An odd-looking temple outside Chicago houses a high-minded faith

The nine-sided, dome-topped building above, which faces Lake Michigan near Chicago in Wilmette, Ill., is sometimes locally and irreverently referred to as "God's orange squeezer." Though odd looking, the structure houses a high-minded religion called Baha'i, whose purpose is to unite under one God nine of the world's faiths. Founded 87 years ago by a Persian mystic named Baha'u'llah, Baha'i now has members in 78 countries, 6,000 of them live in the U.S.

When the U.S. members met this year for their 42nd annual convention, they were especially happy to pose for the group portrait. Under construction since 1921, their temple is almost completed. Through the years its cost - about $2.5 million - has been met almost entirely by the U.S. membership, contributions from nonmembers being refused. When the Baha'i members meet again next year, the temple will be finished inside as well as out.

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