Article Info

published: 8/20/05
updated: 5/20/13

Compare: Bahá'í Faith, Islam, Christianity, Judaism




Comparison of Statistics and Basics

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Bahá'í Faith
Islam
Judaism
Christianity
adherents called
Bahá'ís
Muslims
Jews
Christians
current adherents
5-7 million
1.3 billion
14 million
2 billion
current size rank
13th largest
2nd largest
12th largest
largest
major concentration
India, USA, Iran
Middle East, Southeast Asia
Israel, Europe, USA
Europe, North and South America, rapid growth in Africa
sacred text(s)
Kitab-i-Aqbas and other writings of Bahá'í leaders
Qur'an (Koran)
Bible
Bible (Jewish Bible + New Testament)
other written authority
scriptures of other great faiths
Hadith
Talmud, Midrash, Responsa
church fathers, church councils, papal decrees (Catholic only)




religious law
Baha'i Law based on Kitab-i-Aqdas
Sharia
Halakhah
Canon Law
clergy
none
imams, muezzins
rabbis
priests, ministers, bishops, deacons
house of worship
house of worship
mosque
synagogue
church, chapel, cathedral
main day of worship
19th day of every Bahá'í month
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
church and state should be...
integrated
integrated
separate
separate


Comparison of Origins and History

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Bahá'í Faith
Islam
Judaism
Christianity
date founded
1863 CE
622 CE
unknown
c. 33 CE
place founded
Tehran, Iran
Saudi Arabia
Palestine
Palestine
founder
Mirza Hoseyn 'Ali Nuri (Bahá'u'lláh)
Muhammad
Moses or Abraham
Jesus
original language(s)
Persian
Arabic
Hebrew
Aramaic, Greek
early expansion
moderate at first; rapid expansion beginning in the 1960s
within 12 years, entire Arabian peninsula; within 100 years, Muslim world stretched from the Atlantic to China
little expansion; mostly confined to Palestine
within 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome (map); entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.
use of war in expanding religion
never
frequent
rare
rare originally, but frequent during centuries of Crusades
major splits
none - Orthodox Bahá'í Faith is a small minority
Shia/Sunni, c. 650 CE
Reform/Orthodox, 1800s CE
Catholic/Orthodox, 1054 CE; Catholic/Protestant, 1500s CE


Comparison of Religious Beliefs

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Bahá'í Faith
Islam
Judaism
Christianity
type of theism
monotheism
monotheism
monotheism
Trinitarian monotheism
ultimate reality
one creator God
one creator God
one creator God
one creator God
names of God
the "Greatest Name"
Allah (Arabic for God)
Yahweh, Elohim
Yahweh, the Holy Trinity
other spiritual beings
none
angels, demons, jinn
angels and demons
angels and demons
revered humans
Prophets, Messengers, or Manifestations of God
prophets, imams (especially in Shia)
prophets
saints, church fathers
identity of Jesus
true Prophet and Manifestation of God
true prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted
false prophet
Son of God, God incarnate, savior of the world
birth of Jesus
not addressed
virgin birth
normal birth
virgin birth
death of Jesus
not addressed
did not die, but ascended into heaven during crucifixion
death by crucifixion
death by crucifixion
resurrection of Jesus
not addressed
denied
denied
affirmed
second coming of Jesus
affirmed - already happened in form of Baha'u'llah
affirmed
denied
affirmed
divine revelation
through Prophets, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, and Bahá'u'lláh
through Muhammad, recorded in Qur'an
through Prophets, recorded in Bible
through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Bible
view of sacred text
inspired
inspired, literal word of God, inerrant in original languages
views vary
inspired, some believe inerrant in original languages
human nature
all aspects either good or neutral
equal ability to do good or evil
two equal impulses, one good and one bad
"original sin" inherited from Adam - tendency towards evil
means of salvation
spiritual development
correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars
belief in God, good deeds
correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone)
God's role in salvation
divine revelation
predestination
divine revelation and forgiveness
predestination, various forms of grace
good afterlife
increasing nearness to God
eternal paradise
views vary: either heaven or no afterlife
eternal heaven
bad afterlife
increasing distance from God
eternal hell
views vary: either eternal Gehenna, reincarnation, or no afterlife
eternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism)
view of fellow Abrahamic religions
Completely valid, though incomplete - the Manifestation of Bahá'u'lláh is the most recent divine revelation
Jews and Christians are respected as "People of the Book," but they have wrong beliefs and only partial revelation.
Islam and Christianity are false interpretations and extensions of Judaism.
Judaism is a true religion, but with incomplete revelation. Islam is a false religion.




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