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Family and Life Events:

Birth and Registration of Newborn Child

When a Bahá’í has a child it is a matter of joy to the whole local community as well as to the couple. Parents should obtain a copy of the civil birth certificate as soon as possible following the birth of a child. They can then request that the corresponding secretary for the Local Spiritual Assembly issue a Bahá’í Birth Certificate to them.

Even if only one of the parents is a Bahá’í, the Assembly can register the birth of the child, and upon application of the Bahá’í parent, issue the certificate.

The secretary will also assist the parents in completing an enrollment form for the child to be officially registered in national Bahá’í records as a member of the local Bahá’í community. Such practices foster the consolidation of the community and of the Assembly itself.

The Secretary will record the birth of newborn children in the community life events register.

Education of Children and Youth

To give proper attention and effort to the moral training and education of children and youth is a legacy to which each generation of humanity is spiritually bound. To act in an exemplary Bahá’í manner, to consciously endeavor to teach morals to our children, to ensure our children’s attendance in local Bahá’í classes and activities, and to volunteer as children and youth class teachers, are some examples of responsibilities for Bahá’í parents. To leave children to their own devices, in a world fraught with spiritual dangers, is to act irresponsibly towards a sacred trust.

Bahá’í institutions of the Faith also share in the right and obligation to promote and provide moral education for children and spiritual training and activities for youth. Likewise, community members, individually and collectively, bear an obligation to interact with children and youth in ways that spiritually nurture them and integrate them into the life of a Bahá’í.

“It is the bounden duty of parents to rear their children to be staunch in faith,  the reason being that a child who removeth himself from the religion of God  will not act in such a way as to win the good pleasure of his parents and his  Lord. For every praiseworthy deed is born out of the light of religion, and  lacking this supreme bestowal the child will not turn away from any evil, nor  will he draw nigh unto any good.” (Baha’u’llah, cited in The Compilation of Compilations, prepared by the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1900, Vol. I, p. 248, #563)

“It is incumbent upon that Spiritual Assembly, that assemblage of God, to exert every effort to educate the children, so that from infancy they will be trained in Bahá’í  conduct and the ways of God, and will, even as young plants, thrive and flourish in the soft-flowing waters that are the counsels and admonitions of the Blessed Beauty.” (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p. 126)

Excerpted from Baha’i Essentials, 2nd Edition, Steven Ellis

 


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