Central Texas Bahá’ís to celebrate the births of two Founders of their faith
On October 29th and 30th of this year, in countless settings and places throughout the world, people will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb, whose revitalizing message prepared the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
The Báb’s message was simple but challenging and provocative to the Islamic clerics, politicians and Persian aristocracy. Because of this, he was martyred in 1850, at the age of 30. It’s a dramatic story, and one which was recounted around the world.
Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad was born in 1819 in Shiraz, Persia, and later took the title “the Báb,” which is the Persian term for “the Gate,” as he was the herald who prepared the way for Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, much as John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. The Bab, however, was able to continue his writing and preaching, and survived long enough to found his own religion, which as the precursor to the Bahá’í Faith, later founded by Bahá’u’lláh.
Bahá’u’lláh, which translates as “The Glory of God,” was born in 1817 as Mirza Husayn-‘Ali in Núr, Persia. He announced in 1863 that he is God’s messenger for this age. Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings and sacred writings are the basis of the Bahá’í Faith, an inclusive monotheistic faith that has grown to more than five million believers in nearly every country and territory across the globe. Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed that God, our loving creator, sends divine messengers or Manifestations of God. Since God has never abandoned mankind, there have been many such Manifestations –some of them possibly lost to history– but each have brought human civilization to ever higher levels of spiritual and material advancement. Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the latest in this long line of known Divine Messengers, which has included Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and the Báb.
The Bahá’í Faith is the fastest growing religion on earth, with more than five million adherents on every continent. Bahá’ís can also be found in every state and thousands of communities throughout the United States. Bahá’ís have been active in Waco since the 1950s, when a group of Dallas Bahá’ís travelled to Waco in order to expand the Faith in central Texas. The Waco Bahá’í Center at 2500 Bosque Blvd. offers devotional programs, children’s classes, and study circles for spiritual education for people of all backgrounds. For information, check www.wacobahaicenter.org or call (254) 300-4949. To learn more about the Bahá’í Faith in America, visit www.bahai.us.
NOTE: To better understand the Bahá’i Faith in America, check the Religion Newswriters Association’s “Source Guide on the Bahá’í Faith” at http://www.religionlink.com/source-guides/the-bahai-faith-a-source-guide-for-reporters/.
NOTE: Báb is pronounced “BAHB.” Bahá’u’lláh is pronounced “Bah–HA-oh-LAH.”
Michael Jones is a native of west central New Mexico. In 1993, Michael arrived in Waco, Texas to begin a second career as writer and producer of student recruitment and college marketing videos, as well as developing curricula for interactive and multimedia education programs for Texas State Technical College Waco.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.