Brief

The Baha'i Faith launches an official page on the World Wide Web: www.bahai.org

NEW YORK - The Bahá'í Faith, which in a century and a half has been established in 235 countries and dependencies, and which embraces a cross-section of the human race, has launched an official site on the World Wide Web.

Located at http://www.bahai.org, the site is called "The Bahá'í World" and reflects the unified and global nature of the five-million-member Bahá'í community, offering a wealth of information about the 152-year-old religion, its teachings, and the activities of its followers.

Announced on 7 August, the site had more than 15,000 visits as of 10 October. It has also received a number of reviews, including a notice in USA Today, a national daily newspaper in the United States with a circulation of more than 1.5 million.

"The World Wide Web provides a depth and breadth of information about religious groups that is nowhere else as easily available," said Dr. Ann Boyles, coordinator of the Office of Public Information of the Bahá'í International Community, which sponsors the site.

"We think that this new site will not only inform inquirers about the Bahá'í Faith, but will suggest some innovative answers to the deep social problems facing the world.

"Much of the information is personalized, featuring stories and comments from Bahá'ís from all over the world," said Dr. Boyles. "The result is a graphically attractive and intellectually appealing site that offers a virtual window on a dynamic worldwide community of individuals about which many know far too little."

Researchers will find a detailed introduction to the central figures and institutions of the Faith, an overview of basic Bahá'í beliefs and practices, articles highlighting aspects of Bahá'í community life and the perspectives of individual believers, and a repository of Bahá'í International Community documents that present the Bahá'í vision for the advancement of society.

The site was announced to the Bahá'í community on 24 July 1996 and officially presented to the public on 7 August. It is multi-lingual, currently featuring information in English, French and Spanish. Information will be made available in more languages as the site is expanded and developed.

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