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Baha’i

Baha’i

Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) is acknowledged by the Baha’i to be the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that stretches back beyond recorded time and includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. While reaffirming the core ethical principles common to all religions, Bahá’u’lláh also revealed new laws and teachings to lay the foundations of a global civilization.

Celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Abdu’l-Baha, the founder of the Baha’i faith, in eThekwini, 2017. © Bahai.org.za

The interconnectedness of all things

Sadly material progress has disrupted the evolution of a Civilization that can advance to occupy an Earthly Paradise as envisioned by ‘Abdu’l-Baha the founder and spiritual leader of the Baha’i Faith. The Baha’i believe in the interconnectedness of all things and that our physical environment is a reflection of our spiritual environment.

Baha’u’llah outlined the Baha’i approach to the environment almost 150 years ago:

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens. The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” (Gleanings, pp. 249, 286.)

The responsibility for the preservation of nature and the sustainable use of our natural resources rests with us collectively. Only a global society, supported by universal values and principles, can inspire all individuals to take responsibility for the long-term care and protection of the natural environment.

Key principles

Guiding the Baha’i approach to conservation and sustainable development

Nature reflects the qualities and attributes of God and should, therefore, be greatly respected and cherished. “Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator.”

All things are interconnected and flourish according to the law of reciprocity.

The oneness of humanity is the fundamental spiritual and social truth shaping our age. Spiritual embrace of this oneness opens the doors a new world order of co-operation, justice and fair and sustainable use of the Earth’s resources for all.

Understanding nature as a reflection of the majesty and an expression of the purpose of God inspires a deep respect for the natural world. However, while the Baha’i value and respect Nature, they understand that Nature’s role is to serve the purpose given by God to the human race. This is to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. In this regard, the Baha’i faith promotes a worldview that is neither biocentric nor, strictly speaking, anthropocentric, but rather theocentric, with the Revelations of God at its center.

The Baha’i Faith promotes a unified global society committed to a sustainable future for all.