`Abdu'l-Bahá's First Public Talk in America:
Church of Ascension, New York

By Faris Badii

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #109
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 16–20, 2012
(see list of papers from #109)

    This is one of the first talks delivered by `Abdu'l-Bahá during the first few days after His arrival in New York and the beginning of his travels in North America. This talk is also the first talk that he delivered in a church and to a congregation of Christian audience. This presentation is an attempt for exploring the historical background and circumstances leading to this talk and some the interactions that followed. This talk contains most of the elements of the main message that `Abdu'l-Bahá brought to the West. It starts with describing the message of Jesus Christ and gradually evolves into a presentation of the message of Bahá'u'lláh for present day society and its creative influence.

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