The Bahá'í World Centre: Focal Point for a Global Community
The final resting places of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb are in the region. The gold-domed Shrine of the Báb sits on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa while the majestic Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh is located just across the bay at Bahji, outside of Acre. Situated in the heart of magnificent gardens, these two spots are the most holy places in the Bahá'í world.
The Shrine of the Báb, Haifa, Israel; the resting place of the Báb's mortal remains.
The administrative center of the Bahá'í Faith is in Haifa. Located on Mount Carmel, just above the Shrine of the Báb and at the top of an arc-shaped path in a monument garden, is the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Bahá'í Faith. From this building and others nearby, a staff of more than 600 people from 60 countries administers the international affairs of the Bahá'í world community.
From Haifa, information is transmitted back and forth between national Bahá'í communities; international goals and plans are disseminated; social and economic development projects are monitored; statistics are collected and kept; and international funds are managed. There is also an international archives building, within which are housed relics, writings and artifacts associated with the lives of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, and `Abdu'l-Bahá.
In the early 1990s, a new phase of construction was launched, reflecting the rapid expansion of the Faith. Ground was broken for a series of terraces extending above and below the Shrine of the Báb and for several other new institutional buildings in a program expected to be completed by the end of the century.
Each year, thousands of pilgrims come from around the world to pray and meditate in the Shrines, and to visit the other Bahá'í holy places in the Haifa/Acre area. These pilgrimages, which bring together Bahá'ís from all over the world, serve further to give social cohesion and integration to the Faith.