International Peace

The prevailing International Order

The Bahá’í Teachings focus intense importance on the subject of International Peace. Now, as world events move swiftly in the third decade of the 21st century it is becoming more apparent that structural changes will be necessary in the relations between the nations of the world.

The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective.

The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh have always maintained that the primary problem with the prevailing order is the absence of any authority above the level of the nation-state. A world composed of nation-states limiting themselves to their own national interests will never work in the modern age. Modern systems of communication have transported us into a reality where peoples of the world are instantaneously connected and modern means of transportation have created a world where nations have a level of interdependence never before witnessed in the history of mankind. We must acknowledge this new reality before us and accept the structural and legal changes that will be needed to ensure our protection and security.

“Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self.”

The onslaught of tyranny

Under the present international system, mankind is in danger from “the onslaught of tyranny”. The solution is not for individual nations, or even groups of nations, to unilaterally take up arms against another nation or nations – adding to the long list of heartbreaking ruinous wars of recent centuries. Rather, this is the time for all the nations of the world to come together through the instrumentality of permanent international institutions so that if a danger arises from one nation, a system will be in place whereby all the nations of the world will be able respond appropriately to the threat.

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. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny….

There are obstacles to be overcome but the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh show the way forward and the central principle of the Bahá’í Faith, the Oneness of Mankind maintains the focus on this crucial next step that signals Mankind’s coming of age: World Unity.

In Akka (Palestine) Bahá’u’lláh wrote the the Kings and Rulers of the world summoning them to the call of God and stressing the opportunities which it was in the power of these rulers and leaders to sieze. He called on them to bend their energies to the establishment of true religion, just government and international peace. He warned them of the dire consequences which the rejection of God’s message would entail.

Views of the City of Akka and the Prison