This Sunday (16th) is World Religion Day, a day that is annually marked by many religious organisations around the world as a way to encourage interfaith, understanding and tolerance.
World Religion Day is a concept that comes from the Bahá’í faith. An important belief in their faith is that the major religions in the world are fundamentally unified in purpose, even though various social practices and varying traditions.
The day serves to remind us that to have different beliefs in okay, as we essentially care for the same universal moral values and principles which can allow us to live peacefully with one another in mutual respect.
World Religion Day can be celebrated in a variety of different ways, however, most people will attend a special service which would focus on respecting other religions and reflecting on their universal message.
The observance was initiated in the United States at the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly in 1950. In 1951, on the third Sunday of January, World Religion Day was observed for the first time.
The Baháʼí Faith is a relatively new monotheistic (the belief that there is only one God) religion that was founded in Baghdad in the 19th century by Baháʼu’lláh. The teachings of these religions focus on the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people, hence why they founded and advocate World Religion Day.
This religion has three main figures: Báb, a herald who taught people that God would once again send a prophet. Baháʼu’lláh, the prophet, and ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, the son of Baháʼu’lláh who spread the religion across Europe and the United States.
The prophet, Baháʼu’lláh, believed in the Manifestations of God, which are prophets and founders of the world religions that include Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and so on.
The primary goal of the Bahá’í faith is to bring about a unified world, through the unity of religions and people, which is why the faith has always rejected racism and nationalism. The faith itself thought to have between 5-7 million followers around the world.
The concept of World Religion Day and beliefs of the Bahá’í faith are close to our own principles of unification of all world religions and unity between all people.
This Sunday we are having community worship services across our communities, so if you are lucky, there may be a message on this topic of religious unity. For more information about upcoming services, please visit: https://familyfedcommunity.co.uk/upcoming-worship-services/