The Baha'i Faith is the newest of the world's major religions. It was founded by two prophets in the mid-nineteenth century in Persia, which is now modern-day Iran. The first was named "The Bab," which is Persian for "The Gate." He prepared for the coming of the second, "Bahá’u’lláh," which is Persian for "The Glory of God," much as John the Baptist prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ. The coming of these "twin prophets" fulfills prophecies found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.
The Fundamental Beliefs of the Baha'i Faith
The Oneness of God -- All religions were inspired by the same source, God, and brought the message needed at that place, at that time.
The Oneness of Humanity -- All people are equal, and Baha'is work to end racism and hatred between different peoples.
The Equality of Men and Women -- Men and women are like the two wings of a bird. Even though they are different, humanity cannot fly without equal contributions from each. If a parent must choose between educating a son and a daughter, it is the daughter who should be educated, because women are the earliest teachers of their own children.
The Harmony of Science and Religion -- There is only one reality, and both science and religion are ways of studying that reality. Indeed, if a true conflict is found between scientific facts and religion, we are to go with the science.
Independent Investigation of Truth --Each person is responsible for his or her own beliefs. The Baha'i Faith has no priests to tell Baha'is what to believe. Everyone is given the faculty of reason to investigate the truth independently. Nevertheless, they are encouraged to come together to discuss and consult.
Work is a Form of Worship -- Each person is encouraged to find a form of work can be done honorably, in a spirit of service. Even if the work is menial, such as emptying trashcans, do it in a spirit of service.
The Baha'i Faith Promotes the Advancement of Mankind
Peace -- Baha'is work to eliminate warfare. Each country should have enough of an army so that multiple countries may aid each other in opposing any nation that tries to invade others.
Universal Education -- Education is very important to Baha'is. If there is a person in a Baha'i community who cannot read, it is the duty of the community to teach him or her.
Adoption of a Common Language -- Eventually one language should be chosen as a universal auxiliary language, in addition to each person's native language. This will enable everyone in the world to communicate with each other.
A Spiritual Solution to Economic Problems -- Man-made economic institutions are prone to corruption and failure. Only by bringing spiritual values into the economic system will it promote justice and prosperity for all.
Eliminating Extremes of Poverty and Wealth --There will always be differences between people regarding income, but the great extremes found in society today are destructive to both rich and poor.
The Golden Rule
"... choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself."
-- Baha'i Faith
"Make thine own self the measure of the others, and so abstain from causing hurt to them."
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
"Do not to others what ye do not wish done to yourself; and wish for others too what ye desire and long for, for yourself."
"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."
"Love thy neighbor as thyself."