05 Apr 2011
The House of Worship Information Centre
The Bahá'í House of Worship was opened to the public in December 1986. Since then thousands visit the House of Worship every day. While the visitors enjoy the peace and the serene environment that lends itself well to meditation, many inquire as to the source that has inspired such a place of worship, where there are no images, where no sermons are given, no rituals performed, and scriptures of all major religions read or recited.
Over the years, the need for a place where such inquiries could be addressed became more pronounced and the idea of the Information Centre was conceived. Mr. Fariborz Sahba, who was the architect of the House of Worship, was again approached to design the Information Centre and its exhibits. The centre took more than five years to build and was opened to the public in March 2003.
The Information Centre is built to state-of-the-art specifications and it provides information on different facets of the Bahá'í Faith in the form of photo panels, written text and films. The centre features a visitor’s gallery, a main auditorium with a seating capacity of over 400, and two smaller 70-seater auditoriums.
The gallery focuses on the history of the Bahá’í Faith, its philosophy and the socio-economic development activities undertaken by the Bahá’ís round the world.
The gallery begins with a brief history of the Central Figures of this Faith. You will then see the images of the Bahá'í House of Worship on every continent and will be introduced to Bahá'ís from diverse backgrounds and cultures from around the world. There are also beautiful pictures showing the diversity of the followers of the Bahá'í Faith.
Next you may view the edifices on Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel, which constitute the world spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá’í Faith.
Finally, a glimpse of some of the projects and institutions founded by Bahá'ís. This provides an overview of the contribution of Bahá'ís to the social and economic development of society.
The auditorium shows films on the House of Worship as well as on the Bahá’í Faith and is used for performances/concerts for good causes and with a positive social message. One such concert was performed by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on the terrace of the Information Centre to inaugurate the Colloquium on Science, Religion and Development (SRD).
The Information Centre is mainly designed for those who wish to know more about the Bahá'í House of Worship and the Bahá'í Faith. Entry is through free passes, which are available from the volunteers at the exit of the prayer hall. The Centre is open between 9:30 am - 6:30 am in summer, and from 9.30 am - 5:30 pm in winter.