Baha'i News -- THE BASICS OF BAHA'I Posted on Sat, Oct. 19, 2002



• History: Founded in Persia (now Iran) in the 1860s by Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (1817-92). Better known as Baha'u'llah ("Glory of God"), he believed he was the prophet foretold by the Bab, a religious leader who was a direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad. After Baha'u'llah's death as a prisoner in Palestine, one of his two sons set out on missionary journeys to Egypt, Europe and America.

Beliefs: Baha'is are monotheistic and believe in the unity of all religions. Baha'is believe that God's presence and works are evident in the creation of the world and the existence of prophets. Among those whom Baha'is recognize as prophets are Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, all of whom were succeeded by Baha'u'llah. They believe God will continue to send prophets.

Living the faith: Laws require daily prayer and an annual fast. Alcohol, drugs and premarital sex are prohibited. Divorce is discouraged; Baha'i law requires one year of trial separation. If differences can't be resolved, divorce is allowed. Baha'is cannot be members of any political party.

Governing: There is no Baha'i clergy. Local and national centers are administered by elected officials. The international governing body is elected once every five years.

©Copyright 2002, Tallahasse Democrat

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