The Bahá’í Faith is an independent world religion.
A member is called a Bahá’í (plural: Bahá’ís). It is also correct to say that someone is a “member of the Bahá’í Faith,” a “follower of the Bahá’í Faith,” a “follower of Bahá’u’lláh,” or a member of the Bahá’í community of a given locality. It is not correct to say that someone is a member of a particular Bahá’í center or House of Worship.
The term “Bahá’í International Community” refers to the members of the Bahá’í Faith collectively, or to certain offices within the Bahá’í Faith that represent the religion officially.
Bahá’ís consider Bahá’u’lláh to be the most recent in a line of great religious teachers, or Messengers of God, that includes Abraham, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Krishna, Muhammad, Moses, Zoroaster, and others. Bahá’u’lláh – the name is Arabic for “Glory of God” – was born in 1817 in Tehran, Iran, and passed away in 1892 in Acre, Israel. The coming of Bahá’u’lláh was announced by the Báb (Arabic for “Gate”), also considered by Bahá’ís to be a divine Messenger.
There are a number of important dates in the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith, but the first announcement by the Báb of the new religion came in 1844.
The Universal House of Justice, an elected body of nine men, has its seat at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel. Around the world, in almost all countries, a National Spiritual Assembly oversees the affairs of the Bahá’í Faith in that country, and local Spiritual Assemblies oversee local affairs.
The Bahá’í Faith is an independent, monotheistic religion established in virtually every country of the world. Bahá’ís believe that the world’s major religions represent unfolding chapters in God’s teachings for humankind, and that the writings of Bahá’u’lláh represent God’s guidance for this age.
Bahá’u’lláh’s central teaching is the unity of humanity under one God.
Among the many Bahá’í principles are the following: