Christianity vs. Baha’i: What’s the Difference?

Comparing Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith can provide valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of these two world religions. Although they both promote values of love, compassion, and unity, they have distinct teachings and histories.

Christianity, founded by Jesus Christ around 4 BC-30/33 AD, teaches salvation through faith in Jesus as the Son of God. The Bahá’í Faith, founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863, emphasizes the oneness of humanity and religious unity. Christians follow the Bible, while Bahá’ís have their own scriptures.

In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith, including their beliefs about God, the nature of reality, and the purpose of human existence.

Lotus Temply in India
Lotus Temple in India

Comparing Christianity and Baha’i: At a Glance

The word “Christianity” comes from the Greek word “Christianos,” meaning “follower of Christ,” referring to Jesus Christ.

The word “Baha’i” is derived from the Arabic word “Baha,” meaning “glory” or “splendor,” which is used as a title for the founder of the religion, Bahá’u’lláh.

FeatureChristianityBahá’í Faith
NameChristianityBahá’í Faith
SizeAbout 2.3 billion followersAbout 7 million followers
Date Started1st century AD1844 AD
FounderJesus ChristBahá’u’lláh
Key BeliefsBelief in the Holy Trinity; Salvation through faith in Jesus ChristUnity of humanity, equality, world peace, and the independent investigation of truth
Key PracticesPrayer, Bible reading, worship, charity, communionDaily prayers, fasting, observance of Bahá’í Holy Days, and community service
DivisionsRoman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, ProtestantismThere are no major divisions; the Bahá’í community is organized with elected bodies at the local, national, and international levels
Central LocationVatican City for Roman Catholicism; various centers for other denominationsHaifa, Israel
Sacred TextsThe Bible (Old and New Testaments)Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Kitáb-i-Íqán, Hidden Words, and other writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Why is the Baha’i religion centered in Haifa, Israel?

The central location of the Bahá’í religion is in Haifa, Israel, because it’s where the remains of the Báb, a central figure in Bahá’í history, were interred by Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the faith.

The area has since become the administrative and spiritual center of the Bahá’í community.

Why doesn’t Protestant Christianity have a central location?

Protestant Christianity doesn’t have a central location because it emphasizes the individual’s personal relationship with God and the autonomy of local congregations.

It emerged as a response to the centralized authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Many Protestant traditions embrace a more decentralized approach to ecclesiastical organization and practice.

Christianty Bahai differences
How do Jesus Christ’s and Bah’u’llah’s teachings compare? See below

Christian and Baha’i Beliefs: Similarities and Differences

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God exists as three persons but is one being. These three persons are God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.

They are distinct yet coexist in unity, sharing the same divine essence and attributes.

FeatureChristianityBahá’í Faith
God or godsOne God, Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)One God, unknowable in essence
The UniverseCreated by God; subject to God’s willCreated by God; operates according to spiritual and material laws
Ultimate realityGod is the ultimate reality; the Kingdom of God will be established on EarthGod is the ultimate reality; humanity is gradually moving toward the establishment of a global civilization
Human beingsCreated in God’s image; fallen but redeemableSpiritual beings with a noble nature; free will enables them to choose their actions
Problem with the worldSin and separation from God; human failingsDisunity and lack of recognition of humanity’s oneness
The solution to the problemFaith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and reconciliation with GodRecognition and application of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh to foster unity and peace
The afterlifeHeaven for the righteous; various beliefs about the nature of hell for the unrighteousSpiritual progress continues in the next world; individuals are held accountable for their actions on Earth

Why does the Baha’i faith emphasize the oneness of humanity?

In the Baha’i religion, the oneness of humanity is a central principle. It teaches that all people are created equal and emphasizes the need for unity and cooperation among all races, cultures, and religions.

This principle seeks to promote global harmony and the betterment of the world.

Comparing Jesus Christ and Bah’u’llah

The exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth is not known because historical records from that time are sparse. The date of December 25th was chosen by the early Christian Church centuries later for symbolic reasons.

AreaJesus ChristBahá’u’lláh
Meaning of Name“Anointed One” or “Savior”“Glory of God”
When They LivedApprox. 4 BC – 30/33 AD1817-1892
Where They LivedRoman province of Judea, present-day IsraelPersia (Iran), Ottoman Empire (Turkey, Holy Land)
Information About Their FamilyMother: Mary; Father: Joseph; Siblings: had brothersFather: Mírzá Buzurg; Wives: Ásíyih Khánum, Fatimih Khanum, Gawhar Khanum; Children: several, including ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Central Message of Their TeachingLove, repentance, salvation through faith in HimUnity of humanity, recognition of all Prophets, world peace
Sacred Text Containing Their StoryNew Testament of the BibleBahá’í scriptures, including the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and Kitáb-i-Íqán
Bahai Haifa Israel
Baha’i headquarters in Haifa, Israel

10 of the Most Important Events in Christianity and Hinduism

Knowing Christian and Bahai history is essential when comparing these faiths because it provides insight into the beliefs, practices, and events that have shaped these religions.

This knowledge helps to promote understanding and appreciation of the cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts that have influenced their followers and societies.

ChristianityBahá’í Faith
Birth of Jesus Christ (circa 4 B.C.)Birth of the Báb (1819)
Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (circa A.D. 30)Declaration of the Báb (1844)
Conversion of Paul (circa A.D. 33)Martyrdom of the Báb (1850)
Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325)Bahá’u’lláh’s proclamation of His mission (1863)
Conversion of Constantine (A.D. 312)Bahá’u’lláh’s exile to Akka (1868)
Great Schism (A.D. 1054)Passing of Bahá’u’lláh (1892)
Protestant Reformation (1517)Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1921)
Council of Trent (1545-1563)Formation of the Universal House of Justice (1963)
Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)Opening of the Bahá’í House of Worship in India (1986)
Election of Pope Francis (2013)Bahá’í community’s efforts toward world peace (1985-present)

The modern growth of Christianity and Baha’i

Christianity’s growth in the 20th and 21st centuries has been marked by an expansion in the global south, particularly in Africa and Asia, through evangelism, humanitarian efforts, and migration.

Despite secularization trends in the West, Christianity remains the world’s largest religion.

The Bahá’í Faith, founded in the 19th century, has seen steady growth worldwide due to its focus on unity and inclusiveness.

The faith has attracted followers from various backgrounds and emphasizes community-building and service.

Despite facing persecution in some countries, the Bahá’í community continues to thrive and promote its vision of world peace and unity.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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