Image by Michael Hoefner via Wikipedia

Bahai is a relatively recent world religion. Adherents of Bahai claim that God is progressively revealed through a sequence of teachers, including Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, and its Persian founder, Baha’u’llah (1860’s).

The religion is monotheistic, emphasizing monogamous family life, obedience to government authority, personal honesty and cleanliness. Bahai schools and media programs are flourishing.

Baha’u’llah originally went by the name Mirza Hoseyn, a Shi’ite Muslim. Hoseyn aligned himself with the Bab, head of the Babis, a Muslim sect claiming to have privileged knowledge about ultimate truth. The Bab was executed for treason by the Iranian government and Hoseyn was then exiled by orthodox Sunni Muslims.

Hoseyn went to Constantinople (Istanbul). There, in 1867, he declared himself to be the Imam Madhi (“rightly guided leader”), as foretold by the Bab.

Violence ensued and he was banished to Acre, where he developed the contemporary doctrine of Ba’hai: Universal brotherhood and the unity of all religions. Pilgrims from Iran and the USA journeyed to Acre to learn about his teachings.



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