medical School. He has also devoted some of his life in studying the Bible and Quran at a scholarly level and is considered and expert and is often invited to talk about his studies.


No Session Monday 17 October Half Term


Session 4 Monday 24 October

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh
Kevin Beint

The Bahá’i Faith has no priesthood and is organised locally, nationally and internationally by elected bodies. It is a process that has much to teach the world about governance and sustaining fairness and justice.
Kevin taught for over thirty years, mainly in middle schools, and retired ten years ago. He has been involved in Inter Faith since 1976 and enjoys writing as an interest. From a Methodist background he became a Baha’i’ in 1965, aged 16.


Session 5 Monday 31 October

Bahá’í Education
Mina Beint & Minou Cortazzi

Bahá’i education is unique in its principles. The Baha’is of Iran opened schools in 1898 and an emphasis was put on the education of girls and that training character took precedence over formal learning. The Persian schools were closed by the government in 1934 and still today Bahá’i educators in Iran are severely persecuted.
Mina and Minou were born in Shiraz, Iran where their father had a supervisory role in Baha’i education for over forty years. Mina is a retired general nurse having worked in various hospitals and departments over thirty years. Minou worked all her career of nearly forty years in Psychiatric nursing. Mina and Minou have both been proactively involved in Inter Faith work since the1970s and in chaplaincy roles.


Session 6 Monday 7 Nov

The Bahá’í Faith in the West
Rob Weinberg

The first recorded Bahá’is in the United Kingdom was in 1898. In the early 1920s the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom was one of the first in the world.
Rob works at Classic FM and has had many roles there, including producer and author of Classic FM books. Among his other books are biographies of Lady Blomfield and Ethel Rosenberg, two of the early and influential women in the early UK Baha’i community. He is currently chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the UK


Session 7 Monday 14 Nov

The Role of Women in the Bahá’í Faith
Dr Wendi Momen OBE

The role of women in the Baha’i Faith is unique and fundamental. Baha’is believe that men and women are like the two wings of a bird. If one is unable to function properly the bird is unable to fly. Equality of men and women is believed to be essential for a peaceful world society.
Wendi is an author of many books, a magistrate in Bedford for over thirty years and is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the UK. She travels the world constantly to attend and speak at conferences for the furtherance of women in society and good practice in business.


Session 8 Monday 21 Nov

Bahá’í Solutions to Today’s Challenges
Deheim Foroughi

The previous seven lectures lead to an understanding of how the Bahá’i Faith can offer to the world innovative spiritual and practical ideas that can facilitate, enhance and sustain unity between the many divers peoples of the world.
Deheim is a retired Consultant and A&E specialist working in Warwickshire where he is still called upon to give advice. His life as a Bahá’i and lifelong career in the health service at the highest level have equipped him to shed light on solutions needed to aid society to move forward harmoniously.