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Baha’i Versus Christianity

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This essay will address the issues of when the religion began, a brief history of the person who founded it and what this founder taught, and a comparison between this religion’s teaching and those of Christianity including the similarities and the differences. This essay will argue that the two religions, Baha’i and Christianity, are more different than they are alike because of key theological differences.

To begin, it is important to first understand the Baha’i faith and what its followers believe. The religion grew out of the Babi sect of Shiite Islam in Iran in the middle of the 19th century (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019; Smith, 2008). A mission was given by God to two messengers called the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh; the Báb, whose name means “the Gate”, predicted the future coming of the Bahá’u’lláh, whose name means “the Glory of God” (, 2019, n.p.). These men were teachers, prophets, and ambassadors of the faith who popular wrote down messages from God in what became the faith’s holy texts. After the Bahá’u’lláh, leadership was passed down to two more men in his family before it transferred in 1963 to the Universal House of Justice, which is currently located in Israel on Mount Carmel (, 2019, n.p.). This House of Justice is for promoting world peace, prosperity, welfare, and equality.

Baha’i is not one of the most popular or well-known world religions, but it is a medium-sized religion with approximately five to eight million followers (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). It is technically an Abrahamic religion because it derives from Islam, which is one of the main Abrahamic religions. According to “A Brief Introduction to the Baha’i Faith”, Bahai’s central belief is that the “crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life” by which humans will be able to achieve the supreme goal of universal peace (2015, n.p;, 2019). The back of Smith’s (2008) book, An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith explains that faith is largely concerned with social ethics and “it has no priesthood and few formal rituals” (Smith, 2008, n.p.). They believe in:

the oneness of God and humanity, the oneness of humanity and freedom from prejudice, the inherent nobility of the human being, the progressive revelation of religious truth, the development of spiritual qualities, the integration of worship and service, the fundamental equality of the sexes, the harmony between religion and science, the centrality of justice to all human endeavors, and the importance of [universal] education. (, 2019, n.p.) Interestingly enough, their religious beliefs include a stance on how society should treat education, something that most religions do not include in their theology.

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Baha’i is similar to Christianity in several ways. For instance, it promotes the equality of all people (Baha’i Blog, 2015). As followers of God, we are called to love and treat everyone equally. As well, the Baha’i faith has a very similar perspective to traditional Christian denominations on sexual morality. Both religions do not look favorable on homosexuality and are strictly against extra or premarital sexual intercourse (, 2019). Baha’i is also a monotheistic faith like Christianity, which means that both faiths believe in that there is one supremely powerful being, who is God. Both faiths also believe in the power and importance of the covenant, which is a pact or promise between the follower and the leader they are following. Like Christians, they live in a “community of both learning and action” in which they “live according to teachings” (Baha’i Blog, 2015). Both Baha’is and Christians are expecting to live out their commitment to God through devotion and prayer, although Baha’is have mandatory requirements that they must fulfill each day. Service is seen as a form of worship, just as it is in Christianity. They also do not believe that followers of the faith are simply born into the religion, but must figure out for themselves what they believe in. Protestantism, like Baha’i, does not have a priesthood, although Protestant churches have clergy. The Baha’is House of Justice could be regarded as having similar ideals to the Roman Catholic Vatican, although the Vatican certainly includes a priesthood. The Bahai’s “embrace the arts and sciences” (Baha’i Blog, 2015, n.p.), just as many Christians, including famous ones like Isaac Newton and Galileo, have been able to reconcile science and religion. Christians also believe that God expects them to take care of the earth and all that He made (Genesis 1:28. Baha’is also see themselves as stewards of the earth (, 2019). In fact, they take it a step further by saying that there should be equality of wealth among people, just as the early Christian church lived communally and shared everything they had, although this is no longer done much today. In both Christianity and Baha’i, followers are expected to gather voluntarily, although the Baha’i church expects a much higher percentage (19%) than most Christian churches (10%). While Christians might not necessarily believe in the “inherent nobility of the human being” (, 2019) like the Baha’is, Protestants believe that anyone who follows Christ is a saint. To become a Baha’i, you are expected to recognize and accept Baha’u’llah as a messenger from God and try to live according to his teaching, just as Christians must confess Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and live according to the Bible (Netland, 2015). Both faiths have also experienced significant persecute throughout their history (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019).

There are also many differences between Baha’i and Christianity. Like other religions including Judaism, Baha’is believe that Jesus was a great teacher, but they do not recognize Him as the Son of God that He was. They put him on the same level as the mortals, including Abraham and Moses, who were simply regular people that God put into positions of leadership because they followed Him; likewise, Krisha, Mohammed, and Zoroaster are also categorized as divine educators (, 2019). Christians believe that the only prophets sent by God are the ones mentioned in the Bible. The entirety of the Christian faith is founded on the basis of the Gospel, which is the good news about the New Covenant that Jesus died to create for us because He knew that we would never be able to do it ourselves. Many Christians, including Roman Catholics, also believe in the holy sacrament of communion during fellowship as a body of the believer, along with some form of baptism represented our new birth when we die to our old selves and are resurrect along with Christ. No other religion on earth follows a man who claims to have risen from the dead.

Bahais’ also believe the teaching that the “religions of the world come from the same source” (Baha’i Blog, 2015, n.p.). While Christians are also monotheistic, they do not believe that all religions come from and reveal God. Rather, they believe that these other religions are man-made. Jesus is “God himself” (Netland, 2015) who is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]” (John 14:6, NIV). The Baha’i faith rejects the idea of physical heaven and hell. While they claim that the supreme goal of humanity is unity and peace, Christians realize that the ultimate goal of the Christian faith is that we will be able to be reconciled with God in heaven one day because of Jesus Christ. Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture explains that the “main movement of the [Christian] church is also characterized by a certain harmony of conviction about the universality and radical nature of sin” (Niebuhr, 1975, p.118) from that Jesus saves. Christians believe that because of original sin, humans are inherently evil, but Baha’is believe that humans are inherently good. Baha’is believe firmly in the concept of justice, but Christians believe that it is God alone who is the ultimate judge. Christians also believe that we can receive direct revelation from God and that we are able to commune personally to God through prayer, whereas Bahai’s believe that revelation from God has progressed through all the different world religions. This is why they incorporate scripture from all world religions into their church services (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019).

In conclusion, Baha’i is more different to Christianity than it is similar. While it has many similar aspects, including very clear, respectable ethics and morals, it misses out on some of the fundamental truths that Christians believe. They seem to be more concerned with how humans live their lives and what humans can do for themselves than with accept the free gift of salvation that Christians know is given to them by God. Baha’i claims that it is possible to be both Baha’i and Christian, but to do so, a Christian would have to state that Baha’u’llah is a messenger from God and live accord to his teachings, which were written by a man and are not inspired by God like the Christian Bible is. For this reason, Christians should not deviate from what they believe.


  1. (2019). What Bahá’ís Believe. Retrieved from
  2. Baha’i Blog. (2015). A Brief Introduction to the Baha’i Faith. Retrieved from
  3. Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2010). Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2010. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  4. Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019). Baha’i Faith. Retrieved from
  5. Netland, H. A. (2015). Christianity and religious diversity: clarifying Christian commitments in a globalizing age. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic (a division of Baker Publishing Group).
  6. Niebuhr, H. R. (1975). Christ and culture. New York: Harper & Row.
  7. Hatcher, W. S., & Martin, J. D. (2002). The Baha’i faith: The emerging global religion. Baha’i Publishing Trust.
  8. Smith, P. (2008). An introduction to the Baha’i faith. Cambridge University Press.

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“Baha’i Versus Christianity.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022,
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