Baha’i Shrines Named as World Heritage Sites

A United Nations committee meeting has determined that two Bahá’í shrines in Israel possess “outstanding universal value” and should be considered as part of the cultural heritage of humanity.

The decision by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee means that the two most sacred sites for Bahá’ís – the resting places of the founders of their religion – join a list of internationally recognized sites like the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and Stonehenge.

Like Baha’is around the world, members of the Arlington Baha’i community are celebrating the news. Baha’is visit the shrines as part of pilgrimage to Haifa and Acre.

The World Heritage List also includes places of global religious significance like the Vatican, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the remains of the recently destroyed Bamiyan Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

The Bahá’í shrines are the first sites connected with a religious tradition born in modern times to be added to the list, which is maintained by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization