Baháʼí Faith

A global religion proclaiming the unity of all religions and humanity.

The Baháʼí Faith, established in the 19th century by Baháʼu’lláh, emerges as a compelling advocate for the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. It originated in Iran and has since spread worldwide, amassing a following of five to eight million adherents known as Baháʼís. This religion teaches that God reveals divine messages through a succession of prophets or Manifestations of God, including Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb, and Baháʼu’lláh, the latest of these messengers​​​​.

Central to its doctrine is the concept of Progressive Revelation, which posits that religion is progressively revealed by God through these Manifestations, each building upon the teachings of the previous ones to suit the evolving capacity of humanity. The Baháʼí Faith recognizes the founders of major world religions as part of this process, viewing the religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, diverging only in social practices and interpretations​​​​.

Baháʼí beliefs emphasize the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. They reject racism, sexism, and nationalism, advocating for a unified world order that ensures the prosperity of all nations, races, creeds, and classes. The Baháʼí writings, including texts by Baháʼu’lláh, his son ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, and subsequent Baháʼí leaders, form the core of its scripture, emphasizing justice, equality, and religious unity​​​​.

The Baháʼí Faith’s unique administrative structure includes annually elected local, regional, and national Spiritual Assemblies and the Universal House of Justice, a nine-member governing body elected every five years. This system governs the faith’s affairs globally from its headquarters in Haifa, Israel​​.

Baháʼís engage in various grassroots efforts to promote unity and social transformation, conducting activities that further moral and spiritual development for individuals of all ages. The Baháʼí community, known for its inclusive and diverse gatherings, meets in homes, local centers, or meeting rooms for prayer, study, and celebration. Financial contributions to the Baháʼí funds, which support social development programs and community services, are accepted only from Baháʼís, ensuring privacy and voluntariness in giving​​.

Despite its message of peace and unity, the Baháʼí Faith has faced persecution, particularly in Iran, where it originated. The religion’s emphasis on social ethics, absence of priesthood or sacraments, and the significance of the number 19 in its calendar and practices reflect its unique approach to spirituality and community life​​.

Overall, the Baháʼí Faith presents a vision for a spiritually integrated world, advocating for principles of justice, equality, and global unity while navigating the challenges of religious persecution and striving for social transformation.

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