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Episcopalian Ban on Persian Speaker

Episcopalian Ban on Persian Speaker
Baltimore MD News
April 27, 1912
New York

Abdu’l-Bahá Will Not Occupy Pulpit Of That Denomination In Baltimore.

Abdu’l-Bahá who preached in an Episcopal church in New York the Sunday after Easter, will not occupy an Episcopalian pulpit when he comes to Baltimore. ‘Abdul is a Persian philosopher and a storm has been stirred by his sermon in an Episcopalian pulpit. The Churchman, the national organ of the church, without mentioning the name of the rector of the church, says, after pointing out the canon which restricts permission to occupy the pulpit to Christian men:

When tested by this canon the action of the rector of the Church of the Ascension has the appearance of the fragrant breach of the law of the church. Tested by the epistle for the day, it has the appearance of an affront to the inspired record.”

The article also condemns Bahá’ísm thus:

Bahá’ísm is a reforming Mohammedan sect. It seeks to infuse into the religion of Islam, or perhaps more accurately to develop in Islam a higher morality and more mystic theology that the current beliefs and teachings of that religion now encourage. Its purpose is, no doubt, laudable; and it excites the sympathy of those who see in all the great ethnic religions glimpses of that Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

But Bahá’ísm is not Christianity; and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá does not profess to be a Christian. What right, then, has he to preach in a Christian church? Still further, what right has the rector of one of our parishes to commit his people to the religious instruction of a teacher who does not believe in the Christian religion?”

Bishop Muray said today that Bahá will not preach in any church in the Maryland Diocese. The committee which has invited Mr. Bahá here has not completed arrangements for his visit. ‘Abdul is in Chicago, and is probable that he will be asked to stop here before returning to Persia.