Re: Chicago Tribune Article

This story appeals to the all-too-human attraction to stories of division and disunity that compete in the world with our deeply spiritual desire for unity — the unity of God, religion, and mankind. The movement towards unity and peace is irrepressible and inevitable, but not automatic. Each person is tested along the way. We do have free will, and can make the right choice or the wrong.

The fact that a number for Baha’is is given, but a current figure for so-called “Orthodox Baha’is” is not seems like a gross oversight.

If something is of God, it lasts. If it isn’t of God, it doesn’t. What is remarkable about the Baha’i Faith is that it has grown exponentially and remained unified.

I grew up in Downers Grove and graduated from the U of I in Champaign, which is where I became a Baha’i in the 1960s. When I was a Baha’i there were about 14,000 Baha’is in the U.S. There were 164,765 Baha’is in the U.S. as of a few weeks ago, the time of the annual National Baha’i Convention.

It’s easy to play with numbers and come up with different interpretations. To me these numbers define growth and confirmation. A mere handful of people holed up in New Mexico does not a world religion make.

Go online and Google “Baha’i.” What percentage of stories are by or about the group in New Mexico? One percent,a half of a percent, a tenth of a percent?

Those people who want to investigate further the issue of the unique and precious Covenant of Baha’u’llah may visit the following blogs, which by the way, are put out by individual Baha’is, and are not institutional. Of course, the official sites, and are pretty impressive in their own right and are relevant for further investigation,too.

Recently Baha’is held 41 conferences all over the world in places like S├╝khbaatar, Mongolia, and Battanbang, Cambodia. Almost 80,000 attended them. A rather impressive display of unity in the world, if you ask me. George W.D.

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