The Baha’i Faith offers humanity a plan to bring about not only an end to war, but a lasting global peace.
Isn’t that, after all, what a religion is supposed to do?
The central purpose of the divine religions is the establishment of peace and unity among mankind. Their reality is one; therefore, their accomplishment is one and universal—whether it be through the essential or material ordinances of God. There is but one light of the material sun, one ocean, one rain, one atmosphere. Similarly, in the spiritual world there is one divine reality forming the center and altruistic basis for peace and reconciliation among various and conflicting nations and peoples. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98.
The Baha’i teachings say that strife, dissension and war destroy the foundations of nations and of humanity. Baha’is stand for peace, but not just in a general sense–the Baha’i teachings contain a specific, detailed peace plan that recommends we take very concrete, achievable actions on both an individual and a societal level. For each person, Baha’u’llah taught that some of the necessary elements of a peaceful and harmonious life are:
- Non-violence and love
- The independent investigation of reality – each person must set aside superstitious beliefs, traditions and blind imitation of ancestral forms of religion
- The personal courage to speak out against war and injustice
- Elimination of prejudices of all kinds
- An individual commitment to the fundamental unity of all the peoples on the Earth
- The recognition that belief must be in conformity with science and reason
- Daily prayer and meditation
- Commitment to a spiritual path and participation in a spiritual community
- A consciousness of world citizenship
- The acceptance of individual responsibility to be a productive member of society, with a useful trade, craft or profession
- Charitable service to others
- And kindness and concern for all human beings.
The Baha’i teachings also spell out the responsibilities of governments and nations:
Universal peace is assured by Baha’u’llah as a fundamental accomplishment of the religion of God—that peace shall prevail among nations, governments and peoples, among religions, races and all conditions of mankind. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455.
In order for peace to prevail, Baha’u’llah ordained new spiritual principles and laws for humanity’s benefit:
- The equality of men and women
- Elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty
- The choice of one universal secondary language, to be adopted and spoken by all
- The establishment of a world governmental body empowered to prevent and stop conflict and tyranny
- The establishment of a world tribunal
- Universal compulsory education
- And the universal disarmament of the world’s nations.
The Baha’i peace plan also asks us each to engage with a worldwide group of like-minded people, whether they are Baha’is or not, who endeavor their utmost to bring about a new, unified world where the horrors of war will become a memory:
God wishes man to establish just equality, not to transgress laws, to help one another and live together in love. Do what God asks, be the cause of unity and peace—wipe out the horrors of war and hatred!
Be ye capable of all good, eager to work for the cause of unity and peace, sacrificing all for this. Be eager to suffer for such an end. Forget yourself, forget personal danger, personal evil and inconvenience. Have no fear of evil to yourself in the great cause of unity and peace. Be dissolved in love, so that you may lose consciousness of everything except the good of all. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 2, p. 5.