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The Baha’i teachings ask humanity to unify—in fact, they call for a peaceful, hate-free, federated world.
This unique vision, which no religion has ever tried to accomplish before now, aims to bring humanity together as one single race—the human race:
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, pp. 19-20.
That core Baha’i teaching is no mere hope. The Baha’i teachings and their emphasis on world peace and unity aren’t just an idealistic dream. Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, actually revealed a fully-detailed global plan for achieving world peace, modeled and exemplified in the Baha’i teachings and the Baha’i administrative order.
If you long for unity and peace on our planet, you will want to take a serious look at the unique elements of the Baha’i peace plan, explore how each of those elements can become a reality, and see how each element relates to the grand vision of lasting human oneness Baha’u’llah brought to the world. If you want world unity, consider the Baha’i teachings, because they offer humanity an actual path to peace, integration and wholeness.
Baha’u’llah founded the Baha’i Faith in the middle of the 19th Century in Persia and the Middle East. Because of his progressive teachings—world unity, an end to racial and religious prejudice, the equality of men and women, the agreement of science and religion and the essential oneness of all the great Faiths–Baha’u’llah suffered forty years of torture, exile and imprisonment. During that period the conflict-ridden, warring governments of the Middle East, and for that matter the entire globe, conducted ceaseless military hostilities.
Baha’u’llah wrote directly to the world’s leaders, warning them that their jingoism, their arms races, and their wars must cease:
We see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that which would conduce to the happiness of mankind …. These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family …. Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind …. Baha’u’llah, The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, pp. viii-ix.
Baha’u’llah made it clear, throughout the Baha’i writings, that the Baha’i call for peace was no hollow wish; no simple fond hope; no mere idealistic desire on the part of God’s latest messenger. Instead, after thousands upon thousands of years of war and destruction and death, Baha’u’llah announced his call to humanity as a clear, precise and forthright command:
Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight! …
Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. …
This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests …
Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. – The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 119-122.
Baha’u’llah brought a new law to humanity–the law of peace. In order to achieve it, he called upon us to unify. Those two principles define the core of the Baha’i teachings, and they foresee a world without war. In the next installments in this series of essays, we’ll look at his clear instructions about how to accomplish that seemingly distant goal.