Proclamation of Baha'u'llah - Bahá'u'lláh
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One hundred years ago, Baha'u'llah, Founder of the Baha'i Faith, proclaimed in clear and unmistakable language, to the kings and rulers of the world, to its religious leaders, and to mankind in general that the long-promised age of world peace and brotherhood had at last dawned and that He Himself was the Bearer of the new message and power from God which would transform the prevailing system of antagonism and enmity between men and create the spirit and form of the destined world order. (2:1)

We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; yet they deem Us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and banishment... That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled -- what harm is there in this?... Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come... Yet do We see your kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on means for the destruction of the human race than on that which would conduce to the happiness of mankind... These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family... Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind... (2:2)

At that time the splendour and panoply of the monarchs reflected the vast power which they exercised, autocratically for the most part, over the greater portion of the earth. Baha'u'llah, an exile from His native Persia for His religious teaching, was the prisoner of the tyrannical, all-powerful Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. In such circumstances He addressed the rulers of the world. His Tablets to particular kings and to the Pope, although delivered, were either ignored or rejected, their wise counsels and dire warnings went unheeded, and in one instance the bearer was cruelly tortured and killed. (2:3)

Baha'u'llah, viewing that old world and seeing it 'at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage' declared that '...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.' Although painting in sombre tones the 'divine chastisement' which would assail most of those rulers and engulf in ruin the peoples of the world, He nevertheless left no doubt about the outcome. 'Soon', He declared, 'will the present day order be rolled up and a new one spread out in its stead.' Since the ascension of Baha'u'llah in 1892, in the Holy Land, the rolling up of the old order has become the daily experience of mankind and no abatement of this process is discernible. The essence of Baha'u'llah's World Order is the unity of the human race. 'O ye children of men', He writes, 'the fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race...' And He warns, 'The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.' The achievement of this unity is Baha'u'llah's declared mission and the aim of all Baha'i activity. Its outline and structure are indicated in the following passage from the writings of Shoghi Effendi, great-grandson of Baha'u'llah and Guardian of the Baha'i Faith: (2:4)

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