BAHA’I WORLD CENTRE, Haifa, Israel — A new Pilgrim Reception Centre has been opened, ready to receive a growing number of pilgrims and visitors at the spiritual and administrative center of the Baha’i Faith.
The three-story stone structure, located immediately to the west of the Shrine of the Bab, will receive the season’s first pilgrim group in October, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah.
The new Reception Centre makes it possible for several hundred pilgrims to visit the Baha’i World Centre at the same time, expanding the previous capacity.
Every year, several thousand pilgrims and visitors from every corner of the world visit the Baha’i World Centre to pray and meditate at the Shrines of Baha’u’llah and the Bab and the surrounding gardens. Pilgrims are spiritually uplifted and draw inspiration from the time they also spend at historical sites associated with the lives of the central figures of the Faith, as well as visiting the edifices dedicated to its worldwide administration.
Pilgrims represent the “life-blood” of the centre of their faith—like blood flowing to the heart, pilgrims journey here, bringing with them news of their Baha’i communities at home, and they return to their homes taking back joy, inspiration, and insights.
The first Baha’i pilgrim house in Haifa was built in 1909. For more than a century, several different locations around the city have received the thousands of visitors who have come to undertake pilgrimage to the holiest sites on earth for Baha’is.