Delve into the history of the Baha’i faith

On July 9, 1850, the Baha’i figure called the Bab was killed. Believed to be a messenger of God proclaiming the impending arrival of Baha’u’llah, he was executed for apostasy by firing squad in the Persian Empire. According to Baha’i accounts, the Bab had disappeared when the smoke from the guns lifted, but he was found speaking to his cell guard shortly thereafter and submitted himself to his death. As the messenger sent ahead of Baha’u’llah, he is often compared to John the Baptist. Within a decade of the Bab’s martyrdom, adherents teach that Baha’u’llah appeared and gathered followers to himself as the “Promised One” and “Manifestation of God.”
The Baha’i church now has roughly 5 million followers.


FEATURED VIDEO: Ramadan brings together young, old

Muslims across the country and the world began fasting for Ramadan this past weekend. Ramadan is a month-long Muslim holiday; this year it falls between June 28 to July 28, but the dates change every year because Islam follows the lunar calendar. During the month-long ritual, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. After sunset, families gather to eat and read from the Quran. Fasting at Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, though children, the elderly and the sick are excused from participation in fasting for the sake of their health. This video, a short film produced by Pepsi last year to celebrate the month in Egypt, depicts the family values of Ramadan and incorporates nostalgic Egyptian television characters.


Humanists celebrate rationalism during World Humanist Day

Humanists all over the world celebrated their rational way of thinking this past weekend on World Humanist Day.

The celebration has existed since the 1980s, and might feature parties, ceremonies, proclamations and conferences, according to the International Humanist and Ethical Union.


Faithful flock to Saudia Arabia’s Grand Mosque during Hajj

Every year, millions of people visit the Al-Masjid Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Also known as the Sacred Mosque or the Grand Mosque, it houses several important Muslim artifacts, including the Black Stone, the Kaaba and the Zamzam Well. The pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj, is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required for all Muslims that are healthy and financially stable. Though the annual journey to this spot is older than Prophet Muhammad himself, the city remains a cultural symbol for Islam that more than quadruples the mosque’s attendance in the months of pilgrimage. Video courtesy of Hosain Hadi via Vimeo