Bahaism


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bahaism

 

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).

REFERENCES

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.

L. I. KLIMOVICH

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(3) For a brief historical overview and extensive citations on Bahaism, see Sanasarian (2000), 50-53, 114-123.
(18) Trades, Production and Technical Services Society of Kermanshah, "Letter to the Union of Battery Manufacturers, 3.3-6," 2 May 2006; Command Headquarters of the Armed Forces, "Identification of Individuals of the Misguided Sects of Bahaism and Babism," Letter, 29 October 2005; Iranian Ministry of the Interior, Letter to Governors' General of the Country, http://Bahai.org/persecution/iran/19-08-06.
This author gained some insight into Baha'i views from these particular volumes, as one attentive Baha'i reader had written in his own commentary alongside that offered by missionary Samuel Graham Wilson in his book Bahaism and its Claims (1915).
Wilson hints at these Scripturalists in Bahaism and its Claims, stating that "[s]ome adherents regard Bahaism as Christianity continued...." (43) He levels his criticisms at other Christians whom he sees as too sympathetic to the Baha'i faith, including Thomas Cheyne, an Oxford professor and priest.
He refers not to the conversion of Jews, but the "apostasy of considerable numbers of Persian Jews." 62) 0ne of Fischel's observations demonstrates the degree to which the Persian Jewish community was isolated from the test of world Jewry: Had Persian Jews possessed spiritual leaders of a high cultural standing in the last centuries, had the rabbis and schools taught and asserted a Judaism free from superstitious notions, empty formalism and medieval prejudices, had they shown a true sense for Judaism and its ethics, the conception of God, its ideas of the messiah, its national aspirations, its contribution to world culture, Bahaism would hardly have won any Jewish hearts.
(34) Samuel Graham Wilson, Bahaism and its Claims (New York: Fleming H.
To a secular Westerner, Iranian Bahaism seems very much a half-way house: a rhetoric containing many progressive ideas, but one designed for traditional folk who cannot do without prophets, hierarchical authority, dreams, signs, and wonders.
However, nowadays there are also among them embraced Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Bahaism.
The court said that while the Egyptian constitution secures the rights of belief for its citizens, Bahaism was not recognized as an official religion in the country and therefore could not be recorded on official documents.
In Kermanshah, a 70-year-old man was sentenced to 70 lashes and a year in prison for "propagating and spreading Bahaism and the defamation of the pure Imams." In Mazandaran, a court has once again ruled against three women and a man who are charged with "propagation on behalf of an organization which is anti-Islamic."
He was tried on 23 April 2007 and charged with "propagating and spreading Bahaism and the defamation of the pure Imams." His lawyer was given only 10 minutes to prepare a defense.
"Although Bahaism [sic] is not recognized as an official religion but by law Baha'is are entitled to equal rights," wrote Mr.