Baha'i Faith of the Shoals
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Baha'is in Alabama
The first Baha'i community in Alabama was founded in 1896 by Paul K. Dealy who moved to Fairhope from Chicago where he had become a Baha'i in 1893. He actively taught the new religion, traveling by foot to visit interested people. The first community of Baha'is was racially integrated from the beginning.
The Baha'is of Alabama held a centenary celebration in Fairhope in 1996 to commemorate his efforts there. Today there is an exhibit honoring him in Haifa, Israel at the world center of the Baha'i Faith.
Baha'is in the Shoals
The first Baha'i in the Shoals settled in Sheffield in 1972, where he had returned after serving in the Vietnam war where he became acquainted with and joined the Baha'i Faith. The first group was formed in 1978 which grew into an Assembly in 1987. Over the years, the Shoals Baha'i population has included people of African American, Native American, Persian, Vietnamese, and European American backgrounds. This diversity is considered to be desirable in the Faith of Baha'u'llah as it demonstrates the unity of humanity.
Baha'is of the World
Founded a century and a half ago, the Bahá’í Faith is today among the fastest-growing of the world’s religions. With more than seven million followers, who reside in virtually every nation on earth, it is the second-most widespread faith, surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographic reach. Bahá’ís reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to the ideal of world citizenship.
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