The Bahá’í Faith, which was founded in the 19th century, is today established in virtually every country of the world. The Faith is one of the fastest growing religions and is, after Christendom, the most widespread religion. Bahá’ís live in over 100,000 localities and stem from over 2,100 different ethnic groups thereby representing a cross-section of the human family. Today there are approximately six million Bahá’ís. Bahá’í literature has been translated into 800 languages. In its now over 150 years of existence the Bahá’í world community has maintained its unity and built a functioning administrative model.
The Bahá’í International Community has had consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and UNICEF since 1948. There is also a close working relationship with UNESCO.
As an international NGO, the Office interacts and cooperates with the United Nations, its specialised agencies, with governments, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations. The BIC seeks to promote and apply principles — derived from the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith — which contribute to the resolution of current day challenges facing humanity and the development of a united, peaceful, just, and sustainable civilisation. At this time, the work of the BIC focuses on the promotion of a universal standard for human rights, the advancement of women, and the promotion of just and equitable means of global prosperity.
The Bahá’í International Community has offices at the United Nations in New York, Geneva, and Brussels; representations to the European Union and UN Regional Commissions based in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Rome, Santiago, and Vienna. An Office of Public Information, based at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, disseminates information about the Bahá’í Faith around the world and publishes a quarterly newsletter, ONE COUNTRY.