The Baha'i Faith in New York

March 2, 2002

Source: New York Daily News

On March 2, 2002, The New York Daily News featured an article on the Baha'i Faith in New York City. "There are about 800 members in the city [and] the church counts more than 5 million adherents around the world, among them perhaps 620,000 in the United States. The Baha'i Faith, as it is formally known, is listed as one of the world's fastest-growing religions... It was founded in 1844... in what was then Persia, by Mirza Ali Muhammed, a Sufi Muslim who declared himself the Bab (Arabic for gate), a new messenger from God. He was executed in 1850 as a heretic and rebel, but by then the seeds of his movement were planted. By the early 1900s, under the guidance of a Bab follower named Baha'u'llah, the movement was spreading around the world... There are 13 essential principles, among them a single God, the oneness of all religions, equality of the sexes and races, compulsory education, a world court, abolition of extremes of wealth and poverty, universal peace and the adoption of a single language... The Baha'i Faith has been a part of the New York religious scene since 1898, and for the past couple of decades it has made its headquarters in a remodeled building that once housed a porn palace on E. 11th St. There, members-only worship services are held every 19 days, with less formal devotional gatherings every Sunday. These are open to the public... There also are weekly get-togethers, called firesides, held in private homes around the city" for interested people.