The Baha'i faith, which is practiced by approximately 6 million
people around the world, has no ceremonies, no sacraments, and no clergy.
Largest religion without rites
The Baha'i faith (Baha'i means "The People of Light") evolved from Islam
toward the end of the 19th century, as the fulfillment of the prophecy of
Mirza Ali Muhammad of Shiraz, or the Bab. In 1850, following the martyrdom
of the Bab, the founder of the religion - Husayn Ali of Nur, called
Baha'u'llah - became the principal Babi leader and was imprisoned and exiled
for his teachings. His followers are called Baha'is, and they believe that
he was one of a line of divine manifestations including the Buddha, Jesus
Christ, and Muhammad. The Baha'i religious headquarters are in Haifa,
Israel. The site includes a shrine of the Bab and an administrative center.
The faith is established in more than 235 countries and territories.
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