World Religion Day celebrates unity among diversity of Faiths


The aim of World Religion Day is to promote inter-Faith understanding and harmony. Through a variety of events held around the globe, followers of every religion are encouraged to acknowledge the similarities that different faiths have.

World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 by the ‘National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States’.

The purpose was to call attention to the harmony of spiritual principles and the oneness of the world’s religions and to emphasise that religion is the motivating force for world unity.

As stated in Baha’i scripture: “Religion should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind for it is a message of peace and goodwill to man from God,” and “Religion is the greatest of all means for the establishment of order in the world and for the peaceful contentment of all that dwell therein.”

The Oneness of Religion

The principle of the unity of religion is at the center of Bahá'í teachings.

Bahá'u'lláh (The Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith) states that humanity is engaged in a collective growth process quite similar to the growth process of an individual: just as a person begins life as a helpless infant and attains maturity in successive stages, so humankind began its collective social life in a primitive state, gradually attaining maturity.

 In the case of the individual, it is clear that his or her development takes place as a result of the education he or she receives from parents, teachers, and society in general.

 But what is the motive force in humankind's collective evolution?

The answer that the Bahá'í Faith provides to this question is "revealed religion." In one of His major works Bahá'u'lláh explained that God, the Creator, has intervened and will continue to intervene in human history by means of chosen Messengers.

 These Messengers, Whom Bahá'u'lláh called "Manifestations of God", are principally the Founders of the major revealed religions, such as Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, and so forth. It is the spirit released by the coming of these Manifestations, together with the influence of Their teachings and the social systems established by Their laws and precepts, that enable humankind to progress in its collective evolution. Simply put: the Manifestations of God are the chief educators of humanity. With regard to the various religious systems that have appeared in human history, Bahá'u'lláh has said:

“These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.”

Thus the principle of the unity of religion means that all of the great religious Founders -- the Manifestations – have come from God, and that all of the religious systems established by Them are part of a single divine plan directed by God.

In reality, there is only one religion, the religion of God. This one religion is continually evolving, and each particular religious system represents a stage in the evolution of the whole; to emphasise the idea that all of the teachings and actions of the Manifestations are directed by God.

Bahá’u’lláh attributed the differences in some teachings of the great religions not to any human fallibility of the Founders, but rather to the different requirements of the ages in which the revelations occurred. Moreover, Bahá’ís consider that no one of the Founders is superior to another.

Contributed by the Bahá’í Faith - Seychelles

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