The Importance Of Religious Rituals

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Religions express beliefs, values and teachings through specialized rituals. Rituals help religious communities to grow strong bonds with each other and their faith. The bonds formed strengthen religious community allowing the faith to endure and spreading of their religious messages. In the case of Baha'i Faith, a main religious message is unity; unity of humankind including the unity of all religions. They express this message through prayers and hymns. While rituals have been a vessel for other religions to reinforce values to their followers, Baha'i actively steers clear of rituals. Linda Walbridge believes this strict separation is found in American Baha'i verse other Baha'i in other parts of the world. This in part due American Baha'i typically have religious foundation in Protestant and Evangelical churches and suspect of rituals since Americans associated elaborate religious rituals to these churches (Walbridge, 2017). Walbridge comments indicate that Americans who left their Protestant and Evangelical churches left because they were discontented with the churches practices and sought Baha'i because it wasn't associated with the church. Therefore to keep Baha'i pure from church influences, rituals are to be avoided. In the attempt to keep Baha'i from church influences, can the American Baha'i actually thwart survival of the religion and exclude followers by not allowing for cultural inclusion to their religion? According to Chelsea Horton, of University of
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