By Jack Deery and Liam Baldock
A woman of Romanian descent and a man of Indian background were appointed to Poole’s local spiritual assembly for the Bahá’í, in a by-election last night.
The Bahá’í religion believe the founders of all major religions have come from the same source and that their teaching has been limited only by our understanding. They say all major faiths of the world reveal that when humanity is ready, a divine messenger will come whose mission is to unite humanity.
Poole’s Bahá’í lost two members after they emigrated to Australia and replacements were necessary to fill the whole of the assembly. The two new members, who are currently nameless, have brought more diversity to a religion that celebrates different beliefs.
They believe all major religions come from one God however all prejudice – racial, religious, national or economic – is destructive and must be overcome.
There are just over 7000 Bahá’í in the UK and Poole’s trustee, Denise Lawton, explained why she now follows the Bahá’í faith.
Mrs Lawton also told BUzz news more about the religion. She said: “We see things as a continual, we don’t see every faith as an individual and to become a Bahá’í you don’t give up anything. If you were brought up in the Christian tradition, then you would still believe that Jesus was a profit of God but we don’t get hung up on the term ‘the son of God.’”
She also went on to say: “I think it’s the fact that it’s so inclusive, the whole thing about the Bahá’í faith is that it’s about unity – It’s trying to unite people, not divide people.”
The number of people who are said to follow the faith in the UK has risen by over a thousand in the past 7 years, however it is still a relatively unknown religion. There are local spiritual assembly’s in Bournemouth and Poole but there’s not enough in other places in Dorset to create a local spiritual assembly as there needs a minimum of 9 people to be able to have an assembly.
Bahá’í Fact File
- Created in the 1863 in Iran as the teachings of the leader, Bahá’u’lláh.
- The faith was proclaimed by a young Iranian, who called himself The Báb. He said that a messenger would soon arrive from God, who would be the latest in a line of prophets including Moses, Muhammad and Jesus Christ.
- Baha’i is the belief that Bahá’u’lláh is the most recent manifestation of God.
- The Bahá’í faith accepts all religions as having true and valid origins.
- Bahá’u’lláh taught that God intervenes throughout human history at different times to reveal more of himself through his messengers.
- The central idea of the faith is that of unity. They believe that people should work together for the common benefit of humanity.
- The Bahá’í is a worldwide religion with representatives from 235 countries.
- There are over 7.3 million Bahá’í in the world.