In celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’ís in East Timor were joined by many friends, neighbours, and co-workers who, inspired by the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, are working alongside them to transform their communities.
Nobel Prize Laureate José Ramos-Horta was the guest of honour at a celebration in Dili.
The President of East Timor, Francisco Guterres, addressed a message to the Bahá’í community for the occasion of the bicentenary, saying:
I particularly welcome the spirit of tolerance and acceptance which marks the thinking of its inspirer and the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith. This spirit of respect, tolerance towards fellow human beings, regardless of religion, contributes to social harmony.
A formal reception on 10 October 2017 was held in Dili, with Nobel Prize Laureate José Ramos-Horta as the guest of honour and other dignitaries in attendance including a representative from the Office of the President, Ana Pessoa. The approximately 70 guests enjoyed a programme that included devotions, a talk about the history of the Bahá’í Faith in East Timor, cultural dances, and selected clips from the film Light to the World. Dr. Ramos-Horta gave a special address at at the event, in which he spoke about the importance of education and his appreciation for the emphasis Bahá’ís place on it.
Hundreds of people took part in celebrations in Dili and other communities, including many children and youth and their families. Some of the celebrations were hosted by the youth and featured presentations, dances, and songs by those who take part in Bahá’í programmes for the spiritual education of children and young adolescents. A special conference about the life of Bahá’u’lláh was also held in Dili in August 2017 with more than 150 participants.