An ideal introductory guide for anyone who wishes to acquaint themselves with the basic tenets and principles of the Bahá'í Faith and the contribution that the Bahá'ís are making to building of a more just, peaceful and sustainable way of life on our planetary home.
Author: Mary Perkins and Phillip Hainsworth.
Format: Softcover book, 148 pages, 11 x 18 cm.
Publisher: Bahá'í Publications Australia, 3rd edition, 2008.
This introductory book was written at the request of the Universal House of Justice who, in 1977, gave to the British Bahá'í community the goal of developing an introductory book on the Faith published by a non-Bahá'í publisher. The National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom asked Philip Hainsworth, who was at that time serving as the National Secretary, to be in charge of this project. Mary Perkins offered to help.
Publisher Ward Lock had published a series of titles for secondary schools called Living Religions. A proposal to Ward Lock for a Bahá'í volume for their series was sent and accepted. Phillip and Mary collaborated on the various section of How the Bahá'í Faith Began, What Bahá'ís Believe, and How Baháís Live.
The title was published in 1980, and Ward Lock informed that the title was their best seller, with six reprints between 1981 and 1986, purchased by Bahá'ís in Britain and beyond. Sales of the Living Religions series eventually slowed, especially due to the arising of conservative governments emphasising the teaching of Christianity and not the world's faiths.
The British Bahá'í Publishing Trust published a second edition in 1989. A translation into Russian was published, the first Bahá'í book to be available after the razing of the Berlin Wall, followed by translations into German, Danish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, and a Braille edition.
In 2008, Bahá'í Publications Australia published a compact third edition, including new illustrations and new material on the core activities, agriculture, the role of women, and recent developments at the Bahá'í World Centre.
A translated edition in Cantonese is due in 2019.