Pilgrimage and New Religious Movements
Bahá’í Faith Case Study
Bahá’í Faith is the youngest monotheistic religion (as adherents claim it), the beginnings of which date back to the mid-nineteenth century. In religious practice, believers of this system are particularly emphasized by prayer and pilgrimage.
Nothing so enriches the spiritual and social experience of a believer, as a Bahá’í pilgrimage. Bahá’u’lláh encouraged each of his followers to make a nine-day pilgrimage to the World Center for the Bahá’í Faith in Haifa (Israel) at least once in their lives. The pilgrimage is considered the high point of the Bahá’í way of life. Pilgrims arrive in Haifa by a group of about two hundred to four hundred people from different parts of the globe. For nine days, the group examines holy sites in Haifa, Akka and the surrounding area.
Alone or in small groups, pilgrims visit the tombs of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb and Abdu’l-Bahá. You can visit the houses where the founder of the faith lived during the exile and imprisonment in the Holy Land, spend part of the day visiting the Archive and inspect the manuscripts that represent the written heritage of the Bahá’í Faith, memorabilia belonging to the faith teachers, heroes and martyrs of the early years of the history of faith.
Visit the Shrine, evening performances of members of the Universal House of Justice and the International Training Center, which revealed the essence of the pilgrimage, and conversations with other pilgrims helped orient souls.
In my speech, I plan to analyze the development of the pilgrimage movement of the Bahá’í faithful, the accompanying event and the theological message behind it.