Oriental scholar, Jan Rypka was a world-famous expert in Persian and Turkish literature. He was a founding member of the Oriental Institute in Prague.

“The Bahá’ís of Iran are resolutely firm in their religion. Their firmness does not have its roots in ignorance… They are wonderfully ready to help and happy to sacrifice. Faithfully they fulfill their office and professional duties. Long ago they already solved the problem of the Eastern woman; their children are carefully educated. They are sometimes reproached for their lack of patriotism. Certainly, as specifically Iranian as the Shi’ih Faith, the Bahá’í Faith can never become; but the Bahá’í Religion like Christianity does not preclude the love of one’s fatherland…

Are the Europeans not sufficiently patriotic! According to my experiences, the Bahá’ís in that respect, are very unjustly criticized by their Muhammadan brothers. During the centuries the Shi’ih Religion has developed a deep national tradition; with this the universal Bahá’í Faith will have a hard battle. Nevertheless, the lack of so great numbers is richly recompensed by the fervour and the inner spirit of the Iranian Bahá’í Community. The Bahá’í world community will educate characters which will appear well worthy of emulation by people of other Faiths, yes, even by the world of those now enemies of the Bahá’í Cause.

The experience acquired in the West, for me was fully verified also in the Iranian Orient. The Bahá’í Faith is undoubtedly an immense cultural value. Could all those men whose high morality I admired and still admire have reached the same heights only in another way, without it? No, never! Is it based only on the novelty of the Teachings, and in the freshness of its closest followers?”

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