Escaped from Iran and Germany for religious freedom

The first story is about Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith. The Bahá’í World Centre is the name given to the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá’í Faith. The World Centre consists of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh near Akko, Israel, the Shrine of the Báb and its gardens on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and various other buildings in the area including the Arc buildings. The Bahá’í World Centre has its historical origins in the area that was once Ottoman Syria. This dates back to the 1850s and 1860s when the Shah of Iran and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, ‘Abdu’l-‘Aziz, successively exiled Bahá’u’lláh from Iran to the fortress of Akko, Israel for lifetime incarceration.

The Temple Society (German: Tempelgesellschaft) is a German Protestant sect with roots in the Pietist movement of the Lutheran Church. Members refer to themselves as Templers. The Templers were expelled from the Lutheran Church in 1858 because of their millennial beliefs. Their aim was to realize the apocalyptic visions of the prophets of Israel in the Holy Land. Christoph Hoffmann and Georg David Hardegg (1812–1879) founded the Temple Society at Kirschenhardthof near Ludwigsburg in 1861. Hoffmann and Hardegg purchased land at the foot of Mount Carmel, Israel and established a colony there in 1868. At the time, Haifa, Israel had a population of 4,000. The Templers are credited today with promoting the development of the city. The colonists built an attractive main street that was much admired by the locals. In the same year, Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, arrived in the Haifa-Akka region as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. Years later, after his release from strict confinement, he visited the Templer Colony on Mount Carmel several times and wrote a letter to Hardegg. The conjunction of the Templer buildings and the Shrine have become the most significant landmark in the modern city of Haifa.

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