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75: It is true that Bahá’ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of force in…
It is true that Bahá’ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of force in the service of justice and upholding law. But we do not believe that war is ever necessary and its abolition is one of the essential purposes and brightest promises of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation. His specific command to the kings of the earth is: “Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice.” (Tablet to Queen Victoria, “The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh”, p. 13) The beloved Guardian has explained that the unity of mankind implies the establishment of a world commonwealth, a world federal system, “…liberated from the curse of war and its miseries in which Force is made the servant of Justice…” whose world executive “backed by an international Force,…will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth.” This is obviously not war but the maintenance of law and order on a world scale. Warfare is the ultimate tragedy of disunity among nations where no international authority exists powerful enough to restrain them from pursuing their own limited interests. Bahá’ís therefore ask to serve their countries in non-combatant ways during such fighting; they will doubtless serve in such an international Force as Bahá’u’lláh envisions, whenever it comes into being.
(11 September 1984 to an individual believer)