About the Bahá’í Faith
Louis Gregory embraced the Bahá’í Faith in 1909 and promoted its teachings throughout the
rest of his life.
The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions and now the second most
widely spread religion in the world. It is practiced by over five million people in 235 countries and independent territories who come from more than 2,100
ethnic, racial, and tribal groups.
The Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í
Faith, Bahá'u'lláh (The Glory of God), was a Persian nobleman who lived between 1817-1892 and who was a prisoner and exile for the last forty years of His
life because of His teachings. He is regarded by Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of
God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.
The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh's
message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh said, has set in motion
historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal
civilization. The principal challenge facing the peoples of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification.
One of the purposes of the Bahá’í Faith is to help make this possible. The
worldwide community of Bahá’ís is working to give Bahá'u'lláh's teachings practical effect. Their experience will be a source of encouragement to all
who share their vision of humanity as one global family and the earth as one homeland.
Basic Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh
is now coming of age. It is this that makes possible the unification of the human family and the building of a peaceful, global society. Among the principles which
the Bahá’í Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are
The oneness of religion
is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message. They all have but one purpose; their secret is the same secret. To prefer one in honor to
another, to exalt certain ones above the rest, is in no wise to be permitted. Every true Prophet hath regarded His Message as fundamentally the same as the
Revelation of every other Prophet gone before Him... The measure of the revelation of the Prophets of God in this world, however, must differ. Each and every
one of them hath been the Bearer of a distinct Message, and hath been commissioned to reveal Himself through specific acts. It is for this reason that they
appear to vary in their greatness... It is clear and evident, therefore, that any apparent variation in the intensity of their light is not inherent in the
light itself, but should rather be attributed to the varying receptivity of an ever-changing world. Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath
purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the
age in which He appeared." --Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pp.78-9.
"All these divisions we see on all sides, all these
disputes and opposition, are caused because men cling to ritual and outward observances, and forget the simple, underlying truth. It is the outward practices
of religion that are so different, and it is they that cause disputes and enmity -- while the reality is always the same, and one. The Reality is the Truth,
and truth has no division. Truth is God's guidance, it is the light of the world, it is love, it is mercy. These attributes of truth are also human virtues
inspired by the Holy Spirit." --`Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 120-1.
Religion as a source of unity
"He (Bahá'u'lláh) sets forth a new principle for
this day in the announcement that religion must be the cause of unity, harmony and agreement among mankind. If it be the cause of discord and hostility, if it
leads to separation and creates conflict, the absence of religion would be preferable in the world." --`Abdu'l-Baha, Bahá'í World Faith, p. 247.
Independent investigation of truth
know ye that God has created in man the power of reason, whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to imitate blindly his
fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind, or the faculty of reasoning, by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth, and
that which he finds real and true he must accept." --`Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 291.
Harmony between religion, science, and reason
and science are the two wings upon which man's intelligence can soar into the heights, with which the human soul can progress. It is not possible to fly with
one wing alone! Should a man try to fly with the wing of religion alone he would quickly fall into the quagmire of superstition, whilst on the other hand,
with the wing of science alone he would also make no progress, but fall into the despairing slough of materialism." --`Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p.143.
The oneness of humanity
"It is not for
him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."
--Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 250.
The elimination of all forms of prejudice
"...again, as to
religious, racial, national and political bias: all these prejudices strike at the very root of human life; one and all they beget bloodshed, and the
ruination of the world. So long as these prejudices survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars." --Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Baha,
Equality of men and women
"To accept and
observe a distinction which God has not intended in creation is ignorance and superstition. The fact which is to be considered, however, is that woman, having
formerly been deprived, must now be allowed equal opportunities with man for education and training. There must be no difference in their education. Until the
reality of equality between man and woman is fully established and attained, the highest social development of mankind is not possible." --`Abdu'l-Baha,
The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.76.
The abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty
"O Ye Rich Ones
The poor in your midst
are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease." --The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p.41.
"We see amongst
us men who are overburdened with riches on the one hand, and on the other those unfortunate ones who starve with nothing; those who possess several stately
palaces, and those who have not where to lay their head. Some we find with numerous courses of costly and dainty food; whilst others can scarce find
sufficient crusts to keep them alive. Whilst some are clothed in velvets, furs and fine linen, others have insufficient, poor and thin garments with which to
protect them from the cold.
This condition of
affairs is wrong and must be remedied. Now the remedy must be carefully undertaken. It cannot be done by bringing to pass absolute equality between men."
-`Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p.151.
time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings
of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great
Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquility of the peoples of the earth, to be fully
reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the
world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their
territories." --Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 249.
We welcome you to investigate our faith by exploring U.S. Bahá’í site or the The Bahá’í World
site or “Contact Us” to ask questions and to locate the Bahá’ís near