Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
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Time Period
The Baha'i World Faith, which began in Iran in the mid-19th century, was brought to America in 1892 by a Lebanese convert who would later fall out of favor with the main body. The religion’s central teachings include a oneness of humanity and of religions, equality of the sexes, universal peace and the separation of religion and politics.

By the early 20th century, there were an estimated 1,000 Baha’is in North America. These adherents became the catalyst behind the building of a new temple.

It took nearly a half-century to design and build the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, Ill. Dedicated in 1953, with its laced dome rising next to Lake Michigan, the temple is the only one of its kind in North America.

There are an estimated 750,000 in the United States, the largest community outside of India.
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
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Baha'i House of Worship- Flickr- photo by Esteban Monclova (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Baha'i Temple, aerial view, cropped- Flickr- photo by Shutter Runner (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Baha'i House of Worship interior- Flickr- photo by Justin Kern (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Baha'i House of Worship- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Purpy Pupple (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Baha'i House of Worship Welcome Center- Flickr- photo by (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Web Source(s)
Baha'is of the United States, "History and Architecture of the Baha'i House of Worship"
"The Largest Baha'i Communities"
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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