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.
World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and it is often celebrated on the third Sunday of January. The day has been marked by hosting discussions, conferences, and other events which foster understanding and communication between the followers of all religions. Its purpose is to call attention to the harmony of spiritual principles and the oneness of the world’s religions and to emphasize that world religion is the motivating force for world unity. In many ways, celebrations in honor of World Religion Day strive to embody these words of Baha’u’llah:
O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men…Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure.
Although World Religion Day originated in the United States, many communities the world over have taken it on. For example, in this Baha’i World News Service article, you can read about commemorative stamps that were created in Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Some communities, particularly those in the United States, now celebrate World Religion Day at another time, in order to not take away attention from Martin Luther King Jr Day, which falls on the third Monday of January.
In the spirit of World Religion Day, which seeks to strengthen interfaith understanding, we thought we’d share seven Baha’i Blog resources devoted to the unity of religions:
Portraits in Faith is a series of video interviews and portrait photographs aimed at taking a look into the lives of people of faith around the world. We interview its creator, Daniel Epstein, who used this project as a sort of spiritual exercise where he would keep his own faith alive by gaining from the experience of others – regardless of their religion or beliefs.
In this podcast episode from the Baha’i World News Service, Rachel Bayani from the BIC Brussels Office, Lyazzat Yangaliyeva from Kazakhstan, Arash Fazli from India, and Geoffrey Cameron from Canada discuss the efforts of regional and national Baha’i communities to participate in one particular discourse: the role of religion in society.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.