Baha’is from Geneva, Phelps, Clifton Springs, Newark and Sodus are busy making plans for the October celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith.

The theme of the weekend-long celebration is “The Gate and the Glory.” The gate refers to the Bab, who was the founder of the Bab’i religion and forerunner to Baha’u’llah. The glory refers to Baha’u’llah, whose name means “the glory of God.”

Planned events leading up to the celebration include a morning glory house, a spiritual retreat weekend and several interfaith devotional gatherings.

The local celebration will be part of a worldwide observance of the bicentenary. With more than 5 million followers who reside in virtually every nation on Earth, the Baha’i faith is the second-most-widespread faith, surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographic reach. Bahai’s reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to their ideal of world citizenship.

The Baha’i faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. Its founder, Baha’u’llah, is regarded by Baha’i as the most recent in the line of messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad and the Bab. The central theme of Baha’u’llah’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society.

Norm Harrington