Canada's Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, released a public statement recognizing the significance of Ridván, a twelve-day festival observed by members of the Bahá’í faith from April 21 to May 2, 2023.
Ridván marks the period of Bahá’u’lláh's stay along the Tigris River in Baghdad, during which he declared his mission as a Messenger of God, bringing hope for peace, justice, and unity. However, members of the Bahá’í community continue to face persecution and discrimination in some parts of the world, notably in Iran, as highlighted in Prime Minister Trudeau's statement.
The festival's first, ninth, and twelfth days are observed as Bahá’í Holy Days, and members of the community come together to elect their local and national governing institutions. These elections are conducted without nominations or campaigns.
In addition to the National Bahá’í Convention in Toronto, delegates from around the world will participate in the International Bahá’í Convention in Haifa, Israel, where the Universal House of Justice will be elected, marking a significant event for the Bahá’í community worldwide.
As the Prime Minister's statement reiterates, Canada remains committed to advocating for the rights of all minorities, including the Bahá’í community, and will continue to raise awareness about the challenges they face. The occasion of Ridván is a time to reflect on the values of unity and justice, which are essential to building a more peaceful and harmonious world.