A Bahá'í Glossary
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Religion
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'Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality.'4 'Religion . . . is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings which constitute the very life of humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and lay the groundwork for man's everlasting honour.'5
 
Religion has two main purposes: the personal spiritual development of the individual and to establish order in the world: '. . . the fundamental purpose of all religions . . . is to bring man closer to God, and to change his character. . . '6 'Religion is verily the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the world and of tranquillity amongst its peoples.'7
 
Bahá'u'lláh writes, 'The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God's holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world . . . Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable benefits upon mankind.'8
 
'. . . in truth, religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to hold fast to that which is good, and shun all evil. Should the lamp of religion be obscured, chaos and confusion will ensue, and the lights of fairness and justice, of tranquillity and peace cease to shine.'9
[BD 193-4]
 
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