World peace, Baha’is believe, is not a naïve dream, not some vague, pious hope, not even an option—world peace is inevitable:
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 all 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”. – The Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, p. 1.
Can you imagine a loftier, more noble goal?
Try to conceive of a peaceful world, a planet with no more war. Picture it in your mind. The vast military apparatus of every nation’s massive armies and navies and air forces no longer necessary. Disputes between countries settled in a global parliament, rather than through belligerence, armed conflict and the use of force. The inordinate expense of bombs, missiles and weapons systems saved, instead used for education, health care, science and technology, the raising of the standard of living of all people, the elimination of hunger, homelessness and state-sponsored hostility. Prosperity, safety, and security for everyone. An end to death and destruction inflicted by one set of human beings against others – no more bereft, grieving families, no more gigantic cemeteries, no more decimation of entire regions and countries.
The world recognizes that promise of a planetary peace on September 21st every year, when we observe the United Nations International Day of Peace.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Christ said, “for they shall be called the children of God.” – Mathew 5:9.
Today, on the International Day of Peace, we all celebrate those who work for an end to war. Across every village and hamlet, in every town and city, in every region and country people motivated by the ideal of peace work toward its eventual establishment in the world. We all owe those builders of peace a debt of gratitude.
Ever since its beginnings in 1863, the Baha’i Faith has stood firmly for the establishment of a unified global federation of nations to bring about a permanent end to war, hostility and violence:
Of the principles enshrined in [Baha’u’llah’s] Tablets the most vital of them all is the principle of the oneness and wholeness of the human race, which may well be regarded as the hall-mark of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation and the pivot of His teachings. Of such cardinal importance is this principle of unity that it is expressly referred to in the Book of His Covenant, and He unreservedly proclaims it as the central purpose of His Faith. “We, verily,” He declares, “have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth.” “So potent is the light of unity,” He further states, “that it can illuminate the whole earth.” …
The Baha’i teachings abhor violence and war, and say that human beings all have the right and the responsibility to demand that their governments cease waging war on each other and come together to outlaw it:
The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 248.
In light of this early and consistent anti-war emphasis in the Baha’i teachings, the international Baha’i community supported the establishment of the League of Nations in the 1920’s and the United Nations in the 1940’s.
This is A Baha’i Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights, Presented to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 1 February 1947.
World order has become legally possible, socially imperative, and divinely ordained. The principle of federation has already united previously independent communities diverse in race, language, religion and size of population. The nations can find just expression for their legitimate rights and needs through proportionate representation in a supranational body. Until world citizenship is guaranteed as a social status, the human rights and privileges developed in the past are undermined by the disruption of modern society. …
Baha’is believe that a unified world commonwealth will ultimately end war. On the International Day of Peace and beyond, please join us in working toward that glorious goal.
Baha'i Prayer for Peac
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.
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