Once again we are in the season of fasting and looking forward to the new life of a new year and a new beginning. Naw Ruz is for you an opportunity for celebration and thanksgiving and like all new years a moment of renewal and recommitment. For Christians this sense of new beginnings and renewal will be celebrated at Easter which takes place at the beginning of April. For us this is a time when we remember the Resurrection of Jesus and recognise that God can bring new life even from death.
Our world today badly needs this belief in new life and renewal. The media constantly puts before us instances of religious violence and hatred. Many of our co-religionists are being persecuted and killed simply for who they are and what they believe. It is very difficult to know what we can do about this. I understand that Abdu’l Baha, the son of your founder Baha’u’llah has said,
“When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love”
May these inspiring words renew our thoughts of peace and love for one another as we celebrate our various feasts and may our work for interreligious understanding be a sign to others of that love and peace, knowing that this can make a significant contribution to the reign of God in our world.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the Bishops of Scotland as well as our Committee for Interreligious Dialogue may I wish you and the whole Baha’i community in Scotland a joyful feast of Naw Ruz and every blessing in this coming year.
With all good wishes,
+ Mario Conti
Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow
Chair of the Committee for Inter Religious Dialogue