Investigating the possibility of opening a Baha'i temple in your area? Great! We wrote this article just for you.
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The Baha'i Faith
Founded in Iran in 1844, the Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. With more than five million followers worldwide, Baha'is view all major religions as participating in a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity.
The founder of the Baha'i Faith is Baha'u'llah and his teachings revolve around the principle of the oneness of humankind. Adherence to the Baha'i faith involves daily prayer and communion with God; upholding high moral principles; a desire to independently seek the truth; service to humanity, fellowship with other religions; and avoidance of excessive materialism. From a social perspective, the religion is very progressive, embracing the abandonment of all prejudice, elimination of wealth disparities and universal education.
Starting a Baha'i Community In Your Area
Before starting a Baha'i temple in your area, it's of course critical that you are a believer. To be a religious leader, your faith will need to be strong.
Spend as much time as you need to immerse yourself in the faith. There is an expansion plan in place for the Bahai Faith that you can be part of. It involves your gaining the skills and capacity to offer devotional, educational, youth and children services to your community. Baha'is also spread their faith through "pioneering" -- moving to areas where Baha'is are few and far between to inform and educate. Those undertaking this assignment are expected to pursue their own careers, be self-supporting and integrate themselves into their adopted communities. As such, it is very different from traditional missionary work. Indeed, the Baha'i Faith explicitly forbids any form of psychological pressure or material inducements to effect conversion.
If this is in fact your calling, you will want to -- and will need to -- start small and evolve from there. At the local level, there are 11,000 Local Spiritual Assemblies, elected each year from among the adult believers in every locality where at least nine Baha'is reside. Local Assemblies minister to the needs of the local Baha'i community and are also able to conduct Baha'i marriages. Above the Local Assemblies, there is a more extensive governing structure. So, the starting point is to build a strong local community. From there, the route to local Baha'i Temple will unfold. It's a journey that is highly challenging but also highly fulfilling.
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