Religion: In the Hands of the Hands

The problem of succession is a tricky business in the patriarchal Moslem world. The Shiite Moslems broke with the Sunnis .over naming the successor to Mohammed; the Babists broke with the Shiites over the successor to the successor; and, in more recent times (1863), the Bahais splintered from the Babists when Baha'u'llah proclaimed himself the true successor or Bab (literally, "gate" to Paradise). Last week the Bahais, who claim a membership of close to 10,000 in the U.S. (1,500,000 in the world), wrestled with a succession problem of their own.

Founder Baha'u'llah ("the manifestation...

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