All world religions are in essence stages in the ongoing revelation of the one religion. They come from the same Source and have the same essential purpose—to guide and educate the human race. Their spiritual core is one, but they differ in their secondary aspects such as in their social teachings, which change in relation to humanity’s evolving requirements.
Bahá’u’lláh has stated that each Bahá’í has the duty to share the Faith with others but forbids the practice of proselytism. Thus, no pressure must be put on anyone to accept it, since independent investigation of truth is a fundamental right and responsibility of each individual.
Bahá’ís believe that there is one God, that all humanity is one family, and that there is a fundamental unity underlying religion. They recognize that the coming of Bahá’u’lláh has opened the age for the establishment of world peace, when, as anticipated in the sacred scriptures of the past, all humanity will achieve its spiritual and social maturity, and live as one united family in a just, global society.
While restating basic spiritual teachings brought by all the Messengers of God, the Bahá’í Faith brings new social principles appropriate to the needs of a global society, such as the oneness of mankind, the equality of rights and opportunities for men and women, the abolition of all forms of prejudice, the essential harmony of science and religion, universal education, the need for a universal auxiliary language, and the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth. Members of the Bahá’í Faith come from diverse cultural and racial background.
Bahá’ís believe that the Báb (1819-1850) was an independent Messenger of God, whose mission was to inaugurate a new cycle in humanity’s spiritual development. His writings prepared the way for the mission of Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb was executed in 1850 at the instance of Islamic clergy who felt their position threatened by the principles He taught.