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Raising the Banner in Korea:
An Early Bahá'í History

by Barbara R. Sims

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Chapter 2

2.       Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the Koreans

      Through Miss Agnes Alexander. To the new friends of Korea:- Sang Sun Oh, U. U. Cuan, Kinng S. Ko, Chy Rin, Inki Hong, Pyung C. Lee, Soon Y. Lee, Wen H. Ma, Young N. Pyeur, Chang Young Kim, Agnes Alexander, Z.Y. Roe, S. Wo Kloon, S. Y. Zee, Ze Kyung Sang, and S. T. Suh.

He is God!
      0 ye heavenly sons! Your heartfelt and sincere greetings have reached 'Abdu'l-Bahá's ears and your message gave great spiritual pleasure.

      Praise be to God that celestial light guided and led you to the Sun of Reality, bestowed everlasting life and granted heavenly illumination. Ye are like seedlings which have been planted by the hand of Bestowal in His Spiritual Rose-Garden. It is my hope that through the warmth of the Sun of Reality, the pouring down of the showers of mercy and the wafting of the breezes of bestowal, ye may progress day by day, so that each one may become a blessed tree, full of leaves and flowers and throw your shade over great multitudes.

      The Graces of the Kingdom of Abhá are the rays of the Sun of Reality. It illumines the earth and heaven, makes the star a shining moon,


turns the speck into a huge mountain, bestows strength to the weak, gives everlasting healing to the sick, grants heavenly treasures to the poor, confirms the oppressed ones to everlasting glory and turns the people of darkness to those of light.

      0 heavenly friends, the doors of heaven have been opened, the lights of God have shone forth and the heavenly Call has been raised. Summon ye all humanity to listen to this Heavenly Call and invite them to the Celestial world, so that they may find a new spirit and attain to a new life. In all conditions, my heart and spirit are with you. Upon ye be the Glory of Abhá.

      Miss Alexander made another trip to Korea two years later in 1923. She spent only a few days in Seoul as she was on her way to China. She wrote that it was a joy to meet Mr. Oh again and that he arranged for her to speak to the students of the college where he was teaching. She also met Mr. Roe, who realized that time was passing and he had not accomplished his desire to serve his people. He associated with the Bahá'ís in later years, in the 1950s, but became interested in politics and at one time seems to have been a candidate for president of the country.

      Miss Alexander started corresponding with Korean Esperantists in the 1920s, one of whom was Mr. Kim Chang-zin. He became interested in the Bahá'í Faith and later he said that he became a believer about 1929. This would make him the first Korean to believe in Bahá'u'lláh. However, in those days there were no enrollment procedures. In The Bahá'í World Vol. II (1926-1928) there is a listing "The Bahá'ís of Seoul, 112 Kandong." This was apparently Mr. Kim and his group of Esperantists. In an Esperanto pamphlet printed in the United States in 1926, 112 Kandong, Seoul, is listed as an address for the "Bahá'í Assembly." Whether or not it was actually a Bahá'í group is not known. Miss Alexander did not refer to this in her written accounts.

      The Korean Bahá'í group was not listed again in The Bahá'í World volumes until the early 1950s when American servicemen enrolled new Bahá'ís.

      Except for Miss Alexander's correspondence with Mr. Kim and the Esperanto group in the 1920s, and possibly a little later, there seems to have been no Bahá'í contact with Korea until the early 1950s.

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