The Bah‘'‘ Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. Its founder, Bah‘'u'll‘h (1817-1892), is regarded by Bah‘'‘s 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 Bah‘'u'll‘h's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bah‘'u'll‘h 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 Bah‘'‘ Faith is to help make this possible. A worldwide community of some five million Bah‘'‘s, representative of most of the nations, races and cultures on earth, is working to give Bah‘'u'll‘h'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 Bah‘'u'll‘h
Bah‘'u'll‘h taught that there is one God whose successive revelations of His will to humanity have been the chief civilizing force in history. The agents of this process have been the Divine Messengers whom people have seen chiefly as the founders of separate religious systems but whose common purpose has been to bring the human race to spiritual and moral maturity.
Humanity 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 Baha'i Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are
- the abandonment of all forms of prejudice
- assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men
- recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth
- the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
- the realization of universal education
- the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth
- the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations
- recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge