“Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.” (Baha’u’llah). With those words, Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, outlines the essential relationship between humanity and the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of the natural world are purposeful reflections of the majesty and bounty of God. For Baha’i, there follows an implicit understanding that nature is to be respected and protected, a divine trust for which we are answerable.
As the most recent of God’s revelations, however, the Baha’i teachings have a special relevance to present-day circumstances when the whole of nature is threatened by man-made perils ranging from the wholesale destruction of the world’s rainforests to the final nightmare of nuclear annihilation.
A century ago, Baha’u'llah proclaimed that humanity has entered a new age. Promised by all the religious Messengers of the past, this new epoch will ultimately bring peace and enlightenment for humanity. To reach that point, however, humankind must first recognize its fundamental unity—as well as the unity of God and religion. Until there is a general recognition of this wholeness and interdependence, humanity’s problems will only worsen.