Since Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Bahá’i Faith, was exiled in 1868 to Akko, the Holy Land has been the International Centre of this new World Religion and focal point of Baha’i pilgrimage.

The Bahá’i Faith teaches that religious truth is progressive, not final, that G-d, the Almighty Father, educates the human race through a series of Prophets who have appeared throughout history and will always appear to guide the destinies of men. Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad and now Baha’ullah are examples of these Divine Educators who give to the world religion and is not part of any other religion.

The aims and purposes of the Baha’i faith have been summarized by its Guardian, the late Shoghi Effendi as follow: “The Baha’i Faith upholds the unity of God, recognizes the unity of His Prophets and inculcates the principle of the oneness and wholeness of the entire human race. It proclaims the necessity and the inevitability of the unification of mankind, asserts that it is gradually approaching, and claims that nothing short of the transmuting spirit of G-d can ultimately succeed in bringing it about. It, moreover, enjoins upon its follower the primary duty of an unfettered search after the truth, condemns all manner of prejudice and superstition, declares the purpose of religion to be promotion of the amity and concord, proclaims its essential harmony with science, and recognizes it as the foremost agency for the pacification and the orderly progress of human society.

It unequivocally maintains the principle of equal rights, opportunities and privileges for men and women, insists on compulsory education, prescribes monogamy, discourages divorce, emphasizes the necessity of strict obedience of one’s government, exalts any work performed in the spirit of service to the level of worship, urges either the creation or selection of an auxiliary international language, and delineates the outlines of those institutions that must establish and perpetuate the general peace of mankind”.

David Ben Moshe

The Shrine of the Bab is the golden-domed edifice which dominates the city of Haifa. The Bab was the Martyr-Herald of the Baha’i Faith who declared His mission in 1844 and who in 1850, at the age of 31 was executed in Tabriz, Persia, because of His liberal religious teachings. His remains were brought to the Holy Land and entombed in 1909 by Abdul Baha, son and successor of Baha u llah, in the original Shrine which Abdul Baha had built at his father’s behest. The present superstructure was begun in 1948 and completed in 1953.

This edifice, combining the style and proportions of European architecture with designs inspired by the sea, is of Chiampo stone, cut and carved in Italy, with monolith columns of rose Baveno granite. The 12,000 fish scale tiles were made in Holland by a process of fire glazing over gold leaf and in spite of their brilliant effect, cost about $1.00 each. The whole cost of the new building was about three quarters of a million dollars. All workers at the Baha’i Shrine are volunteers and must be members of the Faith.

The International Baha’i Archives Building completed in 1947 in the beautiful style of classical Greek architecture, stands opposite the shrine of the Bab on the other side of the main highway running up Mount Carmel. It likewise is built of chiampo stone, dressed and carved in Italy, the green tiles of the roof came from Holland.

This edifice is a private museum of Baha’i relics and historic material. In the garden adjacent to the archives are four with carrara marble monuments in the style of small temples consisting of cupola supported by slender columns. These are tombstones erected over the resting places of some of the inmediate members of the family of Baha’ u’ llah.