Seat of the Universal House of Justice
Haifa, Israel

        The Great Peace towards which
  people of good will throughout the
  centuries have inclined their hearts, of
  which seers and poets for countless
  generations have expressed their
  vision, and for which from age to age
  the sacred scriptures of mankind have
  constantly held the promise, is now at
  long last within the reach of the
  nations. For the first time in history it
  is possible for everyone to view the
  entire planet, with its myriad
  diversified peoples, in one perspective.
  World peace is not only possible but
  inevitable. It is the next stage in the
  evolution of this planet-- in the words
  of one great thinker, "the planetization
  of mankind."

       Whether peace is to be reached
  only after unimaginable horrors
  precipitated by humanity's stubborn
  clinging to old patterns of behavior, or
  is to be embraced now by an act of
  consultative will, is the choice before
  all who inhabit the earth. At this critical
  juncture when the intractable problems
  confronting nations have been fused
  into one common concern for the whole
  world, failure to stem the tide of
  conflict and disorder would be
  unconscionably irresponsible.

       Among the favorable signs are
  the steadily growing strength of the
  steps towards world order taken
  initially near the beginning of this
  century in the creation of the League
  of Nations, succeeded by the more
  broadly based United Nations
  Organization; the achievement since
  the Second World War of
  independence by the majority of all the
  nations on earth, indicating the
  completion of the process of nation
  building, and the involvement of these
  fledgling nations with the older ones in
  matters of mutual concern; the
  consequent vast increase in the
  co-operation among hitherto isolated
  and antagonistic peoples and groups in
  international undertakings in the
  scientific, educational, legal, economic
  and cultural fields; the rise in recent
  decades of an unprecedented number
  of international humanitarian
  organizations; the spread of women's
  and youth movements calling for an
  end to war; and the spontaneous
  spawning of widening networks of
  ordinary people seeking understanding
  through personal communication.

        The scientific and technological
  advances occurring in this unusually
  blessed century portend a great surge
  forward in the social evolution of the
  planet, and indicate the means by
  which the practical problems of
  humanity may be solved. They provide,
  indeed, the very means for the
  administration of the complex life of a
  united world. Yet barriers persist.
  Doubts, misconceptions, prejudices,
  suspicions and narrow self-interest
  beset nations and peoples in their
  relations one to another.

         It is out of a deep sense of
  spiritual and moral duty that we are
  impelled at this opportune moment to
  invite your attention to the penetrating
  insights first communicated to the
  rulers of mankind more than a century
  ago by Baha'u'llah, Founder of the
  Baha'i Faith, of which we are the

       "The winds of despair,"
  Baha'u'llah wrote, "are, alas, blowing
  from every direction, and the strife that
  divides and afflicts the human race is
  daily increasing. The signs of
  impending convulsions and chaos can
  now be discerned, inasmuch as the
  prevailing order appears to be
  lamentably defective." This prophetic
  judgment has been amply confirmed by
  the common experience of humanity.
  Flaws in the prevailing order are
  conspicuous in the inability of
  sovereign states organized as United
  Nations to exorcize the spectre of war,
  the threatened collapse of the
  international economic order, the
  spread of anarchy and terrorism, and
  the intense suffering which these and
  other afflictions are causing to
  increasing millions. Indeed, so much
  have aggression and conflict come to
  characterize our social, economic and
  religious systems, that many have
  succumbed to the view that such
  behavior is intrinsic to human nature
  and therefore ineradicable.

       With the entrenchment of this
  view, a paralyzing contradiction has
  developed in human affairs. On the one
  hand, people of all nations proclaim not
  only their readiness but their longing
  for peace and harmony, for an end to
  the harrowing apprehensions
  tormenting their daily lives. On the
  other, uncritical assent is given to the
  propostion that human beings are
  incorrigibly selfish and aggressive and
  thus incapable of erecting a social
  system at once progressive and
  peaceful, dynamic and harmonious, a
  system giving free play to individual
  creativity and initiative but based on
  co-operation and reciprocity.

       As the need for peace becomes
  more urgent, this fundamental
  contradiction, which hinders its
  realization, demands a reassessment of
  the assumptions upon which the
  commonly held view of mankind's
  historical predicament is based.
  Dispassionately examined, the
  evidence reveals that such conduct, far
  from expressing man's true self,
  represents a distortion of the human
  spirit. Satisfaction on this point will
  enable all people to set in motion
  constructive social forces which,
  because they are consistent with
  human nature, will encourage harmony
  and co-operation instead of war and

       To choose such a course is not to
  deny humanity's past but to understand
  it. The Baha'i Faith regards the current
  world confusion and calamitous
  condition in human affairs as a natural
  phase in an organic process leading
  ultimately and irresistibly to the
  unification of the human race in a
  single social order whose boundaries
  are those of the planet. The human
  race, as a distinct, organic unit, has
  passed through evolutionary stages
  analogous to the stages of infancy and
  childhood in the lives of its individual
  members, and is now in the culminating
  period of its turbulent adolescence
  approaching its long-awaited coming of

       A candid acknowledgement that
  prejudice, war and exploitation have
  been the expression of immature
  stages in a vast historical process and
  that the human race is today
  experiencing the unavoidable tumult
  which marks its collective coming of
  age is not a reason for despair but a
  prerequisite to undertaking the
  stupendous enterprise of building a
  peaceful world. That such an enterprise
  is possible, that the necessary
  constructive forces do exist, that
  unifying social structures can be
  erected, is the theme we urge you to

       Whatever suffering and turmoil
  the years immediately ahead may hold,
  however dark the immediate
  circumstances, the Baha'i community
  believes that humanity can confront
  this supreme trial with confidence in its
  ultimate outcome. Far from signalizing
  the end of civilization, the convulsive
  changes towards which humanity is
  being ever more rapidly impelled will
  serve to release the "potentialities
  inherent in the station of man" and
  reveal "the full measure of his destiny
  on earth, the innate excellence of his


The Promise of World Peace
To the Peoples of the World 

A Statement by 
The Universal House of Justice 


        The endowments which
  distinguish the human race from all
  other forms of life are summed up in
  what is known as the human spirit; the
  mind is its essential quality. These
  endowments have enabled humanity to
  build civilizations and to prosper
  materially. But such accomplishments
  alone have never satisfied the human
  spirit, whose mysterious nature inclines
  it towards transcendence, a reaching
  towards the ultimate reality, that
  unknowable essences of essences
called God. The religions brought to
  mankind by a succession of spiritual
  luminaries have been the primary link
  between humanity and that ultimate
  reality, and have galvanized and
  refined mankind's capacity to achieve
  spiritual success together with social

  No serious attempt to set human
  affairs aright, to achieve world peace,
  can ignore religion. Man's perception
  and practice of it are largely the stuff
  of history. An eminent historian
  described religion as "a faculty of
  human nature." That the perversion of
  this faculty has contributed to much of
  the confusion in society and the
  conflicts in and between individuals can
  hardly be denied. But neither can any
  fair-minded observer discount the
  preponderating influence exerted by
  religion on the vital expressions of
  civilization. Furthermore, its
  indispensability to social order has
  repeatedly been demonstrated by its
  direct effect on laws and morality.




The Promise of World Peace
To the Peoples of the World 

A Statement by 
The Universal House of Justice 


      The experience of the Bahá'í community may be seen as an example of this enlarging unity. It is a community of some three to four million [now six million] people drawn from many nations, cultures, classes and creeds, engaged in a wide range of activities serving the spiritual, social and economic needs of the peoples of many lands.  It is a single social organism,representative of the diversity of the human family, conducting its affairs through a system of commonly accepted consultative principles, and cherishing equally all the great outpourings of divine guidance in human history. Its existence is yet another convincing proof of the practicality of its Founder's vision of a united world, another evidence that humanity can live as one global society, equal to whatever challenges its coming of age may entail. If the Bahá'í experience can contribute in whatever measure to reinforcing hope in the unity of the human race, we are happy to offer it as a model for study.

  In contemplating the supreme importance of the task now challenging the entire world, we bow our heads in humility before the awesome majesty of the divine Creator, Who out of His infinite love has created all humanity from the same stock; exalted the
gem-like reality of man; honoured it with intellect and wisdom, nobility and immortality; and conferred upon man the "uniquedistinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him", a capacity that "must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and
the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation."

     We hold firmly the conviction that all human beings have been created "to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization"; that "to act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man"; that the virtues that befit human dignity are trustworthiness, forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all peoples. We reaffirm the belief that the "potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of
God." These are the motivations for our unshakeable faith that unity and peace are the attainable goal towards which humanity isstriving.

     At this writing, the expectant voices of Bahá'ís can be heard despite the persecution they still endure in the land in which their Faith was born. By their example of steadfast hope, they bear witness to the belief that the imminent realization of this age-old dream of peace is now, by virtue of the transforming effects of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation, invested with the force of divine authority. Thus we convey to you not only a vision in words: we summon the power of deeds of faith and sacrifice; we convey the anxious plea of our co-religionists everywhere for peace and unity. We join with all who are the victims of aggression, all
who yearn for an end to conflict and contention, all whose devotion to principles of peace and world order promotes theennobling purposes for which humanity was called into being by an all-loving Creator.

     In the earnestness of our desire to impart to you the fervour of our hope and the depth of our confidence, we cite the emphatic promise of Bahá'u'lláh: "These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come."


    It is a single social
    organism, representative 
   of the diversity of the
   human family, conducting
   its affairs through
   a system of commonly
   accepted consultative
   principles. . .


"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in His paths.
" The law will go out from Zion, the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem."
( Isaiah 2:3 )

"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God."
 ( Isaiah 35:2 )

     "Haste thee, O Carmel!"  Baha'u'llah, significantly addressing that holy mountain, has written, "for lo, the light of the Countenance of God ... hath been lifted upon thee...  Rejoice, for God hath, in this Day, established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation.  Well is it with him that circleth around thee, that proclaimeth the revelation of thy glory, and recounteth that which the bounty of the Lord thy God hath showered upon thee."

    "Call out to Zion, O Carmel!"  He, furthermore, has revealed in that same Tablet, "and announce the joyful tidings:  He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come!  His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendor is revealed.  Beware lest thou hesitate or halt.  Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favored of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels."

 (Shoghi Effendi:  God Passes By, Pages: 277-278)

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       Tributes from political leaders and leaders of thought
                (Encouragements to read and study the Bahá'í Peace Statement)
       To obtain other formats of the Peace Statement (for downloading, etc.)  click here (quotes in italics) and here.

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