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Baha’i’s Utah beginning: It started with a prophet’s trip
Centennial » 100 years ago, the son of the faith’s founder brought message of peace, equality and unity to Salt Lake.

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At a glance

About the Baha’i faith

The monotheistic faith traces its roots to a Persian nobleman, called Bahá’u’lláh, who in the mid-1800s taught that all religions represent progressive stages in the revelation of God’s will, leading to the unity of all people and faiths, according to The Associated Press. Followers believe in the possibility of world peace, universal suffrage, equal rights and the elimination of poverty. The religion has no clergy and is headquartered in Haifa, Israel. Spiritual assemblies, made up of at least nine members over age 21, meet weekly for devotions, during which they read and recite prayers, reflect on sacred writings and meditate. In March, they fast from sunrise to sunset for 19 days, ending on the Baha’i New Year, March 21.

Baha’i by the numbers

» About 5 million adherents worldwide.

» More than 170,000 in the U.S.

» About 750 Baha’is live in Utah.

» A million followers in India, the most of any nation.

» About 300,000 adherents in Iran, the largest non-Muslim religious minority in that country.

» Seven Baha’i Houses of Worship — in Australia, Germany, India, Panama, Samoa, Uganda and the United States. The eighth will be in Chile.

Sources: Baha’i World News Service and Salt Lake City Spiritual Assembly

About Thursday’s lecture

Robert H. Stockman will discuss his book, Abdu’l-Bahá in America, on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Salt Lake City’s Main Library, 210 E. 400 South. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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