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Bahá’í Leader in Pulpit

Bahai Leader in Pulpit
The Washington Post
April 15, 1912
New York

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas Preaches to Fashionable Congregation.

Message of World Peace Voiced by Persian Philosopher in Fifth Avenue Church.

New York, April 14. — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, the venerable Persian philosopher and religious leader, recently arrived here from Egypt, and head of the Bahá’í movement for the unification of religions and for the establishment of universal peace, made his first public address in America today at the Church of the Ascension on Fifth avenue. He spoke through an interpreter, his nephew, Dr. Ameen Ullah Fareed, taking as his subject “The Bahá’í Revelation”

The Rev. Dr. Percy Stickney Grant, rector of the church, introducing ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who is an exile from his own country, welcomed him as “a messenger from the East, freshly bearing a message of the gospel of peace, good will, and love to all mankind.”

Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, whose long iron gray beard gives him the appearance of a patriarch, was dressed in the costume of the East. He said that he had found here that material civilization had progressed greatly, but the spiritual civilization had been left behind.

It is self-evident,” he continued, “that spiritual civilization cannot be accomplished through material means, for the interests of the various nations differ, it is evident that it cannot be accomplished through patriotism for countries differ in their ideas of patriotism. It is impossible save through spiritual power. Compared with this, all other means are too weak to bring about universal peace.

Bahá’u’lláh, in Persia, founded the spiritual civilization and made a bond among various people of different races that voiced the doctrine of universal peace. Sixty years ago he sent epistles to the kings, the rulers of the world, to join him in peace. Now I find a strong movement for universal peace emanating from America.”

[picture caption: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas.]