BANGOR, Maine — In 1912, Abdu’l-Baha, son of the founder of the Baha’i Faith, traveled from coast to coast across America with an inspiring message of America’s spiritual destiny: to lead the way toward world peace, advance women’s rights, abolish racism, and moderate extremes of wealth and poverty. Bangor Baha’is are joining thousands of Americans in celebrating the centennial of this historic journey and its impact on America.
Adorned with flowing robes and a full white beard, this “Prophet of Peace” traveled to some 50 U.S. and Canadian cities, giving more than 140 public talks with a cumulative audience of about 93,000 people—from leaders of government and industry to servants, the poor and the homeless. He was acclaimed in hundreds of newspaper articles that trumpeted the arrival of the new religion’s leader and His uplifting message for mankind. Headlines called Him the Prophet of Peace, the Apostle of Universal Peace and Brotherhood, the Persian Prophet, the Persian Sage and the new St. John the Baptist. He met prominent Americans like Alexander Graham Bell, Admiral Perry, Jane Addams, W.E.B DuBois, Kahlil Gibran and Phoebe Hearst.
In His addresses, Abdu’l-Baha warned of impending war, decried outmoded prejudices and hatreds, and outlined America’s potential to lead the way toward a just and peaceful world. To achieve this destiny, He called for America to advance spiritually as well as materially and to abolish racial prejudices, empower women as equals, recognize the unity of religions and the harmony of science and religion, and limit extremes of poverty and wealth. His Prayer for America expressed a galvanizing vision of our spiritual destiny.
Centenary Resources for Editors and Reporters
Abdu’l Baha Centenary Official Website: centenary.bahai.us:
• Historic newspaper articles and photos by city.
• Full text of Abdu’l-Baha’s public addresses by city and overview of major themes
• Details of commemorative events.
Centenary Spokespersons (contact Shawn Firouzian for interviews):
• Dr. Sandra Hutchinson, Dr. Richard Hollinger
On the web:
• Official website of the Baha’is of the United States, www.bahai.us.
• Religion Newswriters Association’s “Source Guide on the Baha’i Faith” www.religionlink.org/tip_090211.php.