World Congress

From nearly every nation on earth, Baha'is gathered in New York City in 1992.

From nearly every nation on earth, Baha'is gathered in New York City in 1992.

by Sara DeHoff

The huge auditorium was full, 30,000 people buzzing with anticipation. As the lights dimmed, the chatter faded. Flowers of every color decorated the stage. A clear voice filled the hall:

“We are the Australians, the Angolans, the Antiguans. We come from Bolivia, Belgium, Bengal.”

Down every aisle they came. Faces shining with joy. One by one they came. Each in his native costume. Each with her head high, walking tall.

“We are the Guaymi, the Guatemalans, the Greeks. We come from Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras.”

From Papua New Guinea came a man in his skins. From Korea, a woman in her flowing gown. Over there a kimono, over here a Bolivian hat. A Tlingit woman in her red and black cape. A Nigerian in his loose cotton tunic.

“We are the Maori, the Navajo, the Nepalese. We come from Moravia, Macedonia, Niger.”

The Bahá’í World Congress took place in New York City in November 1992 to celebrate the Centenary of the inauguration of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah and to proclaim its aims and unifying power.

A tailor, a lawyer, a mother, a farmer.
An Israeli, an Egyptian.
A Bosnian, a Serb.
A Rwandan.
An Austrian.
An Ethiopian.
A Russian.
A Texan.

“We are the Somalis, the Swiss, the Sioux. We come from Trinidad, Togo, Turkey.”

Each took his place on the stage—the place reserved for him—a place of dignity and honor. No one was left out.

Suddenly the audience fell silent. There, before them stood the entire human race—every nation, every creed, every people, every tribe. Standing in peace. Standing tall. Standing as one—the full splendor and glory of the human family.

Instinctively someone onstage grasped the hand of his neighbor and lifted it high. The entire assembled company clasped hands and raised them in triumph. A cheer erupted from the audience as they thundered to their feet in applause, weeping, cheering, moved beyond words.

Humanity’s long-held dream is finally within grasp.

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