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Bahá’ís Honor Leader

Bahaists Honor Leader
The Hutchinson News
April 27, 1912


Abdu’l-Bahá, Leader of Sect, Is Here from Persia.

Chicago, April 27 — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, head of the Bahá’í sect, which, although originating in Persia, now has over 14,000,000 adherents in all parts of the world, has come all the way from Persia to address the faithful at the American Congress of Bahá’ís, opened here today for a session of a week. The aged Persian spent half a century of his life in prison, on account of his religious views and his attempts to convert the Mohammedans to the new faith, which, it is declared, embraces all that is best in all religions. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, whose father was the prophet and principal founder of the cult, says his purpose is to unite all religions into one. Before returning to Persia he will address the Lake Mohonk, N. Y., Peace Conference the middle of next month. He is an advocate of universal peace, believes in woman’s rights, and is otherwise socially and politically progressive.

While in Chicago ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will dedicate the new Mashrak-El-Azkar, the first “temple of unity” to be built by the Bahá’ís in America. In addition to the nine-sided structure for religious worship, there will be four other buildings on the grounds, one a hospice for entertaining traveling Bahá’ís, another a hospital, a third a school for orphans, and the fourth Bahá’í home for the caretakers. In the Bahá’í movement there are no paid preachers, as all teach and all work. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá advocates that all Bahá’ís, whether Catholic, Protestant or of whatever sect, retain their membership in their own churches, “living the life” there rather than forming a new congregation or sect. People of all denominations and of none are among those in attendance at today’s convention, and numbers of the delegates are wealthy and prominent in their own communities.