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Bahá’í Head Arrives

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Bahai Head Arrives
No Paper
April 24, 1912
Washington DC, DC

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas Guest in National Capital.

RECEPTION IS TENDERED

To Speak Before Persian-American Educational Society.

OUTLINES HIS AMBITIONS

Object of Life to Promote Oneness of Life and World- Wide Peace.

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, world leader of the Bahá’í movement, who has been in the United States for a fortnight, at the beginning of a tour of the principal cities of the country, readied Washington this afternoon from New York. For at least a part of the afternoon he will be present at Rauscher’s at a reception and I musical to be given in his honor, and in consequence of the general invitation which has been extended to the public to attend this function, it is expected many Bahá’ís and their friends will take advantage of the opportunity to greet the distinguished Persian. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tonight will be one of the speakers at the closing session In the Public Library lecture hall of the second annual conference of the Persian-American Educational Society.

In an interview soon after he reached the city ‘Abdu’l-Bahá declared that his primary objec in coming to America was to see the country.

Discloses Ambitions.

Last year I went to London and Paris and saw those cities, and then returned to Egypt.” he said. “Now I have come to America to see this country, for I have heard many wonderful praises and commendations of America; that it is a country well populated and well civilized. People here enjoy freedom and liberty.

On tile other hand I have heard that in America many great national organizations are being formed for international peace and arbitration. It is my highest desire to see these societies and converse with their founders and members. For the great object of my life is to promote the oneness of the kingdom of humanity and international peace.”

Replying to a question whether a person with a religion — Christian, Mohammedan or Jewish — could follow the Bahá’í teachings without abandoning his religion, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

Yes, for truth is always one. The prophets of God have always spread the one truth and have established the truth. Truth cannot accept plurality. It the followers of all religions will return to the original principles of their religions, they will immediately become united. The foundation of religion is one. We are following the religions of all nationalities, for the basis of these religions is truth.”

Conference Speakers.

At the second session of the conference last night addresses were made by Joseph U. Hannen, secretary of the Persian-American Educational Society; Masujiro Honda, editor of the Oriental Review, New York; Albertus H. Baldwin, Department of Commerce and Labor; Benjamin F. Trueblood, secretary of the American Peace Society, and Arnauld Belmont or Georgetown University.

Direct forecast of the formation of the Orient-Occident Unity, which will take the place of the Persian-American Educational Society and enlarge its work and its scope, was made by Mr. Hannen. “The Past and Future of the Orient-Occident Unity” was his topic.

He reviewed the history of the educational society, speaking particularly of the rapid progress which had been attained from the apparently insignificant beginning two years ago in a non-sectarian free school in Persia. Mr. Hannen declared, that this a particularly appropriate age for the consummation of a definite union between the Orient and the Occident.

Tendency Toward Harmony.

Mr. Trueblood also spoke of the growing tendency toward harmony between the nations, as did Prof. Belmont, when he declared: “The brotherhood of nations is what the Orient-Occident Unity stands for, works for and lives for, by doing all in its power to promote and increase the interchange of material and intellectual products between the two hemispheres; by helping men and nations to realize in a full measure their interdependence; by devoting Its energies to the advancement of Internationalism.