What is a world citizen?

Baha’is believe that through high standards of decency, acceptance, and justice; the Baha’i Faith is building a new consciousness amongst its followers, one that transcends the traditional mindset of the community; and one that acknowledges that all peoples (from every village, city, nation, race, and continent) are members of one family. Baha’u’llah wrote that the people of the world are exhorted to “Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you.” (GWB, p. 217) Baha’u’llah desired us to acknowledge that “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.” (TB, p. 167).

Baha’is believe that this concept of ‘world citizenship’ is one of the most powerful unifying forces bringing mankind together. Therefore, Baha’is believe the time has come for mankind to adopt a higher sense of allegiance, one that supersedes our nationalistic impulses with a truly global identity where all humanity is considered our countrymen. As our Writings state, “Baha’u’llah teaches that the world of humanity is in need of the breath of the Holy Spirit, for in spiritual quickening and enlightenment true oneness is attained with God and man. The Most Great Peace cannot be assured through racial force and effort; it cannot be established by patriotic devotion and sacrifice; for nations differ widely and local patriotism has limitations. Furthermore, it is evident that political power and diplomatic ability are not conducive to universal agreement, for the interests of governments are varied and selfish; nor will international harmony and reconciliation be an outcome of human opinions concentrated upon it, for opinions are faulty and intrinsically diverse. Universal peace is an impossibility through human and material agencies; it must be through spiritual power. There is need of a universal impelling force which will establish the oneness of humanity and destroy the foundations of war and strife. None other than the divine power can do this; therefore, it will be accomplished through the breath of the Holy Spirit.” (Abdu’l-Baha, PUP, p. 108)

Baha’is believe that unity in diversity is possible. As the Baha’i Writings state, “The world of existence is like unto an orchard and humanity is like unto the trees. All these trees are planted in the same orchard, reared through the heat of one sun, watered with one rain. We must be the cause of the adornment of this orchard. The world of humanity is like unto a rose garden and the various races, tongues and people are like unto contrasting flowers. The diversity of colors in a rose-garden adds to the charm and beauty of the scene as variety enhances unity. Why should we not look upon the human world with rose-colored vision?” (Abdu’l-Baha, DP, p. 183).

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