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Baha'i

Christianity

Place of worship "House of Worship" (i.e. Temple) or any other place. Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings.
Practices Working in economy in service of people; and prayer, and fasting. "Feast" and Holy Day observances are practiced. All Baha'is teach the Faith and many participate in Study Circles in various locations throughout the world Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion.
Use of statues and pictures Baha'is do not pray to them. They do not have pictures of Baha'u'llah in their homes and can only see Him when they go on pilgrimage to Israel. Bahais do not worship names and attributes, but worship the Essence who is beyond understanding In Catholic & Orthodox Churches.
Place of origin Persia (Shiraz, Iran (by the Bab) and Tehran, Iran (private by Bahaullah)), and Baghdad, Iraq (public by Bahaullah). Buried in Israel. Roman province of Judea.
Means of salvation Through God's Manifestations. Bahaullah says it is impossible to believe in Him and disobey His laws. Surprisingly, Bahaullah says no one knows his own end (i.e. whether one is saved or not). We must do our best to love and obey the Manifestation Through Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
About Baha'i Faith believes in oneness, equality and unity of mankind, and has ushered in the Era of the unification of the world. Christianity broadly consists of individuals who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its followers, called Christians, often believe Christ is "the Son" of the Holy Trinity and walked the earth as the incarnate form of God ("the Father").
Belief of God One God who is beyond understanding and attributes (and even beyond existence itself). We know God only through His Manifestations (theism) and manifestations in creation (monism), though other methods of knowledge are also true. Relativity of truth. One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Religious Law Baha'is have a book of laws they must follow, the "Most Holy Book" the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law.
Ressurection of Jesus Viewed metaphorically, rather than literally. Affirmed.
Human Nature Man is born in the image of perfection, with potential to exhibit all Divine attributes. We have free will to fulfill our potential. Bahaullah writes that man cannot be static, so if we are not progressing, then we must be regressing. Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and wrong Christians choose their actions. Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of salvation and repair by God.
Founder Baha'u'llah, and His Herald the Bab The Lord Jesus Christ.
Scriptures The "Kitab-i-Aqdas" is considered the central book. Over 100 volumes of scripture. Baha'u'llah was the only Manifestation to write with His own pen over 20,000 Tablets of scripture. The Holy Bible
Goal of religion We are born to know, love, and worship God; and to recognize His Manifestation for our era (who in this day is Baha'u'llah). Baha'u'llah is the Promised One and Goal of religions. To love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved.
God's role in salvation In this Era it is important that each person recognize Baha'u'llah. Although people can get to Heaven through other religions and Manifestations. Baha'i writings reject original sin. Humans cannot save themselves or ascend on their own to a higher level. Only God is good and therefore only God is able to save a person. Jesus came down from Heaven to save mankind.
Abrahamic Lineage Abraham's sons by Keturah. The Bab was through Hagar. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Holy days 9 Holy Days.The Baha'i calendar consists of 19 months and 19 days to each month, with the left over days being the Baha'i gift giving and charity days of Ayyam-i-Ha. Christmas (celebration of the birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus), Sunday (day of rest), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Lent (Catholicism), saints' feast days.
Rites No mandatory rituals, but Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha gave Baha'is many instructions. Seven sacraments: Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, matrimony (Catholic and Orthodox). Anglicans: Baptism and Eucharist. Other denominations: Baptism and communion.
View of other Abrahamic religions The Prophets of the Abrahamic religions are manifestations of God. The line of Abrahamic prophets are listed in the Bible and Quran. They all came to prepare mankind for the Day of God, the Encounter with God. Judaism is regarded as a True religion but incomplete (without Gospel, and Messiah) Islam is regarded as a false religion, Christianity does not accept the Qur'an as true.
Legislation Universal House of Justice , in Haifa Israel. The UHJ decisions are without error. Varies through denomination.
Population 8 million. But in another sense, all human beings are born Bahais whether they know it or not. Over a billion adherents worldwide.
Birth of Jesus Jesus was a Manifestation of God known as the Spirit of God and the Word of God, and His Mother is believed to be pure and sinless. His birth revolutionized all creation. Virgin Birth, through God.
Clergy Baha'is have no clergy and Baha'u'llah's writings may be seens as anti-clerical by blaming religious leaders to have always rejected the coming of the promised ones of their religions. Priests, bishops, ministers, monks, and nuns.
Marriage Laws are only applicable to Bahais. They're described in the Book of Aqdas. Non-Bahais are not required to follow any Bahai laws. Laws include parental consent, the right to choose partner, reading special verses, requirement of 2 Bahai witnesses, et A Holy Sacrament.
Day of worship Every 19 days is a Feast Day, similar to Sunday for Christians. Feasts are conducted in various believers homes with a spiritual portion, a business portion and fellowship following it all. The Baha'is have their own calendar with Holy Days as well. Sunday, the Lord's Day.
Second coming of Jesus Baha'u'llah is the return of Christ in the glory of the Father to Whom Jesus prayed from the Cross (i.e. Bahaullah is the coming of the Speaker on Mount Sinai). He is the Promised One of all major world religions for this day -- the Day of God Affirmed.
Branches Universal House of Justice, Orthodox, Reform, Caravan of East & West, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.
Literal Meaning A Baha'i means one who is a follower of Baha (Glory/Splendor), or one who believes in "Baha" as the Greatest Name of God. "Baha" (Baha'u'llah) is believed to be that Glory that appeared to Moses and spoke to him on Mount Sinai. Follower Of Christ.
Life after death Unknown. Each person is on a continuum toward God, but no one knows for sure who's closer, not even Bahais. Baha'u'llah taught that the encounter with God promised in religions took place on earth with Baha'u'llah's appearance. Eternity in Heaven or Hell, in some cases temporal Purgatory.
Death of Jesus When Jesus died the whole of creation was shaken and moved by His Salvific martyrdom and blood. Death by crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Will return.
Geographical distribution and predominance Next to Christianity, the Baha'i Faith is the most widely diffused religion in the world. Europe, North and South America, and Australia and New Zealand.
Resurrection of Jesus Viewed as metaphorical, rather than literal. Although "miracles" do occur and are recorded for every Manifestation of God, they must be in accord with science. Affirmed
Definition Follower of Baha'u'llah. Disciple of Jesus Christ.
Promised Holy one. Belief in the future Coming of another Manifestation of God. Second Coming of Christ
Offshoot religions N/A. Rastafarianism,Universalism, and Deism, and Masonry.
Jesus One of God's Divine Manifestations. Son Of God.
Status of Muhammad Seal of Prophets, Great and Last Messenger of God, Manifestation of God's attributes like the others. He is the Last Messenger of God before the coming of the Bab and then Bahaullah. N/A.
Views on the afterlife Heaven is closeness to God and Hell is remoteness from God or being cut off from Him. Eternity in Heaven or Hell; some believe in temporal suffering in Purgatory, before admittance into Heaven.
View of other Oriental religions Believe that all religions should become one. N/A.
Followers Baha'is. Christian (follwers of Christ)
Identity of Jesus A divine Manifestation of God. He embodied all of God's Attributes. He is regarded as the "Spirit of God" and the "Word of God". Bahaullah claims to be the Father of The Spirit of Christ. The Son Of God.
View of other Dharmic religions Moses, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad and the Bab (a Twin Manifestation with Baha'u'llah and His Herald). N/A
Prophet All the Founders of the different world religions are Prophets. The cycle beginning with Adam ended with Muhammad as the Seal of Prophets, a new Cycle began with the Bab and Baha'u'llah that transcends Prophethood. Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, etc., as well as both Johns in the New Testament too.
View of God One God who is beyond understanding and attributes. We know God only through His Manifestations and manifestations in creation. One God, Who Is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Goal of Philosophy To unite all religions into one. Objective reality. Worship of God who created life, the universe, and is eternal. Christianity has its own philosophy, found in the the Bible. That philosophy is Salvation from sin, through the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Authority of Pope Baha'u'llah wrote Tablets to the Pope, who is the representative of the majority of Christians of His time. Baha'u'llah announced Himself as the Promised One of Christianity to the Pope. Leader and overseer of the Catholic Church. his authority is completely rejected by Protestants, and is viewed by Orthodox as first among equals. Orthodox and Protestants reject Papal infallibility and Papal supremacy.
Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel Baha'is pray to God only, and God is unknowable in His Essence. Affirmed, in Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, & Anglican(Episcopalian)Christianity; most Protestants do not.
Virtue on which religion is based upon Equality. Love.
Direction of Prayer None, Bahais pray in all directions as God is location-less. For obligatory Prayers, Bahais face the location of the temple (human body) of Promised One of all religions, Bahaullah, who is now buried in Bahji, Israel. Catholics and Orthodox usually face the Tabernacle in their prayers but it is not considered necessary, but recommended. God is present everywhere recent reforms have prompted many Christians to not face anywhere in their prayers.
Place and Time of origin Persia. 1844 AD Jerusalem, approx. 33 AD.
Belief of God One God. One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
View of the Buddha A divine manifestation of God. N/A.
Original Language Persian and Arabic; Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice write in English. Aramaic, Greek, and Latin
View of Animistic religions Baha'is believe that all religions should unite and become one religion, but that they still worship the same one God. Paganism is Heathenism. Witchcraft is communication and interaction with demons, fallen evil angelic beings. These have no real interest ultimately, in helping their worshipers. Demonic possession is common.
Virtue(s) on which religion is based upon Unity, Equality, Peace, Love, Balance, Moderation, Relativity, Mysticism, Anti-Superstition, Selflessness, Sacrifice, Long-sufferingness, Humility, Martyrdom, Patience, Strength. Love.
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. N/A.
Promised Holy One Baha'u'llah Second Coming Of Christ.
Position of Abraham Ancestor of Bah-u-llah, by his second wife, Keturah, and Manifestation of God. Father of the faithful.
War between two churches/ major sects The Universal House of Justice denomination denies there is any schism within Baha'i. However, there are Orthodox Baha'is, Reform Baha'is, etc. Catholics & Protestants used to be at war in Norther Ireland; In USA, many fundamentalist Protestants vehemently deny Catholics are Christian.
View on Abrahamic religions Believe that all religions should unite. All worship the One God.
Status of Elohim One God. God
What is it? Baha'is is the Abrahamic religion founded by Bah-u-llah, a descendant of Abraham's wife Keturah. Christianity is the religion Founded By Christ, to which He Is Central to.
Views about other religions Sent by God to communities throughout the work in past times. No other religion leads to God. Judaism being a unique exception, Jews viewed as ignorant of the Messiah.

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