Baha’is believe in the power of prayer and you’ll find Baha’is and their friends, throughout the world, getting together to pray. This is often referred to as a ‘devotional gathering’ or ‘devotional meeting’, and they happen in diverse settings, whether in cities or villages.
Throughout history, God has sent us a series of divine Educators. They include (among others) Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha’u’llah. Baha’u’llah explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion.
The Baha’i Faith and Christianity: 16 Resources Featured on Baha’i Blog
As many friends of Baha’is around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and in the spirit of celebrating the divine origin of Christianity, we thought we’d share a short list of books about Christianity and the Baha’i Faith. The list includes titles written by Abdu’l-Baha and by early Baha’is as well as some fresh off the printing press; you’ll find books about the fulfilment of prophecy, and books that examine the Sacred Writings of both faiths.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it gives you a glimpse of some of the titles out there on this subject.
Do Baha’is celebrate Christmas? This question is a bit of a tricky one to answer because Christmas means different things to different people.
Based on the understanding of Christmas as a commemoration of the birth of Christ, the day is clearly of significance to Baha’is, who believe that Christ was a Manifestation of God. Baha’is do not, however, celebrate Christmas within their communities as one of the Baha’i Holy Days.
Christmas is probably the time at which the theme of peace and goodwill seems to be most deeply embedded into society’s collective consciousness. For Christians, who celebrate it as a religious holiday, Christmas is a reminder of the biblical promise of peace found in the Old Testament.
For the many others who merely celebrate it as a cultural holiday, the story of the birth of Jesus as found in the gospels and depicted in the ubiquitous Christmas artwork captures the imagination and imbues many with a determination to practice charity and generosity.
Why do the Prophets of God go through hardships and, in some cases, even martyrdom? Perhaps the real question is: why has humanity persecuted every single Manifestation or Prophet of God throughout history? As a history major with a keen interest in both religion and history, these are two questions that have always fascinated me to the point of utter wonderment.
There are only two Manifestations that we know of in recorded history who have suffered martyrdom: Jesus Christ and the Bab. Apart from this one very important similarity between Jesus Christ and the Bab, there are numerous other similarities between them, with regards to their lives, their ministries and the events surrounding their Martyrdom.
Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah. For Baha’is, these teachers are among a series of divine Messengers, and Their teachings share a spiritual basis. These divine beings’ human lives also share certain features. Nearly all divine messengers have been rejected by most of Their contemporaries, persecuted harshly, if not killed. But for these four, Their persecutions took a particular form: forced migration. They and Their families were pushed from Their native cities into perilous journeys.
As someone who was raised with a strong Christian upbringing, the relationship between the Baha’i Faith and Christianity is something I often think about when I reflect on my own journey to becoming Baha’i.
When I became Baha’i, I found myself the recipient of numerous questions and comments from my Christian friends and family members – some of whom were simply curious and interested in knowing more; and others who genuinely couldn’t understand my decision to become Baha’i, knowing how committed I remained to my Christian beliefs.
In this episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, Rainn has an awesome conversation with his Christian neighbors Sara and John Barton. Sara is an author and likes writing poetry and hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, usually at the same time, and she serves as the University Chaplain at Pepperdine University in California, where she oversees worship services and pastoral care in the community. John is Director of the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine University where he also serves on the faculties of the Religion and Philosophy Division and the graduate program in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. John also speaks and conducts research in the areas of African philosophy, ethics and philanthropy, Christian studies, interfaith dialogue, and Christian/Muslim interactions. The three of them talk about the station of Christ, the importance of service to others, and why interfaith dialogue and learning about religions is important in society today. The Barton’s share the importance of being an active part of wider communities while maintaining their Christian convictions and commitments. They also tell us about the nonprofit they helped start and what their eight years in Uganda taught them. They discuss the importance of the community over the individual, prayer and meditation, why they love working with college students, and have hope for the future. Sara even shares a wonderful poem she wrote just for the Baha’i Blogcast as well, so we hope you enjoy the conversation.
I love books and have a particular soft-spot for Baha’i books. I was doubly happy when I heard that a friend, JoAnn Borovicka, has published a new book called Light of the Kingdom: Biblical Topics in the Baha’i Writings. I was joyful that a new Baha’i book was made available to the world, and proud of her accomplishment. To write a book is no small feat and this one is the culmination of many years of work.
JoAnn lovingly agreed to share behind-the-scenes details about her beautiful new book.
Eileen Maddocks has written a book called 1844: Convergence in Prophecy for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i Faith. I love the title as I think it succinctly describes the prophetic mysteries it explores.
I have never written a book but I think it’s a fantastic achievement. I was eager to hear from Eileen about the process of putting this book together and was grateful when she offered to share her thoughts and experiences. If you’re interested in self-publishing a Baha’i-inspired book, you might find her comments particularly helpful!
Carolyn Sparey Fox is the author of The Half of it Was Never Told, a riveting new publication. The book is set in the 19th century, when many were filled with excitement and expectation that the prophecies in the Bible and the Quran would be fulfilled. Carolyn’s book charts the stories of three men who never met, William Miller, Joseph Wolff and Mulla Husayn, who were all dedicated and devoted to their quest of finding the Promised One. Only one of them found what he was looking for.
Carolyn’s book is a George Ronald publication and it recently hit the shelves. She graciously agreed to tell us a little bit about herself and the process behind the book.
Carolyn Sparey Fox’s newest book is titled Seeking a State of Heaven and it tells the story of the German Templers who settled at the foot of Mount Carmel beneath the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, Israel.
Their avenue of homes has become an iconic landmark of Haifa and for Baha’is they have become symbolic of those who are searching and yearning to hear about Baha’u’llah’s teachings of unity, equality and oneness. To be honest, that’s the extent of my knowledge of the German Templers so my curiosity was definitely piqued when I learned that a book about them has been written.
It was great to catch up with Carolyn Sparey Fox, who I had interviewed before, about her latest book. Here’s what she shared with me:
It’s been exciting to showcase Baha’i-inspired novels on Baha’i Blog such as The Woman Who Read Too Much by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, The Consulting Detective by Alan Manifold, or Persian Passion: Of Gods and Gargoyles by Tom Lysaght.
The Wise Men of the West (volumes one and two!) are new novels to hit the shelves by Jay Tyson. They’re about the prophesies and expectations of the return of Christ or the Messiah. We’re excited to hear from Jay about his novels, how they came together, and what he hopes readers will take away with them, long after they’ve finished reading the last page. Here’s what he shared with us:
It’s not every day a Baha’i feature film is produced, so I’m very excited to share some details about The Miller Prediction with you! Produced by Cyrus Parvini, this movie is set in the early days of the Faith when William Miller predicted the return of Christ.
Cyrus agreed to tell us about his much-anticipated movie.
Bill Hyman is a dedicated Baha’i who has been serving his community in American Samoa for decades. He has been tirelessly promoting the teachings of the Baha’i Faith in all avenues of the media and most recently this includes the release of a book that combines his profound love for the Bible and some personal anecdotes. The book is cleverly titled South-southwest of Pago Pago: A Bible Lover’s Guide to the Baha’i Faith, and Bill graciously agreed to tell us about it. Here’s our conversation:
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.