The Bahá’í community today numbers some five million members resident in 189 independent countries and 46 territories. Its rich diversity embraces people from most of the planet’s races, creeds and cultures, including over 2,100 different ethnic groupings. The worldwide community is working to give Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings practical effect. Their experience will be a source of encouragement to all who share their vision of humanity as one global family and the earth as one homeland.
There is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith. Because the human race has entered upon the age of its maturity, each individual is able to explore the revelation of God and to decide on the issues of life through prayer, reflection, and consultation with others. To make this possible, the Bahá’í scriptures have so far been translated into some 800 different languages.
The same principle applies to the community’s collective life. Elected councils, designated as Spiritual Assemblies, administer the affairs of the Faith at both local and national levels. All adult believers are equally eligible and election is by secret ballot and plurality vote.
The work of the Faith is entirely supported by voluntary contributions from the members. Giving to the Bahá’í fund is regarded as one of the privileges of membership; the Faith does not accept outside contributions.