Became a Baha’i in Germany, 1989
Growing up in Germany, I first heard about the Baha’i Faith from my mother, who had a Baha’i colleague. My mother began to read several books describing the Baha’i Faith, including Thief In the Night, and she shared her readings with me and my brothers.
Although I thought this was a great new “thing” for my mother, I, at that time, was not too interested in religion or reading. But I noticed her face would glow whenever she described these readings and she was having so many of her questions answered and finding clarity. By watching her transform, it was influencing me very positively and directing me on a different path.
My mother was doing everything she could to get me and my brothers to learn about religion. We attended a Catholic School where all of our teachers were Nuns with a very strict and narrow view on religion. In school, we did not learn about other religions even though the neighborhood where we resided was so ethnically and religiously diverse. There were certain things I was questioning. I kept telling myself that something is not right if only Catholics and Christians go to heaven and everyone else goes to hell.
My brother and I discussed religion in depth and studied more literature. One of the reservations I had was thinking the Baha’i Faith would tie me down and I was doubtful if I could even live as a Baha’i. But I did want to meet other Baha’is and my mother introduced me to some Baha’i youth. As I started attending Baha’i gatherings I noticed everyone was smiling, friendly and just very open. But more importantly, it was amazing to see a mesh of different cultures all worshiping together.
I studied prayers from the central figures [of the Baha’i Faith] and as I read the original words, I knew this was it. After about a year of attending Baha’i events and reading the writings, I attended a Baha’i school and asked, “What do I have to do if I wish to become a Baha’i?” and they said you just sign a [registration] card. After I signed my card, I took it to [the Nineteen Day] Feast and openly declared that night. What an amazing night that was, especially for my mother.
I have never looked back just striving to become better and making the Baha’i Faith a guide in my life.