Bahai News - World Religion Day Observed in Atlanta

World Religion Day observed in AtlantaWorld Religion Day observed in Atlanta

United States, Atlanta. - The aim of World Religion Day is to foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the common denominators underlying all religions. The message of World Religion Day is that mankind, which has stemmed from one origin, must now strive towards the reconciliation of that which has been split up. Human unity and true equality depend not on past origins, but on future goals, on what we are becoming and whither we are going.

The prime cause of age-old conflict between man and man has been the absence of one ethical belief, a single spiritual standard – one moral code.

The history of man's cultures and civilizations is the history of his religions. Nothing has such an integrating effect as the bond of common Faith. The history of religion shows that all religions had this unifying power – the power to instill in the hearts and minds of their adherents the fundamental verities, the vital spiritual standards, and thus establish a unity of conscience for motivating man towards founding great cultures and civilizations.

Thus, through World Religion Day observances, dedicated towards encouraging the leaders and followers of every religion to acknowledge the similarities in each of our sacred Faiths, a unified approach to the changes that confront humanity can be agreed upon and then applied on an ever-expanding scale to permeate the very psyche of mankind, so that it can be made to see the whole earth as a single country and humanity as its citizenry.

Metro Atlanta celebrates World Religion Day on Sunday, January 16th. The purpose is to foster understanding and communication between the followers of all religions. "The Messengers of God of each of the world's religions have spoken the same truth over the ages," said Al Viller of Duluth. "Let us see light wherever it shines."

World Religion Day is observed on the third Sunday in January by Bahá’ís in the United States, and increasingly by people around the globe. Its purpose is to call attention to the harmony of spiritual principles and the oneness of the world's religions and to emphasize that world religion is the motivating force for world unity.

Bahá’í scripture states, "religion should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind for it is a message of peace and good-will to man from God. Religion is the greatest of all means for the establishment of order in the world and for the peaceful contentment of all that dwell therein."

To illustrate the need for religious unity, World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 by the national governing body for the Bahá’í Faith, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States. Bahá'u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, taught all true religion came from one source through successive messengers which have included Abraham, Moses, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Muhammad and the Báb.

Since its beginnings in the United States, the celebration of World Religion Day has spread to many other countries. In 1985, the government of Sri Lanka issued a postage stamp in commemoration of the day.

The Bahá’í Faith, the second most widespread religion in the world after Christianity, has more than five million members world-wide, of whom 133,000 reside in the United States.

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