Baha'is are among the youngest of the Middle East's many religious minorities. Baha'i religion grew out of the heterodox Shi'ite movements in the 1840s Iran, but was quickly also a link to the Ottoman Empire. Through missionary religion spread gradually to virtually all regions of the world, and today it is only a small portion of something over five million Baha'is who live in the Middle East, including Iran.1 Baha'i has a special historical regional affiliation and their situation as a minority has been characterized by a dynamic that makes them interesting in a minority theoretical discussion. Finally, the only Baha'i example of the formation of a new religion based on a religious schism within Islam (Warburg, 2004).
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