Bahá'í in Haifa!
About a week ago I spent a few days exploring Haifa by myself. Haifa is a coastal city located towards the northern region of Israel. It is probably most known for it's port and for being the world center to the Baha'i faith. Of course I went there to see the beautiful Baha'i Gardens. I honestly had no idea what the Baha'i faith was or why their faith center was in Israel, but I learned all of this on the great tour I took!
The Baha'i faith is a monotheistic religion of Persian origin. In 1844 a man they refer to as The Bab announced that the coming of a new messenger of God was coming. This messenger was Baha'u'llah, who is recognized as the official founder of the Baha'i faith. The Baha'is believe that he is the next prophet in the line of ancient prophets of the people of the book (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad) and they recognize the previous prophets. They have a lot of interesting views on humanity, it's progress in modernity, and global togetherness. Just google it and see for yourself!
The Baha'i Gardens themselves are built around the tomb of The Bab. According to my tour guide, he was executed for heretic activity in Iran and was not permitted any formal burial. His followers kept his remains for many years and he was buried in Haifa because Baha'u'llah was eventually exiled to Acre (עכו) in 1868, thus the amazingly beautiful gardens. The tour I took began at the top, taking us down over 700 steps to just outside the sanctuary of Bab's tomb. You are not allowed to enter the temple unless you are of the Baha'i faith.