And Baha'u'llah grew up to do something big: he founded a religion!
The Baha'i Faith is that religion, and it is the youngest of the Abrahamic faiths, which also include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of these religions proposes that there is only one god, and respects the earlier shared ancestors of their faiths, Abraham and Moses—but, unfortunately, these religions do not always get along. I am sure you know that many leaders and believers of these related faiths squabble and fight with one another, often with violent, disastrous results.
The Baha'i Faith teaches peace and tolerance of all other faiths, but Baha'is are not always treated with peace and tolerance.
As a young man, Baha'u'llah joined a movement that started in, and then broke off from, Islam. This movement was called Babism, and it was opposed and then crushed by Muslim authorities; the leader, called the Bab, was executed. Before he died, the Bab had spoken of a Promised One, and Baha'u'llah eventually felt that he was that Promised One. He didn't let his friends and family know of this realization right away, but studied and slowly became a respected leader. In 1863, in the Garden of Ridvan, Baha'u'llah finally told a few close companions of his revelation.
Despite persecution, the Baha'i Faith grew. Today there are about seven million followers, and the religion is one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. Here is a short movie a follower made to celebrate Baha'u'llah's birthday.
To learn more about the Baha'i Faith, check out this earlier post.
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