Posted by: Andrew G | March 24, 2010

Baha’i – New Kid in Town

We desire but the good of the world and happiness of the nations….That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled… Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the “Most Great Peace” shall come…. These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family…. Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.” Baha’u’llah, (1890) (source)

The Baha’i faith was founded less than 200 years ago in Iran. In a way, the Baha’i faith is an extension of the Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) in that it believes in a supreme and single God that has given his word to particular prophets. However, the interesting leap comes in its international scope. The line of prophets for the Baha’i faith goes something like this:

Adam > Krishna (Hindu) > Buddha (Asian) > Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) > Muhammad (Islam) > The Bab and Baha’u’llah (the two initiates of Baha’i)

.

What do you know, but Bono wasn’t the first to find a unity.

The Baha’i faith has only a few million practitioners worldwide. Due to it’s progressive nature (building on other faiths) there has been some persecution of its followers.

For all of it’s progression, the Baha’i faith does maintain some rather strict beliefs. Followers are given strict regulations in terms of what they can discuss or publish regarding their religion. Interpretation of texts is still the task of leaders. There are cases where homosexual couples have had their religious rights within the faith taken away. Their progression of prophets is still not finished however. Some in the faith believe another prophet is on the way with the next installment of the word. If God is a writer (even it is just a word), then I am willing to grant him/her/it/them the space and time needed for edits. I know the grace that is sometimes needed in creative efforts. (Look at evolution — billions of years and we still haven’t reached a final draft…)

Due to the quite young age of the Baha’i Faith, it has given a remarkable gift to the world — we have the modern history and development of a world religion we can study.

And as a personal note, any religion that can produce a quote such as this below is worth a little bit of my attention:

“If religion becomes the cause of enmity and bloodshed, then irreligion is to be preferred, for religion is the remedy for every ailment, and if a remedy should become the cause of ailment and difficulty, it is better to abandon it.” (source)

For more information on the Baha’i Faith, check out the official website.


Can a religion actually promote irreligion?

Can a religion ever get it right on the first draft?


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Responses

  1. Your interest in the Bahá’í Faith is admirable. Please feel free to explore the websites of the Unitarian Bahá’í Association:

    http://unitarianbahai.org/

    http://www.uubahai.com/

    The UBA offers a somewhat different perspective on the Faith than that espoused by the more conservative Baha’i International Community of Haifa and Akko (the numerically dominant form of the Faith).

    Alláh’u’Abhá!

    http://samandal.wordpress.com

    • Hi samandal!

      Thanks for the links. I will check them out today. I am always interested in the changes religions go through as well as the ‘unity’ they find (couldn’t resist the use of the word 🙂 ).

  2. Hello, Andrew.

    If you want to know what Bahais loyal to the Haifa Administrative Order are like when their assumptions are challenged with embarrassing facts, look no further than here:

    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/bahai-government-would-be-totally-tyrannical/

    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/unitarian-bahais/

    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/bahais-must-reject-the-guardianship/

    Any claim from their propaganda that they are any better than other failing religions gets blown away, not only by what I wrote, but by how they themselves react to it.

    • Hey Dale!

      Thanks for the links. I’ll definitely check them out.

      It constantly surprises me how each world religion can go through such similar ‘evolutions’ and make such obvious (and often hypocritical?) mistakes.

      But, it’s all for the learning, right?


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