The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the World's independent monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than 5 million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha'is come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Baha'i Faith the second-most widespread religion in the world. Baha'i Faith is based on the teachings of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), Who is regarded by Baha'is as the most recent in a line of Messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, and Muhammad.
Baha'is view all the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. The Founder of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), is recognized as the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that stretches back beyond recorded time and includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. The central theme of Baha'u'llah's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for humanity’s unification into one global society. While reaffirming the core ethical principles common to all religions, Baha'u'llah also revealed new laws and teachings to lay the foundations of a global civilization. “A new life,” Baha'u'llah declares, “is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth.”
The worldwide Baha'i community, composed of people from virtually every racial, ethnic and religious background, is working to give practical expression to Baha'u'llah’s vision of world unity. We invite you to learn more about the Baha'i Faith and benefit from the spiritual and practical insights found in the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, God's message for humanity in this day.
Who is Baha'u'llah?
Baha’u’llah announced in 1863 that He is God's Messenger for this age. His teachings and sacred writings are the basis of the Baha'i Faith.
Baha'u'llah claimed that His Divine Mission is to bring about the spiritual rebirth and the unity of mankind. He promised that this would lead to the establishment of permanent world peace and to the Kingdom of God on Earth. Baha'u'llah has attracted millions of adherents from every part of the globe; He has provided laws and teachings on how to realize His vision; and His followers are laboring everywhere to bring it about.
Baha'u'llah proclaimed that God, our loving Creator, sends Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God, with teachings that enable humanity to know and to worship God. These great Manifestations, which have appeared throughout history at intervals of about 500 to 1,000 years, bring human civilization to ever higher levels of spiritual and material advancement. Baha'u'llah is the latest in this long line of Divine Messengers, which has included Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster and the Bab.
Baha'u'llah was born in 1817 to a prominent family in Persia, where His father was a minister in the court of the Shah. His given name was Mirza Husayn Ali, but He identified Himself as Baha'u'llah, a title that means “Glory of God.” Turning His back on the position at court which these advantages offered Him, Baha'u'llah became known for His generosity, kindliness and concern for the poor, which made Him deeply loved among his countrymen.
This privileged position did not last. In 1844, when Baha'u'llah was still in his twenties, a young merchant from the city of Shiraz, known to history as the Bab, announced that He was the Herald of a Messenger from God, much greater than Himself, who was destined to establish the universal peace foretold in all the world's sacred scriptures. Baha'u'llah announced His support for the Bab and was engulfed in a wave of persecution unleashed upon the Bab and His followers by Persia's government and clergy. After the Bab was executed in 1850, Baha'u'llah was stripped of all His worldly endowments and subjected to imprisonment, torture and a series of banishments. The first was to Baghdad where, in 1863, He announced himself as the One promised by the Bab. From Baghdad, Baha'u'llah was exiled to Constantinople, to Adrianople, and finally to the prison-city of Akka, in the Holy Land, where He arrived as a prisoner in 1868.
From Adrianople and later from Akka, Baha'u'llah addressed a series of letters to the rulers of His day that are among the most remarkable documents in religious history. They proclaimed the coming unification of humanity and the emergence of a world civilization. Baha'u'llah called on the kings, emperors and presidents of the nineteenth century to reconcile their differences, curtail their armaments, and devote their energies to the establishment of universal peace.
In 1892, Baha'u'llah passed away at Bahji, just north of Akka, and is buried there. His teachings had already begun to spread beyond the confines of the Middle East, and His Shrine is today the focal point of the world community which these teachings have brought into being.
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