In General• Youngest world religion• Originated in the 19th century as an offshoot of Islam• May 24,1844 Persian, Siyyid-Muhammad, assumed the title, Bab (Gate), explaining that he had the mission of announcing the arrival of “One greater than himself.”• Bab declared this from the Grand Mosque in Mecca• His followers decided that Siyyid was the Mahdi, the direct prophet of God and greater than Muhammad• Persecution developed and Siyyid was executed in 1850
In General• Siyyid had written that Mirza Yaha was to be his successor• 1863 - Husayn Ali, Yaha’s half brother, said he, not Yaha, was to be the successor• Took the name Baha’ullah (glory of God). His followers became known as Baha’is• He preached extensively and wrote the Bahai sacred works, The Most Holy Book, The Book of Certitudes, and The Hidden Words• The last 40 years of his life were spent in exile or prison
In General• The last 22 years of Baha’ullah’s life were spent in prison at Acre, near Haifa, Israel• The central shrine of the faith is located in Haifa• Membership of the faith – Worldwide – 6 million – India – 2.5 million – United States - 140,000Many believe these figures are grossly inflated. Truer numbers,according to One Nation Under God, are estimated at 1 million worldwide and 26,000 to 28,000 in the United States.
Beliefs• Monotheistic, believing one God is the source of all creation• God is transcendent and unknowable• He has sent and will continue to send great prophets as manifestations of himself• 10 have come: Adam, Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha’ullah
Ten Principles of the Bahai Faith• The essential unity of humankind – principle of oneness• The independent investigation of truth• The common foundation of all religions• The essential harmony of religion and science• The equality of men and women• The elimination of all prejudice• Universal compulsory education• A spiritual solution to economic problems• A universal auxiliary language• Universal peace upheld by world government