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Things I learned about the Baháʼí Faith

I had a proper chat with my parents' neighbor for the first time since my parents (and back then, I) moved there around thirteen years ago. She told me she belonged to the Baháʼí faith and told me quite a bit about it. It felt a little bit like she was proselytizing, but I enjoyed it.

For more information, I asked the AI, which took care of ideas 12 to 20.

Things I learned about the Baháʼí Faith

    1. "The Baháʼí Faith" is the proper name for it

    The proper name of the religion is the Baháʼí Faith, not Baháʼí or Baha'ism (the latter, once common among academics, is regarded as derogatory by the Baháʼís)

    from Wikipedia

    2. All religions are part of a single system

    The Baha'i teachings view all religions as part of a single system – one unified and continuous series of Divinely-inspired teachers who all revealed the spiritual and mystical knowledge humanity needed at the time they appeared.

    See #17

    3. Different religions as part of a cyclical nature

    My neighbor explained that Judaism, Christianity and Islam were part of one cycle, and that the Baháʼí Faith was the beginning of the next cycle. Or something like that. She said that it's cyclical, as with all things in life.

    4. No drugs

    "except by a doctor's order."

    Seems like all types of drugs are forbidden (or at least strongly discouraged), with an emphasis on the danger of opium. Hard to have a pickle with their prohibition on opium, but all drugs? Considering the now highly documented benefits of psychedelics, that's a bit unfortunate!

    5. Baháʼí World Centre

    The spiritual and administrative center of the Baháʼí Faith (they should change the spelling because I have to copy/paste it each time) is in Israel! I remember seeing the Baháʼí Terraces when I visited Haifa; I didn't know anything about the faith back then (just as I didn't know anything about it until I talked with the neighbor).

    6. but they can't teach Israelis

    At first, I thought this was an antizionist thing. But not at all! I still don't quite understand why despite some googling, but it seems this stems from an agreement dating back to before the creation of Israel. Not sure though.

    7. Non-political

    It seems the Baháʼí Faith emphasizes its non-political nature. In fact, participation in partisan politics is forbidden!

    8. It's quite recent

    It was started in the 19th century!

    9. 8 million Baha'is

    It seems that it's been the most rapidly growing religion in the world.

    10. It started in Iran

    11. Other restrictions

    From Wikipedia:

    The following are a few examples from Baháʼu'lláh's teachings on personal conduct that is prohibited or discouraged:
    Backbiting and gossip are prohibited and denounced.
    Drinking or selling alcohol is forbidden.
    Sexual intercourse is only permitted between a husband and wife, and thus premarital, extramarital, or homosexual intercourse are forbidden.
    Participation in partisan politics is forbidden.
    Begging as a profession is forbidden.

    12. The Origin of the Baháʼí Faith

    The Baháʼí Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Baháʼu'lláh in Persia in the 19th century. It has grown to be the secondmost widespread religion in the world, with more than 5 million adherents in over 100 countries. The core teachings of the faith are the oneness of God, the oneness of humanity, and the oneness of religion. The Baháʼí Faith also emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind, and the essential equality of the sexes.

    13. The Writings of Baháʼu'lláh

    Baháʼu'lláh wrote more than 100 volumes of scripture and guidance for the Baháʼí Faith. These works form the core of the Baháʼí teachings and have been translated into many languages. They cover topics such as the oneness of God, the oneness of humanity, justice, equality, and the elimination of prejudice.

    14. The Baháʼí Calendar

    The Baháʼí calendar is based on the solar year, with 19 months of 19 days each. Each day is dedicated to a particular activity, such as prayer, fasting, or service. The calendar also includes 11 days of fasting, and 11 days of celebration.

    15. The Houses of Worship

    The Baháʼí Faith has nine Houses of Worship located in different countries around the world. These are beautiful and inspiring buildings that are open to people of all faiths. They are used for worship, meditation, and fellowship.

    16. The Baháʼí Administrative Order

    The Baháʼí Faith has an administrative order that is designed to facilitate the growth and development of

    17. Unity of all Religions

    Baháʼu'lláh taught that all religions come from the same source and that they all have the same goal of achieving unity, peace, and harmony among all people. He believed that the differences between religions were caused by human interpretations of the divine will. This principle of unity of all religions is a cornerstone of the Baháʼí Faith.

    18. Oneness of Humanity

    Baháʼu'lláh taught that all humans are equal, regardless of their race, gender, or religion. He believed that all people should be treated with respect and love, and that all humans have the potential to improve their lives and the lives of others. He also believed that all humans should have access to education and the same opportunities for success.

    19. Abolition of Prejudice

    Baháʼu'lláh taught that prejudices, such as those based on race, gender, or religion, are destructive and must be eliminated. He believed that all people should be treated with love and respect, regardless of their differences. He believed that people should strive to understand and accept each other, and work together towards a more unified and just world.

    20. Spiritual Transformation

    Baháʼu'lláh taught that spiritual transformation is essential for achieving peace and unity among all people. He believed that all people must strive to become more spiritual in order to fully understand their purpose and the divine will. He believed that this spiritual transformation is essential for achieving unity and peace.

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