The Bahá'í Faith is the newest of the independent World Religions and, after
Christianity, the most widespread. It originated in 1844 in Iran and offers
a profound and breath-taking global vision for our time. The Prophet-Founder, Bahá'u'lláh, wrote: "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal
in the past, eternal in the future." Its primary mission is to unify
all the diverse, conflicted, and splintered segments of humanity into
one organic whole.
The Bahá'í Faith teaches the equality of women and men; the common foundation of all religions;
universal education; the harmony of science and religion; and the elimination
of all forms of prejudice. Bahá'u'lláh asserted that humanity has entered
a stage that can be described as the dawn of its maturity - a new cycle of human power. This state calls for "independent investigation of truth"
not "blind imitation;" a process requiring an objective scientific
approach, as well as affirming the inescapable need for prayer and meditation.
The ultimate goal is the establishment of true prosperity and lasting peace on the planet. Bahá'í teachings call for the establishment of a spiritually illumined and democratically functioning global community that embraces and harmonizes the magnificent diversity of humankind. In the middle of the 19th century, Bahá'u'lláh proclaimed: "A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth... The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."
The words of Queen Marie of Rumania, written in 1930, eloquently express the sentiments of millions who have
found in the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh the inspiration and guidance we
so desperately need in our world today. She wrote: "The Bahá'í
Teaching brings peace and understanding. It is like a wide embrace gathering
together all those who have long searched for words of hope. It accepts
all great Prophets gone before it - destroys no other creed - and leaves
all doors open ...saddened by the continual strife amongst believers of
many confessions and wearied of their intolerance towards each other,
I discovered in the Bahá'í Teaching the real spirit of Christ so often
denied and misunderstood... Unity instead of strife, hope instead of condemnation,
love instead of hate, and a great reassurance for all men."