|The Bah??Faith is a religion founded by Bah?u’ll? in 19th century Persia. Bah?? number around 6 million in more than 200 countries around the world.
According to Bah??teachings, religious history is seen as an evolving educational process for mankind, through God’s messengers, which are termed Manifestations of God.Bah?u’ll? is seen as the most recent, pivotal, but not final of these individuals. He claimed to be the expected redeemer and teacher prophesied in Judaism, Christianity, Islam,Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions, and that his mission was to establish a firm basis for unity throughout the world, and inaugurate an age of peace and justice, which Bah?? expect will inevitably arise.
“Bah??/b>” (/baˈhaːʔiː/) can be an adjective referring to the Bah??Faith, or the term for a follower of Bah?u’ll? (Bah??is not a noun meaning the religion as a whole). The term comes from the Arabic word Bah?/a> (بهاء), meaning “glory” or “splendor”.
Three core principles of Bah?? teachings are often referred to simply as: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of mankind. Many Bah??beliefs and practices are rooted in these priorities; but taken alone these would be an over-simplification of Bah?? teachings.
Bah?? believe in a single, imperishable God, the creator of all things, including all the creatures and forces in the universe.  The existence of God is thought to be eternal, without a beginning or end, and is described as “a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty.”  Though inaccessible directly, God is nevertheless seen as conscious of his creation, with a will and purpose. Bah?? believe that God expresses this will in many ways, including through a series of divine messengers referred to as Manifestations of God or sometimes divine educators. In expressing God’s intent, these manifestations are seen to establish religion in the world.
Bah??teachings state that God is too great for humans to fully comprehend, or to create a complete and accurate image. In the Bah??religion God is often referred to by titles (e.g. the All-Powerful, or the All-Loving), and there is a substantial emphasis on monotheism, rejecting such doctrines as the Trinity.
Bah??notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of most of the worlds’ religions, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God. These include, but are not limited to Jesus,Muhammad, Moses, and Buddha. Bah?? also believe that other religious figures, such as Adam, Noah, and H?historically existed and were prophets of God. Religious history is interpreted as a series of dispensations, where eachmanifestation brings a somewhat broader and more advanced revelation, suited for the time and place in which it was expressed. Specific religious social teachings (e.g. the direction of prayer, or dietary restrictions) may be revoked by a subsequent manifestation so that a more appropriate requirement for the time and place may be established. Conversely, certain general principles (e.g. neighbourliness, or charity) are seen to be universal and consistent. Bah?? do not believe that this process of progressive revelation will end. They do, however, believe that it is cyclical. Bah?? do not expect a new manifestation of god to appear prior to 1000 years after Bah?u’ll?’s revelation.
Bah??beliefs are sometimes described as syncretic combinations of earlier religions’ beliefs. Bah??, however, assert that their religion is a distinct tradition with its own scriptures, teachings, laws, and history. Its cultural and religious debt to the Shi’a Islamic matrix in which it was founded is seen as analogous to the Jewish socio-religious context in which Christianity was established. Bah?? describe their faith as an independent world religion, differing from the other traditions only in its relative newness and in the appropriateness of Bah?u’ll?’s teachings to the modern context. Bah?u’ll? is believed to fulfill the messianic expectations of these precursor faiths.
Bah?? believe that human beings have a “rational soul“, and that this provides the species with a unique capacity to recognize God’s station and humanity’s relationship with its creator. Every human is seen to have a duty to recognize God through his messengers, and to conform to their teachings. Through recognition and obedience, service to fellow humans and regular prayer and spiritual practice, Bah?? believe that the soul becomes closer to God, the spiritual ideal in Bah??belief. When a human dies, the soul passes into the next world, where its spiritual development in the physical world becomes a basis for judgment and advancement in the spiritual world. Heaven and Hell are taught to be spiritual states of nearness or distance from God that describe relationships in this world and the next, and not physical places of reward and punishment achieved after death.
The Bah??writings emphasize the essential equality of human beings, and the abolition of prejudice. Humanity is seen as essentially one, though highly varied; its diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and tolerance. Doctrines of racism, nationalism, caste, and social class are seen as artificial impediments to unity. The Bah??teachings state that the unification of mankind is the paramount issue in the religious and political conditions of the present world.
Bah??sources usually estimate the worldwide Bah??population to be above 5 million. Encyclopedias and similar sources estimate from 2 to 8 million Bah?? in the world in the early twenty-first century, with most estimates between 5 and 6 million.
From its origins in the Persian and Ottoman Empires, the Bah?? Faith acquired a number of Western converts by World War I. Fifty years later its population was distributed much more towards the Third World as a result of Bah??pioneeringefforts.
According to The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2004:
||The majority of Bah?? live in Asia (3.6 million), Africa (1.8 million), and Latin America (900,000). According to some estimates, the largest Bah??community in the world is in India, with 2.2 million Bah??, next is Iran, with 350,000, and the USA, with 150,000. Aside from these countries, numbers vary greatly. Currently, no country has a Bah??majority.Guyana is the country with the largest percentage of Bah?? (7%).
The Bah??religion was listed in The Britannica Book of the Year (1992?present) as the second most widespread of the world’s independent religions in terms of the number of countries represented. Britannica claims that it is established in 247 countries and territories; represents over 2,100 ethnic, racial, and tribal groups; has scriptures translated into over 800 languages; and has seven million adherents worldwide .