The Baha'i Faith was founded in Iran in 1844 and now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha'is come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Baha'i Faith the second-most-widespread religion in the world.
Baha'is view the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, is recognized as the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.
There is no clergy in the Faith and the affairs of the Baha'i community are administered through a system of elected councils at the local, national and international levels. There are approximately 165,000 members of the Baha'i Faith in the United States, who annually elect the nine-member National Spiritual Assembly.