The Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a religion followed by several million people in the world, from all countries and all backgrounds.
The State of the World
Bahá'ís are very concerned with the state of the world we live in. They feel that we need to take a more spiritual, less selfish attitude to this earth, for we need to live in harmony with our environment.
Wherever Bahá'ís live, they try to help people in whatever way is possible. If they live in a village in the Third World, they will organise a school, a farming or health project which will benefit everyone. In every country there are many ways in which Bahá'ís can be useful.
Above all, Bahá'ís do everything they can to encourage world peace – by joining and supporting other groups, and by putting forward their own ideas for an international peace conference. It is only when we have peace and co-operation that many of the problems of the world will be solved.
Each day a Bahá'í should turn to God in prayer. Each morning and evening he or she should read some of the Bahá'í scriptures, meditate on them, and try to put them into practice.
There are many books of Bahá'í scripture but here are just a few examples from the writings:
"Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts."
"Strive that your actions day by day might be beautiful prayers."
"See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends."
"Breathe not the sins of others whilst thou art thyself a sinner."
"Think ye at all times of rendering some service to every member of the human race."
Living up to the Bahá'í teachings may be very difficult but we can only do our best. Through prayer we find out what we can do to improve ourselves and to serve our fellow human beings and also find the strength to do it.
Bahá'ís believe that our purpose in this life is to learn, to develop, so that when move on to the next world we will be closer to God.
Bahá'ís meet together regularly to pray, discuss local matters, to enjoy one another's company and to get to know one another. This is called a 'Feast'. Where there are only a few Bahá'ís, this will be in someone's home. Where a whole village are Bahá'ís they will build a Bahá'í centre. In a few places in the world there are large Houses of Worship which are open to everybody, whatever their religion.
Bahá'ís often hold small meetings in their homes, for people who want to come and talk and learn more about the Bahá'í Faith. These are usually called "firesides".
In each local area Bahá'ís elect an assembly of nine people who make sure that everything runs smoothly and that everyone is happy. Each country has a national assembly and there is a world body too.
Published by, and copyright of, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Warwick.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders