The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. In its comparatively short history of about 168 years the Baha'i Faith has grown to embrace adherents from virtually every country in the world.
It is most geographically widespread independent religion after Christianity.
Representing a cross section of humanity, Baha’i’s come from virtually every ethnic group, culture, profession and social and economic group.
A Baha'i means a follower of Baha’u’llah (meaning "Glory of God"), the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, who was born in Iran and exiled to the Holy Land (now Israel).
Baha’u’llah (1817-1892) is regarded by Baha’i’s as the most recent in a line of divine Messengers, whose teachings guide and educate humanity and provide the basis for the advancement of human society.
These Messengers have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Baha’i’s view these religions as coming from the same divine source and as successive chapters of one religion from God.
Since 1868, the World Centre of the Baha’i Faith has been in Haifa in the Holy Land (now Israel).
The Australian Baha’i community was established in 1920 and is now spread throughout the country. The Baha’i Temple in Sydney is a landmark and is one of seven in the world.
The essential message of Baha’u’llah is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race(“The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”), and that all the world's religions have been stages in the revelation of God's will and purpose for humanity.
Baha’u’llah has given humanity widely available prayers and scriptures to assist them in their spiritual lives.
Baha’u’llah said that in this day humanity has collectively come of age and will become united in a global society.
For such a global society to flourish, it must be built upon fundamental principles that include:
- accepting the oneness of humanity and the abandonment of all forms of prejudice
- recognising the Divine origin and essential unity of the world's great religions
- recognizing that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge
- giving equal opportunities, rights and privileges to men and women
- eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty
- seeking solutions to economic problems by taking into account man's spiritual nature
- the realisation of universal education
- adopting an international auxiliary language
- emphasising the independent search for truth, free from prejudices
- ensuring a sustainable balance between development and the environment
- establishing a world federation based on collective security and justice for all
For additional information, please refer to the following links.