The following passages, from a letter entitled The Promise of World Peace, narrate the weighty
theme of world peace, following closely the ideas laid out by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá some 70 years
has been divided
"The scientific and technological advances occurring
in this unusually blessed century [the 20th century] portend a great surge forward in the social
evolution of the planet, and indicate the means by which the practical problems of humanity may
be solved. They provide, indeed, the very means for the administration of the complex life of a
united world. Yet barriers persist. Doubts, misconceptions, prejudices, suspicions, and
narrow self-interests beset nations and peoples in their relations one to another."
Divisions of Race
"Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils,
is a major barrier to peace. Its practice perpetrates too outrageous a violation of the
dignity of human beings to be countenanced under any pretext. Racism retards the
unfoldment of the boundless potentialities of its victims, corrupts its perpetrators,
and blights human progress."
Divisions of Class
"The inordinate disparity between rich and poor, a
source of acute suffering, keeps the world in a state of instability, virtually on the
brink of war. Few societies have dealt effectively with this situation."
These divisions are artificial
The end of conflict "can be founded only on an unshakeable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, a
spiritual truth which all the human sciences confirm. Anthropology, physiology, psychology,
recognize only one human species, albeit infinitely varied in the secondary aspects of life.
Recognition of this truth requires abandonment of prejudice--prejudice of every kind--rice, class,
color, creed, nation, sex, degree of material civilization, everything which enables people to
consider themselves superior to others."
Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and
administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this
spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should
therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in schools, and constantly asserted in every nation
as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies.
They have caused strife
"A paralyzing contradiction has developed in human affairs. On the one hand, people of all nations
proclaim not only their readiness but their longing for peace and harmony, for an end to the
harrowing apprehensions tormenting their daily lives. On the other, uncritical assent is given to
the proposition that human beings are incorrigibly selfish and aggressive and thus incapable of
erecting a social system at once progressive and peaceful, dynamic and harmonious, a system giving
free play to individual creativity and initiative but based on cooperation and reciprocity."
A New Message
The Oneness of Humanity is Announced
"A candid acknowledgement that prejudice, war and exploitation
have been the expression of immature stages in a vast historical process and that the human
race is today experiencing the unavoidable tumult which marks its collective coming of age
is not a reason for despair but a prerequisite to undertaking the stupendous enterprise of
building a peaceful world."
"No serious attempt to set human affairs aright, to achieve world peace, can ignore
religion. Man's perception and practice of it are largely the stuff of history. An eminent
historian described religion as 'a faculty of human nature.'" That the perversion of this
faculty has contributed to much of the confusion in society and the conflicts in and between
individuals can hardly be denied. But neither can any fair-minded observer discount the
preponderating influence exerted by religion on the vital expressions of civilization.
Furthermore, its indispensability to social order has repeatedly been demonstrated by its
direct effect on laws and morality.
"Whatever suffering and turmoil the years immediately ahead may hold, however dark the
immediate circumstances, the Baha'i community believes that humanity can confront this
supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome. Far from signalizing the end of
civilization, the convulsive changes towards which humanity is being every more rapidly
impelled will serve to release the 'potentialities inherent in the station of man' and
reveal 'the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality.'"
Equality of men and women
"The emancipation of women, the achievement of full
equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less
acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetuates an
injustice against one-half of the world's population and promotes in men harmful
attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political
life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical
or biological, upon which such denial can be justified."
"The cause of universal education, which has already
enlisted in its service an army of dedicated people from every faith and nation,
deserves the utmost support that the governments of the world can lend it. For
ignorance is indisputably the principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples and
the perpetuation of prejudice. No nation can achieve success unless education is
accorded all its citizens."
"Unbridled nationalism, as distinguished from a sane
and legitimate patriotism, must give way to a wider loyalty, to the love of humanity as
a whole. Baha'u'llah's statement is: 'The earth is but one country, and mankind its
citizens.' The concept of world citizenship is a direct result of the contraction of
the world into a single neighborhood through scientific advances and the indisputable
interdependence of nations."
Building United Communities
Explore the efforts of friends in communities around the world, some afar others close to home,
working to build united communities under the vision brought by Baha'u'llah.
November 22nd, 2021
Come and Join!
We will meet at the UCO Nigh University Center in the third-floor Heritage Room. Join us in examining universal solutions to
age-old problems based on the wisdom of 'Abdu'l-Baha and the tenets of the Baha'i Faith.