Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 05/21/06
Facts about Bahai:
There are more than 5,000,000 Bahai members in the world, 153,318 in the United States.
Each Bahai community is led by an elected nine-member council.
There is no clergy in the Bahai faith. Bahais worship God through prayer and meditation, by participating in devotional gatherings at a member's home every 19 days, and through active service to their community.
While Baha'u'llah called for temples to be built in every location Bahai followers reside, only seven houses of worship have been built so far. They are located in Wilmette, Ill.; Sydney, Australia; Apia, Western Samoa; Frankfurt, Germany; Panama City, Panama; Kampala, Uganda; and New Delhi, India, with one house under construction in Santiago, Chile.
The most holy spot in the Bahai world is Bahji, near Acre, Israel, the resting place of Baha'u'llah's earthly remains.
Bahai members believe in the Bible and that every messenger of God also has holy writings or a book that was inspired. The Bible is the holy book of Christians, the Quran is the holy book of Islam and the writings of Baha'u'llah are the holy scriptures of the Bahai faith.
For Bahai followers, heaven and hell are simply allegories for nearness and farness from God rather than physical places.