Doors of Hope

By: Shay Rozen  

Since its beginning, the Baha'i faith saw pilgrimage as one of the rituals that the believer should fulfill, at least once, during his lifetime. According to Kitab-i-Aqdas (the most holy book), the destination of the pilgrims should be the house of the Bab in Shiraz and the house of Bahaullah in Bagdad. However, during the time, especially after Bahaullah passed away, and due to difficulties reaching Iran or Iraq, the focus of Baha'i pilgrimage became the cities of Akko and Haifa (Palestine) that became the Baha'is "holy land." At the end of the 19th century, as the Baha'i faith started to spread around the western world, women became the core and majority of the believers of the new religion that emerge from the east and started to execute pilgrimage to Akko and Haifa. Among those early women pilgrims were Phoebe Hearst, Lady Bloomfield, Genevieve Coy and others. As part of their western culture, some of those women wrote diaries of their journey that became important source for studying Baha'is History, Geography spared and the development of Baha'is pilgrimage tradition, heritage, performance and rituals. Among those aspects will be the development of route and sites of the pilgrimage trail, the traditions and performance that became part of the pilgrimage heritage and the influence of eastern pilgrimage traditions and rituals on the new western believers.

Bahai, Piligrimage, Rituals
Religious Commonalities and Differences
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Shay Rozen