The purpose of the Baha’i Association at the University of Florida is to stimulate students in their search to find relationships between modern life and their spirituality. The aim of the Baha’i Association is to foster relationships with like-minded groups and individuals.
Baha’i is a relatively new religion, and it originated in Iran. Although this religion is often thought of as a part of the Islam faith, it is actually very different. Baha’i is based on the principle belief of the union of all religions. They believe that each religion came at a time that was right for those people and that they all believe in the same God, yet in different ways.
The Baha’i Association generally meets bi-weekly to have elevated conversations about current events and issues in the world. Bijan Sánchez, the President of the campus organization, said, that these conversations provide “ space for us to be together to build mutual support.” The Association also helps lead study classes and junior youth groups. These groups are meant to help children follow the teachings of the Baha’i faith and “provide them with spiritual identity so that they can better themselves,” said Sànchez.
Every 19 days the group gathers together at a Baha’i center in Gainesville to celebrate their faith together. This period corresponds with the Persian calendar. Sánchez said their intention as an organization is never to convert people but to educate people about what they believe and why it is important. “A big part of the Baha’i faith is independent investigation of the truth,” explained Sánchez.