Baha’i shrines chosen as World Heritage site

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

The decision today by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee means that the two most sacred sites for Baha’is - the resting places of the founders of their religion - join a list of internationally recognised sites like the Great Wall of China, the Pyaramids, the Taj Mahal, and Stonehenge.

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 Baha’i 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 Organisation.

The two shrines, one near the recognised heritage site of Old Acre on Israel’s northern coast and the other on Mount Carmel in Haifa, are the resting places of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, the founders of the Baha’i Faith.

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