Frequently Asked Questions

Ba'ath Party in Syria, The

The al-Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party is a political party founded upon the Arab political philosophy known as Ba’athism, which promotes secular Arab nationalism, Arab socialism, pan-Arabism, and militarism. Ba’athism developed in resistance to European colonialism in the Arab world, and understood colonialism as the root cause of problems in the Arab world. The Ba’athist movement gained prominence in Syria in the 1940s, championed by Michel Aflaq and...

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Baha'i Faith in Egypt, The

A Baha’i Faith community has been present in Egypt since the early foundations of the religion. As of 2012, they numbered roughly 2,000.[1] The Baha’i Faith was founded in 19th century Iran by Mirza Hosayn-Ali Nuri Baha’ullah (d. 1892) and developed from Babism, an Iranian messianic movement, and Shi’a Shaikhism. Baha’is acknowledge numerous prophets, including Muhammad, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and Baha’ullah. The Baha’i Faith is monotheistic and universalist, recognizing the truth claims of other religious traditions. Followers believe in...

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Baha'i Faith in Nigeria, The

The Baha’i faith was founded in 19th century Iran by Mirza Hosayn-Ali Nuri Baha’ullah (d. 1892) and developed from Babism, an Iranian messianic movement, and Ithna’ashari Shi’i Shaikhism. Baha’is acknowledge numerous prophets, including Muhammad, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and most recently Baha’ullah. The Baha’i Faith is monotheistic and universalist, recognizing the truth claims of other religious traditions. Followers believe in progressive revelation, such that each age has its prophet and revelations specific to that time. Both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims consider Baha’is to be heretical,...

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Baha'i Faith in Syria, The

The Baha’i Faith was founded in 19th century Iran by Mirza Hosayn-Ali Nuri Baha’ullah (d. 1892) and developed from Babism, an Iranian messianic movement, and Shi’a Shaikhism. Baha’is acknowledge numerous prophets, including Muhammad, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and most recently Baha’ullah. The Baha’i Faith is monotheistic and universalist, recognizing the truth claims of other religious traditions. Followers believe in progressive revelation, such that each age has its prophet and revelations specific to that time. Both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims consider Baha’is to be heretical, and in Iran...

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Baha'i Faith in Turkey, The

Turkey has a longstanding Baha’i Faith community which today numbers roughly 10,000. The Baha’i Faith was founded in 19th century Iran by Mirza Hosayn-Ali Nuri Baha’ullah (d. 1892) and developed from Babism, an Iranian messianic movement, and Shi’a Shaikhism. Baha’is acknowledge numerous prophets, including Muhammad, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and Baha’ullah. The Baha’i Faith is monotheistic and universalist, recognizing the truth claims of other religious traditions. Followers believe in progressive revelation, such that each age has its prophet and revelations specific to that...

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Banlieue

A banlieue is the term given for suburban areas surrounding French cities. While these suburbs represent populations of various socioeconomic strata, the term banlieue is often used to refer specifically to low income neighborhoods of immigrants and their descendants, which differs from an American conception of a suburb as a space of upward mobility. These low-income neighborhoods are subject to high levels of unemployment, high crime, poor educational completion rates, high drug use, and reports of heightened security surveillance and control, where tensions have...

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Bantu, The

The Bantu are a non-Somali ethnic minority that has historically been marginalized within Somalia. Some trace their lineage to pre-Somali local tribes, while others are the descendants of slaves brought to Somalia by Arab slave traders to work in Somali homes. As ethnic outsiders, only some Bantu are affiliated with Somali clan lineages, typically as clan clients. While most Bantu are Muslim, a small percentage follow traditional African religion or...

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Baptism

A ritual practice of cleansing and spiritual renewal. For Jews in Jesus’ time, the ritual of tvila was practiced by converts to Judaism and used for other forms of ritual cleansing. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist, an itinerant preacher and one foretelling of the coming of the “Messiah” or anointed one. Many Christians interpret the baptism of Jesus by John as told in the Gospels as the time when Jesus...

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Baptist Christianity in Nigeria

There are roughly 14 million Baptists in Nigeria, most of whom are affiliated with churches under the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), an umbrella organization that grew out of missionary work begun in the 1850s by the American Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

American Baptist missionaries began arriving in what would come to be Nigeria in 1850, and included both white and black missionaries. White missionaries were initially deterred by work in Africa and instead focused on Asia, with racism being a considerable factor, followed by fears of malaria. As a result, early...

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