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World Religion Day is an observance initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, celebrated worldwide on the third Sunday in January each year. Though initiated in the United States, World Religion Day has come to be celebrated internationally.
The observance of World Religion Day is based upon the Bahá’í principles of the oneness of religion and of progressive revelation, which describe religion as evolving continuously throughout the history of humanity. The purpose of World Religion Day is to promote these principles by highlighting the ideas that the spiritual principles underlying the world’s religions are harmonious, and that religions play a role in unifying humanity.
As a means of clarifying the nature and purpose of World Religion Day, the Universal House of Justice, the elected council that serves as the head of the Bahá’í Faith has noted that, rather than providing a “platform for all religions and their emergent ecumenical ideas,” the observance serves as “a celebration of the need for and the coming of a world religion for man.