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Faith of the Bahá’ís is Revealed by Its Chief

Faith of the Bahists is Revealed by Its Chief
No Paper
November 18, 1912

Persian Prophet Declares Tenets of the Coming “Religion of the World.”

By Paul Pierre Rignaux

(Special Correspondent of the San Francisco “Examiner.”)

[Special by cable to New York, and by leased wire, the longest in the world.]

PARIS, November 18. - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, head of the Bahá’ían religion in Paris, is visiting Mr. and Mrs. Hippolyte Dreyfus, formerly Miss Laura Barney, and other co-religionists. He is the son of the martyred Bahia Oula, who propounded the first principles of Bahá’íanism in 1858. The forty years he was locked up in a Persian prison have left him old and feeble.

Thanks to the generosity of an American woman, Mrs. James Jackson, this white-bearded prophet has now a suitable home in which to spend his declining years. Speaking to the Examiner correspondent ‘Abdu’l-Bahá revealed for the first time the tenets of his faith:

Our goal is a universal religion, which means first of all a union of the Orient and Occident - between Islamism and Christianity. Universal religion means universal peace. All faiths and people must be made one; rumors of war and fruitless strifes must cease; then man will glory not so much that he loves his country as that he loves his kind.

Loves All Mankind.

I am a lover of all mankind, for the Bahá’ían religion is universal. The principal teachers of mankind have been the manifestations of God. They came when most needed. Moses came when Egypt was in darkness and gave the Jews complete civilization. When this began to be replaced by ignorance then came Christ, the light of the world, and the nations were united under his teachings.

Once again men began to forget and divine counsels disappeared. Then came Bahá Allah, my father. He unfurled the flag of the unity of mankind. We need neither temples nor churches. Though we sometimes build houses of praise we have no set forms of worship. We have houses of justices, each composed of nine members, distinguished for learning and probity, to direct our social work. We have no beggars, as the community provides employment for all who are able to work. Everyone must have some art, trade or calling. We insist upon equal rights for men and women and the best education for all.

I prefer to call myself a servant rather than a prophet of God. I ask men to make good their faith, not to give it up.”

Abdu’l-Bahá will remain in Paris until the end of November, when he will return to Akka. He has two daughters, but no son to succeed him.