This letter was addressed to the peoples of the world by the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Bahá’í Faith and its international community. Released in October 1985, on the eve of the United Nations International Year of Peace, The Promise of World Peace was presented to over 160 heads of state and government and to millions of ordinary citizens throughout the world.
Outlining current world conditions, the statement describes the paralyzing contradiction that has developed in human affairs: we yearn for peace, but we believe human beings are incorrigibly selfish and aggressive. However, war and violence are not intrinsic in human nature, but rather distortions of the human spirit. Humanity, like an individual, has passed through the stages of infancy and childhood. We are now in the culminating stage of our turbulent adolescence, approaching our long-awaited coming of age. As we approach maturity, we have a choice before us: continue to cling to old patterns of behavior and prolong our suffering, or embrace peace now through an act of consultative will. “World peace is not only possible, it is inevitable.” The letter also describes the issues that must be addressed to achieve world peace:
- Dogmas of materialism
- Extremes of wealth and poverty
- Unbridled nationalism
- Religious strife
- Emancipation of women
- Universal education
- International auxiliary language
The Universal House of Justice presents the process for establishing world peace. First, there must be an unshakable consciousness of the oneness of humanity. Recognition of this principle brings forth the need for a true Commonwealth of nations. To achieve this requires an all-embracing world assemblage where the kings and rulers deliberate on how to lay the foundations for the world’s Great Peace among men. “This supreme and noble undertaking – the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world – should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth.”
Human beings were created “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.” Far beyond the end of war, the ultimate goal of human society is the unification of the human race into one universal family where diversity is celebrated and dynamic, peaceful cooperation flourishes.
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