All of this had more than a little significance for the then embryonic international Baha’i community which in 1893 was planning to send its first pioneers to the USA from the Middle East. In 1893, too, the name of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith Who had died the previous year in Palestine, was first mentioned in Chicago on the American continent by Dr. Henry H. Jessup at the Parliament of Religions held in conjunction with that Columbian Exposition. Chicago became, for the Baha’is, that ‘White City’ in a way quite unpredictable in 1893. When the Mother temple of the West was completed in 1953 in Chicago it signalled the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth for a world religion which by that year had some 200,000 adherents, ninety per-cent of whom lived in Iran.-Ron Price with thanks to (1) Catherine Gouge, “The American Frontier: History, Rhetoric, Concept,” Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Spring 2007, Volume 6, Issue 1.
Of pomp and circumstance, of any
manifestations of public rejoicing
or of popular applause, there were
none to greet this first intimation of
the existence and purpose of the new
Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.
Announced through the mouth of an
avowed supporter of ecclesiasticism,(1)
of the narrow variety which this Faith
itself had challenged & sought in time
to extirpate; characterized at its birth as
a heterodox and obscure offshoot of a
contemptible creed, the Message of the
Most Great Name is now fed by streams
of unceasing trial and warmed by bright
sunshine from more than a century of a
tender and loving care. It is now driving
its roots deep into America’s genial soil
with a wonderful and thrilling motion all
over the world of existence as a Kingdom
of God enters the end of its sixth decade!!
(1) Dr. H.H. Jessup, a Presbyterian missionary in the Middle East for 54 years; he died in 1910.
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