Middle East Crisis: a Baha'i Perspective
April 27, 2002
By VICTOR WOODS for the Missoulian
April 29th marks the holiest day of the Baha'i Year, the proclamation of Baha'u'llah. This year's celebration is contrasted by the escalating violence in the Middle East, as this region is also the birthplace for the Baha'i Revelation. This current crisis has ensnared the Christian world with the military standoff in Bethlehem and our world is realizing that this violence is being committed in the name of "religion." One voice that has not been heard in this crisis is the Baha'i Faith.
The Baha'i Faith has been a presence in Israel since 1879, with the properties of its world headquarters in Haifa, Israel, on Mount Carmel. This, the Baha'is say, is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that says: "Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the Glory of the Lord," as "Baha'u'llah" is the Aramaic/Arabic for "Glory of the Lord" (Isaiah 35).
People ask, "Why would God allow religions to become the cause of such disunity and violence?" The current conflict is based in the prejudices that are associated with religion. But to use the word "religion" in this particular situation is an oxymoron. "Religion" means, "to bind together" and comes from the same Latin word used for the English "ligament," the material in our bodies that binds our bones together. This is not religion, this is "irreligion" because it divides the people into separate and warring sects.
In the Bible there is a "Tree of Life" that is spoken of. The Tree of Life is in the first book of the Old Testament and the last book of the New Testament. It is one of the first things you read about and one of the last things. This Tree is a genealogical tree. It is the genealogy of the founders of the nine world religions: Adam, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah - all of whose lineages have been recorded in ancient, historic genealogical records as they are all physically descended from one family. (You can view the Tree at the Baha'i Web address listed below.)
The Tree of Life shows how all the religions of the world have come from the same source and each are specifically designated for a particular mission. They are like teachers in the grades of school educating the students progressively in their knowledge. These educators or "Manifestations" of God all spoke of one another; both acknowledging the authority of the Ones who have come before them and foretelling of the Ones who will come after them.
The graduate level of education from God comes through the latest of these world teachers who is Baha'u'llah, who Baha'is believe, fulfills the prophecies for the Second Coming of Christ.
As the year 2001 marked the end of the 6,000-year cycle of the biblical time scale, the earth is now entering into the thousand years of peace. At this same time, a great victory is unfolding. The banner of the most ancient, biblical genealogy for the promise of the coming Kingdom is being unfurled worldwide. This millennium of peace can be compared to a child that is born into the world. And as with any child, there is a period of extreme pain and difficulty giving birth. These labor pains are the world discarding its old religious doctrines, theologies and prejudices, and giving birth to the Kingdom of God on Earth.
The supreme institution of the Kingdom of God is a Universal House of Justice that all the nations of the world belong to, with the living, functioning, descendant of King David through Baha'u'llah at its head. The third and present guardian of the Baha'i Faith is Neal Chase Ben Joseph Aghsan. The descendant of David distinguishes the true House of the Lord from all other fakes, frauds and imitations.
Through the education of the people of the world and the dissolution of long-held doctrines and dogma, the world is freed from religious prejudice and fanaticism, which is the root of these disastrous world crises such as is being witnessed today in the Middle East.
"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:2-4).
Read it online at the Missoulian:
Middle East Crisis: a Baha'i Perspective