The Baha’is believe in total equality and have no need for an intermediary between themselves and God.

The Baha'i Faith is one of the newest entrants in the spiritual world. However, the roots of this faith lie in the old Abrahamic religions. The Baha'is believe that their Faith was revealed as series of messages, proclaimed at different times by different messengers beginning with Abraham, followed by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. The Baha'is in Eastern countries like India also believe that deities such as Krishna and Buddha too are messengers of the Baha'i faith.

The Baha'i faith, though an offshoot of the Abrahamic system, has a number of points which make it unique from the others. One of the most prominent of these features is that the Baha'is do not have clergy.

The Baha'i way of life centers on education. As such, the adherents are taught to read and write from a very young age, irrespective of gender. By educating all the adherents, the faith aims at making them aware of their religious scriptures so that each Baha'i reads and learns the Baha'i scriptures. This results in a community of members who are all equally well-versed in the faith, so that there is no need for an interpreter or intermediary between God and community — every Baha'i is equal.

The Baha'i administration, which includes spiritual services, is carried out in an entirely democratic fashion. The administration is carried out by a panel of nine members who are elected by the adherents. Every year, each community comes together and indicates nine members of their choice by secret ballot. No canvassing, campaigning or any discussion of any sort is allowed prior to the election. The entire process is carried out with utmost secrecy.

During an election, members of a community come together, pray and meditate for guidance. They then write down the names of nine members of their community who they think are worthy of serving the community. The panel members do not have any kind of power individually. Their authority comes to them only when they are together, so that the authority given to them is not misused.

An interesting feature of the Baha'i meetings is that differing opinions are encouraged by the Faith. The belief is that when opinions differ, the best results are churned out. However, the Faith directs the adherents not to get too attached to their opinions. This system of choosing clergy and administrators may perhaps be one of the most unique and democratic systems any religion can boast about.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter