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Persian Priest Tells Beliefs

Persian Priest Tells Beliefs
The Philadelphia Press
June 10, 1912


Abdu’l-Bahá, leader of the Bahá’í movement, who spoke in two Philadelphia churches yesterday, is seen in his native costume. On his right is Mirza Ali Akhan, a Persian nobleman and follower of the movement, who arrived here only a few days ago. At his left is Dr. Ameen Farred, the priest’s right hand man, who interprets his addresses a paragraph at a time. On the extreme right is Mirza Amed Sohrab, another nobleman, who is in charge of the tour.]

American Women Superior Mentally to All Others, Says ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas.

Women’s suffrage, universal peace and unity of religion will become general all over the world before the end of the present century, but women must bring this about by rising to equality with men in science, arts, crafts and inventions, according to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, Persian nobleman, head of the Bahá’í movement, which has as its principal objects the spread of religious toleration and universal peace.

The leader made this assertion in an interview yesterday afternoon after his address in the forenoon at the Spring Garden Unitarian Church, Girard Avenue and Fifteenth Street. He talked readily of the meaning of the movements, which his followers declare are fermenting the entire world to-day. Last night he spoke in the Grace Baptist Temple, Broad and Berks Streets, of which Rev. Dr. Russell H. Conwell is pastor. Both of his addresses were delivered through an interpreter.

Women must attain the right to vote through their own efforts,” he asserted in the interview. “They must endeavor to acquire the mental ability of men in science, arts, crafts and inventions, or they can not win the confidence of men in their efforts to gain the ballot. But when they have attained this mental state suffrage will become a natural result and men themselves will become a factor in spreading suffrage.

American Women Far Ahead.

I have watched the rise of women throughout the world with a great amount of interest and I am willing to predict that in nearly every part of the world they will attain equal suffrage during the present century. The women of the United States are far ahead of the women of the rest of the world in their learning, but this is because they have been encouraged and assisted. General suffrage will be granted women in all parts of the United States long before it will be granted in any other country because the American woman is more nearly the equal of men.

In Oriental countries, where woman was formerly little more than a slave, there has been a great change, which substantiates my prediction that this century will see the change. Revolutions in all lines are phenomenal.

No one can deny that this is the century for the solution of mysteries. You only need to make a brief review of the astounding progress of the century. What was mystery a few years ago is perfectly plain to-day.

Religious Unification Coming.

This century will also see the unification of the religious movement under one great plan. The great progress demands it, and all people who think deeply admit that the various forms of religion must be founded on one central idea or about the one fundamental truth of God. It is only a matter of interpretation — of true, accurate and correct interpretation. It is only a question of how many years it will take the great leaders to get together on the situation.

Science will bring about this service to the human world. Through science it will become evident that these prejudices are like clouds which hide the sun. They prevent knowledge, interpretation and belief from being accepted. Science will prove that we are wrong in the imitation of our ancestors, and when these are proved to be imitations the truth will stand out. Science has done enough to show that it will soon offer proof for the central belief.

When this unification comes about there will be no religious rulership as at the present time. He who has the ability and capability will naturally be the herald.”

[picture caption: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas and Entourage