The Baha'i Faith was founded in Persia (Iran) by Mirza Husayn-Ali
(1817-1892), known as Baha'u'llah, the "Glory of God".  The word
"Baha'i" derives from baha ("glory" or "splendor") and means a
follower of Baha'u'llah.  The Baha'i Faith is linked with the
Babi Faith, founded in 1844 by Mirza Ali-Muhammad (1819-1850),
known as the Bab or "Gate".  The Bab announced that He was not
only the founder of an independent religion, but the herald of a
new and far greater prophet or messenger of God, Who would usher
in an age of peace for all mankind.  The Bab was executed by
Persian authorities in 1850 in an attempt to crush His religion. 
In 1863, Baha'u'llah declared that He was the one prophesied by
the Bab. 
Baha'u'llah was exiled from Iran to various places within the
Ottoman Empire, and in 1868 was sent as a prisoner to the
fortress city of Akka in Palestine.  He passed away in 1892.  In
His will, He appointed His eldest son, Abdu'l-Baha (1844-1921),
to lead the Baha'i community and to  interpret the Baha'i
Writings.  Abdu'l-Baha in turn appointed His eldest grandson,
Shoghi Effendi (1896-1957), as His successor, the Guardian of the
Cause, and the authorized interpreter of the Baha'i teachings. 
Today the affairs of the world-wide Baha'i community are
administered by the Universal House of Justice.