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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a cosmopolitan religious and political current. Bahaism spread in the countries of the Near East and Western Europe, the USA, and, to some extent, in tsarist Russia.

It received its name from the nickname of its founder Mirza Husayn Ali Baha’u’llah (literally, “the glory of God”). Bahaism originated in Iraq in the middle of the 19th century as a sect among the Babists who fled from Iran to escape the persecution of the shah’s government after the Babist uprisings of 1848–52 were suppressed. The tenets of Baha’u’llah as set forth in his epistles (lawh) and Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) were intended to replace the Koran and Bayan of the Bab. Baha’u’llah removed the revolutionary and democratic elements from Babism and came out against the revolutionary methods of combating Iranian reaction, while defending private property and social inequality. Bahaism reflected mainly the interests of the Iranian comprador bourgeoisie. It preaches the idea so useful to imperialism of denying national sovereignty, combining science and religion, and so forth. The main centers of Bahaism are in the USA (Illinois) and the Federal Republic of Germany (Stuttgart).


Kitabe akdes “Sviashchenneishaia kniga” sovremennykh babidov. Text, translation, introduction, and appendixes by A. G. Tuman-skii. St. Petersburg, 1899. (Zap. AN. Po istoriko-filolo-gich. old., vol. 3, no. 6.)
Klimovich, L. I. Islam. Moscow, 1965. Pages 206–11.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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