Renovation of National Baha’i Center in Suriname

The National Baha’i Center in Suriname requires renovation and the Universal House of Justice has assigned the task of raising the necessary funds (€13,000 or appx. $18,000 Canadian dollars) to two National Spiritual Assemblies: Netherlands and Canada.

The choice of the Netherlands is understandable considering that Suriname was claimed as a colony by the Dutch in 1667 and only gained its independence on November 25 1975. Dutch is still their official language.

The choice of Canada however is puzzling. There is no connection between the two countries other than Canada being a wealthier nation that can afford to support the renovation effort.

But if that is the only criteria that makes sense, the Universal House of Justice could have easily asked any number of countries that are wealthy to send them the funds. Why not the US? Japan? Germany?

Bahai Center in Paramaribo Suriname

Suriname is a tiny country (the smallest in South America) with less than half a million citizens which live mostly in Paramaribo – the capital city along the North coast.

It would even make more sense to ask a country in the same continent. For example, Brazil or Venezuela. Or Chile (oh, right, they’re kind of busy with their own project).

Perhaps the Universal House of Justice is keeping close tabs on the financial state of the Baha’i community in Canada and knows they can easily afford it.

For more information, here is the website of the Baha’i community of Suriname.

  • Anton

    I wonder what countries were in charge of raising funds for Russian National Baha’i Center which has being in process of purchasing for quite a few years.

  • Sweetie

    Its just a small building. Cant the local Bahais in Suriname themselves support the center?
    It would be very nice to have a small 9 sided building — if possible to build.

  • Steve

    The building will primarily be used as a Bahai centre (hazirat’l-quds), not as a house of worship (mashriq’l-adhkar), so there’s probably no requirement or advantage in having it nine-sided.

    Suriname Bahais have been in the news recently. A well-known Bahai there was murdered and a teacher at a Bahai school is suspected of molesting pupils.

  • Steve

    The front of the Suriname Bahai centre looks a bit better than the back –

  • Baquia

    Unless it has been stated that there are other countries helping, why assume that? Russia is a very large country and I guess it has a large Baha’i population (relative to Suriname at least). Or am I wrong? How big is the Baha’i community in Russia?

  • Baquia

    It is a humble building but you have to remember that the country is quite poor (relative to western standards) and their community also small.

    The important point is that all communities should have venues that are appropriate to their own resources. Otherwise, they will forever be in need of outside assistance.

    Having a Baha’i center or house of worship is of course expensive at the onset but most forget that there are very real costs that have to be paid every single month (security, repairs, utilities, etc.). Many small communities who do not have the resources to build from scratch can not afford even the monthly expenses of such a building if it were magically given to them.

  • Sweetie

    It should be quite cheap just the same. In poorer countries — costs are also cheaper, and Bahais can offer labour free of charge — one family brings paint, one wood for buildings, one coffee etc etc.

    Depends on how many Bahais there are there I guess

  • Wpc09

    Your question about Canada seems gratuitous. If the Universal House of Justice had chosen Brazil, would you not have questioned why they chose Brazil? And if the USA, would you not have questioned why the USA? From what I read, it seems that you question decisions of any Baha’i institution.

    Why the snide aside about Chile? The project in Chile (1) is based upon the express instructions of Shoghi Effendi, and (2) has significant fundingfrom the U.S.. Or is it that you dislike the building of houses of worship?

  • Baquia

    What I’m trying to point out is the singling out of 2 NSA’s. One of which has no connection to Suriname. In actuality it would make much more sense to take the necessary funds from the international fund and send them to Suriname.

    Houses of Worship are wonderful. I wish that they were built with attention paid to the actual role they play within the Mashriqul-Adhkhar.

    Specifically with the Chile temple, I was pointing to this discrepancy:

    according to the UHJ total project cost: $38 million
    according to the UHJ amount already donated: $20 million
    according to the UHJ amount needed: $18 million

    according to US & Cdn NSAs: amount donated already: $26 million

    missing amount: $6 million


  • Baquia

    Thanks Steve, it certainly does. I didn’t include it in the post because the larger version is unavailable from the website.

  • Carlomartello

    money money money money: Liza Minelli

  • Stvnclmn

    Where did you get these figures from?

  • Baquia

    The figures are from the UHJ, NSA of Canada and NSA of US. You can see the sources here which I linked to above as well.

  • Zureick1

    Oh God, not this Canadian conspiracy again. HAHAHA, really? Well it takes money to renovate a building and 18,000 Canadian Dollars is reasonable. As for why Canada was chosen, well its quite obviously a conspiracy by the Universal House of Justice, which, according to so many of you loons on this site, will soon rule the world and impose the evil Ruhi system on everyone, oh God!

  • Baquia

    zureick, who said anything about a conspiracy? but then again, don’t let me stop you from knock down strawmen, you seem to relish it too much.