Friday, April 6, 2012

Dear Dr. Albert Lincoln

Dr. Albert Lincoln, Secretary-General, Bahá’í World Centre. Dr. Lincoln was born in the United States in 1945. He is a direct descendent of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, and a more distant relative of the sixteenth, Abraham Lincoln.

In 1994 he was appointed Secretary-General of the Haifa-based Bahá’í International Community. In this role, which is a form of volunteer service to the community, offered without remuneration, Dr. Lincoln has been responsible for the relations between the Bahá’í World Centre and all religions and communities in Israel. Noteworthy milestones in his sixteen-year period of service include the inscription of the Bahá’í sites in Haifa and Akko on UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List in 2008.

Over the years Dr. Lincoln’s efforts toward achieving equality and human brotherhood have been based on a positive view of diversity. This approach has earned much recognition, as expressed in the Tolerance Medal that he received from the District Governor of the Rotary Clubs in Israel in 2004 and the Award of Merit given by the Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Center in 2005.

Since 2000 the Department of Middle Eastern History and the Bahá’í World Centre under Dr. Lincoln’s leadership have collaborated in a series of public lectures on the Bahá’í Faith, opening the Bahá’í Community to the general public in Israel and contributing to the bridge of understanding between religions.

During his professional career, Dr. Lincoln worked as a lawyer in four countries (France, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire), three languages, and many different fields of the law, ranging from human rights, intellectual property and natural resources to torts and criminal law.

Dear Dr. Lincoln - Success will depend upon whether the Bahá’í World Centre and the State of Israel have agreed for giving freedom of teaching the Bahá’í Faith in Israel and to the citizen of Israel. Merely by making some arrangements of public lectures, establishing Chair for Bahá’í Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and bridging the understanding between different religions will not be an appropriate way of giving a certificate of success to you.

What the people of Israel want is the ‘Healing Messages’ of Baha’u’llah, Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi. The Bahá’ís of Jewish Background should be given an opportunity to be heard by the UHJ and the Authorities in Israel so that we can raise our Heads in Pride and say to the world that “The Ban on Teaching of the Bahá’í Faith in Israel is lifted and now we have absolute Freedom of Teaching the Bahá’í Faith in our beloved Holy Land.”

Image Courtesy : University of Haifa

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