(Letters to the Editor) ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
The enthusiastic reception of the representative of the great Bahá’í religious movement which was accorded first in England and recently in this country is a sign of the widening of religious sympathies and tolerance. This notable personage, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, was invited to offer prayers and give an address by the archdeacon of Westminster in St. John’s, was honorably received by parliament, and Rev. Percey Sidney Grant and other of the clergy paid him deference and honor in New York.
He has visited Boston and Chicago and will be on the Pacific coast in a few days. Bahá’ísm has a large following in this country. Even in Boise there are quite a number among the various religious denominations who adhere to that faith. Bahá’ísm is not a sect, it is rather a union of all the religious sects of the world, Catholic and Protestant, Jew, Mohammedan, Christian, Buddhism, Confucianism; the aim is to weld all into a consistent harmony on the essentials of religion. Converts are encouraged to seek out the vital points of any system of religion to which they adhere or in which they are born, and to get all good possible out of it.
The system grew up in Persia. It has had its John the Baptist in a personage known as The Báb, its Messiah in the person of Bahá’u’lláh, and its missionary representative in Abbas Affendi, the distinguished visitor now in this country. The Bahá’ís build no churches, they do not allow their religious teachers to accept any pay for their services, all their adherents are encouraged to learn some useful trade or profession by which they may earn their bread, they declare against war and believe in the solidarity of the human family. Their supreme teaching centers around the necessity of getting the life of God into the soul as a moving and central force. It is an aim at a universal religion and is making some progress not only in Persia, its home, but in other nations.
J. D. FLENNER.