Founded in Persia on the twin revelations of the Báb in 1844 and Baha’u’llah in 1863, the Baha’i Faith has since spread to every region, continent and nation. Baha’u’llah’s teachings emphasize justice, and in Persia’s profoundly unjust and corrupt society at the time, they created an uproar. Tortured, exiled and imprisoned for the last forty years of his life for his progressive teachings, Baha’u’llah (a title that means “The Glory of God”) and the early Baha’is suffered severe, genocidal persecution—more than 20,000 died for their beliefs. Even today, many Baha’is in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries still face persecution.
Baha’u’llah’s revelation was preceded by nineteen years by the revelation of another Persian prophet who took the title of the Bab, meaning “the Gate.” The Bab viewed his teachings as a gate between him and the prophet that would appear soon after him. Because of the profound effect the teachings of these two had on Persia (which was rigidly dogmatic in its practice of Islam) the Bab was imprisoned, then executed for heresy. Thousands of his followers faced the same fate. For the same reasons, Baha’u’llah spent forty years in exile and imprisonment, lastly in the prison-city of Akka in Palestine. He suffered a life of torture and deprivation in order to bring the world a new set of spiritual teachings and to renew the universal, changeless spiritual teachings that lie at the core of all revealed religion. Persecuted relentlessly, he still persevered in delivering that message, which has now begun to revolutionize humanity’s future.
The Baha’i Faith is about unity.
Baha’is believe in peace, justice, love, altruism and the sacredness life. The Baha’i teachings promote the agreement of science and religion, the equality of the sexes and the elimination of all prejudice and racism.
Just about anywhere you go on the planet, you’ll find Baha’is—the Baha’i Faith is the world’s second-most widespread religion after Christianity, spanning the globe and working to unite it. Baha’is have no clergy or churches, gathering together in democratically-led communities and welcoming everyone.
The millions of Baha’is in the world come from every ethnicity, nationality, tribe, age, racial group, religious background and economic and social class. Striving to be gentle, peaceful, warm and welcoming, diverse Baha’i communities exist just about everywhere. Baha’is accept the validity of each of the founders and prophets of the major world religions, and believe in progressive revelation, the unique Baha’i principle that views every great Faith as a link in a single spiritual system progressively revealed by God to humanity.