Statement of faith
The Baha'i Faith was founded by Baha u’llah (1817–1892), the most recent in the line of Messengers of God. It is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. It belongs to the tradition that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. Baha u’llah’s message is that humanity is one single race and that it is time for the unification of of all religions into a global society. It is God’s plan, according to Baha u’llah, to break down traditional barriers of class, race, creed and national boundaries in this time. People are called upon to assist in the process of unification.The Baha’i community has about five million followers who aspire to bring this process of unification to reality in the world today by living Baha u’llah’s teachings. These teachings include the belief in one God who wills that all people live for the good of the whole of humanity bringing them into harmony and peace. This change is happening now because of the succession of Divine Messengers who have encouraged all people to live in peace. Therefore the Baha’i faith encourages people to break from prejudice; promote equality and unity; eliminate extremes of poverty and wealth; recognise the relativity of religious truth and the responsibility each has to the search for truth and promote global harmony through a religion that respects both reason and scientific knowledge.
Who is the Baha'i Chaplain at UTS?
Leo Newport is the Baha’i representative of the UTS Chaplaincy Service. As there are no clergy in the Baha’i faith, Leo is authorised by the "Local Spiritual Asembly of the Baha'is of the City of Sydney", and the Regional Baha'i council of New Ssouth Wales, to serve students and staff on the UTS campus. Leo is married and resident in North Ryde. He has three adult daughters, and one adult son as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
During the thirty years since becoming Baha'i, Leo has served on the Sydney, Lane Cove, Ryde and Marrickville Local Spiritual Assemblies, and during the years he lived in the United States, Leo served there on several California Local Spiritual Assemblies. Each month Leo and his Persian wife, Shahin, host the "Inner West Multi-Faith Spiritual Cafe" at North Ryde, as well as an ongoing series of Baha'i study Institutes at their home. Leo is also an occasional volunteer at Ryde Hospital.