Haifa is the world centre of the Bahai faith. The neo-classical archives and gold-domed shrine are situated in one of Israel’s most beautiful garden estates. In 1844, a Persian, Mirza Mohammed Ali Mohammad declared himself the forerunner or “El Bab” and proclaimed the imminent coming of the awaited Mahdi.
In 1866, a follower, Baha Ulla, announced that he was the awaited one. The Turks banished Baha Ulla to Acre, where he is buried. The Bahai faith preaches continual revelation and respects all previous enlightened teachings. The sect now numbers over two million. The gold-domed shrine contains the remains of both el Bab and the Baha Ulla’s successor, Abdul Basha.