We’d love to have you as a member of our Baha’i community! But first, realize that this is a major spiritual decision that you should think about carefully.
1) Make sure you understand what the Bahá’í Faith is, and what the core principles are.
You can do this by reading about the Baha’i Faith, reading Baha’i books, and talking to Baha’is. It is particularly important to be aware of the following:
- The Baha’i Faith is a world religion.
- The purpose of the Baha’i Faith is to unite all the people of the world in one universal cause and one common Faith. Baha’is believe that all humanity was created by one God and is part of one human race.
- To be a Baha’i means to follow Baha’u’llah, who is the founder of the Baha’i Faith. Baha’is believe that he is the promised one of all ages, and that his teachings will enable humanity to build the civilization of peace and prosperity promised by many traditions.
- The Baha’i Faith is a democratically organized religion, governed by assemblies at the local, national, and international level.
- Baha’u’llah has laid down laws that Baha’is are expected to follow. These laws include daily prayer and reading of Baha’u’llah’s Writings.
2) If you feel you need it, learn more about the Baha’i Faith.
An important principle in the Baha’i Faith is the independent investigation of truth by each individual, and this also pertains to the process of becoming a Baha’i.
- Contact the Baha’is here in Charlottesville — We’d love to come speak with you! You can also ask us about activities in your area, so that you can become familiar with what Baha’i Community life is like.
- Join a Community Group – a small group of people who get together to learn more about the Faith and experience life together.
- Ask the Baha’is for literature on the Baha’i Faith, buy books online, or check out your local library. Baha’u’llah and the New Era is a good introductory book.
3) Pray and meditate.
Becoming a Baha’i is a spiritual decision, so it helps to pray for guidance and strength to make the right decision.
4) Act on your conviction.
Once you have reached your conclusion, carry it out with conviction. If you decide not to become a Baha’i, you probably don’t need to read any further. If you decide that you want to be a Baha’i, the rest of this page will give some more useful information.
5) Declare your faith.
To do this contact us and say that you want to be a Baha’i. At this point you have already achieved the basic spiritual requirement for being a Baha’i: Believing in Baha’u’llah. However, to vote and be elected on Baha’i institutions, you must let the Baha’is know who you are.
- If we haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet, the Local Spiritual Assembly may wish to send someone to have a brief conversation with you about the Baha’i Faith; just to make sure you know what you are doing.
- Being a Baha’i is absolutely free.
6) Join a Community Group.
This is not compulsory in any way, but it is a great way to learn more about the Baha’i Faith and living the Baha’i life. You may also join a Community Group before you decide whether you want to be a Baha’i or not.
7) Strive to follow the Baha’i laws.
Baha’u’llah has said that “The first duty prescribed by God for His Servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Founder of His laws…It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.”
- If you need to make changes to the way you live, make them one step at a time.
- Important: Failing to follow the Baha’i laws does not mean that you cannot be a Baha’i. If there are things you find difficult or confusing, it may help to consult with a Baha’i friend, who can give you tips and share their experience. You can also ask the Local Spiritual Assembly for help.
Adopting a new religion can be challenging at times. If you are having a lot of difficulties, prayers can be of great help, as can a very special piece by Baha’u’llah, known as the Tablet of Ahmad.
If you would like to support the work of the Baha’is without becoming a Baha’i yourself, you are very welcome to participate in their activities and efforts, but be aware that only Baha’is may donate money to the funds of the Faith.