If your son or daughter has become involved with the Bahá'í Faith, you may know very little about it and be worried about its affect on your child. This leaflet is intended to explain what the Bahá'í Faith stands for, and to reassure you that the Bahá'í influence should only be for the good.

Firstly, the Bahá'í Faith is not a cult or sect, it is an independent religion recognised at national and international level. There have been Bahá'ís in the U.K. for over 100 years and to mark the Centenary in 1999, the Prime Minister sent a message of congratulations to the Bahá'í community. The Bahá'í Faith is recognised by the government as one of the 9 major religions in this country and representatives were invited to the interfaith service held at the Palace of Westminster to mark the Millennium.

At international level, the Bahá'ís take a leading role at the United Nations, as one of the non-governmental organisations, using all their influence for world peace. Basic Bahá'í principles include the equality of men and women, education and justice for all, a world government and economic system, and an end to poverty and extreme wealth.

Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, was the Promised One of all religions, whose teachings will bring an age of peace to the world. Bahá'ís therefore revere the Founders of all the major religions.

Bahá'ís have high moral standards which they strive to live up to. They should be honest, friendly, truthful and kind, and should show respect for everyone, especially for their parents. They should not take drugs or alcohol, nor should they have sexual relationships outside marriage. Bahá'í Sunday Schools and classes teach the above principles, plus the history of the Bahá'í Faith and of other religions.

Bahá'ís regard 15 as the age of spiritual maturity. Children below this age will only be registered as

Bahá'ís with their parents' consent. Bahá'ís believe that family life is very important. Although someone of 15 or over has the right to register themselves as a Bahá'í, this does not mean they have to attend meetings if their parents are against it. Bahá'ís do not wish to cause disunity in a family. The whole purpose of the Bahá'í Faith is to bring unity among people.

Most Bahá'í meetings are open to all. If you would like to understand more about it, please ask for leaflets or books, or visit one of the websites mentioned below. I hope this has put your mind at rest.

    A Bahá'í Parent.

Published by, and copyright of, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Warwick.
Approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom,
27 Rutland Gate, London, SW7 1PD.
All quotations are from the Bahá'í writings.

Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders