Religion Posts

  • My new Twitter handle is now live - check me out at @jackiewgibson!

  • CNN has posted a history of bias against Sikhs - more reason for people to learn about religions before they attack anyone:...

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Hackers group Anonymous takes down Vatican website:

  • WGN-TV calls doomsday prophecies "an illusion":

  • RT @graceishuman: Really,? Asking people JUST LEAVING the service how they felt about it? Tacky, tacky, inappropriate

  • Whitney Houston's funeral service really took the world to church. Love Pastor Winans' honesty, very moving.

  • #teacher ? Here are appropriate responses to situations with your Jehovah's Witness student:

  • #Teachers: Want to know why your Jehovah's Witness student won't say the pledge and how to respond?

English flagItalian flagKorean flagChinese (Simplified) flagPortuguese flagGerman flagFrench flagSpanish flagJapanese flagArabic flag
Russian flagGreek flagDutch flagBulgarian flagCzech flagCroatian flagDanish flagFinnish flagHindi flagPolish flag
Romanian flagSwedish flagNorwegian flagCatalan flagFilipino flagHebrew flagIndonesian flagLatvian flagLithuanian flagSerbian flag
Slovak flagSlovenian flagUkrainian flagVietnamese flag      


Photo Copyright Religion Transcends

I recently took a visit to the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, IL – one of only seven Baha’i temples in the world. All people, regardless of religion, are invited to visit the temple for prayer, meditation – or just to see what it’s all about.

About the Temple

All Baha’i temples have 9 sides, and this one was no exception. Outside, visitors can enjoy gardens featuring 9 small pools, one for each side of the temple. The bottom floor of the temple contains a visitors center, complete with the cornerstone of the building, a video about the faith, and a bookstore. Visitors are also allowed inside the auditorium itself, though pictures are not allowed inside.

Walking into the auditorium is something of a surreal experience. When the choirs aren’t singing on Sunday mornings, the room is incredibly silent, a silence that seeps into your pores and kind of takes your breath away. It’s a silence that you might experience if you entered a room deep within a cave where the only sound was the whistling of the wind through the wall opening. Except here, there’s sunlight. And lots of it. Looking up, you can see sheer white curtains covering the steep windows, up, up, up, until you are straining your head backwards to look up to the top of the dome. There in the center of the dome, where all the architectural details meet up, are Arabic words – “O Glory of All Glorious,” a prayer of invocation. For those seeking some silence and a good place to pray, this place is it. Just be prepared to turn off your cell phone…and maybe eat before you go so your stomach doesn’t growl. It’s that quiet.

Here on Religion Transcends, we encourage all people to take time to understand people whose beliefs differ from their own. If you are going to be in the Northeast Illinois area, I encourage you to take a trip to the Baha’i temple. It offers a great opportunity to learn about the faith. And if you’re worried about standing out, it won’t be a problem here. With the diversity of people from all over the world visiting these grounds, it’s easy to slip in and check the place out. Everyone is there to explore – and the day I visited, it seemed a majority of visitors were not of the Baha’i faith.

About the Faith

The Baha’i faith is founded on core principles of world peace, elimination of prejudice, and harmony of science and religion. Baha’i followers believe that all religions share a common aim, and that God has revealed Himself to humanity through a series of Divine Messengers including Muhammad, Moses, Krishna, and Jesus Christ.

Learn more about the temple and the faith online.

More information about the Baha’i faith will be provided on Religion Transcends soon. Stay tuned!

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

That’s right, the Parliament of the World’s Religions…transcends.

Today is day five of the seven-day Parliament of the World’s Religions, an event held every five years in a major international city. The current parliament is being held in Melbourne, Australia. It has brought together around 10,000 religious adherants and leaders from more than 80 countries to discuss religion, religious understanding, diversity, and more.

How did all this start?

The first Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in conjunction with the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. This parliament was the first of its kind to bring together leaders and followers from the world’s religions to talk peace. At that meeting, the Baha’i faith was mentioned for the first time in the United States – and Americans got a crash course in Hinduism from Swami Vivekananda.

Learn more about the first parliament and its speakers online.

What are they talking about?

At each parliament, members of various religions are called to understand and respect one another’s differences. The event also challenges them to work through conflicts, extremism, and diversity issues and fosters peace, understanding, and dialogue — and otherwise “transcending” the muck, if you will.

In particular, they consider everything from global poverty and global warming to artistic expression and education of the young. This year’s topics include:

• Healing the Earth with Care and Concern
• Reconciling with the Indigenous Peoples
• Overcoming Poverty in a Patriarchal World
• Creating Social Cohesion in Village and City
• Sharing Wisdom in Search for Inner Peace
• Securing Food and Water for All People
• Building Peace in Pursuit of Justice

There’s quite a diversity of responses at these forums. You’d kind of expect it from Australia, which is home to all five major world religions along with smaller faith movements like Baha’i and Sikhism and even Aboriginal spiritualities.

Want more?

View photos, videos, and news bits from the event.

Check out today’s list of events.

View tweets from the parliament.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2009

Today, followers of the Baha’i faith are celebrating the birth of the Bab.

The Bab (which means “the gate”) was born as Siyyid Ali-Muhmmad in present-day Iran on October 20, 1819. A descendent of the Islamic prophet/founder Muhammad, the Bab became a prophet in his own right. He spoke of one who would follow him and spark a new way.

The person he spoke of later turned out to be Baha’u’llah, founder of the Baha’i religion. The two men never met, but the Bab set the stage for the founder’s coming.

Baha’i followers celebrate 9 holy days where they are not supposed to work. Three of those holy days commemorate portions of the life of the Bab: his birth, his declaration of mission, and his death.

Like Baha’i, everyone may take part in this celebration.

Learn more about the life of the Bab on

Learn more about Baha’u’llah and Baha’i on


Prayers from several religions will now find a place at the Ontario legislature’s opening each day, according to Religion News Service.

Making a compromise

The municipal councils used to begin their daily meetings by reciting the Lord’s Prayer, associated with the Christian religion. But in early 2008, Secular Ontario threatened to take them to court if they continued the ritual. The organization of atheist Canadians felt such an act implied that the legislature was for Christians only.

The government of Ontario has held several debates about religion and politics over the last few months. Finally they came up with a compromise in June that would keep them out of hot water with Secular Ontario.

The compromise? Keep the Lord’s Prayer, but add in prayers from eight other religions and a moment of silence for the non-religious. Among those religions whose prayers will be incorporated are Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha’i, and Sikhism.

Inclusion for diversity

This change is a good example of a move toward inclusion. Inclusion is a method of showing that all religions have merit and truth in some way and/or that all deserve representation and respect. It’s the idea of religious diversity — a cornucopia of religions tha twould all be placed on the same level, in the same arena. Exclusion, obviously, is the opposite. A religion is sometimes called “exclusive” when its followers claim their religion is the only true religion or that their beliefs must be followed in order to attain the goal of religion (whether that’s eternal life, cessation of suffering, or something else).

Wondering about the Lord’s Prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer prayed by Jesus, and it can be found in the New Testament of The Bible (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4). In those verses, Jesus teaches his followers to pray a prayer he teaches them to pray. Many Christian churches pray that Lord’s Prayer at each worship gathering, including Catholics who sometimes call this prayer the “Our Father.”