Learning about the Bahá’í faith

At a La Crescenta devotional are (from left ) Ashlyn Adelman, Jennifer Flynn, Mike Duarte, Afsaneh Tanara, JimThomas, Archie Morris, Michele Morris (holding grandson) Zachary Kincade (5), Ida Thomas, Thea Komen and Sepeeden Tanara.

By Shana LiVIGNI

The Bahá’í faith
is a monotheistic
religion founded
by Bahá’u’lláh
in nineteenthcentury
Persia, emphasizing
the spiritual unity of all
humankind. There are an
estimated five to six million
Bahá’ís around the world in
more than 200 countries and
territories. Bahá’í tenets include
that women and men
are equals; that all prejudice
– racial, religious, national,
or economic – is destructive
and must be overcome; that
each individual must investigate
truth for themselves,
without preconceptions;
that science and religion
are in harmony; that economic
problems are linked to
spiritual problems; that the
family and its unity are very
important. Bahá’í writings
say, “If love and agreement
are manifest in a single family,
that family will advance,
become illumined and spiritual”;
that there is one God;
that all major religions come
from God; that world peace is
the crying need of our time.
In the Bahá’í faith, religious
history is seen to have
unfolded through a series of
divine messengers, each of
whom established a religion
that was suited to the needs
of the time and the capacity
of the people. These messengers
have included Abraham,
Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad
and others, and most recently
the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
In Bahá’í belief, each consecutive
messenger prophesied
of messengers to follow, and
Bahá’u’lláh’s life and teachings
fulfilled the end-time
promises of previous scriptures.
Humanity is understood
to be in a process of
collective evolution, and the
need of the present time is for
the gradual establishment of
peace, justice and unity on a
global scale.
Fifteen-year-old Ashlyn
Adelman was born into the
Bahá’í faith. Her grandmother
was a Methodist when she
married and ended up renting
a home from a Bahá’í.
Ashlyn’s grandma was invited
to the devotionals –
there are no local churches or
masses – and she eventually
“At first, I wasn’t really
sure if I liked the Bahá’í faith,
but then I came to realize, in
learning about other religious
faiths, that Bahá’ís are
really tolerant,” Ashlyn said.
“With the independent investigation
of the truth, they
do believe in all the world’s
religions and they also believe
in progressive revelations.
I found things in other
religions that I don’t really
believe in and there’s nothing
in the Bahá’í faith that I
have a major issue with.”
Ashlyn elaborated on the
term “progressive revelation.”
“Progressive revelation is
that every prophet gave messages
that were right and
true for that day and age,”
she said. “Every thousand
years or so, a new prophet
will come and reveal the new
message. It’s like going from
first grade to second grade.
There’s always more to build
on. You will never know everything
but you can learn
The following are some of
the Bahá’í goals for humanity:
the independent search
after truth, unfettered by
superstition or tradition; the
oneness of the entire human
race, the pivotal principle
and fundamental doctrine of
the faith; the basic unity of
all religions; the condemnation
of all forms of prejudice,
whether religious, racial,
class or national; the harmony
which must exist between
religion and science; the
equality of men and women,
the two wings on which the
bird of humankind is able to
soar; the introduction of compulsory
education; the adoption
of a universal auxiliary
language; the abolition of
the extremes of wealth and
poverty; the institution of a
world tribunal for the adjudication
of disputes between
nations; the exaltation of
work, performed in the spirit
of service, to the rank of worship;
the glorification of justice
as the ruling principle in
human society, and of religion
as a bulwark for the protection
of all peoples and nations;
and the establishment
of a permanent and universal
peace as the supreme goal
of all mankind—these stand
out as the essential elements.
“One of the good ways to
start becoming familiar with
this faith is to attend a few
devotionals that we have every
week in the community,”
explained Jim Thomas. “Occasionally,
we have a ‘fireside’
talk when we share
readings from different religions
including Christianity
and Judaism as well as
Bahá’í reading and prayers.
There are other events that
we are involved in that people
are welcome to attend.”
Anyone who would like information
on La Crescenta
Bahá’í activities and practices
can call (818) 606-7812.
For national information,