Quick facts about the Bahá’í Faith
- Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, was born in 1817 in Tehran, Persia (now Iran), and passed away in 1892 in Acre in what was then Ottoman Palestine (now Israel).
- Among the principles revealed by Bahá’u’lláh are the oneness of humankind, the equality of women and men, the abolition of all prejudice, universal education, and the harmony of science and religion.
- Bahá’u’lláh’s writings amount to an estimated 100 volumes, covering everything from laws and principles for the governance of society to mystical writings on the progress of the soul.
- The Báb is the other of the two central figures in the founding of the Bahá’í Faith. In addition to preparing society for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb was Himself a distinct Messenger of God.
- The Bahá’í Faith was established in Canada in 1898 when Edith Magee, a youth from London, Ontario, declared herself a member of the Faith.
- The first Bahá’í group in Canada was established in Montreal in 1902 by May and William Sutherland Maxwell.
- Bahá’u’lláh’s son and appointed successor, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, visited Montreal from 30 August to 9 September 1912 as part of his travels through North America spreading his Father’s teachings.
- The Bahá’í world community has more than 5 million members worldwide.
- The Bahá’í Faith is established in 191 independent countries and 45 dependent territories or overseas departments.
- It is the second-most widespread independent world religion, after Christianity.
- It is represented by 2112 indigenous tribes, races, and ethnic groups worldwide.
- The Bahá’í Faith is established in 1200 localities in Canada, spanning all ten provinces and three territories.
- The Canadian Bahá’í community has more than 30,000 members.
- Following the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, the Bahá’í community was led by his son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, until 1921, then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s grandson, Shoghi Effendi, until 1957, and then by the body of the Universal House of Justice, from 1963 to the present.
- There is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith. Instead, authority lies with democratically elected institutions that function at the international, national, and local level. National and local bodies are referred to as “Spiritual Assemblies.”
- As of May 2006, the Bahá’í community had 179 National Spiritual Assembly established worldwide.
- There are nearly 10,000 Local Spiritual Assemblies established worldwide.
- The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada was first formed in 1948 and incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1949.
- As of May 2006, 255 Local Spiritual Assemblies had been established in Canada.
- There are 9 holy days in the Bahá’í year, most of which commemorate important events in the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
- Bahá’ís in each locality gather every 19 days for a “Feast,” at which they pray together, consult on the affairs of the community, and engage in fellowhip.
- The four main activities being conducted by Bahá’ís at the neighbourhood level are children’s classes, junior youth groups, study circles, and devotional gatherings.