Baha’is elect local council

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from Lancaster County Baha’i community
The Lancaster County (Indian Land) Baha’i community recently elected its nine-member governing council, known as the Local Spiritual Assembly, for 2018-19. The election in Indian Land was on the same day as Baha’i elections around the globe – April 21.
Lancaster County’s new Local Spiritual Assembly includes Viktoria “Viki” Sparks-Forrester, Riza Suleymani, Dr. Ruhullah Massoudi, Parastou Sefidi Diznab, Arthur “Woody” Stanwood, Parvin Esfahani-Stanwood, Aneesa Machin, Farideh Massoudi and Sanaz Jiantabrzi.
The council then met and elected Stanwood as chairperson for the coming year. 
Local assemblies minister to the needs of the community. They support community members who organize 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 members of the community and provide spiritual counseling on matters brought to the assembly.
The Baha’i community has been active in Lancaster County since 1969.
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.
There are about 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 about 175,000 members in the United States and more than 5 million worldwide.
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.