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A Profile of the Bahá'í Faith and its Worldwide Community

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The Bahá'ís Magazine


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Contents : Contents
bullet.gif (837 bytes) The Bahá'ís
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Unity in Diversity
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Bahá'u'lláh
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Social and Moral
Teachings
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Spiritual Beliefs of
the Bahá'í Faith
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A System for
Global Governance
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A Century of
Growth and
Expansion
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) New Approaches
to Old Problems
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Towards the New
World Order

Not a sect, an independent religion

In the past, scholars sometimes referred to the Bahá'í Faith as a "sect" of Islam--owing to the fact that its Prophet and early followers emerged from an Islamic society.

Today, religious specialists recognize that such a reference would be equivalent to calling Christianity a "sect" of Judaism, or referring to Buddhism as a "denomination" of Hinduism.

Although Christ was indeed Jewish and Buddha was born a Hindu, Their religious messages were not merely re-interpretations of the parent religions--but went far beyond them.

In the same way, Bahá'u'lláh laid entirely new spiritual foundations. His writings are independent scripture, and His work transcends that of a religious reformer. As historian Arnold Toynbee noted in 1959:

"Bahaism [sic] is an independent religion on a par with Islam, Christianity, and the other recognized world religions. Bahaism is not a sect of some other religion; it is a separate religion, and it has the same status as the other recognized religions."

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"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."


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