The Baha'i Faith is an independent world religion with adherents
in virtually every country.  The Baha'i world community includes
almost all nationalities, classes, trades and professions.  Its
membership of over 4.5 million is comprised of people living in
more than 118,000 localities in over 200 countries and
territories - 166 of these independent nations - and unites men
and women of various religious and ethnic origins.  More than
2,000 ethnic groups and tribes are represented. 
The writings that guide the life of the Baha'i community include
numerous works by Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i
Faith, and interpretations by His son, Abdu'l-Baha, and
Baha'u'llah's great-grandson, Shoghi Effendi.  Baha'i literature
can be read today in over 800 languages and dialects. 

There is no clergy in the Baha'i Faith.  Local meetings are
planned by the local Baha'i communities.  Baha'i meetings include
devotional services, study classes, discussions, social events,
and the observation of holy days. 
Baha'i religious and community activities are planned according
to the Baha'i calendar.  The Baha'i Faith began in 1844 and each
new calendar year begins on the vernal equinox.  The Baha'i year
includes nine holy days and a period of fasting near the end of
the year.