Bahai News -

Why Are The Prophets Of God Persecuted? (Commentary)

Accra Mail (Accra)
August 10, 2000
By staff writers

Accra - Since the dawn of recorded history, there has emerged, extremely unique individuals believed to be directed by God who have made known and explained in plain and clear terms, God's Will and Wishes, to the rest of humanity. These unique individuals are commonly referred to as Prophets, in some religions they are referred to as Apostles.

The Prophets of God

Baha'is basically recognise two kinds of Prophets. The first kind are universal and independent. They provide the laws of God to man and with their appearance, the world is energised to put on a 'new garment'.

Each of them establishes the foundation of a religion and reveals a book of their divine teachings. During their earthly existence, their lives serve as a mirror, which reflects the attributes of God such as love, compassion, etc.

Through their influence, the world receives spiritual, moral and material development, which enables humanity to carry forward an ever- advancing civilisation. Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammed, The Bab and Baha'u'llah (founder of the Bahai Faith) belongs to this category of Prophets.

The second category of Prophets are followers and promoters and are not regarded as independent. By the bounty of the independent Prophets, they follow the path illuminated by their teachings so that they guide mankind accordingly. Some examples of this second category of Prophets from the Bible are Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Why is their mission necessary?

The history of all the major religions of the world has amply demonstrated that with the passing away of the Independent Prophet, who Baha'is generally refer to as a Manifestation of God, the original principles inherent in their teachings gradually change. Various sects and denominations develop, each claiming to be the only true channel of worship, but none of them poses any written authority from the Prophet. Under these circumstances, the divine qualities taught by the Prophet disappear and only survive in a severely diluted form with little or no effect on the spiritual and moral lives of mankind.

If those changes and alterations do not occur in the evolution of religion, if truth is not compromised for the sustenance of religious institutions and establishments, and when the divine binding spirit of religion declines and in its place, corruption and moral decadence assume absolute control and prominence, then, there is the need for God to renew His Pledge or Covenant of not leaving humanity 'without a Guide' and He sends a New Prophet, to redirect humanity toward the Will of God. Baha'is refer to this concept as the Greater Covenant. It is therefore the duty of the individual to develop the capacity to recognise and accept the continuous and progressive nature of religion, and come to a realisation that each religious epoch is part of the same chain that has a successive link in God's unfolding plan for the education of humanity.

If man was left alone without moral, spiritual and academic education, man could slip lower than the animal.

So why are Prophets persecuted?

Over a hundred years ago, a young Persian known as Baha'u'llah (the Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith), taught His people that the purpose of religion is for the achievement of peace and orderly progress in society and furthermore, acknowledge that the purpose of human life, was for everyone to know and worship God and carry forward an ever advancing civilisation. He further provided an outline of the institutions that will assist in the establishment of World Peace and orderliness. Among these are:

. a world federation of commonwealth with executive, legislative and judiciary arms with powers to enforce decisions,

. an international auxiliary language, which will be spoken alongside one's mother tongue,

. a world economy which eliminates the extremes of wealth and poverty,

. a mechanism for world intercommunication,

. universal system of currency, weights and measures,

. harmony between science and religion,

. the equality of men and women among other teachings.

Why on earth could such noble teachings provoke such hatred that, Baha'u'llah was exiled from His own homeland to several countries now referred to as the Middle East and finally ended up in a jail in Palestine (now Israel)?

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