Presentation on theme: "The Baha‘i Faith An introduction. The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the worlds religions. Since its beginning in the mid 19th century it has developed."— Presentation transcript:
The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the worlds religions. Since its beginning in the mid 19th century it has developed from a little known Middle Eastern religious movement into a fast-growing global religion.
During the 19 th century within many religions there was an expectation of renewal and change. Many Christians who had studied Biblical prophesy believed that this was the time for the return of Christ. There was a movement within Islam convinced that The Lord of the Age was due to appear.
Philosophers and liberal thinkers were questioning and challenging traditional religious views. Scientific discoveries were moving forward at an unprecedented rate. The industrial revolution was changing the face of societies throughout Europe. People were leaving the countryside and moving to the industrial centres for work. Others moved from Europe to the new worlds of America and Australia. This movement impacted on the indigenous societies causing massive disruption to their beliefs and culture.
The 19th century was a time of global change. Into this changing landscape entered the Baha’i Faith. A new spiritual age was about to begin.
In the Baha’i Faith there are three major figures. The Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha. The Baha’i Faith traces its origins to Persia now known as Iran.
The first of these major figures was a young man called the Bab. He founded the Babi religion in 1844. This new religion came under attack from the religious and political authorities in Persia. The Bab was eventually executed on the 9 th July 1850.
The second major figure is Baha’u’llah who was a follower of the Báb. Two years after the Bab’s death, Bahá’u’lláh was imprisoned in Teheran, he was later exiled to Baghdad. Whilst a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Government, Baha’u’llah announced the beginning of the Baha‘i Faith in Baghdad in April 1863.. Through a series of forced exiles Baha’u’llah, along with his family and a small group of followers, was eventually sent to the Prison city of Akka in Palestine, he died near Akka in 1892.
The third major figure is Abdu’l-Baha the son of Baha’u’llah, who shared the years of exile and imprisonment with his father. Abdu’l-Bahá was eventually released from prison in 1908. He then travelled throughout Europe and the United States of America giving talks and lectures explaining the teachings of his father. Abdu’l-Baha died in 1921.
The Baha’i World centre is in Haifa, Israel and many of the Bahá'í holy places are in the surrounding area. Every year thousands of Baha’is from all over the world travel on pilgrimage to these holy sites.
The Baha‘i Faith teaches that there is one God who is the source of all religions. Throughout history, in different parts of the planet there have been messengers from God. These messengers bring fresh social and spiritual teachings. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah is the latest and not the last of a long line of spiritual teachers or messengers.
The Baha’i Faith teaches that each messenger brings a religion suited to the needs and capacities of the society in which they appear and this is what accounts for the differences in religious beliefs. Both the spiritual and material contribution made by the major world religions to society, is recognised and acknowledge by the Baha’i Faith. The same respect and acknowledgement is given to the beliefs and philosophies of Indigenous peoples recognising that they have had the same important material and spiritual input to the planet.