The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity.
The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers. – Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 19.
Baha’is believe that with the coming of Baha’u’llah, a new cycle of revelation began. In this new cycle humankind has inherited the capacity to perceive and achieve the fundamental oneness of humanity. This new capacity expands our ability to comprehend the diversity of life and value the divine right of every soul to live in peace and relative prosperity.
Humanity has begun to understand that the truths revealed to us through all of the divine messengers, including Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Christ and Baha’u’llah, come from a single, omniscient source. Though still gripped by war and myriad forms of strife and struggle, humanity is slowly awakening to a grand vision of a unified world free of the conflict and encumbrances of racial and religious barriers. The idea that we are one, once an expression of idealistic fantasy, is now finding its way into mainstream perspectives. Political and religious leaders across the globe now affirm the need for cooperation, genuine trust and unified action to confront the most pressing challenges facing humanity. Baha’is believe this new consciousness of world unity means we now live in a new world, vastly different from the world of Christ’s day:
…in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new. How then could such a vital power as religion — the guarantor of mankind’s great advances, the very means of attaining everlasting life, the fosterer of infinite excellence, the light of both worlds — not be made new? This would be incompatible with the grace and loving-kindness of the Lord.
Religion, moreover, is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings which constitute the very life of humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and lay the groundwork for man’s everlasting honour.
Note thou: could these fevers in the world of the mind, these fires of war and hate, of resentment and malice among the nations, this aggression of peoples against peoples, which have destroyed the tranquillity of the whole world ever be made to abate, except through the living waters of the teachings of God? No, never!
And this is clear: a power above and beyond the powers of nature must needs be brought to bear, to change this black darkness into light, and these hatreds and resentments, grudges and spites, these endless wrangles and wars, into fellowship and love amongst all the peoples of the earth. This power is none other than the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the mighty inflow of the Word of God. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 52.
This perspective views the end that Christ prophesied as one that has already occurred, complete with all the signs and symbols he envisioned. That end did not exterminate humanity from the map, as some feared. Instead, the Baha’i teachings say, a new divine messenger—Baha’u’llah–has emerged from the kingdom of heaven, with God’s message for our collective advancement in this new stage of our development:
The holy Manifestations of God were sent down to make visible the oneness of humanity. For this did They endure unnumbered ills and tribulations, that a community from amongst mankind’s divergent peoples could gather within the shadow of the Word of God and live as one, and could, with delight and grace, demonstrate on earth the unity of mankind. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha p. 291.