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- Created 2012-02-21
bəˈhaɪ is a
religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. Three core principles establish a basis for Bahá'í teachings and doctrine: the
unity of God
, that there is only one God who is the source of all creation; the
unity of religion
, that all major religions have the same spiritual source and come from the same God; and the
unity of humankind
, that all humans have been created equal, and that diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. According to the Bahá'í teachings the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as
, and being of service to humankind.
The Bahá'í Faith was founded by
. Bahá'u'lláh was exiled for his teachings, from Persia to the
, and died while officially being a prisoner. After Bahá'u'lláh's death, under the leadership of his son,
, the religion spread from its Persian and Ottoman roots, and gained a footing in Europe and America, and was consolidated in Iran, where it still suffers intense
. After the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the leadership of the Bahá'í community entered a new phase, evolving from a single individual to an administrative order with both elected bodies and appointed individuals. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories.
In the Bahá'í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included
figures as well as
, and others. For Bahá'ís, the most recent messengers are the
. In Bahá'í belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá'u'lláh's life and teachings fulfilled the
promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 26 May), licensed under
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