The phrase "New world order" in the Bahá'í Faith refers to the replacement of the collective political norms and values of the 19th century with a new system of worldwide governance that incorporates the Bahá'í ideals of unity and justice for all nations, races, creeds, and classes. The idea of world unification, both politically and spiritually, is at the heart of Bahá'í teachings.
Bahá'u'lláh taught that the future order will be the embodiment God's scheme for mankind. Later on his successors, `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, interpreted "unification of mankind" as the eventual establishment of a world commonwealth, later as a democratic elected world government based on principles of equity and justice.
This vision of a world commonwealth is regarded by Bahá'ís as having no particular partisan political agenda. The members are not supposed to get involved in politics. Shoghi Effendi, great-grandson of Bahá'u'lláh and the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957, has stated that the structure, importance, implications, benefits and possibilities of the New world order cannot be understood at the current time, but that only through time will it become obvious. Instead, he states, only the guiding principles underlying the New world order can be generally outlined.
In World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, first published in 1938, Shoghi Effendi describes the anticipated world government as the "world's future super-state" with the Bahá'í Faith as the "State Religion of an independent and Sovereign Power."
According to Shoghi Effendi, "The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá'u'lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples. A world executive, backed by an international Force, will carry out the decisions arrived at, and apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature, and will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth. A world tribunal will adjudicate and deliver its compulsory and final verdict in all and any disputes that may arise between the various elements constituting this universal system."
Some of the principles outlined in the New world order include:
- universal peace based on global collective security;
- the unity of religion;
- the setting up a world government which could enact laws required to satisfy the needs of all people;
- an elected world parliament;
- a world code of law: based on justice for individuals and justice for nations.
- a binding world tribunal;
- a world police force;
- a universal bill of human rights;
- the universal right to education;
- the setting up of an auxiliary universal language;
- the continued diversity of culture;
- a world currency;
- a system of world commerce through the establishment of an equitable economic system where the economic security of the individual is assured;
- elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty.
The phrase "New world order" was first used in the sacred texts of the Bahá'í Faith by its founder Bahá'u'lláh in the late 19th century. In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, considered the most holy of the Bahá'í Faith's many texts, Bahá'u'lláh states,
|“||The world's equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind's ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System – the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.||”|
In another text, Bahá'u'lláh stated,
|“||Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.||”|
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- Effendi, Shoghi (1938). "The Goal of a New World Order". The World Order of Bahá���u’lláh. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-87743-231-7.
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