The Baha’i Faith focuses on unity. I don’t want to misinterpret the central tenets of the religion, so this is direct from their website:
The central theme of Bahá’u'lláh’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society.
They believe in the following principles:
- the abandonment of all forms of prejudice
- assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men
- recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth
- the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
- the realization of universal education
- the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth
- the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations
- recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge
This unity is reflected in the design of the House of Worship. The Baha’i temple is nine-sided and buttressed by nine pillars because the Baha’i Faith believes that nine symbolizes completion and perfection. The Baha’i Faith is represented by a nine-sided star.
Baha’is believe in interfaith recognition. This is reflected in the pillars, which have the symbols of other religions carved into them. For example, the pillars include the Christian cross, the star of David and the swastika, which is used by the Hindus and Buddhists.
Construction began in the 1920′s and the building was dedicated in 1953. It’s hard to appreciate how incredibly huge the building is. Here’s an image of Jon in front of the temple for reference.
Photography isn’t allowed inside the auditorium, but you can see part of it here. It’s much prettier in person.