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Title: Messages to the Bahá’í World: 1950–1957
Author: Shoghi Effendi, 1897-1957
Language: English
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Messages to the Bahá’í World: 1950–1957


by Shoghi Effendi



Edition 1, (September 2006)



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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
Review of World Progress of the Faith
An Enterprise Transcending Any National Institution
Opening Door to Pilgrimage
Formation of First International Bahá’í Council
Spiritual and Administrative World Center
Transcending in Sacredness
Pilgrim Kings to Pay Humble Tribute
Epoch-Making Events
Reorientation
Invite Valiant Co-Sharers in Holy Enterprise to Join Me in Prayers
Acquisition of Area on Mount Carmel
Old and New Covenant-Breakers
Jubilee Centenary
The Guardian Announces Appointment of Hands of the Cause
Second Appointment of Hands of the Cause
Triple Announcement
The Historic Process
God’s Avenging Wrath
Irresistible March of the Faith
Rapid Progress of a World Center—Decline in Fortunes of Covenant-Breakers
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts
Fulfilment of National Teaching Plans
Launching the World-Embracing Spiritual Crusade
Acquisition of Vitally-Needed Property
Representatives for Intercontinental Conferences
Twofold Victory in Holy Land
Treacherous Ruhi Afnan
The Paramount Issue
Sealing the Triumphant Festivities of Holy Year
Roll of Honor
Twenty-One Virgin Areas
Fast-Dwindling Band of Covenant-Breakers
World Crusade Forges Ahead
Hand of Cause Appointment
Appeal for Pioneer Settlement
Hand of Cause Appointment
Roll of Honor—Additional Inscriptions
Institution of Hands of the Cause
A Divinely-Guided Faith
Glad Tidings
A Succession of Victories
Administrative Seats of Divinely-Appointed Institutions
International Archives Building and Design for Temple in Persia
Achievements of Second Year of Ten Year Plan
   TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX TERRITORIES NOW OPENED TO THE FAITH
   NUMBER OF RACES, LANGUAGES, INCORPORATED ASSEMBLIES AUGMENTED
   ACTIVITIES AT THE WORLD CENTER
   ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE CRADLE OF THE FAITH
   GOALS ATTAINED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
   PROPERTIES ACQUIRED AROUND THE WORLD
   SIXTEEN NEW NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES BY RIDVAN, 1957
   HANDS OF THE CAUSE TO ATTEND HISTORIC CONVENTIONS
   GUARDIAN’S APPEAL TO UPHOLDERS OF THE FAITH
   Achievements—Supplementary Report
   Prayers for Faith in Persia
   Appointment to International Bahá’í Council
   Implications and Requirements
   Archbreaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant
   World-Wide Reverberations
   Hand of Cause Appointment
   So Significant a Victory
   A REMARKABLE VICTORY
   PROGRESSIVE UNFOLDMENT OF THE TEN-YEAR CRUSADE
   FAST-AWAKENING CONTINENT OF AFRICA
   FORTY-THREE NATIONAL HAZÍRATU’L-QUDS
   TEMPLE SITES AND ENDOWMENTS
   DEVELOPMENT OF BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTER
   EVENTS IN THE UNITED STATES
   OTHER VICTORIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
   APPEAL TO UNITED NATIONS
   ENROLLMENTS IN VIRGIN TERRITORIES
   NEXT PHASE OF WORLD CRUSADE
   A MAJOR TURNING POINT
   Evidences of the Resistless March of the World Crusade
   PORTENTOUS PROPHECIES
   VICTORY OVER ECCLESIASTICAL FORCES
   ACHIEVEMENTS OF WORLD CRUSADE
   THE QIBLIH OF A WORLD COMMUNITY
   THE TEN-YEAR PLAN IN THE UNITED STATES
   IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
   IN THE PACIFIC AREA
   THE MOTHER-TEMPLES OF THREE CONTINENTS
   KNIGHTS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND HEROIC PIONEERS
   CONFERENCES AND INSTITUTES
   DYNAMIC POWER OF FAITH
   SOLEMN RENEWAL OF DEDICATION
   TASKS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR
   THE GUARDIAN’S APPEAL TO ALL BAHÁ’ÍS
   Epoch-Making Victory Won Over Covenant-Breakers
   Call to Hands of Cause and National Assemblies
   Restitution of Bahá’í Properties in Persia
   Purification of Ḥaram-i-Aqdas
   Announcement of Series of Five Intercontinental Conferences and
   Appointment of Eight Additional Hands of the Cause
   PHENOMENAL ADVANCE ACHIEVED IN WORLD CRUSADE
   ANOTHER CONTINGENT OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD
   THE GUARDIAN’S REPRESENTATIVES AT THE CONFERENCES
   FOURTH PHASE OF TEN-YEAR PLAN
   MESSAGES TO THE BAHÁ’Í WORLD
   1950–1957
   A Supplementary Collection
      New Step in Building the Báb’s Shrine
      Construction of Shrine Moves Forward
      Pilgrimage to World Center Again Permitted
      Administrative Headquarters in Africa
      William Sutherland Maxwell Passes—Rúhíyyih Khánum Appointed Hand
      Progress on Shrine of the Báb
      Achievements of Heroic Pioneers in Africa
      Rapid Progress of Twin Sacred Undertakings
      African Intercontinental Conference
      TRIBUTE TO PIONEERS IN AFRICAN FIELD
      FIRST AFRICAN PILLAR OF UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
      AFRICAN PROJECTS TO BE LAUNCHED
      A SPIRITUALLY WELDED UNIT
      Fivefold Historic Celebration in America
      All-America Intercontinental Conference—First Message
      SIX DECADES OF ACHIEVEMENT
      SPECIAL TASKS OF FOUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES
      PORTRAIT OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SENT
      All-America Intercontinental Conference—Second Message
      ELEVEN PILLARS OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE RAISE CENTERS TO
      2500
      PRELUDE TO PRODIGIOUS EXPANSION
      A PLANETARY SPIRITUAL CRUSADE
      BEGIN NINTH PART OF MAJESTIC PROCESS
      Appeal for Funds to Purchase Temple Site in Italy
      Joyful Announcement of Progress
      European Intercontinental Conference
      EMERGENCE OF FAITH’S EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS
      CRUSADE PROJECTS TO BE UNDERTAKEN
      OPENING OF A GREAT SPIRITUAL REVIVAL
      Magnificent Response by Communities of East and West
      Asian Intercontinental Conference
      EARLY STAGES OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S FAITH
      ASIA’S HOUR IN THE GLOBAL CRUSADE
      ON THE THRESHOLD OF A NEW SPIRITUAL ERA
      Triple Announcement on Conclusion of Holy Year
      A TRIPLE RESPONSIBILITY
   Hands at New Delhi Conference to Aid in Attaining Goals
   Further Additions to Roll of Honor
   Valíyu’lláh Varqá Passes; Son Appointed
   Passing of George Townshend
   George Townshend Passes; Agnes Alexander Appointed
   Remains of Mírzá Buzurg Transferred



REVIEW OF WORLD PROGRESS OF THE FAITH


Hail the valiant acts during the course of the last twelve months of
members of firmly knit, world embracing, divinely propelled Bahá’í
Community, singly, collectively, both sexes, all ages laboring in near,
and distant fields, in Eastern and Western hemispheres, gathered from
diverse classes, creeds and colors; as administrators, in the respective
home lands or as settlers or itinerant teachers overseas; whether serving
in private capacity or in official association with authorities.

Second half of opening decade of second Bahá’í century befittingly ushered
in.

Recent exploits in virgin territories of Western hemisphere, Arabian
Peninsula, South and East Asia raised to one hundred the number of
sovereign states, and dependencies, enrolled under the banner of the
Faith.

Forthcoming celebrations, commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of the
Martyrdom of the Herald of the Faith, doubly glorious, through association
this historic victory, representing an increase of no less than twenty-two
countries in the brief span of six years, since the Centennial of the
Declaration of His Mission.

Number of centers in Australasia now exceeds sixty; Canadian Community
nearing ninety centers already established; Alaskan territory eleven
centers; European goal countries thirty-five, number of newly declared
believers almost doubled during course of past year.

Bahá’í literature enriched by translation into Welsh, Eskimo, Swahili,
Hausa, Chinyanja, raising the total number of languages to sixty-three.

Languages in process of translation, eleven.

Official recognition, constituting a unique victory in the annals of the
Faith in the East, and West, extending to newly formed National Spiritual
Assembly of the Dominion of Canada, through granting act of Parliament,
enabling the National elected representatives to incorporate as religious
organization.

Additional contract placed for the construction of the parapet, crowning
the Arcade of the Báb’s Mausoleum on Mount Carmel, raising the total
tonnage ordered to almost eight hundred.

The erection of the ornamental columns of the Temple interior commenced;
ventilation and heating systems installed; number of visitors since the
opening of the edifice to the public, over four hundred thousand.

Six year plan of the British Bahá’í Community triumphantly concluded;
almost quintupled number of Assemblies in the British Isles; laid basis
administrative structure of the Faith in the capital of Eire and in the
chief cities of North Ireland and Scotland.

Plan initiated Persian Bahá’í Community consummated 31 Assemblies, 17
Groups, 11 Isolated Centers formed beyond prescribed objectives.

Recognition, long last, accorded by Iráqí authorities to all marriages
solemnized by Bahá’í Assemblies in ‘Iráq through official registration of
the marriage certificate by court, first instance setting a momentous
precedent throughout the Muslim East, constituting a significant landmark
in the process of the emancipation of the Oriental followers of the Faith
from the fetters of religious orthodoxy.

Certificate authorizing the celebration of Bahá’í marriages issued by the
District of Columbia court.

Eight islands of Hawaii granted authority to recognize Bahá’í marriages.

Bahá’í marriage contract legalized by attorney general throughout the
territory of Alaska.

Bahá’í Holy Days recognized by Educational Department of the State of
Victoria, Australia.

Second European Teaching Conference convened in the capital city of
Belgium, attended by hundred and thirty representatives from nineteen
countries.

The historic first all-Swiss Bahá’í Conference the latest, most promising
fruit of the transatlantic enterprise initiated by the American Bahá’í
Community, held in the Swiss capital, presaging the acquisition by the
goal countries of an independent status within the family of Bahá’í
national Communities.

The process of extension of Bahá’í endowments accelerated through the
donation of twenty acre property near Anchorage, Alaska; purchase of
twenty-two acres in neighborhood of Auckland, site of projected New
Zealand summer school; grant of burial ground by Egyptian authorities to
Port Said Bahá’í Community.

Ties binding the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations
reinforced through participation in European Regional Conference of
nongovernmental organizations in Geneva; and in Latin American Conferences
in Chile, Uruguay; and in similar conferences in Kansas and Lake Success;
through submission in response to the request of the UNO Committee of
statement on the Bahá’í concept and method of community worship,
subsequently transmitted to the Secretariat responsible for the planning
of permanent headquarters in the United Nations.

Last but not least, nay the crowning achievement of the year just
concluded, are the stupendous exertions of the vanguard of the
resistlessly advancing Bahá’í World Community resulting in the raising of
half a million dollars, virtually attaining the objective set for the
two-year drive to ensure the completion of the interior ornamentation of
the Mother Temple of the West in anticipation of its approaching jubilee.

First stage of austerity period resolutely embarked upon, successfully
traversed.

Resolution no less grim, self abnegation no less heroic, solidarity in
sacrifice no less striking, must needs distinguish the final phase of the
stern struggle, still facing the dauntless highminded spartan-souled
American Bahá’í Community, designed to liquidate the deficit in the
General Fund, marring the otherwise spotless record of collective
achievement, as well as to provide financial support imperatively required
to meet, through prompt despatch of substantial number of competent
pioneers, the emergency existing in Central and South America, thereby
ensuring the glorious consummation of the thirteen-year-old enterprise
through the formation of the projected twin National Assemblies in Latin
America.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 25, 1950]



AN ENTERPRISE TRANSCENDING ANY NATIONAL INSTITUTION


Announce to believers, through all National Assemblies, termination
initial stage of construction of domed structure designed to embellish and
preserve the Báb’s sepulcher on Mount Carmel.

The two-year enterprise launched on the eve of the gravest turmoil rocking
the Holy Land in modern times, involving the expenditure of a quarter of a
million dollars, necessitating the transportation and placing of almost
eight hundred tons of stone and marble mosaic, was consummated on the eve
of the Centenary of His martyrdom. My soul is thrilled in contemplation of
the rising edifice, the beauty of its design, the majesty of its
proportions, the loveliness of its surroundings, the historic associations
of the site it occupies, the sacredness of the Sanctuary it envelops, the
transcendent holiness of the Treasure it enshrines.

My gratitude is deepened by the miraculous recovery of its gifted
architect, Sutherland Maxwell, whose illness was pronounced hopeless by
physicians. I acknowledge the valuable service rendered by Ugo Giachery,
through his supervision of the work of shipment of consignments to Haifa.

The hour is ripe to undertake the preliminaries for the erection of the
octagonal first unit of the superstructure, another milestone in the
process set in motion sixty years ago by Bahá’u’lláh’s visit to Mount
Carmel. This process which gathered momentum through the transportation of
His Holiness, the Báb’s remains to the Holy Land after fifty years’
concealment, through the erection of the sanctuary by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the
darkest years of His Ministry, through the entombment of the remains by
Him on the morrow of His forty year incarceration, through the
commencement of the construction of the arcade on the fortieth anniversary
of the interment of the Holy Dust, through the termination of the parapet
on the eve of the Centenary of the Báb’s martyrdom, must be accelerated
through the erection of the dome, attaining consummation through the
emergence of the institutions of the world administrative center of the
Faith in the vicinity of its world spiritual Center, signalizing the
sailing of the Divine Ark on God’s Mountain, prophesied in the Tablet of
Carmel.

I appeal to entire body of believers to seize this priceless opportunity
to stimulate the unfoldment of this process through generous, sustained
contributions for the furtherance of an enterprise transcending any
national institution whether Hazírá or Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, reared in
the past or in process of construction. The hour is propitious,
particularly during the three year interval separating the Centennials of
the Báb’s martyrdom and the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission, coinciding
with the hundredth anniversary of the greatest holocaust in the history of
the Faith, to repay part of the infinite debt of gratitude owed its
martyrs, through hastening the conclusion of the holiest enterprise since
the dawn of the Revelation, interwoven with the ministries of Bahá’u’lláh,
and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, linking the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Bahá’í
Dispensation, cementing the ties binding the communities of the East and
West with the World Center of the Faith and shedding imperishable luster
on the first and second centuries of the Bahá’í Era, which posterity will
hail as the most befitting tribute to the One Who made the most precious
sacrifice for the sake of the most sublime Faith in mankind’s spiritual
history.

—Shoghi

[July 7, 1950]



OPENING DOOR TO PILGRIMAGE


Announce to friends the delivery after more than fifty years of key to
Qasr Mazra’ih by Israel authorities. Historic dwelling place of
Bahá’u’lláh after leaving Prison City of Akká now being furnished in
anticipation opening door to pilgrimage.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 16, 1950]



FORMATION OF FIRST INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ’Í COUNCIL


Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making
decision of formation of first International Bahá’í Council, forerunner of
supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time
within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already
established in twin cities of Akká and Haifa. Fulfillment of prophecies
uttered by Founder of Faith and Center of His Covenant culminating in
establishment of Jewish State, signalizing birth after lapse of two
thousand years of an independent nation in the Holy Land, the swift
unfoldment of historic undertaking associated with construction of
superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher on Mount Carmel, the present
adequate maturity of nine vigorously functioning national administrative
institutions throughout Bahá’í World, combine to induce me to arrive at
this historic decision marking most significant milestone in evolution of
Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in course of last thirty
years. Nascent Institution now created is invested with threefold
function: first, to forge link with authorities of newly emerged State;
second, to assist me to discharge responsibilities involved in erection of
mighty superstructure of the Báb’s Holy Shrine; third, to conduct
negotiations related to matters of personal status with civil authorities.
To these will be added further functions in course of evolution of this
first embryonic International Institution, marking its development into
officially recognized Bahá’í Court, its transformation into duly elected
body, its efflorescence into Universal House of Justice, and its final
fruition through erection of manifold auxiliary institutions constituting
the World Administrative Center destined to arise and function and remain
permanently established in close neighborhood of Twin Holy Shrines. Hail
with thankful, joyous heart at long last the constitution of International
Council which history will acclaim as the greatest event shedding luster
upon second epoch of Formative Age of Bahá’í Dispensation potentially
unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since inception of Administrative
Order of Faith on morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Ascension, ranking second only
to glorious immortal events associated with Ministries of the Three
Central Figures of Faith in course of First Age of most glorious
Dispensation of the five thousand century Bahá’í Cycle. Advise publicize
announcement through Public Relations Committee.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, January 9, 1951]



SPIRITUAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORLD CENTER


Announce to friends of East and West the following: furnishing Mazra’ih,
completion of restoration of historic house of Bahá’u’lláh in Acre,(1)
scene of prolonged afflictions sustained by Founder of Faith, as well as
supreme crisis suffered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at hands of Covenantbreakers.
Greatly enhanced international endowments in Holy Land in twin cities of
Acre and Haifa, now include twin Holy Shrines situated on plain of Acre
and slope of Mount Carmel; twin Mansions of Bahjí and Mazra’ih, twin
historic Houses inhabited by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; twin
International Archives adjoining the Báb’s Sepulcher and the resting-place
of the Greatest Holy Leaf; twin Pilgrim Houses, constructed for Oriental
and Occidental pilgrims; twin Gardens of Ridván and Firdaws, associated
with the memory of the Author of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

Greatly welcome assistance of the newly-formed International Council,
particularly its President, Mason Remey, and its Vice-President, Amelia
Collins, through contact with authorities designed to spread the fame,
consolidate the foundations and widen the scope of influence emanating
from the twin spiritual, administrative World Centers permanently fixed in
the Holy Land constituting the midmost heart of the entire planet.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 2, 1951]



TRANSCENDING IN SACREDNESS


On occasion of celebration of Naw-Rúz Festival announce to followers of
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh East and West, through National Assemblies,
completion of excavation for foundations for eight piers designed to
support the mighty dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher, as well as momentous
decision to place hundred thirty thousand dollar contract for the stone
work of both cylinder and dome.

Approaching Centenary of the birth of the prophetic Mission of the Founder
of the Faith, the virtual consummation of the fifty year project
culminating in the termination of the interior ornamentation of the Mother
Temple of the West, the risks involved in any delay owing to the
threatening international situation, the necessity to insure increasing
support to reinforce the newly-forged ties with the civil authorities of
the recently emerged State in the Holy Land through the formation of the
International Bahá’í Council, the considerable saving effected through
signature to the contract for the entire stone work required to erect the
superstructure of the edifice, impel me to take the major step in the
development of the swiftly progressing, irresistibly advancing enterprise
transcending in sacredness any collective undertaking launched in the
course of the history of the hundred year old Faith.

I am moved to renew my fervent plea addressed to all national and local
Assemblies and believers in all continents of the globe to arise and
determinedly gird up their loins to contribute, through curtailment of
budgets, adequate appropriations from national and local funds, as well as
direct sustained individual donations, to insure uninterrupted financial
support, however great the sacrifice involved, however heavy the burdens,
however distracting the successive crises of the present critical hour.
Austerity period previously affecting the fortunes of the American Bahá’í
community unavoidably prolonged and now extended to embrace the entire
Bahá’í world in recognition of the pressing needs and paramount importance
of this glorious international task.

Urge followers of the Most Great Name to demonstrate a still nobler spirit
of self-abnegation in the course of the swiftly diminishing interval
separating us from the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Mission
of the Author of the Revelation, commemorating the Centenary of the blood
bath constituting the most tragic episode in Bahá’í history associated
with the martyrdom of the immortal Táhirih, the subjection of Bahá’u’lláh
to the rigors of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál in Ṭihrán and the barbarous execution of
unnumbered heroes and saints of the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 21, 1951]



PILGRIM KINGS TO PAY HUMBLE TRIBUTE


Announce to friends of East and West completion of two additional terraces
marking termination of scheme initiated quarter century ago designed to
fulfill Master’s cherished desire to connect directly, through series of
nine terraces, the Báb’s Sepulcher with Templar Colony at foot of Mount
Carmel. Machinations of Covenant-breakers who succeeded in shelving
project for more than decade foiled. Hail success of enterprise presaging
the day destined to witness, as envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pilgrim kings
ascending this route to pay humble tribute to Martyr-Herald of Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 2, 1951]



EPOCH-MAKING EVENTS


My heart is filled with thankfulness at contemplation of the chain of
swiftly succeeding, epoch-making events transpiring in the course of the
fifth year of the second Seven Year Plan, rendered memorable through
association with the Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Prophet-Herald of
the Bahá’í Dispensation testifying to God’s unfailing protection and the
manifold blessings vouchsafed to the Community of the Most Great Name
alike in its World Center and in all continents of the globe.

Divine retributive justice is strikingly demonstrated through a series of
sudden, rapid, devastating blows sweeping over leaders and henchmen of
breakers of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant foiling the schemes, levelling the
hopes, and well-nigh extinguishing the remnants of the conspiring crew
which dared challenge the authority, succeeded in inflicting untold sorrow
and assiduously plotted to disrupt the Will and Testament of its appointed
Center.

The triumphant, resistlessly expanding Bahá’í Administrative Order now
embraces one hundred and six sovereign states and dependencies
constituting an addition of no less than twenty-seven countries since the
Centenary celebration of the Declaration of the Mission of the Holy Báb.

The number of languages into which Bahá’í literature is translated or in
process of translation is over eighty.

The number of incorporated Assemblies, local and national, is one hundred
and ten.

The Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Herald of the Faith was befittingly
commemorated, synchronizing with the completion of the Arcade and Parapet
of His Sepulcher on Mount Carmel, marking the termination of the two-year,
quarter million dollar enterprise.

The preliminaries for the erection of two additional Pillars of the
Universal House of Justice, culminating in the formation of National
Assemblies in Central America, Mexico, and the Antilles, and in South
America have been successfully concluded, following the raising of a
similar Pillar in the Dominion of Canada.

The interior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West is virtually
completed, paving the way for the provision of accessories and landscaping
in preparation of its public dedication destined to coincide with the twin
celebrations of the consummation of the fifty year old enterprise and the
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic mission.

The prelude to the historic African campaign, the foremost objective of
the two year plan of the Bahá’í Community of the British Isles, linking in
formal association four National Assemblies is marked by the departure of
the first pioneer to Tanganyika and plans for settlement Gold Coast and
Uganda.

Contracts amounting to over two hundred ten thousand dollars successively
placed for stones, window frames, railing, steel, cement, required for the
erection of the Octagon, Cylinder and Dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher raising
to sixteen hundred tons total tonnage ordered from Italy.

A quarter-century old project is terminated through the construction of
the last two terraces connecting the same edifice with the Templar Colony
at the foot of Carmel.

The four year plan initiated by the Persian National Assembly in the
promotion of the interests of the women members of the community is
successfully concluded despite increasing disabilities resulting from the
recrudescence of religious fanaticism afflicting the sore-pressed homeland
of Bahá’u’lláh.

A notable step in the progress of Bahá’í women of the Middle East is taken
through the extension of the right of membership in local Assemblies to
women believers in Egypt.

The third European Teaching Conference and Summer School was held in
Copenhagen and attended by one hundred seventy-seven persons representing
twenty-two countries.

The second All-Swiss Conference convened in Zurich, foreshadowing the
closer integration of the ten goal countries of the European continent
through the eventual formation of regional National Assemblies in
Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Switzerland, Italian and Iberian
peninsulas.

Bahá’í literature in Greenlandic, previously disseminated as far as Thule,
Etah, beyond the Arctic Circle, has been dispatched to radio station in
Brondlundsfjord, Peary Land, eighty-second latitude, northernmost outpost
of the globe.

Ties, linking the World Center of the Faith with the newly-emerged,
rapidly consolidating sovereign state in the Holy Land, have been
reinforced through the delivery by the Ministry of Religious Affairs of
the Mazra’ih Mansion into Bahá’í custody, the recognition of Bahá’í Holy
Days by the Ministry of Education and Culture, following exemption granted
to Bahá’í international endowments, and recognition accorded Bahá’í
marriage certificate.

Bahá’u’lláh’s residence in Akká, the scene of severe crises in the course
of the ministries of the Founder of the Faith and the Center of His
Covenant renovated and furnished, are added to the Holy Places already
opened to the steadily swelling number of visitors both local and foreign.

A significant step was taken by the City Governorate of Cairo presaging
the eventual recognition by state authorities of the Bahá’í laws of
personal status, already codified and submitted to the central government
by the Egyptian National Assembly.

Bonds binding the Bahá’í world community to United Nations strengthened by
Bahá’í participation in regional conference of Non-Governmental
Organizations in Geneva and Istanbul.

Preliminary steps taken in preparation of final design for the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mount Carmel by President of the International
Bahá’í Council, specifically appointed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to be its
architect.

Process of the unfoldment of the ever-advancing Administrative Order
accelerated by the formation of the International Bahá’í Council designed
to assist in the erection of the superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher,
cement ties uniting the budding World Administrative Center with the
recently established state, and pave the way for the formation of the
Bahá’í Court, essential prelude to the institution of the Universal House
of Justice.

I hail particularly the brilliant victory won by the American Bahá’í
Community in meeting the financial requirements for the completion of the
interior ornamentation of the Temple and eliminating the deficit in the
Victory Fund, exploits doubly meritorious owing to the added
responsibilities courageously assumed to assist enterprise in the African
field, and construction of the Báb’s Sepulcher in the Holy Land.

I am thrilled by the multiple evidences of the simultaneous prosecution of
Bahá’í national plans, East and West, and the rise and steady
consolidation of the World Center of the Faith, constituting the
distinguishing features of the second epoch of the Formative Age whose
inception on the morrow of the Second World War coincided with the
inauguration of the second Bahá’í century, and which bids fair to eclipse
the splendors of the preceding epoch, which posterity will associate with
the birth and rise of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 25, 1951]



REORIENTATION


Emergence of independent sovereign state in Holy Land, synchronizing with
the rise and consolidation of the Administrative Center of the World Faith
of Bahá’u’lláh of which the establishment of the International Bahá’í
Council and the construction of the superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher
constitute the initial major evidences, as well as the projected
acquisition of extensive properties in close neighborhood of the Most Holy
Tomb of Bahá and the precincts of the Shrine on Mount Carmel, Haifa,
essential to their preservation, resulting from far-reaching changes in
the newly-established state, demand henceforth reorientation and
necessitate increasing financial support by Bahá’í National Communities of
East and West, through curtailment of national and local budgets. The
extent of appropriations from national and local budgets of communities in
both hemispheres is regarded as a spiritual obligation and left to the
discretion of the elected representatives of the believers. Moreover,
participation of individual believers, through contributions directly
transmitted to the Holy Land are imperative and beyond the scope of the
jurisdiction of National and local Assemblies. Upon the response of the
privileged builders of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh depend the nature
and the rapidity of the evolution of the World Administrative Center
designed to culminate in the erection of the last unit crowning the
structure of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

Our distinguished co-worker, Millie Collins, Vice-Chairman of the
International Council is acquainting you with the pressing problems and
the projected plans and the contracts afoot designed to accelerate the
process initiated in the Holy Land for the furtherance of these supreme,
momentous, highly meritorious objectives. Communicate this message to all
National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 25, 1951]



INVITE VALIANT CO-SHARERS IN HOLY ENTERPRISE TO JOIN ME IN PRAYERS


Announce to National Assemblies of East and West that hallowed, historic
enterprise which posterity will hail as most befitting tribute by present
generation of builders of embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh in memory
of the Prophet-Herald of Bahá’í Dispensation is now entering new stage of
development presaging the approaching year of final consummation.

Owing to magnitude of task undertaken, manifold responsibilities already
shouldered by Bahá’í communities of East and West, no further step beyond
construction of Arcade, erection of crowning Parapet was originally
envisaged. Sudden unexpected worsening of international situation,
necessity to effect economy, exigencies attending rise of World
Administrative Center of Faith impelled me subsequently to place contract
in Italy for provision of stones required for both Octagon and Dome,
leaving resumption of construction work to indefinite future date.

Am now encouraged, owing response to recent call, to take eagerly
anticipated decision to commence Octagon, first major unit of
superstructure of sacred stately Edifice designed to support Drum and pave
way for erection of Dome, last remaining unit of entire enterprise.
Contract of approximately thirty thousand dollars has just been placed in
Holy Land for construction of Octagon including eight Pinnacles, following
completion of structural work commenced last June.

Further consignment hundred twenty tons, comprising lower part of Octagon
and Pinnacles, four completed Facades, Door, Window Frames have arrived at
Port of Haifa.

Invite valiant co-sharers in Holy Enterprise join me in prayers for its
uninterrupted prosecution, in speedy fulfilment of hopes cherished by both
Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for glorification of eternal resting-place of
Primal Point in bosom of God’s Holy Mountain.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, August 24, 1951]



ACQUISITION OF AREA ON MOUNT CARMEL


Announce to National Assemblies of Bahá’í world that prolonged, delicate
negotiations involving Ministries of Finance and Religious Affairs and
Haifa Municipality have culminated in agreement in principle to purchase
approximately twenty-two thousand meter area, estimated value hundred
eighteen thousand dollars, situated on slope of Mount Carmel overlooking
resting-place of Greatest Holy Leaf and eastern approaches to Báb’s
Sepulcher.

Acquisition of area extending from heart to ridge of mountain safeguards
precincts of sacred Mausoleum now in process of erection, broadens basis
of administrative structure of rising World Center of Faith in Holy Land,
may induce civil authorities to abandon project construction of arterial
road crossing diagonally Bahá’í international endowments, and facilitates
extension of terraces ultimately stretching from foot to crown of God’s
Holy Mountain.

Contemplating transfer part of title deeds of land in question to Israel
branches of American, Indian National Assemblies, reserving remainder for
future transfer to other National Assemblies following upon incorporation
of their respective branches on soil of Holy Land.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, September 24, 1951]



OLD AND NEW COVENANT-BREAKERS


With feeling profound concern, grief, indignation, am compelled disclose
Bahá’í world recent developments Holy Land furnishing further
incontestable proof relationship established old and new Covenant-breakers
demonstrating increasing boldness, marked, tragic decline in character and
spiritual condition grandchildren ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Their shameful attitude
and conduct receiving approbation their elders. Evidences multiplying
attesting Ruhi’s increasing rebelliousness, efforts exerted my eldest
sister pave way fourth alliance members family Siyyid ‘Alí involving
marriage his granddaughter with Ruha’s son and personal contact recently
established my own treacherous, despicable brother Riaz with Majdi’d-Dín,
redoubtable enemy Faith, former henchman Muḥammad-‘Alí, Archbreaker
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant. Convey information all National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December, 13, 1951]



JUBILEE CENTENARY


Convey all National Assemblies Bahá’í world the following momentous
announcement.

Approaching Great Jubilee commemorating Centenary termination Bábí
Dispensation, birth Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation in Síyáh-_Ch_ál, Ṭihrán, as
well as imperative necessity adopt effectual measures insure befitting
inauguration third concluding phase of initial epoch in the execution
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan destined culminate hundredth anniversary of
Declaration of Founder of Faith in Ba_gh_dád, impel me summon entire
Bahá’í world, through eleven National Assemblies already functioning in
East and West, bestir itself, arise during sixteen months ahead through
supreme concerted sustained effort, prepare for demonstration of Bahá’í
solidarity of unprecedented scope and intensity during entire course
Bahá’í history.

Forthcoming celebrations must be signalized through inauguration long
anticipated intercontinental stage in administrative evolution of Faith
marking its gradual development through successive phases of local,
regional, national, international Bahá’í activity. Initiation this highly
significant measure further cementing Bahá’í National Assemblies in five
continents of globe will be acclaimed by posterity as counterpart to
consolidation Faith at its World Center through recent formation
International Bahá’í Council in Holy Land.

Centennial festivities of Year Nine continuing throughout Holy Year
commencing October 1952 must include, apart from consummation plans
initiated by various National Assemblies both hemispheres, the formal
dedication for public worship of Mother Temple of West in heart North
American continent, and possible termination superstructure of Báb’s
Sepulcher in Holy Land, the convocation of four intercontinental Bahá’í
Teaching Conferences to be held successively in course historic Year on
continents of Africa, America, Europe, Asia.

First conference will be convened by British National Spiritual Assembly
in Kampala, Uganda in early spring, representative of British, American,
Persian, Egyptian, Indian National Spiritual Assemblies, to which Bahá’ís
residing in America, Persia, Indian subcontinent, British Isles, every
territory African continent will be invited attend, aiming planting banner
of Faith in remaining territories and neighboring islands east, south,
west African continent.

Second conference will be convened by United States National Spiritual
Assembly in Wilmette, in Ridván period, representative of chief trustees
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, their ally and associates United States, Canadian,
Latin American National Assemblies, to which Bahá’ís every State American
Union, every Province Canada, every Republic Latin America will be invited
attend, designed pave way establishment Faith in remaining territories of
the Americas and neighboring islands in both Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Third conference will be convened by American European Teaching Committee
in Stockholm, Sweden, during summer, representative of American, British,
German National Assemblies, to which Bahá’ís of each ten goal countries
Europe and England, Scotland, Wales, Eire, France, Germany, Austria,
Finland, will be invited attend, for purpose gradual introduction of Faith
into remaining sovereign states European continent and neighboring islands
Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea.

Fourth conference will be convened by National Spiritual Assembly
subcontinent India in New Delhi, autumn, representative of National
Assemblies of Persia, Indian subcontinent, ‘Iráq, Australasia, United
States, Canada, Central and South America, to which Bahá’ís residing in
every sovereign state and dependency in Asia, North, Central, South
America, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania will be invited attend, in order
deliberate measures calculated open Faith remaining Asiatic states and
dependencies, particularly South East Asia and islands of South Pacific
and Indian Oceans.

Address plea particularly to convenors above mentioned conferences to
arise within short time at their disposal, prayerfully consider, carefully
plan, energetically prosecute, respective sacred delegated tasks, take
immediate preliminary steps issue invitations, fix procedure, provide
smooth working, accord wide publicity, insure resounding success,
epoch-making conferences immortalizing Centenary of memorable Year,
anticipated by St. John the Divine, foreshadowed by _Sh_ay_kh_ Aḥmad,
eulogized by the Báb, extolled by both Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and
constituting prelude to Most Great Jubilee, which will alike commemorate
Centenary formal assumption by Author of Bahá’í Revelation of His
Prophetic Office, and mark, God willing, worldwide establishment Faith
forecast by Center of Covenant in His Tablets prophecied by Daniel in his
book, thus paving way for advent of Golden Age destined witness world
recognition, universal proclamation, ultimate triumph of the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, November 30, 1951]



THE GUARDIAN ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE


Recall feelings of profound thankfulness and joy at chain of recent
historic events heralding long anticipated rise and establishment of the
World Administrative Center of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in Holy Land
regarded as third most momentous epoch-making development since inception
of the Formative Age on morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Ascension.

Quarter century constituting opening epoch this age signalized
successively by erection consolidation over period no less than sixteen
years of local, national institutions of Bahá’í Administrative Order in
five continents of globe in conformity with provisions of the Will of the
Center of Covenant, and initiation of first Seven Year Plan by American
Bahá’í Community marking inauguration first epoch in execution of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan unavoidably held in abeyance over two decades
pending creation of divinely-appointed administrative agencies designed by
its Author for its effective prosecution.

Opening years of the second epoch of the Formative Age now witnessing at
long last commencement of third vast majestic fate-laden process following
two above-mentioned developments destined through gradual emergence of the
manifold institutions in World Center of the Faith as crown of the
administrative structure of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Order. Gigantic
process now set in motion opening decade second Bahá’í Century
synchronizing with, deriving notable impetus through, birth of sovereign
State, Holy Land, greatly accelerated through series of swiftly succeeding
events originated in World Center of Faith.

First, inauguration most holy worldwide enterprise unprecedented in annals
of the Faith, construction in heart of Mount Carmel superstructure of the
Báb’s Sepulcher. Second, creation of International Bahá’í Council in
precincts Holy Shrine, forerunner of International House of Justice,
supreme legislative organ of nascent, divinely-conceived, world-encircling
Bahá’í Administrative Order. Third, acquisition, restoration and
embellishment of historic sites associated with incarceration of
Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, recognition their sacred character, exemption
from taxes by newly formed State, accessibility to appreciative general
public. Fourth, initiation of formal negotiation with central municipal
authorities of same State with twofold purpose: preserve for posterity
immediate directly threatened neighborhood Most Holy Tomb of the Founder
of the Faith on outskirts of Akká, and acquire extensive, sorely needed
properties in vicinity of Báb’s Sepulcher destined serve as site of future
edifices envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to house auxiliary agencies revolving
around twin institutions of Guardianship and House of Justice. Fifth,
preparation of design of future Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mount Carmel,
outstanding indispensable feature unfoldment rising World Administrative
Order. Sixth, forthcoming convocation of four conferences embracing eleven
National Assemblies in all continents of globe marking inauguration beyond
limits of World Center of the Faith of intercontinental stage of Bahá’í
activity, precursor final step summoning assemblage representative
communities all sovereign states, chief dependencies, islands, entire
planet.

Hour now ripe to take long inevitably deferred step in conformity with
provisions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament in conjunction with six
above-mentioned steps through appointment of first contingent of Hands of
Cause of God, twelve in number, equally allocated Holy Land, Asiatic,
American, European continents. Initial step now taken regarded as
preparatory full development of institution provided in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Will, paralleled preliminary measure formation International Council
destined to culminate in emergence of Universal House of Justice. Nascent
institution forging fresh links binding rising World Center of Faith to
consolidating World Community of followers of Most Great Name, paving way
to adoption supplementary measures calculated reinforce foundations
structure of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.

Nominated Hands comprise, Holy Land, Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey,
Amelia Collins, President, Vice-President, International Bahá’í Council;
cradle Faith, Valíyu’lláh Varqá, Tarazu’lláh Samandarí, ‘Alí-Akbar
Furútan; American continent, Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker, Leroy Ioas;
European continent, George Townshend, Hermann Grossmann, Ugo Giachery.
Nine elevated to rank of Hand in three continents outside Holy Land
advised remain present posts and continue discharge vital administrative,
teaching duties pending assignment of specific functions as need arises.
Urge all nine attend as my representatives all four forthcoming
intercontinental conferences as well as discharge whatever
responsibilities incumbent upon them at that time as elected
representatives of national Bahá’í communities.

Communicate text of announcement to all National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 24, 1951]



SECOND APPOINTMENT OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE


Announce friends East and West, through National Assemblies, following
nominations raising the number of the present Hands of the Cause of God to
nineteen. Dominion Canada and United States, Fred Schopflocher and Corinne
True, respectively. Cradle of Faith, _Dh_ikru’lláh _Kh_ádem,
_Sh_u‘á’u’lláh ‘Alá’í. Germany, Africa, Australia, Adelbert Mühlschlegel,
Músá Banání, Clara Dunn, respectively. Members august body invested in
conformity with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament, twofold sacred function, the
propagation and preservation of the unity of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and
destined to assume individually in the course of time the direction of
institutions paralleling those revolving around the Universal House of
Justice, the supreme legislative body of the Bahá’í world, are now
recruited from all five continents of the globe and representative of the
three principal world religions of mankind. Recently urged newly-appointed
Hand of Canada, on occasion of his pilgrimage to Holy Land, to undertake
preliminary measures, in conjunction with Canadian National Assembly for
the establishment of national Hazíratu’l-Quds similar to those already
founded in Teheran, Wilmette, Ba_gh_dád, Sydney, Frankfurt, Cairo and New
Delhi. Identical instructions were given appointed Hand of Africa in
course of his just concluded pilgrimage, for the acquisition of property
in Kampala to serve as local Hazíratu’l-Quds to synchronize with formation
of first Assembly in heart of Africa, to be regarded as nucleus of
national administrative headquarters of Faith destined to arise on morrow
of formation of National Spiritual Assembly of Central and Eastern
Territories of African continent.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, February 29, 1952]



TRIPLE ANNOUNCEMENT


Occasion approaching celebration ninth Naw-Rúz second Bahá’í century,
desire share following triple announcement Bahá’í world through National
Assemblies East and West. First: Safe arrival in Holy Land in the course
of the last six months successive consignments of stones for the remaining
facades of the Octagon and Pinnacles, eighteen window frames belonging to
the Drum, one hundred tons of cement, thirty-five tons of timber, fifteen
tons of steel, eight wrought iron balustrades, stones for the lower
section of the Drum as well as the completion of construction of the
Octagon and the erection of fifteen feet Pinnacles constituting, with the
ornamental balustrades, the central adornment of the Holy Edifice. The
leaded glass required for twenty-four windows of the Octagon and eighteen
lancet windows of the Drum, ordered. Investigations initiated for the
fabrication of gilded tiles, the final material necessary for the
construction of the Sepulcher.

Recall with feelings of humble thankfulness and intense joy the series of
historic landmarks in the progress of the sacred enterprise, associated,
first, with the formal entombment, Naw-Rúz 1909, sixty lunar years after
the Báb’s martyrdom, of His dust in the vault of the Shrine; second, the
laying, forty years later, Naw-Rúz 1949, of the first threshold stones of
the Arcade of the Sepulcher; third, the completion, two years later,
Naw-Rúz 1951, of the excavation for eight piers, designed to support the
Dome, followed by the placing, a year later, on the eve of Naw-Rúz 1952,
of the second crown of the same Edifice. The way is now prepared for the
erection of the Drum, including eighteen windows symbolizing the eighteen
Letters of the Living, the appointed transmitters of the dawning Light of
the Author of the Bábí Dispensation, as well as the rearing of the golden
Dome, constituting the third and final unit of the triple crown destined
to irradiate its splendor in the heart of God’s Holy Mountain. Moved to
pay warm, loving tribute to the Shrine’s immortal architect and Hand of
the Cause, Sutherland Maxwell, and the services of Ugo Giachery, UNO
Representative of the International Bahá’í Community, recently elevated to
the rank of Hand of the Cause, and newly-appointed member of the
International Bahá’í Council, who is ably discharging manifold
responsibilities connected with the mighty undertaking.

Second announcement: The enlargement of the International Bahá’í Council.
Present membership now comprises: Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih, chosen liaison
between me and the Council. Hands of the Cause, Mason Remey, Amelia
Collins, Ugo Giachery, Leroy Ioas, President, Vice-President, member at
large, Secretary-General, respectively. Jessie Revell, Ethel Revell,
Lotfullah Hakim, Treasurer, Western and Eastern assistant Secretaries.

Third announcement: Following upon the missions entrusted to the Hands of
the Cause in connection with the establishment of Hazíratu’l-Quds in the
Dominion of Canada and Central Africa, have instructed Ugo Giachery to
take in conjunction with the European Teaching Committee, immediate steps,
after the conclusion of his pilgrimage, aiming at the formation, ere the
termination of the American Community’s second Seven Year Plan, of the
first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland.
Advise United States National Assembly arrange, through European Teaching
Committee, the election on the occasion of Naw-Rúz 1953 of nineteen
delegates by all local Assemblies already established in both countries.
Urge convocation Ridván same year, in the city of Florence, on the
occasion of the festivities of the Bahá’í Holy Year of the first
Convention for the express purpose of electing through the delegates the
projected National Assembly. Appeal to the American Bahá’í community,
particularly the Bahá’ís residing in Italy and Switzerland, to exert their
utmost to insure in the course of the coming year the multiplication of
Spiritual Assemblies in both countries, thereby broadening the basis of
the projected pillar of the future Universal House of Justice. Advise
European Teaching Committee, upon consummation of the glorious enterprise
to issue formal invitation to their spiritual offspring, the newly-emerged
National Assembly, to participate, together with its sister National
Assemblies of the United States, the British Isles, and Germany, in the
Intercontinental Conference in August of the same year in the capital city
of Sweden. Anticipate entrusting to the youngest among the twelve National
Assemblies of the Bahá’í World a specific plan enabling it, in conjunction
with its sister National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í World, to
promote in the course of the ten years separating the second from the Most
Great Jubilee the Global Crusade designed to hoist the standard of
Bahá’u’lláh in the remaining states, dependencies and islands of the whole
planet. Invite the attendants to the third Bahá’í Intercontinental
Conference to befittingly commemorate the undreamt-of climax of the
brilliant victories won in the course of the second Seven Year Plan,
eclipsing the feats accomplished in the Latin American field in the course
of the first Seven Year Plan and presaging the tremendous triumph to be
won in the course of the third Seven Year Plan in the African, Asiatic and
Australian continents.

With throbbing heart call to mind the solemn affirmations and glowing
promises recorded in the Tablets of the Divine Plan envisioning the
evidences of the everlasting dominion destined to signalize the
inauguration, and accompany the triumphal progress, of the mission of the
vanguard of Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders and champion builders of His world
order in the European, Asiatic, African and Australian continents and the
islands of the Pacific Ocean. Advise European Teaching Committee to cable
the text of the third announcement to the Assemblies of the capital cities
of Italy and Switzerland and urge on my behalf the participation of the
Swiss believers in the first teaching conference in Rome on the eve of
Naw-Rúz this year for consultation with their Italian collaborators on the
prosecution of the soul-uplifting fateful undertaking in the heart and
south of the European continent.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 8, 1952]



THE HISTORIC PROCESS


Announce to National Assemblies of East and West joyful news of final
implementation of agreement with Israel authorities involving acquisition,
against payment of hundred eighteen thousand dollars, of eighteen plots,
approximately six acres, in precincts of Báb’s Sepulcher.

The historic process of establishment of international Bahá’í endowments
on Mount Carmel, inevitably held in abeyance for fifty years after the
inception of the Faith, initiated on the morrow of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Ascension, through the purchase, in the course of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ministry,
of a limited number of plots in the immediate surroundings of the newly
erected Tomb in the heart of the Mountain of God, and greatly accelerated
through the purchase of extensive properties following the Master’s
passing, necessitated by the unprecedented influx of immigrants to the
Holy Land, is now further reinforced, raising the total area owned on the
slopes of the Holy Mountain to almost fifty acres.

Desire to acknowledge the indefatigable efforts exerted by the first
western Bahá’í pilgrim since opening of the door of pilgrimage, Lawrence
Hautz, in hastening the successful termination of the protracted
negotiations with the civil authorities of the Holy Land.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 3, 1952]



GOD’S AVENGING WRATH


Inform National Assemblies that God’s avenging wrath having afflicted in
rapid succession during recent years two sons, brother and sister-in-law
of Archbreaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, has now struck down second son
of Siyyid ‘Alí, Nayer Afnán, pivot of machinations, connecting link
between old and new Covenant-breakers. Time alone will reveal extent of
havoc wreaked by this virus of violation injected, fostered over two
decades in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s family. History will brand him one whose
grandmother, wife of Bahá’u’lláh, joined breakers of His Covenant on
morrow of His passing, whose parents lent her undivided support, whose
father openly accused ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as one deserving capital punishment,
who broke his promise to the Báb’s wife to escort her to Holy Land,
precipitating thereby her death, who was repeatedly denounced by Center of
the Covenant as His chief enemy, whose eldest brother through deliberate
misrepresentation of facts inflicted humiliation upon defenders of the
House of Bahá’u’lláh in Ba_gh_dád, whose sister-in-law is championing the
cause of declared enemies of Faith, whose brothers supported him
attributing to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá responsibility for fatal disease which
afflicted their mother, who himself in retaliation first succeeded in
winning over through marriage my eldest sister, subsequently paved way for
marriage of his brothers to two other grandchildren of the Master, who was
planning a fourth marriage between his daughter and grandson of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, thereby involving in shameful marriages three branches of
His family, who over twenty years schemed to undermine the position of the
Center of Faith through association with representatives of traditional
enemies of Faith in Persia, Muslim Arab communities, notables and civil
authorities in Holy Land, who lately was scheduled to appear as star
witness on behalf of daughter of Badí’u’lláh in recent lawsuit challenging
the authority conferred upon Guardian of Faith in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Testament.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 5, 1952]



IRRESISTIBLE MARCH OF THE FAITH


Soul stirred, heart uplifted by recollection of events signalizing the
twelve month period preceding the fateful year destined to witness the
consummation of series of plans formulated by Bahá’í National Assemblies
of five continents, as well as the inauguration of the second, glorious
Jubilee of the Bahá’í Dispensation. The irresistible march of the Faith
marked simultaneously by the steady consolidation of its administrative
institutions and the rapid enlargement of its limits. No less than
eighteen countries have been enrolled, raising the total number within its
orbit to one hundred twenty-four. Languages in which Bahá’í literature is
printed or is being translated are now ninety, including twelve African
languages. The vast process of the rise and establishment of the World
Center of the Faith has been accelerated. Contingents of Hands of the
Cause have been successively appointed in every continent of the globe,
five of whom are shouldering responsibilities in the Holy Land. The
International Bahá’í Council has been enlarged and officers designated.

An interview was accorded by, and literature presented to the Israel Prime
Minister in the course of his American visit by representatives of the
American National Assembly. Eighteen plots, a twenty-two thousand square
meter area, have been added to the International Bahá’í endowments on the
slopes of Carmel. Government survey concluded paving the way for the
acquisition of over one hundred forty thousand square meters of property
in the precincts of the Most Holy Tomb at Bahjí. The design for the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Carmel, conceived by the President of the
International Bahá’í Council, completed. Privileges, exemption already
accorded Bahá’í Holy Places in Israel by Ministry of Finance extended to
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Home, Eastern and Western Pilgrim Houses. Pilgrimages to
World Center of the Faith resumed following decade of external hostilities
and internal disturbances agitating the Holy Land. Eight piers, designed
to support the thousand ton superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher
constructed. Successive contracts, totalling approximately forty-seven
thousand dollars, for the construction of the structural work and the
erection of the Octagon signed, culminating in the completion of the first
unit of the superstructure, and the raising of eight pinnacles,
constituting the second crown of the Holy Edifice. Preparations to build
the Drum, the foundation unit of the golden Dome of the Sepulcher,
commenced.

Twin pillars of the future House of Justice erected in Central and South
America, additional pillar projected for Europe uniting the heart and
south of the continent.

Preliminary measures initiated for the convocation of four
intercontinental conferences in the African, American, European and
Asiatic continents, involving the participation of twelve National
Spiritual Assemblies, designed alike to befittingly celebrate the
Centenary of the Year Nine and to launch ten year crusade destined to
culminate in the Most Great Jubilee.

Two year plan of the Bahá’í community of the British Isles formally
launched on the African continent through the dispatch of pioneers to the
virgin territories of Tanganyika, Uganda, and the Gold Coast, has been
reinforced by the assignment of Liberia to the American, Somaliland,
Nyasaland and North Rhodesia to the Persian, Zanzibar and Madagascar to
the Indian, and Libya and Algeria to the Egyptian, National Assemblies,
raising the number of States and Dependencies already soon to be opened to
the Faith to twenty-five.

First fruits garnered comprise purchase of seventeen thousand dollar
Hazíratu’l-Quds in Kampala, settlement of Persian, American, British,
Egyptian and Portuguese pioneers in Liberia, North Rhodesia, Angola,
Libya, Spanish Morocco and Mozambique, inauguration of teaching classes,
public meetings and firesides, enrollment of several native Africans
belonging to the Teso, Yao, Buganda and Mutoco tribes, and the formation
of Spiritual Assemblies in Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam.

European Teaching campaign, exceeding fondest hopes, stimulated
successively by convocation of the fourth European Teaching Conference in
Scheveningen, representative of twenty-one countries, the first Iberian
Conference in Madrid, the third Swiss Conference in Bern, the first
Italian Conference in Rome, the first Benelux Conference in Brussels and
the establishment of headquarters in Amsterdam, Brussels,
Luxembourg-Ville, Bern and Lisbon.

The process of consolidation of the Faith stimulated by the recognition of
Bahá’í Holy Days by the Superintendent of Public Schools in Kenosha,
Superintendent School in Milwaukee, and Rhode Island State Department of
Civil Service, and of the Bahá’í marriage certificate by civil authorities
of Indianapolis; by the authorization by Adjutant General of Bahá’í
identification for believers serving in U.S. Armed Forces.

Bahá’í administrative centers steadily multiplying in Ḥijáz, Yemen,
Bahrayn, Ahsá, Koweit, Qatar, Dubai, Masqat, Aden, heralding convocation
of historic Bahá’í Convention in the Arabian Peninsula, destined to
culminate in the erection of a pillar of the Universal House of Justice in
the midmost heart of the Islamic world.

The nineteen month plan, formulated by the National Spiritual Assembly of
the Indian subcontinent and Burma, aiming among other things at the
introduction and consolidation of the Faith in the capital cities of
Nepal, Siam, Indo-China, Malaya, Indonesia and Sarawak.

Ties binding International Bahá’í Community to United Nations reinforced
by official participation of Bahá’í delegates in regional Non-Governmental
Conferences in Istanbul, Managua, Den Passar, Paris and Lawrence, Kansas.
Historic site of House occupied by Bahá’u’lláh in Istanbul has been partly
purchased, and investigations conducted for the acquisition of similar
sites associated with the exile of the Founder of the Faith in Adrianople.

Northern outposts of the Faith reinforced by the settlement of pioneers in
Edgedes Minde, Greenland, and in Yellowknife, Canadian North Western
Territories.

Last but not least, the internal ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the
West has been terminated, and design adopted, funds allocated by the
Temple Trustees for the landscaping of its immediate surroundings,
constituting the final step for its approaching Jubilee. Appeal American
Bahá’í community standing on threshold of concluding year of second Seven
Year Plan, traversing the last stage of the austerity period, confronted
by the approaching centenary of the darkest, bloodiest episode in Bahá’í
history, associated with the nation-wide holocaust of Táhirih’s martyrdom,
and with Bahá’u’lláh’s imprisonment in the Síyáh-_Ch_ál in Ṭihrán, to
arise and scale still loftier heights of self-sacrifice and efface the
deficit in the National Fund. Address in particular fervent plea to brace
itself to play a preponderating role in the impending world crusade, which
a world community, utilizing the agencies of a divinely-appointed world
administrative order, is preparing to launch, amidst the deepening shadows
of a world crisis for the execution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s world-encircling
plan and the subsequent unfoldment of a world civilization, and the
ultimate attainment of the supreme objective, the illumination and
redemption of a whole world.

Advise share message National Assemblies East and West.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 23, 1952]



RAPID PROGRESS OF A WORLD CENTER—DECLINE IN FORTUNES OF COVENANT-BREAKERS


On morrow of sixtieth anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Ascension share double
announcement with Bahá’í world through all National Assemblies: The rapid
progress of the enterprise majestically unfolding in the heart of God’s
Holy Mountain, and the steady decline in the fortunes of the remnant of
old Covenant-breakers still defiantly challenging the combined strength of
the Bahá’í world community.

The termination of the Octagon, setting the second crown on the Holy
Edifice, synchronizing with last Naw-Rúz Festival, was followed by the
erection and gilding of the balustrade during the course of the succeeding
Ridván period. Preliminary investigations culminated in the erection of
the scaffolding and the commencement of the construction of the Drum at an
estimated cost of thirteen thousand pounds, constituting the third unit of
the Edifice preparatory to raising the golden Dome. Experiments, prior to
the placing of the contract for the gilded tiles for the Dome, concluded.
Confidently anticipate the completion of all preliminaries, enabling the
builders of the mighty, sacred Structure to start construction of the Dome
on the morrow of the opening of the fast approaching Holy Year, paving the
way to the fulfilment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prophecy, uttered in the dark days
of the First World War, envisaging the glory of the resplendent Dome
greeting the devout gaze of future pilgrims drawing nigh to the shores of
the Holy Land.

Old Covenant-breakers, untaught by the lessons of the past sixty years,
the reverses suffered in connection with the restitution of keys to the
Shrine, the evacuation and restoration of the Mansion, the devastating
loss in rapid succession of outstanding leaders and spokesmen, backed by
the support of the perfidious Sohrab, engaging the services of a clever,
hostile lawyer, unitedly challenged the authority conferred by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament, and instituted legal proceedings against the
Guardian of the Faith, questioned his right to demolish dilapidated house
situated within the precincts and constituting an affront to the Most Holy
Shrine of the Bahá’í World, were rebuffed through the intervention of the
Israel government denying the competence of the civil court to adjudicate
the matter, subsequently threatened to appeal the government decision to
the Supreme Court, provoked the authorities who, in consequence of my
representations to both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, issued authorization to demolish the ruins.

Short-sighted action prompted by blind, uncontrollable animosity, resulted
in the irretrievable curtailment of long-standing privileges extended to
the Covenant-breakers during the course of six decades on the occasion of
the celebration of the Bahá’í Holy Days.

The signal success in the removal of the ruins was immediately followed by
landscaping the approaches to the Shrine, the erection of a gate and the
embellishment of the surroundings of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh, long denied
a befitting entrance through the deliberate obstruction by the enemies of
the Faith. Public access to the heart of the Qiblih of the Bahá’í World is
now made possible through traversing the sacred precincts leading
successively to the Holy Court, the outer and inner sanctuaries, the
Blessed Threshold and the Holy of Holies. Recent events prelude the
acquisition and development of over thirty acres of property surrounding
Bahá’u’lláh’s resting place and are paving the way for the erection in the
course of future decades of a befitting Mausoleum destined to enshrine the
Dust of the Founder of God’s Most Holy Faith.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, June 11, 1952]



THE SUMMONS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS


The steady expansion of the activities conducted so devotedly and so
efficiently, during the last twelve months, by the members of the valiant
and exemplary American Bahá’í Community, under the aegis of their elected
national representatives, is such as to evoke feelings of deep and sincere
admiration in my heart, and will serve to heighten the esteem in which
they are held by their brethren in every continent of the globe.

The completion of the interior ornamentation of the holiest House of
Worship ever to be raised by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh,
the initiation of the landscaping of the immediate approaches of this
sacred and majestic Edifice, the actual launching of the highly promising,
profoundly significant African Campaign, through the arrival and
settlement of American pioneers in both East and West Africa; the
energetic efforts exerted for the multiplication of Bahá’í administrative
institutions and the stimulation and consolidation of the all-important
teaching work throughout the States of the American Union; the generous,
the unhesitating and effectual support extended to the newly fledged
communities in Latin America in their efforts for the consolidation of the
administrative structure so laboriously erected in recent years; the ready
and enthusiastic response to the world-wide call for a befitting
celebration by the entire Bahá’í world of the hundredth anniversary of the
birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission; the magnificent services already
rendered by the recently elevated American Hands of the Cause of God, in
diversified spheres of Bahá’í activity, at the World Center of the Faith,
in the triple function of hastening the construction of the Báb’s
Sepulcher, of consolidating the ties binding the International Bahá’í
Council to the civil authorities of Israel, and of completing the design
of the projected Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mt. Carmel, as well as in Latin
America; the repeated contributions made for the erection of that
Sepulcher, for the extension of Bahá’í international endowments and the
institution of the Hazíratu’l-Quds in Kampala; the marvellous loyalty
demonstrated in connection with the repeated defection of members of the
Holy Family and the nefarious activities of Covenant-breakers, both old
and new; as well as the share a number of these Hands have had in
administering a stunning defeat to the enemies of the Faith who, so boldly
and shamelessly sought, through legal action, to challenge the authority
of the Guardian of the Faith, and to publicly humiliate, the institution
created through the provisions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament; the further
unfoldment of the European project through the initiation of the two
historic Conferences held in the Low Countries and in the Iberian
Peninsula, and the convocation of the fateful Conference in Rome,
heralding the formation of the Italo-Swiss National Assembly—the fairest
fruit of that mighty Project—these stand out as the distinctive, the
unforgettable, the infinitely meritorious achievements which posterity
will record as the noblest exploits immortalizing the concluding years of
the Second Seven Year Plan, and conferring untold benefits on its
executors throughout the length and breadth of the Great Republic of the
West.

So notable a record, such splendid achievements, investing, as they
inevitably must, the American Bahá’í Community, with the potentialities so
essential for the adequate conduct of the impending Ten Year Plan, that
will constitute the third and last stage in the initial epoch, in the
unfoldment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, and auguring well for the triumphant
conclusion of the present Seven Year Plan, can, and must, if the star of
this enviable community is to continue to rise, rapidly and
uninterruptedly, to its meridian, be converted into a stepping-stone for
the achievements of such feats as will not only outshine the splendor of
the services already enumerated, but constitute a befitting termination to
the second collective enterprise undertaken in American Bahá’í history, in
the service of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, and for the execution of the
grand Design conceived by the Center of His Covenant.

The support extended by a self-sacrificing, high-minded, ever alert
community, for the erection of the Drum of the Sepulcher of the Báb and
the raising of its crowning unit—the Dome itself—must, in the course of
this current year, be consistently maintained, both by the individual
members of this community, and the body of its elected representatives.
The assistance required for the acquisition of extensive properties,
comprising both lands and houses, in the immediate neighborhood of the
Most Holy Tomb in Bahjí, and for the embellishment of the approaches of
that hallowed Shrine—the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world—as a necessary prelude
to the ultimate erection of a befitting Mausoleum to enshrine the remains
of God’s Supreme Manifestation on earth, must be generously and
systematically extended. The scheme of landscaping the area surrounding
the recently completed Mother Temple of the West, in time for its
consecration and formal opening for public Bahá’í worship, must be rapidly
and carefully carried out. The subsidiary Plan, formulated for the
intensification of the Campaign of internal expansion and consolidation in
every State of the American Republic, must be assiduously executed, and
under no circumstances, be allowed to deteriorate or to fall into
abeyance. The flow of pioneers to the African continent, to Liberia, North
Africa, West and East Africa, must, at whatever cost, and while there is
yet time, be substantially accelerated, as the essential prerequisite to
the Ten Year crusade to be launched by no less than five National
Assemblies in the African continent, on the morrow of the celebrations of
the impending Holy Year. The process of multiplication of Bahá’í local
Assemblies in the ten goal countries of Europe, and particularly in Italy
and Switzerland, and the preparatory measures required to ensure the
success of the twin historic assemblages destined to commemorate the last
year of the Seven Year enterprise launched in the European continent—the
European Teaching Conference in Luxemburg and the Italo-Swiss Convention
in Florence—must be pushed forward with extreme care, vigilance and vigor.
The utmost help and the necessary guidance must be vouchsafed to the newly
emerged sister communities, in both Central and South America, to enable
them to consummate their spontaneously undertaken Plans, so vital to their
future association with the organized communities, in both the Eastern and
Western Hemispheres, in the prosecution of the world-wide undertaking
destined to be launched on the morrow of the celebration of the
approaching Great Jubilee. Above all, the most careful, prayerful,
concentrated attention should be given by your Assembly, in conjunction
with the several national committees, appointed for this purpose, to the
adequate celebration of the fast approaching Holy Year, both locally,
nationally and internationally, with particular emphasis on the three
outstanding functions which the members of this Assembly must discharge,
namely, the solemn consecration of the completed House of Worship and the
commemoration of its Jubilee, the formal convocation of the
Inter-continental Conference, and the holding of the Annual Convention in
Wilmette, and the effective participation of the members of the American
Bahá’í Community, both officially and unofficially, in the three other
historic Inter-continental Conferences to be convened successively in
Kampala, Stockholm and New Delhi.

The tasks ahead, calling for the expenditure of every ounce of energy on
the part of the members of the indefatigable irresistably advancing,
majestically unfolding American Bahá’í community and for the unrelaxing
vigilance of its national elected representatives, are immense, highly
diversified, truly challenging, sacred in character, undreamt of in their
potentialities, urgent by their very nature, and inescapable in the
responsibilities they involve. At the World Center of the Faith, where, at
long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected, and
around whose most holy shrines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order,
are, in their embryonic form, unfolding; amidst the diversified tribes and
races, peopling the Dependencies and Principalities of the Dark Continent
of Africa; in the far-flung territories of Central and South America so
alien in culture, temperament, habits, language and outlook; in the
capital cities and traditional strongholds of a materially highly advanced
yet spiritually famished, much tormented, fear-ridden,
hopelessly-sundered, heterogeneous conglomeration of races, nations, sects
and classes overspreading the continent of Europe; in the heart of the
African continent, in the capital city of the Indian sub-continent; in one
of the leading capitals of the Scandinavian countries in Northern Europe;
in the very heart of the leading Republic of the Western Hemisphere, the
standard-bearers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, the champion-builders of the
Administrative Order, the vanguard of the Heralds of His World Order, and
the Chief and appointed executors of the Master Plan of the Center of His
Covenant, have, in the course of the few, fast-fleeting months ahead,
separating them from the grandest crusade thus far launched in Bahá’í
history, been assigned tasks, obligations and responsibilities that they
can afford to neither minimize, neglect or shirk for a moment.

Within only a few weeks the Bahá’í World will enter upon the centenary of
that fateful day of August the fifteenth, when a dastardly act, fraught
with such terrible consequences, unleashed a series of tragic events that
stained the annals of the Faith, that precipitated calamities on a scale
unprecedented since its inception and unsurpassed in their tragic
character by any event except the martyrdom of its Herald, which
culminated in an holocaust reminiscent of the direst tribulations
undergone by the persecuted followers of any previous religion, and which,
in turn, paved the way, even as the darkest hour of the night precedes the
dawn, for the first glimmerings that were to proclaim, to an unsuspecting
world, and amidst the gloom and stench of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán, the
birth of the Mission of the Founder of our Faith. Less than four months
separate us from the centenary celebrations designed to befittingly
commemorate that glorious event in Bahá’í history, an event even more
potent in its implications than the birth of the Bábí Dispensation, and
yielding in sacredness to none other except the memorable occasion when
the Founder of the Faith Himself ascended the throne of His spiritual
sovereignty and formally assumed in the City of Ba_gh_dád, His Prophetic
Office. The radiance of God’s infant light shining within the walls of
that pestilential Pit—a radiance, an infinitesimal glimmer of which, as
the Founder of the Faith, Himself, later testified, caused the dwellers of
Sinai to swoon away—seemed, as it were, to be intermingled, whilst
Bahá’u’lláh lay in chains and fetters in that subterranean dungeon, and,
for many months after, with the somberness of the tragedy which enveloped
the members of a persecuted community in almost every province of that
hapless land. The dawning-light of the Revelation promised and lauded by
the Báb marks the termination of the second and darker crisis in the
annals of the Bábí Dispensation, and signalizes the commencement of a
ten-year long crisis, the first of the three successive ones that left
their lasting imprint on His Ministry.

Little wonder that, in the months immediately ahead, when our thoughts are
fixed upon those days which heralded the outbreak of this reign of
unprecedented terror, and the outburst of a light of such inconceivable
brightness and in the twelve-month period immediately following when we
commemorate the centenary of that reign of terror as well as throughout
the succeeding decade, constituting the hundredth anniversary of the
period following the birth of so glorious a Mission—little wonder that the
followers of the Author of such a Revelation should be called upon to pour
forth, as a ransom for so much suffering, and in thanksgiving for such
priceless benefits conferred upon mankind, their substance, exert
themselves to the utmost, scale the summits of self-sacrifice, accomplish
the most valorous feats, and, through a concerted, determined, consecrated
ten-year-long effort, achieve their greatest victories in honor of the
Founder of their Faith, in grateful memory of His unnumbered slaughtered
servants, and for the world establishment, and ultimate triumph, of His
embryonic World Order.

The four inter-continental Conferences, constituting the highlights of the
centenary celebrations commemorating this unique period in Bahá’í history,
commingling so much tragedy and glory, as well as the public consecration
of the Most Holy House of Worship ever to be raised for the glory of the
Most Great Name, must alike proclaim, in no uncertain voice, the
significance of the happenings which, a hundred years ago, endowed mankind
with a potency unapproached at any period in the world’s spiritual
history, and signalize the inauguration of what may yet come to be
regarded as a period of collective administrative and teaching
accomplishments distinguishing the Formative Age of our Faith and endowed
with a fertility comparable to that which marked the spiritual feats of
the dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age which preceded it.

To the members of the valorous American Bahá’í Community, the chosen
trustees and principal executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, who, by
virtue of the mission entrusted to them by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Covenant, have been empowered, and are fully qualified, to assume a
preponderating role in the conduct of this world-encompassing crusade; to
the long-suffering, the unflinching, the much loved and steadfast members
of the venerable and still persecuted community of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers
laboring in His native land, whose spiritual ancestors have left a legacy
of unsurpassed heroism and saintliness to the rising generation in both
the East and the West; to the members of the small, yet intensely alive,
community dwelling in the heart and center of the far-flung British
Commonwealth of Nations, whose destiny is to lend a notable impetus to the
progress of this world Crusade; through awakening the vast and
heterogeneous multitudes that owe allegiance to the British Crown, and are
dispersed throughout the five continents of the globe; to the members of
the equally small yet virile and highly promising community, planted in
the heart of the European continent, whose mission is to spread the light
of the Faith throughout the regions that lie in its neighborhood and
project its radiance as far as the heart of the Asiatic continent; to the
members of the newly emerged yet swiftly advancing community established
in the Dominion of Canada, worthy allies of the American Bahá’í Community
in the furtherance of the Grand Design delineated in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
immortal Tablets; to the members of the loyal, the assiduously laboring
and highly diversified community in the Indian sub-continent, whose
geographic position entitles them to extend substantial assistance to the
prodigious task of awakening the peoples of South East Asia to the
redemptive Message of Bahá’u’lláh; to the members of the second most
persecuted yet resolute community established in the heart of both the
Arab and Muslim worlds, who, by virtue of the position they occupy, must
play a distinctive part in the emancipation of a proscribed Faith from the
fetters of religious orthodoxy; to the members of the youthful yet
vigorously functioning community, championing the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh in
the Antipodes who, by reason of their close proximity, are expected to
contribute a substantial share to the establishment of the institutions of
the Faith in the numerous and widely scattered islands and archipelagos of
the South Pacific Ocean; to the members of a long-established yet still
persecuted community dwelling in a territory which may well rank, next to
the Holy Land and the Cradle of our Faith, as the most holy in the entire
Bahá’í world, who are destined to share with their brethren in Persia,
Egypt and Pakistan in the task of achieving the recognition of a
down-trodden Faith, by the ecclesiastical leaders of Islám; to the
newly-fledged, spiritually alert communities of Central and South America,
who, by virtue of the responsibilities invested in the inhabitants of the
Western Hemisphere through the ringing call of Bahá’u’lláh in the Aqdas
and the utterances of the Center of His Covenant, are expected by their
brethren, in both the East and the West, to worthily play their part as
associates of the chief executors of the Plan bequeathed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá;
to the members of the communities in Italy and Switzerland, as yet in the
embryonic stage of their development, and who will soon take their place
as an independent entity in the international Bahá’í community, and must
assume their share in planting the banner of a triumphant Faith in the
heart of a continent regarded as the cradle of Western civilization as
well as in the stronghold and nerve-center of the most powerful church in
Christendom; indeed, to each and every believer, whether isolated, or
associated with any local Assembly or group, who, though as yet
unidentified with any specific national Plan for the systematic
prosecution of this Crusade, can still, and indeed must, lend his
particular assistance in this gigantic enterprise—to all, without
distinction of race, nation, class, color, age or sex, I feel moved, as
the fateful hour of a memorable centenary approaches, to address my plea,
with all the fervor that my soul can command and all the love that my
heart contains, to rededicate themselves, collectively, and individually,
to the task that lies ahead of them.

Under whatever conditions, the dearly loved, the divinely sustained, the
onward marching legions of the army of Bahá’u’lláh may be laboring, in
whatever theatre they may operate, in whatever climes they may struggle,
whether in the cold and inhospitable territories beyond the Arctic Circle,
or in the torrid zones of both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres; on the
borders of the jungles of Burma, Malaya and India; on the fringes of the
deserts of Africa and of the Arabian Peninsula; in the lonely, far-away,
backward and sparsely populated islands dotting the Atlantic, the Pacific
and the Indian Oceans and the North Sea; amidst the diversified tribes of
the Negroes of Africa, the Eskimos and the Lapps of the Arctic regions,
the Mongolians of East and South East Asia, the Polynesians of the South
Pacific Islands, the reservations of the Red Indians in both American
continents, the Maoris of New Zealand, and the aborigines of Australia;
within the time-honored strongholds of both Christianity and Islám,
whether it be in Mecca, Rome, Cairo, Najaf or Karbilá; or in towns and
cities whose inhabitants are either immersed in crass materialism, or
breathe the fetid air of an aggressive racialism, or find themselves bound
by the chains and fetters of a haughty intellectualism, or have fallen a
prey to the forces of a blind and militant nationalism, or are steeped in
the atmosphere of a narrow and intolerant ecclesiasticism—to them all, as
well as to those who, as the fortunes of this fate-laden Crusade prosper,
will be called upon to unfurl the standard of an all-conquering Faith in
the strongholds of Hinduism, and assist in the breaking up of a rigid
age-long caste system, who will replace the seminaries and monasteries
acting as the nurseries of the Buddhist Faith with the divinely-ordained
institutions of Bahá’u’lláh’s victorious Order, who will penetrate the
jungles of the Amazon, scale the mountain-fastnesses of Tibet, establish
direct contact with the teeming and hapless multitudes in the interior of
China, Mongolia and Japan, sit with the leprous, consort with the outcasts
in their penal colonies, traverse the steppes of Russia or scatter
throughout the wastes of Siberia, I direct my impassioned appeal to obey,
as befits His warriors, the summons of the Lord of Hosts, and prepare for
that Day of Days when His victorious battalions will, to the accompaniment
of hozannas from the invisible angels in the Abhá Kingdom, celebrate the
hour of final victory.

“O, that I could travel,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, crying out from the depths of His
soul, gives utterance to His longing, in a memorable passage, in the
Tablets of the Divine Plan, addressed to the North American believers,
“even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and
raising the call of ‘Yá-Bahá’u’l-Abhá in cities, villages, mountains,
deserts and oceans, promote the Divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do.
How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it!”

“Teach ye the Cause of God, O people of Bahá,” the Author of our Faith,
Himself, admonishes His followers, “....for God hath prescribed unto every
one the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the most
meritorious of all deeds.... Should any one arise for the triumph of Our
Cause, him will God render victorious though tens of thousands of enemies
be leagued against him.” “They that have forsaken their country,” He
assures them, “for the purpose of teaching Our Cause—these shall the
Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power.... Such a service is,
indeed, the prince of all goodly deeds, and the ornament of every goodly
act.” “When the hour cometh that this wronged and broken-winged bird will
have taken its flight unto the celestial Concourse,” is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
last poignant call to the entire body of the followers of His Father’s
Faith, as recorded in His Will and Testament, “it is incumbent upon ...
the friends and loved ones, one and all, to bestir themselves and arise,
with heart and soul, and in one accord ... to teach His Cause and promote
His Faith. It behoveth them not to rest for a moment.... They must
disperse themselves in every land ... and travel throughout all regions.
Bestirred, without rest, and steadfast to the end, they must raise in
every land the cry of ‘Yá-Bahá’u’l-Abhá ... that throughout the East and
the West a vast concourse may gather under the shadow of the Word of God,
that the sweet savors of holiness may be wafted, that men’s faces may be
illumined, that their hearts may be filled with the Divine Spirit and
their souls become heavenly.”

No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory;
however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of
them; however dark the days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried,
must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with
which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however
afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom
Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from
within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of
temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which
future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by
the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of
the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the
glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations
which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might
live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse
the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to
resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and
every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been
fully consummated.

Your true brother
—Shoghi

[June 30, 1952]



FULFILMENT OF NATIONAL TEACHING PLANS


Recall with feelings of profound emotion, as mid-August approaches, the
distressing circumstances attending the dastardly act which, one hundred
years ago, precipitated the chain of calamitous events, unparalleled in
scope and severity in the annals of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and
constituting, next to the martyrdom of its Herald, the darkest, bloodiest
and most tragic episode of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.
Invite members of all communities of the Bahá’í World, standing at the
threshold of the Holy Year to call to mind the manifold tribulations
afflicting God’s infant Faith immediately preceding, accompanying and
following the imprisonment of the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation in the
Síyáh-_Ch_ál in Ṭihrán, the somber scene of the birth of His glorious
mission. Urge them to remember the multitude of barbarous acts in which
king, government, people and ecclesiastics participated; to ponder the
ferocious character of the persecutions; and to meditate upon the vastness
of their range as well as their far-reaching consequences. Request them to
dwell particularly upon the seeming helplessness of God’s struggling Faith
and direct special attention to the ordeals undergone by Bahá’u’lláh, its
sole surviving pillar, subsequent to the birth of His Mission, His
ultimate banishment, and culminating in His incarceration in the Holy Land
and in the fulfilment of age-long prophecies.

Address to them, as well as to their national representatives, my last
appeal here at the commencement of the forthcoming Centenary Celebrations
to exert in the course of the critical, fleeting months ahead, one final,
supreme effort to ensure complete, total success of all plans formulated
by National Assemblies in every continent of the globe, culminating in the
Ridván period, falling in the middle and marking the central features of
the celebrations of the Holy Year.

Supplicating God’s bountiful blessings on each and every national
enterprise, the triumphant consummation of which will be regarded by
posterity as a befitting tribute paid by their participants to the
immortal memory of the unexampled heroism of the dawn-breakers of the
Apostolic Age of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh and will crown the
festivities commemorating the centenary of the birth of His Mission and
will constitute a worthy prelude to the launching of the global spiritual
crusade destined to culminate in the one hundredth anniversary of the
formal assumption by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation of His Prophetic
Office, and to diffuse the radiance of His Faith over the face of the
entire planet.

Share message with all National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, August 5, 1952]



LAUNCHING THE WORLD-EMBRACING SPIRITUAL CRUSADE


Hail, with feelings of humble thankfulness and unbounded joy, opening of
the Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the rise of the Orb of
Bahá’u’lláh’s most sublime Revelation marking the consummation of the six
thousand year cycle ushered in by Adam, glorified by all past prophets and
sealed with the blood of the Author of the Bábí Dispensation. Evoke on
this auspicious occasion the glorious memory and acclaim the immortal
exploits of the Dawn-Breakers of the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation in the cradle of the Faith and the mighty feats of the
champion builders of its rising World Order in the Western Hemisphere as
well as the multitude of valorous achievements of the past and present
generations of their brethren in the European, Asiatic, African and
Australian continents, whose combined accomplishments during the one
hundred and nine years of its existence contributed to the survival of
God’s struggling Faith, the reinforcement of its infant strength, the
safeguarding of the unity of its supporters, the preservation of the
integrity of its teachings, the enrichment of the lives of its followers,
the rise of the institutions of its administrative order, the fashioning
of the agencies for the systematic diffusion of its light and the
broadening and the consolidation of its foundations. Moved to express the
confident hope as the centenary celebrations now commencing, attain their
climax during the approaching Ridván period, that the plans formulated by
the valiant members of the World Bahá’í Community in the five continents,
may each and all, through their victorious consummation, add distinct
fresh luster to the world-wide festivities constituting the collective
tribute paid by the followers of the Most Great Name to the memory of the
august Founder of their Faith in honor of the centenary of the birth of
His Mission and the eternal glory of His embryonic, majestically unfolding
World Order.

Feel hour propitious to proclaim to the entire Bahá’í world the projected
launching on the occasion of the convocation of the approaching
Intercontinental Conferences on the four continents of the globe the
fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long, world-embracing Spiritual Crusade
involving the simultaneous initiation of twelve national Ten Year Plans
and the concerted participation of all National Spiritual Assemblies of
the Bahá’í world aiming at the immediate extension of Bahá’u’lláh’s
spiritual dominion as well as the eventual establishment of the structure
of His administrative order in all remaining Sovereign States, Principal
Dependencies comprising Principalities, Sultanates, Emirates, Shaykhdoms,
Protectorates, Trust Territories, and Crown Colonies scattered over the
surface of the entire planet. The entire body of the avowed supporters of
Bahá’u’lláh’s all-conquering Faith are now summoned to achieve in a single
decade feats eclipsing in totality the achievements which in the course of
the eleven preceding decades illuminated the annals of Bahá’í pioneering.

The four-fold objectives of the forthcoming Crusade, marking the third and
last phase of the initial epoch of the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine
Plan are destined to culminate in the world-wide festivities commemorating
the fast-approaching Most Great Jubilee. First, development of the
institutions at the World Center of the Faith in the Holy Land. Second,
consolidation, through carefully devised measures on the home front of the
twelve territories destined to serve as administrative bases for the
operations of the twelve National Plans. Third, consolidation of all
territories already opened to the Faith. Fourth, the opening of the
remaining chief virgin territories on the planet through specific
allotments to each National Assembly functioning in the Bahá’í world.

The projected historic, spiritual venture, at once arduous, audacious,
challenging, unprecedented in scope and character in the entire field of
Bahá’í history, soon to be set in motion, involves:

Adoption of preliminary measures to the construction of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Sepulcher in the Holy Land.

Doubling the number of countries within the pale of the Faith through
planting its banner in the remaining Sovereign States of the planet as
well as the remaining virgin Territories mentioned in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Tablets of the Divine Plan, involving the opening of forty-one countries
on the Asiatic, thirty-three on the African, thirty on the European,
twenty-seven on the American continents. Over twofold increase in the
number of languages into which Bahá’í literature is translated, printed or
in process of translation—forty in Asia, thirty-one in Africa, ten each in
Europe and America, to be allocated to the American, British, Indian and
Australian Bahá’í communities, including for the most part those into
which Gospels have been already translated. Doubling the number of
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs, through the initiation of the construction of one
on the Asiatic and the other on the European continent. The acquisition of
the site of the future Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mount Carmel. The purchase
of the land for eleven future Temples, three on the American, three on the
African, two on the Asiatic, two on the European, one on the Australian
continents. The erection of the first dependency of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Wilmette. The development of the functions of the
institution of the Hands of the Cause. The establishment of a Bahá’í Court
in the Holy Land, preliminary to the emergence of the Universal House of
Justice.

Codification of the laws and ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Mother Book
of the Bahá’í Revelation. Establishment of six national Bahá’í Courts in
the chief cities of the Islamic East—Ṭihrán, Cairo, Ba_gh_dád, New Delhi,
Karachi, Kabul. Extension of international Bahá’í endowments in the Holy
Land, on the plain of Akká and the slopes of Mount Carmel. Construction of
international Bahá’í Archives in the neighborhood of the Báb’s Sepulcher.
Construction of a tomb for the wife of the Báb in _Sh_íráz. Identification
of the resting places of the father of Bahá’u’lláh and the mother and
cousin of the Báb for reburial in the Bahá’í cemetery in the vicinity of
the Most Great House. Acquisition of the Garden of Ridván in Ba_gh_dád,
site of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál in Ṭihrán, site of the martyrdom of the Báb in
Tabríz, and of His incarceration in _Ch_ihríq.

More than quadruple the number of National Spiritual Assemblies—twenty-one
on the American, thirteen on the European, ten on the Asiatic, three on
the African and one on the Australian continents. Multiply seven-fold
national Hazíratu’l-Quds, their establishment in the capital cities of the
chief Sovereign States and chief cities of the principal Dependencies of
the planet—twenty-one in America, fifteen in Europe, nine in Asia, three
in Africa, one in New Zealand. Framing national Bahá’í constitutions, and
establishment of national Bahá’í endowments in same capitals and cities of
same States and Dependencies.

More than quintuple the number of incorporated National
Assemblies—twenty-one in America, thirteen in Europe, twelve in Asia,
three in Africa, one in Australasia. The establishment of six national
Bahá’í Publishing Trusts—two in America, two in Asia, one in Africa, one
in Europe.

The participation of the women of Persia in the membership of national and
local Assemblies. Establishment of seven Israel branches of National
Spiritual Assemblies—two from Europe, two from Asia, one each from
America, Africa and Australia. The establishment of a national Bahá’í
printing press in Ṭihrán.

Reinforcement of the ties binding the Bahá’í World Community to the United
Nations. Inclusion, circumstances permitting, of eleven Republics
comprised within Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and two European
Soviet-controlled States within the orbit of the Administrative Order of
the Faith. Convocation of a World Bahá’í Congress in the vicinity of the
Garden of Ridván, Ba_gh_dád, third holiest city of Bahá’í world, on the
occasion of the world-wide celebrations of the Most Great Jubilee,
commemorating the Centenary of the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh to the Throne
of His Sovereignty.

Current Bahá’í history must henceforth, as second decade of second Bahá’í
century opens, move rapidly and majestically as it has never moved before
since the inception of the Faith over a century ago. Earthly symbols of
Bahá’u’lláh’s unearthly Sovereignty must needs, ere the decade separating
the two memorable Jubilees draws to a close, be raised as far north as
Franklin beyond the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Falkland
Islands, marking the southern extremity of the western hemisphere, amidst
the remote, lonely, inhospitable islands of the archipelagos of the South
Pacific, the Indian and Atlantic oceans, the mountain fastnesses of Tibet,
the jungles of Africa, the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Russia, the
Indian Reservations of North America, the wastelands of Siberia and
Mongolia, amongst the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska, the Negroes of
Africa, Buddhist strongholds in the heart of Asia, amongst Lapps of
Finland, the Polynesians of the South Sea Islands, Negritos of the
archipelagos of the South Pacific Ocean.

The broad outlines of the world-encircling plan were divinely revealed.
Its course was charted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s infallible Pen. Its shining goals
have been set. The requisite administrative machinery has been created.
Signal has been given by the Author of the Plan, its Supreme Commander.
The Lord of Hosts, the King of Kings has pledged unfailing aid to every
crusader battling for His Cause. Invisible battalions are mustered, rank
upon rank, ready to pour forth reinforcements from on high. Bahá’u’lláh’s
army of light is standing on the threshold of the Holy Year. Let them, as
they enter it, vow with one voice, one heart, one soul, never to turn back
in the entire course of the fateful decade ahead until each and every one
will have contributed his share in laying on a world-wide scale an
unassailable administrative foundation for Bahá’u’lláh’s Christ-promised
Kingdom on earth, swelling thereby the chorus of universal jubilation
wherein earth and heaven will join as prophesied by Daniel, echoed by
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “on that day will the faithful rejoice with exceeding
gladness.”

Call upon fifteen Hands from five continents, by virtue of their supreme
function as chosen instruments for the propagation of the Faith, to
inaugurate historic mission through the appointment, during Ridván 1954,
of four auxiliary boards one each continent, of nine members each, who
will, as their adjuncts, or deputies, and working in conjunction with the
various National Assemblies functioning on each continent, assist, through
periodic systematic visits to Bahá’í centers, in the efficient, prompt
execution of the twelve projected National Plans. Moreover request
communities observing Bahá’í Holy Days, solar calendar, celebrate with
befitting solemnity the approaching anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Birthday,
falling in the middle of the two month period during which, a hundred
years ago, the Author of the Faith received the first intimation of His
glorious Mission.

Advise American Bahá’í community commemorate occasion by special gathering
in the Temple in Wilmette and urge attendance of as many believers as
possible and invite Hands of the Cause in United States and Canada to
participate as my representatives.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, October 8, 1952]



ACQUISITION OF VITALLY-NEEDED PROPERTY


Announce to Bahá’í communities, East and West, on the joyous occasion of
the hundred and thirty-fifth Anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Birthday, the
successful termination of the protracted negotiations, initiated two years
ago and culminating in the signature to the contract providing the
eventual, formal transfer by the Development Authority of the State of
Israel to the Palestine Branch of the American National Spiritual Assembly
of the extensive, long-desired, vitally-needed property surrounding and
safeguarding for posterity the Most Holy Tomb of the Founder of the Faith,
as well as the adjoining Mansion.

The acquired area, raising Bahá’í holdings on the holy plain of Akká from
four thousand to one hundred and fifty-five thousand square meters, was
exchanged against property donated by children of Zikrullah, grandchildren
of Mírzá Muḥammad Qulí, Bahá’u’lláh’s faithful half-brother and companion
in exile.

This spontaneous offer contrasts with the shameful action of the family in
the sale to non-Bahá’ís of the property in the neighborhood of the Jordan
valley purchased through the instrumentality of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during
Bahá’u’lláh’s lifetime, pursuant to His instructions and alluded to in His
writings.

The forty acre property acquired in this single transaction almost equals
the entire Bahá’í international endowments purchased in the course of
sixty years in the vicinity of the Báb’s Sepulcher on the slope of Mount
Carmel.

The exchange of said property, including land and houses, was made
possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners, traditional
supporters of the old Covenant-breakers and descendants of the notorious
enemy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá who placed his residence at the disposal of the
Committee of Investigation.

The signature to the agreement signalized the commencement of large-scale
landscaping, aiming at the beautification of the immediate precincts of
the holiest spot in the entire Bahá’í world, itself the prelude to the
eventual erection, as happened in the case of the Báb’s Sepulcher, of a
befitting Mausoleum enshrining the precious Dust of the Most Great Name.

Desire to acknowledge the indefatigable efforts exerted by both Larry
Hautz and Leroy Ioas enabling the consummation of the initial stage of the
enterprise destined to eclipse in its final phase the splendor and
magnificence of the Báb’s resting-place on Mount Carmel.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, November 12, 1952]



REPRESENTATIVES FOR INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCES


On occasion of Centenary of Bahá’u’lláh’s release from oppressive
imprisonment in the Síyáh-_Ch_ál, Ṭihrán, synchronizing with the
termination of the epoch-making, two-month period associated with the
Birth of His Revelation, unsurpassed, with the sole exception of the
Declaration of His mission, by any episode in the world’s spiritual
history, call upon Bahá’í communities, East and West, to ponder the unique
significance, focus attention on imperative requirements and to respond
worthily to the challenge offered each of the four fate-laden,
fast-approaching Intercontinental Conferences, constituting the highlights
of recently ushered-in Holy Year.

Desire to announce the appointment of the Hands of the Cause, honored by
direct association with the newly-initiated enterprises at the world
center of the Faith, to act, in addition to their individual participation
in the deliberations at the forthcoming Conferences, as my special
representatives, entrusted with a four-fold mission: to bear, for the
edification of the attendants, a precious remembrance of the Co-founder of
the Faith, deliver my official message to the assembled believers,
elucidate the character and purposes of the impending decade-long
spiritual World Crusade and rally the participants to energetic,
sustained, enthusiastic prosecution of the colossal tasks ahead.

Instructing the President of the International Bahá’í Council, Mason
Remey, Member at Large, Ugo Giachery, and Secretary-General, Leroy Ioas,
to discharge these functions in the course of the New Delhi, Stockholm and
Kampala Conferences, respectively.

Delegating Amatu’l-Bahá, accompanied by Vice-President of the
International Council, Amelia Collins, to fulfil three of the above
mentioned functions, as well as carry on my behalf, to unveil on the
occasion of the completion of the construction of the Mother Temple of the
West, to the privileged attendants at the Wilmette Conference a most
prized remembrance of the Author of the Faith, which never before left the
shores of the Holy Land, to be placed beneath the dome of the consecrated
edifice. Moreover assigning her the task to act as my deputy at the
historic ceremony marking the official Dedication of the holiest
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world reared to the everlasting glory
and honor of the Most Great Name in the heart of the North American
continent.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 15, 1952]



TWOFOLD VICTORY IN HOLY LAND


On occasion of Naw-Rúz of Holy Year convey twin joyful tidings to National
Assemblies of the Bahá’í world. Building operations of the final unit of
the Báb’s Sepulcher commenced. Recall at this hour successive landmarks,
each coinciding with a Naw-Rúz Festival in the history of the sixty year
old enterprise founded by the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation. First,
Naw-Rúz, 1909, witnessed the entombment within the Holy of Holies of the
Shrine constructed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá of the dust of the Martyr-Prophet of
the Faith. Second, Naw-Rúz, 1949, coincided with the laying of the first
threshold stones of the arcade. Third, Naw-Rúz, 1951, synchronized with
the termination of the excavation within the Shrine foundations for the
eight piers designed to support the weight of the three story
superstructure. Fourth, Naw-Rúz, 1952, is associated with the completion
of the octagon setting second crown of the holy Edifice.

The celebrations of Naw-Rúz in this Holy Year are heightened by the
placing of the first stones encircling the base of the dome. Anticipating,
as the climax of the world-wide rejoicings of the Holy Year draw near, the
placing of the gilded tiles, the fourth and last unit of the majestic
Edifice. Fervently hoping that the greatest enterprise undertaken at the
World Center of the Faith will be consummated ere the conclusion of the
festivities of the Holy Year.

International endowments surrounding the tomb of the Prophet-Herald of the
Faith on the bosom of God’s Holy Mountain are considerably extended
through the acquisition, after thirty years’ effort, of a wooded area of
over twenty-three thousand square meters, including a building overlooking
the sacred spot, made possible through the estate bequeathed to the Faith
by the herald of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, Roy Wilhelm, raising the total
area within the precincts permanently dedicated to the Báb’s Sepulcher to
almost a quarter million square meters.

Heart filled with humble gratitude at the double victory of the Faith,
adding great joyousness to the Bahá’í New Year’s Day, presaging still
greater triumphs as the Bahá’í World approaches the high water mark of the
world-wide celebrations of the memorable year commemorating the hundredth
anniversary of the birth of the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 21, 1953]



TREACHEROUS RUHI AFNAN


Treacherous Ruhi Afnan, not content with previous disobedience,
correspondence with Ahmad Sohrab, contact with old Covenant-breakers,
sale, in conjunction with other members of family, of sacred property
purchased by Founder of Faith, and allowing his sister to marry son of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s enemy, is now openly lecturing on Bahá’í movement, claiming
to be its exponent and is misrepresenting the teachings and deliberately
causing confusion in minds of authorities and the local population. Inform
National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, May 17, 1953]



THE PARAMOUNT ISSUE


On occasion of the sixty-first Anniversary of the Ascension of
Bahá’u’lláh, on the morrow of the opening, initial phase of the momentous
World Crusade, call upon His followers in all continents to allow no
slackening, nay, to insure acceleration of the marvelous momentum
generated by the historic celebrations climaxing the festivities of Holy
Year. The dispersal, immediate, determined, sustained and universal,
throughout the unopened territories of the planet, is the paramount issue
challenging the spirit and resources of the privileged prosecutors of the
Ten-Year Plan in the course of the current year.

All National Assemblies are urged to give it priority assignments in their
national budgets. The chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, by virtue of
the primacy conferred in His Tablets, are accorded the prerogative to
stimulate the vital process of the dispersal through the dispatch, in
addition to their allotted tasks, of pioneers to the virgin territories
allocated to their sister communities East and West.

Once again I appeal to members of all communities to arise and enlist, ere
the present opportunity is irretrievably lost, in the army of
Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders. The hour is ripe to disencumber themselves of
worldly vanities, to mount the steed of steadfastness, unfurl the banner
of renunciation, don the armor of utter consecration to God’s Cause, gird
themselves with the girdle of a chaste and holy life, unsheathe the sword
of Bahá’u’lláh’s utterance, buckle on the shield of His love, carry as
sole provision implicit trust in His promise, flee their homelands, and
scatter far and wide to capture the unsurrendered territories of the
entire planet.

Would to God that Bahá’í warriors, six score and ten, the number required
to fill the gaps in the still unconquered territories of the globe, will
promptly arise and enroll themselves to achieve the goals ere the
conclusion of the opening year of the decade-long, greatest collective
enterprise since the memorable episodes associated with the Dawn-Breakers
of the Heroic Age.

Planning to inscribe, in chronological order, the names of the spiritual
conquerors on an illuminated Roll of Honor, to be deposited at the
entrance door of the inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh, as a
permanent memorial of the contribution by the champions of His Faith at
the victorious conclusion of the opening campaign of the Global Crusade
which is destined to attain consummation at the Most Great Jubilee
commemorating the Centenary of the Declaration of His Mission. Anticipate
making periodic announcements of the names of the valiant knights upon
their arrival at their posts to discharge their historic missions.

Share message National Assemblies of the Bahá’í World.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, May 28, 1953]



SEALING THE TRIUMPHANT FESTIVITIES OF HOLY YEAR


Transmit to the National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world the joyous news
that the placing of gilded tiles over the entire surface of the dome of
the Báb’s Sepulcher has been terminated. The last stones of the crown
surrounding the base of the dome have been laid, marking the conclusion of
the stonework of the superstructure of the holy edifice. The shuttering of
the interior of the dome has been removed. Frames of the lancet windows of
the drum have been installed. The placing of the frames of the octagon
windows and the plastering of the interior of the dome are approaching
completion. Electric cables designed for the illumination of the majestic
structure have been placed in position. Anticipate the early removal of
the scaffolding prior to the placing of the eighteen stained glass lancet
windows.

Feel assured consummation of the sixty year old enterprise will
synchronize with the holding of the forthcoming New Delhi Intercontinental
Teaching Conference, sealing the triumphant world-wide festivities of the
Holy Year commemorating the centenary of the birth of the Mission of
Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, August 19, 1953]



ROLL OF HONOR


Transmit the following joyful tidings National Spiritual Assemblies of the
Bahá’í world. World spiritual crusade, mightiest agency yet conceived for
the systematic execution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, has been
befittingly ushered in through successive, magnificent victories won by
Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders in virgin territories in every continent of the
globe.

The four months which have elapsed since its glorious inauguration amidst
the climax of the Centenary of the inception of His Mission, have been
immortalized by the opening of no less than twenty-eight territories and
islands, nine in Europe, eight in America, six in Africa, five in Asia,
constituting a dispersal unprecedented in its rapidity and scope during
eleven decades of Bahá’í history.

The number of pioneers who responded to the call for settlement of open
and unopened territories on the planet passed the three hundred mark: over
a hundred and fifty from America, over fifty from Europe, over forty from
Africa, over forty from Asia. The number of prospective pioneers to virgin
areas is over forty. All Western Hemisphere and African areas allocated to
the United States National Assembly, as well as all European areas
allocated to the various National Assemblies, have been assigned.

The Roll of Honor designed to perpetuate the memory of the exploits of the
spiritual conquerors is already inscribed with the names of the following
pioneers, together with their respective territories, amounting to almost
a fourth of the number required for the attainment of the paramount
objective of the opening phase of the ten year plan. Sohail Samandari,
Italian Somaliland; Mary and Rex Collison, Dunduzu Chisizwa,
Ruanda-Urundi; ‘Izzatu’lláh Zahrai, Southern Rhodesia; Ghulamal Kurlawala,
Daman; Gail and Jameson Bond, Franklin; Roshan Aftabi, Feroza Yaganagi,
Goa; Rose Perkal, Jack Huffman, Kodiak Island; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Crane,
Key West; Saeed Nahvi, Shyan Behrarilal, Pondicherry; Udainarayan Singh,
Sikkim; Fred Schechter, French Somaliland; Virginia Orbison, Balearic
Islands; Mr. and Mrs. Amín Banání, Greece; Abbás Vakil, Cyprus; Gertrude
Eisenberg, Canary Islands; Dick Stanton, Keewatin; Mr. and Mrs. Jenabe
Caldwell, Aleutian Islands; Edythe MacArthur, Queen Charlotte Islands;
Hushmand Manuchihri, Liechtenstein; Eskil Ljungberg, Faroe Islands;
Mildred Clark and Loyce Lawrence, Lofoten Islands; Salisa Kirmani, Shirin
Nurani, Karikal; Zíá’u’lláh Asgarzadeh, Evelyn Baxter, Channel Islands;
Kay Weston, Magdalen Islands; Julius Edwards, Northern Territories
Protectorate; Doris Richardson, Grand Manan Island; Charles Dunning,
Orkney Islands; Nellie French, Monaco.

Countries in which Bahá’ís reside now aggregate over one hundred fifty.
Over seventy have been added in the course of the nine years separating
the first and second Jubilees.

The festivities of the Holy Year, so splendidly inaugurated, attaining the
high water mark on the occasion of the Ninetieth Anniversary of the
declaration of the Mission of the Founder of the Faith, are approaching
their end. Appeal entire body of His followers to exert a concerted,
superhuman effort to celebrate, through acceleration of their dispersal,
the conclusion of the world-wide rejoicings, and pay worthy tribute to His
memory, through as close an approach to the two hundred mark as possible
of the total number of sovereign States, Dependencies, and Islands
comprised within the orbit of His irresistibly expanding Faith, achieving
thereby a feat paralleling, in the eyes of posterity, the triumphant
completion of the superstructure of the Sepulcher of its Co-Founder at the
Bahá’í World Center in the Holy Land.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, September 20, 1953]



TWENTY-ONE VIRGIN AREAS


Announce to National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world that the three week
interval since the close of the Holy Year witnessed planting the banner of
God’s triumphant Cause in no less than twenty-one virgin areas of the
globe, raising the total number of territories opened to the Faith to two
hundred, representing well nigh a sixty per cent increase in the course of
a little over half a year in the number of sovereign States and
Dependencies included within its pale during the one hundred and nine
years of its existence.

The seventy-two virgin areas, brought within the orbit of the swiftly
expanding Bahá’í administrative order since the launching of the World
Crusade, include twenty-one in the Americas, nineteen in Africa, nineteen
in Europe and thirteen in Asia.

The following pioneers have been inscribed on the Roll of Honor since the
last announcement: Gerald, Gail and Leeanna Curwin, Bahamas; Enoch Olinga,
British Cameroons; Malcolm King, British Guiana; Peggy and George True,
Canaries; Shirley Warde, British Honduras; Irving Geary, Cape Breton
Island; Zunilda Palacios, Chilöe Island; Edith Danielson, Cook Islands;
Himatlal Bhatt, Diu Island; Elinor and Robert Wolff, Dutch Guiana;
Eberhard Friedland, French Guiana; Labib Esphahani, French West Africa;
Adela and Salvador Tormo, Juan Fernandez Island; Gladys and Benjamin
Weeden, Leeward Islands; Frances Heller, Macao; Lionel Peraji, Máhe; Ola
Pawlowska, Miquelon and St. Pierre Islands; Elsie Austin, Nosrat
Shayesteh, Abbás Muḥammad-‘Alí Jalali Rowhani, Ardekani Hasanzadeh Rafii,
Morocco, International Zone; Bertha Dobbins, New Hebrides; Opal and Leland
Jensen, Réunion Island; Marie Ciocca, Sardinia; Abbás Kamil, Seychelles
Islands; Emma Rice and Mr. and Mrs. Bagley, Sicily; Greta Lamprill and
Glad Parke, Society Islands; Mr. and Mrs. McKay, Mr. and Mrs. Fleming and
Miss Jenssen, Spanish Morocco; Muḥammad Mostafá, Spanish Sahara; Lillian
Middlemast and Esther M. Evans, Windward Islands.

As few as two territories of Europe, six in the Americas, fourteen in
Africa and twenty-two in Asia still remain unopened, excluding the
Republics and satellites of the Soviet Union. May the opening year of the
decade-long spiritual Crusade be victoriously concluded and befittingly
celebrated in the course of the festivities of next Ridván through the
establishment of the nucleus of the Faith in each of the remaining
forty-four territories, insuring thereby the virtual attainment of the
foremost objective of the initial stage of the Ten Year Plan.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, November 11, 1953]



FAST-DWINDLING BAND OF COVENANT-BREAKERS


Following the successive blows which fell with dramatic swiftness two
years ago upon the ring-leaders of the fast dwindling band of old
Covenant-breakers at the World Center of the Faith, God’s avenging hand
struck down in the last two months, Avarih, Fareed and Falah, within the
cradle of the Faith, North America and Turkey, who demonstrated varying
degrees, in the course of over thirty years, of faithlessness to
‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

The first of the above named will be condemned by posterity as being the
most shameless, vicious, relentless apostate in the annals of the Faith,
who, through ceaseless vitriolic attacks in recorded voluminous writings
and close alliance with its traditional enemies, assiduously schemed to
blacken its name and subvert the foundations of its institutions.

The second, history will recognize as one of the most perfidious among the
kinsmen of the interpreters of the Center of the Covenant, who, driven by
ungovernable cupidity, committed acts causing agonies of grief and
distress to the beloved Master and culminating in open association with
breakers of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant in the Holy Land.

The third will be chiefly remembered by the pride, obstinacy and
insatiable ambition impelling him to violate the spiritual and
administrative precepts of the Faith.

All three, however blinded by perversity, could not have failed to
perceive, as their infamous careers approached their end, the futility of
their opposition and measure their own loss by the degree of progress and
consolidation of the triumphant administrative order so magnificently
celebrated in the course of the festivities of the recently concluded Holy
Year.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 16, 1953]



WORLD CRUSADE FORGES AHEAD


Inform National Assemblies East and West that the Bahá’í World Crusade,
matchless in its vastness, unsurpassed in its potentialities in the
spiritual annals of mankind, announced on the eve of the Holy Year and
formally launched during the climax of the festivities commemorating the
centenary of the birth of the Mission of the Founder of the Faith, is
forging ahead and gathering momentum in both its territorial and
institutional aspects in every continent of the globe and the chief
islands of the Pacific, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the
Mediterranean and North Seas.

The number of sovereign States and dependencies within the orbit of a
divinely propelled Order now totals two hundred five. No less than
seventy-seven territories have been won over by the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh
during a little over half a year, representing two thirds of the total
number of virgin areas exclusive of Soviet-controlled Republics and
satellites which must needs be opened in the course of the whole decade.
Every single territory, whether island or situated on a continent, with
the exception of the above-mentioned Republics and satellites has been
definitely assigned.

Out of a total of eleven, eight Funds have been inaugurated in the course
of the same year, aggregating approximately two hundred thousand dollars
designed to pave the way for the acquisition of sites for the future
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs on Carmel and in Canada, Panama, Italy, Sweden,
‘Iráq, Australia and India.

The hour is propitious for all National Assemblies, particularly the
United States, the British and the Egyptian, to participate befittingly in
the opening of the three remaining Funds ere the first year of the Ten
Year Plan draws to a close, insuring thereby the early purchase of sites
for the future Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs in Cairo, Kampala and Johannesburg.
Contributing three thousand pounds as my initial donation to this
three-fold, meritorious purpose.

Preliminary measures have been adopted by the German National Spiritual
Assembly and projects have been initiated in Ṭihrán calculated to hasten
the construction of the third and fourth Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs of the
Bahá’í world in the heart of the European and Asiatic continents.

Appeal to individual believers to reinforce to whatever extent possible
the contributions of the Bahá’í national bodies called upon at this hour
to unitedly lend an impetus to the unfoldment of the opening phase of the
Ten Year Plan whose consummation will, God willing, insure the triumphant
conclusion of the initial epoch in the evolution of the grand Design
conceived by the Center of the Covenant for the systematic propagation of
His Father’s Faith. Advise forward all contributions, whether individual
or collective, to the Egyptian, British or United States National
Assemblies which are primarily invested with responsibility for the
eventual erection of the Bahá’í Houses of Worship in the north, the heart,
and the south of the African continent.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 7, 1953]



HAND OF CAUSE APPOINTMENT


Inform National Assemblies elevation of Jalál _Kh_ázeh to rank of Hand of
Cause.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, December 7, 1953]



APPEAL FOR PIONEER SETTLEMENT


The nine months which have elapsed since the launching of the spiritual
world-encompassing Crusade have witnessed the entry of the Knights of
Bahá’u’lláh in well-nigh four score and ten territories throughout the
planet, representing virtually three-fourths of the total number of areas,
exclusive of the Soviet zone of influence, destined to be opened in the
course of the entire decade and swelling the roll of sovereign States and
Dependencies enlisted under the banner of His Faith to two hundred and
thirteen.

All independent States and Principalities on the European continent,
excluding Soviet Republics and satellites, have been opened.

All territories in North, Central and South America, excluding Labrador,
have been opened.

All territories on the Asiatic continent outside of the Russian orbit have
been opened, except Tibet and Bhutan.

All islands in the Mediterranean, all islands in the North Sea have been
opened, except Spitzbergen.

All African sovereign States, Colonies, Protectorates and Trust
territories, with the exception of Togolands, Spanish Guinea,
Bechuanaland, Swaziland, Gambia and the French Cameroons, have been
opened.

All islands in the South and North Atlantic, except St. Helena, St.
Thomas, Anticosti, and the Falklands, have been opened.

All Indian Ocean islands with the exception of Socotra, the Cocos, Comoro,
Mentawei, Nicobar, Chagos Archipelago and Kuria-Muria have been opened.

All islands in the North and South Pacific, exclusive of Soviet-controlled
territories, have been opened except Galapagos, Gilbert and Ellice,
Admiralty, Loyalty, Marshall, Mariana, Brunei and Portuguese Timor.

The Concourse on high hails with delight the phenomenal rapidity of the
victories of Bahá’í pioneering in the virgin areas of the globe.

Encouraged to address an urgent plea to all National Assemblies concerned,
as well as to each and every prospective pioneer assigned to the
aforementioned territories, to expedite by every means at their disposal
their arrival at their respective posts ere the expiry of the
swiftly-passing three-month period separating them from the conclusion of
the opening year of this auspiciously-unfolding decade.

Appeal furthermore to the entire body of participants in the Crusade to
put forth all strength to secure entry of additional volunteers into these
same territories multiplying thereby chances of their inclusion within the
pale of the Faith ere the celebration of the fast-approaching Ridván.

Supplicating with redoubled ardor a further measure of Bahá’u’lláh’s
sustaining grace, surpassing the conspicuous blessings already vouchsafed
to His wholly-dedicated, widely-scattered, forward-marching warriors since
the launching of the Ten Year Plan.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, February 8, 1954]



HAND OF CAUSE APPOINTMENT


Announce to all National Assemblies elevation of Paul Haney to rank of
Hand of the Cause.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 19, 1954]



ROLL OF HONOR—ADDITIONAL INSCRIPTIONS


On occasion Naw-Rúz, marking opening the second decade of the second
Bahá’í century, inform National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world that the
following pioneers scattered over twenty-one virgin areas have been
inscribed on the Roll of Honor since the fourth periodic announcement.
Otillie Rhein, Mauritius; Olga Mills, Malta; Peter Lugayula, Ashanti
Protectorate; Virginia Breaks, Caroline Islands; Dr. Fozdar, Andaman
Islands; Elly Becking, Dutch New Guinea; Andrew and Nina Matthisen,
Bahamas; Carl and Loretta Scherer, Macao; Gulnar Aftabi, Bahiyyih Rowhani,
Kaykhosrow Dahmobadi, Diu Island; Jean and Tove Deleuran, Charles Ioas,
Balearic Islands; Adib Bagdadi, Hussayn Halabi, Hadhramaut; Kenneth and
Roberta Christian, Eyneddin and Tahereh Alai, Joan Powis, Southern
Rhodesia; Hormoz Zendeh, Morocco International Zone; Howard and Joanne
Menking, Cape Verde Islands; Elizabeth Bevan, Rhodes; Matthew Bullock,
Dutch West Indies; Lillian Wyss, Samoa; Dulcie Dive, Cook Islands; Stanley
Bolton, Jr., Tonga Islands; Gretta Jankko, Marquesas Islands; Jean Sevin,
Tuamotu Archipelago; Alvin and Gertrude Blum, Solomon Islands; Bernard
Guhrke, Kodiak Island; John Leonard, Falkland Islands; Munir Vakil,
Kuria-Muria Islands; John and Audrey Robarts, Bechuanaland; Charles Dayton
and wife, David Schreiber, Leeward Islands; Faiborz Roozebehyan, Gambia;
Rahmat and Iran Muhajer, Mentawei Islands; Gertrud Ankersmit, Frisian
Islands; Shamsi Navidi, Monaco; Roy and Elena Fernie, Gilbert and Ellice
Islands; Qudratullah Rowhani, Khodarahm Mojgani, Máhe.

Ninety-one virgin areas have been opened to the Faith since the launching
of the Crusade. Total number of territories within its pale now raised to
two hundred nineteen. Remaining unopened territories, excluding Soviet
Republics and satellites, twenty-five.

Appeal to prospective pioneers whilst the opening year of the Ten Year
Crusade is speeding to its close, to expedite entry into unopened areas
contributing thereby to the enhancement of the celebrations of the coming
Ridván rendered memorable by the swift, magnificent victories achieved in
the pioneering field, unsurpassed in the course of the eleven decades of
Bahá’í history.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 21, 1954]



INSTITUTION OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE


To all the Hands of the Cause and all National Assemblies of the Bahá’í
World:

Hail emergence of the unfoldment in the opening years of the second epoch
of the formative age of the Bahá’í Dispensation of the august Institution
foreshadowed by the Founder of the Faith and formally established in the
Testament of the Center of His Covenant, closely associated in provisions
of the same Will with Institution of the Guardianship, destined to assume
in the fullness of time, under the aegis of the Guardian, the dual sacred
responsibility for protection and propagation of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Desire to pay warm tribute to the services rendered severally and
collectively by appointed hands at the World Center of the Faith and in
territories beyond its confines.

Greatly value their support in the erection of the Báb’s Sepulcher on Mt.
Carmel; in reinforcing ties with the newly emerged State of Israel; in the
extension of the International Endowments in the Holy Land; in the
initiation of the preliminary measures for the establishment of the Bahá’í
World Administrative Center, as well as in their participation in four
successive intercontinental Teaching Conferences; in their extensive
travels in African territories, in North, Central and South America, in
the European, Asiatic and Australian Continents.

This newly constituted body, embarked on its mission with such auspicious
circumstances, is now entering the second phase of its evolution
signalized by forging of ties with the National Spiritual Assemblies of
the Bahá’í world for the purpose of lending them assistance in attaining
the objectives of the Ten Year Plan.

The hour is ripe for the fifteen Hands residing outside the Holy Land to
proceed during Ridván with the appointment, in each continent separately,
from among the resident Bahá’ís of that Continent, of Auxiliary Boards,
whose members, acting as deputies, assistants and advisers of the Hands,
must increasingly lend their assistance for the promotion of the interests
of the Ten Year Crusade.

Advise the Hands of the Asiatic, American and European Continents to
convene in Ṭihrán, Wilmette and Frankfurt respectively for the purposes of
consultation and nomination.

The Hands of the Cause of the African and Australian Continents must
exercise their functions in Kampala and Sydney respectively.

The Auxiliary Boards of the American, European and African Continents must
consist of nine members each, of the Asiatic and Australian continents of
seven and two respectively.

The allocation of areas in each continent to the members of the Auxiliary
Boards, as well as subsidiary matters regarding the development of the
activities of the newly appointed bodies, and the manner of collaboration
with the National Spiritual Assemblies in their respective Continents, is
left to the discretion of the Hands.

All Boards must report and be responsible to the Hands charged with their
appointment.

The Hands of each Continent in their turn must keep in close touch with,
and report the result of the nominations and progress of the activities of
the Boards to the National Assemblies in their respective continents, as
well as to the four Hands residing in the Holy Land destined to act as
liaison between themselves and the Guardian of the Faith.

Urge the initiation of five Continental Bahá’í Funds which, as they
develop, will increasingly facilitate the discharge of the functions
assigned to the Boards.

Transmitting five thousand pounds as my initial contribution to be equally
divided among the five Continents.

Appeal to the twelve National Assemblies and individuals to insure a
steady augmentation of these Funds through annual assignment in National
Budgets and by individual contributions.

Advise transmit contributions to Varqá, Holley, Giachery, Banání and Dunn
acting as Trustees of the Asiatic, American, European, African and
Australian Funds respectively.

Fervently supplicating at the Holy Threshold for an unprecedented measure
of blessings on this vital and indispensable organ of the embryonic and
steadily unfolding Bahá’í Administrative Order, presaging the emergence of
the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh which must pave the way for the
establishment of the World Civilization destined to attain maturity in the
course of successive Dispensations in the Five Thousand Century Bahá’í
Cycle.

Airmail copies to all Hands and National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 6, 1954]



A DIVINELY-GUIDED FAITH


On the eve of this Ridván Festival marking the opening of the second
decade of the second Bahá’í century, and coinciding with the termination
of the first year of the World Spiritual Crusade, I hail with feelings of
joy and wonder the superb feats of the heroic company of the Knights of
the Lord of Hosts in pursuance of their sublime mission for the spiritual
conquest of the planet. The first twelve months of this decade-long
enterprise unexampled in its scope, significance and potentialities in the
world’s spiritual history and launched simultaneously, amidst the climax
of the world-wide festivities of a memorable Holy Year, in the American,
the European, the African, the Asiatic and the Australian continents, have
witnessed the hoisting of the banner of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in no
less than a hundred virgin territories of the globe. The total number of
the newly opened sovereign states and dependencies comprising
Principalities, Sultanates, Emirates, Sheikhdoms, Protectorates, Trust
Territories and Crown Colonies, scattered over the face of the earth,
represents almost seven-eighths of all the territories, exclusive of the
Soviet Republics and Satellites, destined to be opened in the course of an
entire decade. The northern frontiers of a divinely guided, rapidly
marching, majestically expanding Faith have been pushed, in consequence of
the phenomenal success recently achieved by the vanguard of Bahá’u’lláh’s
crusaders, beyond the Arctic Circle as far as Arctic Bay, Franklin, 73
degrees latitude. Its southern limits have now reached the Falkland
Islands in the neighborhood of Magallanes, the world’s southernmost city.
Other outlying outposts have been established in places as far apart as
Sikkim at the foot of the Himalayas, the Lofoten Islands in the heart of
the European Northland, Fezzan on the northern fringe of the Sahara
Desert, the Andaman Islands and the Seychelles, the penal colonies in the
Indian Ocean, the three Guianas and the leper colonies on the Atlantic
Coast, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, the wind-swept and inhospitable
archipelagos of the North Sea, Hadhramaut on the sun-baked shores of the
Arabian Peninsula, St. Helena isolated in the midst of the South Atlantic
Ocean and the Gilbert Islands, the war-devastated, sparsely populated
Atolls situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.

God’s infant Faith, confined during the first nine years of its existence
to its birthland and the adjoining territory of ‘Iráq, reaching, in the
course of the thirty-nine years of Bahá’u’lláh’s Ministry, to thirteen
other lands, enlarged, during ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s twenty-nine year Ministry,
through the opening of twenty additional countries, only succeeded, after
the lapse of three-quarters of a century, in including within its orbit
thirty-five countries within both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

The subsequent quarter of a century, constituting the first Epoch of the
Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, witnessed the planting of the
banner of the Faith in over forty territories of the globe, raising the
number of countries included within its pale, on the eve of the Centenary
Celebrations of the Declaration of the Báb’s Mission to seventy-eight. The
nine-year interval separating the first from the second Bahá’í Jubilee was
signalized by the spiritual conquest of no less than fifty countries of
the globe, whilst the first year of the Ten Year Plan has been
immortalized by the opening of one hundred countries, swelling the number
of the sovereign states and dependencies enlisted under the standard of
the Cause of God to two hundred and twenty-eight. All territories in
North, Central and South America; all sovereign states and principalities
on the continent of Europe, excluding the Russian Republics and
Satellites; all territories on the Asiatic continent, with the exception
of Tibet, of Bhutan and of the Soviet Republics; all the islands of the
Mediterranean; all the islands of the North Sea, with the exception of
Spitzbergen; all African territories with the exception of Spanish Guinea;
all the islands of the North and South Atlantic Ocean except Anticosti and
St. Thomas; all the islands of the Pacific Ocean except Comoro Islands,
Cocos Island, Nicobar Islands, Hainan Island, Portuguese Timor, Chagos
Archipelago, Loyalty Islands, Marshall Islands, Admiralty Islands, Mariana
Islands, are now included within the orbit of an irresistibly unfolding,
rapidly consolidating, world-girdling Administrative Order.

The number of the European, the African, the Asiatic, and the
American-Indian languages, including seven supplementary languages, into
which Bahá’í literature has been, and is being translated, is over
forty-two, raising the total number of the translations undertaken since
the inception of the Faith to one hundred and thirty.

The African Campaign, outshining the brilliant success of the enterprise
launched in Latin America, throwing into shade the splendor of the
victories won in recent years on the European continent, eclipsing all
previous collective pioneer undertakings embarked upon in the Asiatic and
Australian continents, has almost doubled, in the course of a single year,
the number of territories opened since the introduction of the Faith in
that continent over eighty years ago. The total number of converts to the
Faith belonging to the African race has passed the six hundred mark. The
total number of African Bahá’í centers has now been raised to over one
hundred and ninety. The total number of the tribes indigenous to the soil
of that continent represented in the Faith is now over sixty.

A single territory out of the forty-five territories already opened to the
Faith in the African continent, situated in its very heart and which, a
little over two years ago did not possess a single Bahá’í, now boasts of
over five hundred colored converts, who are settled in over eighty
localities, are drawn from thirty tribes, are provided with thirteen local
Assemblies, and anticipate the immediate formation of about ten additional
Assemblies. This same territory has, moreover, distinguished itself
throughout the entire Bahá’í world through the dispatch of nine members of
its mother Assembly for the purpose of pioneering in neighboring centers,
as well as in territories situated on the eastern and western coasts of
the African continent. A number of the newly-won recruits in some of these
territories have, moreover, been instrumental in winning the allegiance of
some of the members of their race, and have, in their turn, succeeded in
opening no less than three neighboring territories in that continent.

Contact has been established with no less than twenty-two American Indian
tribes, raising the total number of tribes contacted throughout the
Western Hemisphere to thirty-four. The first Greenlandic, the first Pygmy,
the first Berber, the first Fijian, Bahá’ís have been enrolled, swelling
the number of races represented in the Bahá’í World Community to
thirty-five.

The opening year of this World Spiritual Crusade has, moreover, gathered
significance through the convocation first of the Stockholm, and later of
the New Delhi Intercontinental Teaching Conferences, which, together with
the two previous Conferences held during the first part of the Holy Year
in Kampala and Wilmette, assembled a total of over thirty-four hundred
followers of the Faith from more than eighty countries of both the Eastern
and the Western Hemispheres and representing the principal races of
mankind.

Within the confines of the Holy Land, “the Heart of the world and the
Qiblih of all nations,” the erection of the first base stones of the
ornamental crown of the Dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher which had commenced
with Naw-Rúz of the Holy Year, was followed successively by the laying,
during the Ridván period, of the first of the twelve thousand gilded tiles
destined to cover the two-hundred and fifty square meter area of the Dome
and the placing of the stone lantern which marked the consummation of the
three quarters of a million dollar enterprise, and coincided with the
closing period of the Year associated with the hundredth anniversary of
the birth of the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh. The site for the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Holy Land has been selected—an area of
approximately twenty thousand square meters—situated at the head of the
Mountain of God, in close proximity to the Spot hallowed by the footsteps
of Bahá’u’lláh, near the time-honored Cave of Elijah, and associated with
the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, the Charter of the World Spiritual
and Administrative Centers of the Faith on that mountain. Funds totaling
one hundred thousand dollars have, moreover, been contributed by one of
the Hands of the Cause, residing in the Holy Land, and negotiations have
been initiated with the Israeli authorities for the purpose of effecting
the immediate purchase of the selected site. Measures have been undertaken
and Bahá’í Continental Funds inaugurated in anticipation of the
forthcoming appointment by the fifteen Hands residing outside the Holy
Land of five Auxiliary Boards, one in each of the continents of the globe,
the members of which will act as deputies of the Hands in their respective
continents, and will aid and advise them in the effective prosecution of
the Ten-Year Plan, and will assist them, at a later period, in the
discharge of their dual and sacred task of safeguarding the Faith and of
promoting its teaching activities. The international Bahá’í endowments,
situated in the heart of Mt. Carmel, and in the plain of Akká, already
extending over an area of over three hundred and fifty thousand square
meters, have been enlarged through the acquisition of properties
overlooking the Resting Places of the Most Exalted Leaf and of the Purest
Branch, which, when added to the plots situated on the ridge of Mt.
Carmel, on its western extremity and in the close neighborhood of the
Shrine built within its heart—for the acquisition of which negotiations
have been set afoot—will constitute an addition of over thirty thousand
square meters to the vast area of Bahá’í holdings permanently dedicated to
the Shrines of the Founder of the Faith and of its Herald. The
embellishment of the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas, the outer Sanctuary of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Sepulcher, already accomplished in the course of the Holy Year
commemorating the centenary of the birth of His prophetic Mission, has
been greatly enhanced through the laying out, on both its northern and
southern sides, of formal gardens, extending over an area of ten thousand
square meters, providing a befitting approach to His Mansion and
considerably widening the area stretching in front of His holy Sepulcher.
The design of the international Bahá’í Archives, the first stately Edifice
destined to usher in the establishment of the World Administrative Center
of the Faith on Mt. Carmel—the Ark referred to by Bahá’u’lláh in the
closing passages of His Tablet of Carmel—has been completed, and plans and
drawings forwarded to Italy for the purpose of securing bids for its
construction immediately after the conclusion of the necessary preliminary
steps taken in the Holy Land for its forthcoming erection. Israel Branches
of the British, the Persian, the Canadian and the Australian Bahá’í
National Spiritual Assemblies have been legally established, recognized
formally as Religious Societies by the Israeli Civil Authorities, and
empowered to hold without restriction title to immovable property in any
part of the country on behalf of their parent Assemblies. Contact has
moreover been established with the President of Israel, its Prime Minister
and five other Cabinet Ministers, as well as with the President of the
Knesset, culminating in the establishment of a special Bahá’í Department
in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and in an official statement by the
Head of this Ministry to Parliament emphasizing the international scope of
the Faith and the importance of its World Center—a series of events that
have paved the way for the forthcoming official visit, during the early
days of the Ridván period, of the President of Israel, himself, to the
Báb’s Sepulcher on Mt. Carmel.

The site of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál—that pestilential subterranean Pit, the scene
of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission, and the holiest place in
the capital city of His native land—has been recently purchased, together
with the surrounding area, involving an expenditure of approximately four
hundred thousand dollars contributed by a Persian follower of the Faith,
whilst negotiations have been initiated for the acquisition of the site of
the Báb’s incarceration in the mountains of Á_dh_irbayján. Full rights
have been accorded to Bahá’í women residing in the cradle of the Faith, to
participate in the membership of both national and local Bahá’í Spiritual
Assemblies, removing thereby the last remaining obstacle to the enjoyment
of complete equality of rights in the conduct of the administrative
affairs of the Persian Bahá’í Community.

Eleven Temple Funds have been inaugurated, amounting to almost a quarter
of a million dollars, for the purchase of land for future Bahá’í Temples
in the Western Hemisphere, in the European, the African, the Asiatic and
the Australian continents, followed by the purchase of a four-acre plot,
commanding an extensive view of the Pacific Ocean and the greater portion
of Greater Sydney area, and by the selection of appropriate sites outside
the Cities of Frankfurt and of Panama City.

The institutions of Bahá’í National Hazíratu’l-Quds in East and West,
already reaching an estimated value of over a million and a half dollars,
have been enhanced through the purchase and formal opening of the
Hazíratu’l-Quds of the Bahá’ís of Paris, destined to evolve into the
national administrative headquarters of the French Bahá’í Community, and
through the inauguration of National Hazíratu’l-Quds Funds in Anchorage,
Alaska, as well as in the capital cities of Italy and of Switzerland.

The initial landscaping of the area surrounding the Mother Temple of the
West, involving an expenditure of over two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars, has been completed and been followed by an appropriation of two
hundred and twenty thousand dollars by the United States National
Spiritual Assembly for the completion of the entire project. The nature of
the first Dependency of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Wilmette has been
finally decided upon by the members of that same Assembly, in anticipation
of its early establishment within the precincts of the Mother Temple of
the West. The Local Spiritual Assemblies of San Diego, Sacramento and
Fresno in California, of Tucson in Arizona, and of Oak Park in Illinois
have been legally incorporated, raising the number of national and local
Bahá’í incorporated Assemblies in the United States of America and in the
entire Bahá’í world to sixty-three and one hundred and twenty,
respectively. National Bahá’í endowments have been established in
Anchorage, Alaska. The Bahá’í Assemblies of Tucson, Arizona and of
Sacramento, California have been qualified to conduct legal Bahá’í
marriage services. Bahá’í Holy Days have been recognized in Los Angeles,
California and Castro Valley, California; Niles Township, Michigan;
Seattle, Washington; Newton, Massachusetts; Prince George County,
Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Maywood, Illinois.

The spiritual conquest of one hundred territories of the globe, the steady
rise of the embryonic World Order of the Faith, and the multiplication and
consolidation of its institutions have, in the course of the opening year
of this World Spiritual Crusade, been paralleled by a no less startling
decline in the fortunes of the enemies of the Faith, as evidenced by the
removal, by the Hand of Providence, of its arch-enemy in Persia who, for
thirty years, savagely attacked its Founders and its chief Promoter, and
tirelessly schemed to extinguish its light, dishonor its name and wreck
its institutions, as well as by the death of two others, who, in varying
degrees, demonstrated their ingratitude and infidelity to the Center of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.

The opening phase of this gigantic, divinely propelled, world-encircling
Crusade has been triumphantly concluded. The success crowning the initial
stage in its unfoldment has exceeded our fondest expectations. The most
vital and spectacular objective of the Ten Year Plan has been virtually
attained ere the termination of the first year of this decade-long
stupendous enterprise. The second phase, now auspiciously ushered in, must
witness, in all the territories of the planet, whether newly opened or
not, an upsurge of activity which, in its range and intensity, will excel
the exploits which have so greatly enlarged the limits, and noised abroad
the fame, of the Cause of God.

The energetic and systematic prosecution of the all important teaching
work both at home and abroad, designed to increase rapidly the number of
the avowed and active supporters of the Faith; the preservation, at any
cost, of the prizes so laboriously won in the far flung, the numerous and
newly opened territories of the globe; the maintenance, by every available
means, of the status of local Spiritual Assemblies already established
throughout the Bahá’í world; the steady multiplication of isolated
centers, of groups and of local Assemblies in order to hasten the
emergence of no less than forty-eight National Spiritual Assemblies in
both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres; the prompt conclusion of
negotiations for the purchase of sites for future Bahá’í Temples in the
American, the European, the Asiatic and the African continents; the
initiation of Funds for the establishment of National Hazíratu’l-Quds in
the capital cities of the Sovereign States and in the chief cities of the
Dependencies specifically mentioned in the Plan; the speedy fulfillment of
the task undertaken for the translation and publication of Bahá’í
literature in the languages allocated under that same Plan, to various
National Spiritual Assemblies; the continued acquisition of Bahá’í Holy
Places in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land; the adoption of preparatory measures
for the construction of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs of Ṭihrán and of
Frankfurt; the establishment of the first Dependency of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Wilmette; the inauguration of National Bahá’í
endowments designed to pave the way for the formation of National
Spiritual Assemblies; the lending of a fresh impetus to the incorporation
of local Spiritual Assemblies; the establishment of Bahá’í Publishing
Trusts—these stand out as the essential objectives of the phase now
unfolding before the eyes of the Bahá’í communities in the five continents
of the globe.

I direct my fervent plea to all the delegates assembled at the twelve
annual Bahá’í Conventions to ponder these objectives in their hearts, to
dedicate themselves anew to the tasks now challenging the spirit and
combined resources of the entire body of the followers of the Faith, to
rouse all the communities they represent to assume a worthy share in the
common and gigantic effort that must needs be exerted for the attainment
of the aforementioned goals, ensuring thereby the uninterrupted progress
and the ultimate consummation of the noblest collective enterprise
undertaken by the followers of the Most Great Name for the propagation and
the establishment of His Faith over the entire face of the planet.

—Shoghi

[April, 1954]



GLAD TIDINGS


On the morrow of the close of the Ridván period share with National
Assemblies of the Bahá’í world additional glad tidings supplementing the
message addressed a fortnight ago to delegates to national Conventions
East and West.

Six acre and five acre plots have been purchased in Kampala and Panama
City as sites of future Temples in the heart of the African continent and
Central America.

First historic African Spiritual Assemblies have been formed in
Johannesburg, Brazzaville, Victoria, Topremang, Casablanca, Tangier,
Algiers, Tripoli, Bukora. In Uganda alone, eleven additional Assemblies
have been established, over three hundred and eighty additional converts
enrolled, raising the total white and Negro believers to over six hundred
and seventy. The number of localities where Bahá’ís reside on the Arabian
Peninsula is now over fifteen, in Egypt and Sudan over forty, in the
British Isles over fifty, in Australasia over sixty, in the ten European
goal countries over seventy, in Germany and Austria over seventy, in
Uganda over eighty, in Canada over a hundred, in Latin America over a
hundred and ten, in the Indian subcontinent and Burma over a hundred and
thirty, in the African continent over a hundred and ninety, in Persia over
six hundred and in the United States over twelve hundred, swelling the
number of Bahá’í centers scattered over the surface of the globe to well
nigh twenty-nine hundred.

Additional National Hazíratu’l-Quds Funds have been inaugurated in ten
countries of Central America.

The number of Bahá’í books and pamphlets for the blind transcribed into
Braille, English, Esperanto, German, Japanese, now totals over a hundred
and ten.

The President of the State of Israel, accompanied by Mrs. Ben Zvi,
visited, as anticipated, the Shrines on Mount Carmel, following a
reception in their honor held in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s house marking the first
official visit paid by the Head of a sovereign independent State to the
Sepulchers of the Martyr-Prophet of the Faith and the Center of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.

The following pioneers have been inscribed on the Roll of Honor since the
fifth periodic announcement: Bruce Matthews, Howard Gilliland, Labrador;
Olivia Kelsey and Florence Ullrich, Monaco; Joan Powis, South Rhodesia;
Sohrab Payman, San Marino; Samuel Njiki, Mehrangiz Munsiff, French
Cameroons; Gail Avery, Baranof Island; Benedict Eballa, Ashanti
Protectorate; Martin Manga, Northern Territories Protectorate; Gayle
Woolson, Galapagòs Islands; Bula Stewart and John Allen and wife,
Swaziland; Charles Duncan, Harry Clark, John Fozdar, Brunei; David Tanyi,
French Togoland; Edward Tabe, Albert Buapiah, British Togoland; Kay Zinky,
Magdalen Islands; John and Margery Kellberg, Dutch West Indies; Robert
Powers, Jr., and Cynthia Olson, Mariana Islands; Habib Esfahani, French
West Africa.

The Roll of Honor, after the lapse of one year since the launching of the
World Crusade, is now closed, with the exception of pioneers who have
already left for their destination, as well as those first arriving in the
few remaining virgin territories inside and outside Soviet Republics and
satellites.

The Concourse on High will continue to applaud the highly meritorious
services rendered by future volunteers arising to reinforce the historic
work so nobly initiated by the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh in the far-flung,
newly opened territories. Posterity will likewise record with admiration
and gratitude the initial victories destined to be won in the course of
the spiritual conquest of the continents and islands of the globe.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, May 4, 1954]



A SUCCESSION OF VICTORIES


The opening months of the second phase of the Ten-Year Plan have
witnessed, on the American, the European, the African, the Asiatic and the
Australian fronts, a succession of victories rivalling, in their variety,
rapidity and significance, the prodigious efforts exerted, and the superb
exploits achieved, during the first twelve months of the Global Crusade,
by the mighty company of the stalwart Knights of Bahá’u’lláh in well nigh
a hundred virgin territories scattered over the face of the planet.

Seven virgin territories have been opened to the Faith since the
announcement on the morrow of the Ridván Festival, raising the total
number of the Sovereign States and Dependencies enlisted under the banner
of the Cause of God to two hundred and thirty-five. The number of the
unopened territories outside of the Soviet Orbit has now shrunk to eight,
namely: Spitzbergen, Anticosti Island, St. Thomas Island, Nicobar Islands,
Cocos Island, Socotra Island, Loyalty Islands, and the Chagos Archipelago.
The following pioneers have been inscribed on the Roll of Honor since my
last sixth periodic announcement: Elizabeth Stamp, St. Helena; Mr. and
Mrs. Harold Fitzner, Portuguese Timor; Elise Schreiber, Spanish Guinea;
Violet Hoehnke, Admiralty Islands; Shahpoor Rowhani and Ardeshir Faroodi,
Bhutan; Mehraben Sohaili, Comoro Islands; Marcia Atwater, Marshall
Islands.

The number of Bahá’í centers scattered over the continents and islands of
the globe has now passed the three thousand mark. A contract has been
signed for the purchase of a three-acre plot as the site of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Europe, situated on a plateau near the Taunus
Hills in the vicinity of the City of Frankfurt. A thirty thousand square
meter property located on the banks of the Tigris has been acquired as the
site of the future Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Holy City of Ba_gh_dád. A
plot lying in the outskirts of New Delhi has been secured at the price of
a hundred thousand rupees as the site of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár
of the Indian sub-continent. A twelve thousand dollar plot has been bought
in Johannesburg as the site of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of South
Africa. A five-year Plan has been initiated in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land
designed to raise twelve million tumans for the projected construction of
the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in the cradle of the Faith. A six thousand
dollar plot has been purchased in the vicinity of the resting-place of the
Greatest Holy Leaf and registered in the name of the newly established
Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the
British Isles. A property has been acquired opposite the Mother Temple of
the West to serve as a possible site for the first Dependency of the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Wilmette. A contract has been signed, pending
registration of a house valued at ten thousand dollars and situated in the
immediate neighborhood of the Báb’s Sepulcher, in the name of the recently
established Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of Canada. Preliminary steps have been taken for the acquisition
of two plots, the one situated on the ridge of Mt. Carmel, the other to
the west of the Báb’s resting-place and for their subsequent registration
in the name of the Israel Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of
the Bahá’ís of Persia and of Australia and New Zealand, respectively. A
national Hazíratu’l-Quds has been purchased in Kabul and one in
Johannesburg. Arrangements will soon be completed for the purchase of a
building costing over eighteen thousand dollars for a national
Hazíratu’l-Quds in Tunis. Funds totalling over one hundred thousand
dollars have been initiated for the purchase of similar institutions in
Anchorage, Asunciòn, Auckland, Bahrayn, Beirut, Bern, Bogota, Brussels,
Buenos Aires, Caracas, Ciudad Trujillo, Colombo, Copenhagen, Guatemala,
Havana, Helsingfors, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, La Paz, Lima,
Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Managua, Mexico City, Montevideo,
Oslo, Panama City, Port-au-Prince, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San José,
Santiago, San Salvador, Stockholm, Suva, Tegucigalpa, The Hague, Tokyo,
and Vienna, as well as for the acquisition of the Garden of Ridván in
Ba_gh_dád, the transfer of the remains of the wife of the Báb in _Sh_íráz
and for the purchase of the sites associated with Bahá’u’lláh’s exile in
Istanbul and in Adrianople. The initiation of these Funds has been made
possible to a notable extent as a result of the successive contributions
made by the Hand of the Cause, Amelia Collins, outstanding benefactress of
the Faith, for the furtherance of some of the most vital objectives of the
Ten-Year Plan. Negotiations are now afoot aiming at the acquisition of the
fortress of _Ch_ihríq including its precincts involving the expenditure of
a sum of over two hundred thousand tumans. Preliminary documents have been
signed in connection with the purchase from the Development Authority of
the State of Israel of five houses, situated at the foot of Mt. Carmel and
adjoining the last terrace of the Báb’s Shrine, for a sum of approximately
sixty thousand dollars.

The phenomenal progress of the African Campaign, alike in the teaching and
administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, has been maintained, most
conspicuously in the heart of that continent, as evidenced by the
ever-swelling number of African converts, now numbering over seven
hundred, three hundred and eighty of which have been added in the course
of a single year. The number of Bahá’í centers now spread over the face of
this continent is a hundred and ninety-five. The number of African tribes
represented in the Faith in this same continent has reached eighty-five.
The African languages into which Bahá’í literature has been translated now
number thirty-four, whilst the number of African local spiritual
assemblies has swelled to fifty.

I feel the hour is now ripe for the adoption of preliminary measures
designed to pave the way for the simultaneous erection during Ridván of
1956 of three pillars of the future Universal House of Justice in the
North, the South and the very heart of this long dormant continent. The
first of these pillars will be designated the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of Central and East Africa; the second the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of South and West Africa; and the third
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of North-West Africa.
Responsibility for the convocation of the three epoch-making conventions,
to be held in Kampala, Johannesburg and Tunis, preparatory to the
emergence of these three central administrative institutions of the
fast-evolving Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the
African continent will devolve upon the British, the United States and the
Egyptian Spiritual Assemblies, respectively.

The jurisdiction of the first Assembly will embrace Uganda, Tanganyika,
Kenya, the Belgian Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, French Equatorial Africa,
Zanzibar, the Comoro Islands and the Seychelles. That of the second will
extend over the Union of South Africa, South-West Africa, Northern
Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola, Bechuanaland, Basutoland,
Swaziland, Nyasaland, Zululand, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion Island and
St. Helena. That of the third will include Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco (Int.
Zone), Spanish Morocco, French Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Rio de Oro,
Spanish Guinea, Ashanti Protectorate, French Cameroons, British Cameroons,
Northern Territories Protectorate, French Togoland, British Togoland,
Gambia, Portuguese Guinea, French West Africa, the Gold Coast, Liberia,
Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands,
and St. Thomas Island.

Abyssinia, Libya, Eritrea, British, French and Italian Somaliland and
Socotra Island will, as of Ridván of that same year, fall within the
administrative jurisdiction of the Egyptian National Spiritual Assembly
which will from then on be designated as the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of North-East Africa. All African territories originally
allocated to the United States, the Persian, the Egyptian, the Indian, and
the British National Spiritual Assemblies will continue, in the course of
the Ten-Year Plan, to benefit from the advantages of sustained assistance
by these Assemblies—an assistance that will enable them to assume an
ever-increasing share in the steadily expanding activities of the nascent
National Spiritual Assemblies.

Only local spiritual assemblies duly constituted during Ridván 1955 will
be qualified to elect delegates to these four historic conventions to be
convened during the succeeding year.

I call upon the Hand of the Cause, Músá Banání, to act as my
representative at each of the three Conventions destined to culminate in
the emergence of these three momentous institutions. I moreover invite the
Chairman of the United States, the British and the Egyptian National
Spiritual Assemblies to convene the aforementioned Conventions falling
within the respective jurisdiction of these Assemblies and urge as many
members of the African Auxiliary Board as possible to attend the sessions,
and lend their support to the deliberations, of these gatherings. I feel,
moreover, moved at this juncture to stress the urgent necessity for all
groups established throughout the African continent as well as in the
islands situated in its neighborhood—already four score in number—to seize
their present golden opportunity during the fast-fleeting months
separating them from next Ridván, and exert every effort to attain
assembly status which will enable them to participate in the election of,
and contribute to the broadening of the foundations of the projected
National Spiritual Assemblies.

I earnestly appeal to all Bahá’í communities, and in particular to their
national elected representatives in Latin America, Europe, Asia and
Australia to brace themselves and vie with one another in emulating the
example of their African sister communities ranking among the youngest in
the Bahá’í world. I entreat them, through a greater dispersal and an
intensification of teaching activity, to lend an unprecedented impetus to
the multiplication of local spiritual assemblies in their respective
areas, accelerating thereby the dynamic process of the formation of
National Spiritual Assemblies—a process destined to usher in the third and
most brilliant phase, and constituting unquestionably the noblest
objective, of the most stupendous crusade ever launched in the course of
eleven decades of Bahá’í history.

Share this message with the Hands of the Cause and the National Spiritual
Assemblies throughout the Bahá’í World.

—Shoghi

[October 1, 1954]



ADMINISTRATIVE SEATS OF DIVINELY-APPOINTED INSTITUTIONS


I hail, with feelings of thankfulness and relief, the signature, on the
eve of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension, of a contract for the immediate
expropriation, by the Israeli Finance Minister, on the recommendation of
the Mayor of the City of Haifa, of a thirteen-hundred meter plot, owned by
the sister of Fareed, notorious enemy of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Covenant. This historic act paves the way for the early transfer of the
title deed of this plot by the State of Israel to the Bahá’í Community,
now engaged in establishing and consolidating its World Administrative
Center in the Holy Land.

The truculence, greed and obstinacy, of this breaker of the Covenant of
Bahá’u’lláh, demonstrated by her persistent refusal to sell and by the
exorbitant price subsequently demanded, raised, during more than thirty
years, an almost insurmountable obstacle to the acquisition of an area
which, however circumscribed, occupies a central position amidst the
extensive Bahá’í domains in the heart of God’s Holy Mountain, is situated
in the vicinity of the Báb’s Sepulcher, overlooks the Tomb of the Greatest
Holy Leaf, and adjoins the resting-places of the Brother and the Mother of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and which, through deliberate neglect, has been allowed to
become an eyesore to all those who throng the embellished precincts of a
Mausoleum rightly regarded as the second holiest Shrine in the Bahá’í
world.

The ownership of this plot will now enable us to locate the site, excavate
the foundations, and erect the structure, of the International Bahá’í
Archives, designed by the Hand of the Cause, Mason Remey, President of the
International Bahá’í Council, which will serve as the permanent and
befitting repository for the priceless and numerous relics associated with
the Twin Founders of the Faith, with the Perfect Exemplar of its teachings
and with its heroes, saints and martyrs, and the building of which
constitutes one of the foremost objectives of the Ten-Year Plan.

The raising of this Edifice will in turn herald the construction, in the
course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the Faith, of several
other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such
divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the
Cause, and the Universal House of Justice. These Edifices will, in the
shape of a far-flung arc, and following a harmonizing style of
architecture, surround the resting-places of the Greatest Holy Leaf,
ranking as foremost among the members of her sex in the Bahá’í
Dispensation, of her Brother, offered up as a ransom by Bahá’u’lláh for
the quickening of the world and its unification, and of their Mother,
proclaimed by Him to be His chosen “consort in all the worlds of God.” The
ultimate completion of this stupendous undertaking will mark the
culmination of the development of a world-wide divinely-appointed
Administrative Order whose beginnings may be traced as far back as the
concluding years of the Heroic Age of the Faith.

This vast and irresistible process, unexampled in the spiritual history of
mankind, and which will synchronize with two no less significant
developments—the establishment of the Lesser Peace and the evolution of
Bahá’í national and local institutions—the one outside and the other
within the Bahá’í world—will attain its final consummation, in the Golden
Age of the Faith, through the raising of the standard of the Most Great
Peace, and the emergence, in the plenitude of its power and glory, of the
focal Center of the agencies constituting the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
The final establishment of this seat of the future Bahá’í World
Commonwealth will signalize at once the proclamation of the sovereignty of
the Founder of our Faith and the advent of the Kingdom of the Father
repeatedly lauded and promised by Jesus Christ.

This World Order will, in turn, in the course of successive Dispensations
of the Bahá’í Cycle, yield its fairest fruit through the birth and
flowering of a civilization, divinely inspired, unique in its features,
world-embracing in its scope, and fundamentally spiritual in its
character—a civilization destined as it unfolds to derive its initial
impulse from the spirit animating the very institutions which, in their
embryonic state, are now stirring in the womb of the present Formative Age
of the Faith.

Advise share this message with the Hands of the Cause and the members of
the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the Bahá’í world.

—Shoghi

[November 27, 1954]



INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES BUILDING AND DESIGN FOR TEMPLE IN PERSIA


On the occasion of the Naw-Rúz Festival marking the opening of the
auspicious year being celebrated by the followers of the Faith in
approximately sixteen hundred centers in the Western Hemisphere, above
eight hundred in Asia, well nigh three hundred in Africa, more than two
hundred in Europe and over one hundred in the Antipodes, I joyfully
announce the commencement of the excavation for the foundations of the
International Archives heralding the rise of the first edifice destined to
inaugurate the establishment of the seat of the World Bahá’í
Administrative order in the Holy Land.

I announce moreover the selection of the design submitted by the Hand of
the Cause, Mason Remey, for the projected Mother Temple in Bahá’u’lláh’s
native land, paving the way for the construction of the third
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world.

Urge followers of the Faith in Eastern and Western Hemispheres to arise
and lend support to the erection of these twin mighty institutions of the
embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh at the World Center of the Faith and
within the cradle of His Revelation.

Share twin glad tidings with all National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, March 20, 1955]



ACHIEVEMENTS OF SECOND YEAR OF TEN YEAR PLAN


On the occasion of the triumphant conclusion of the second year of the Ten
Year Plan, marking the termination of the first half of the second phase
of a decade-long Bahá’í World Spiritual Crusade, I invite the delegates
assembled at the twelve Annual Conventions, convened simultaneously
throughout the Bahá’í world during the Ridván Festival, to survey with me
the multiple evidences of the progressive unfoldment of the incalculable
potentialities with which this world-enveloping, steadily consolidating
enterprise has been endowed by the Author of the Tablets of the Divine
Plan at the very hour of its inception.

In every continent of the globe, throughout the widely scattered islands
of the Mediterranean and the North Sea, of the Atlantic, the Pacific and
Indian Oceans, this mighty Plan, devised for the systematic execution of
the Design conceived by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant for the
propagation of His Father’s Faith, is forging ahead, gaining momentum with
every passing day, tearing down barriers in all climes and amidst divers
peoples and races, widening irresistibly the scope of its beneficent
operations, and revealing ever more compelling signs of its inherent
strength as it marches towards the spiritual conquest of the entire
planet.



TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX TERRITORIES NOW OPENED TO THE FAITH


The number of the virgin territories of the globe opened to the Faith has,
since the inauguration, and in direct consequence of the vigorous
prosecution, of this stupendous undertaking, been raised to one hundred
and eight, swelling the number of the sovereign states and chief
dependencies included within the pale of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh to two
hundred and thirty-six, above two hundred of which have been enlisted
under His banner since the ascension of the Center of His Covenant.

All the territories within the confines of the American, the European, the
Asiatic and the African continents, assigned to ten Bahá’í National
Assemblies, have, with the exception of Soviet-controlled territories,
been opened. Of the seventy-two islands allocated to eleven Bahá’í
National Assemblies no less than sixty-four have opened their doors to the
vanguard of Bahá’í Crusaders, leaving Spitzbergen and Anticosti Island,
situated respectively in the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean,
Nicobar Islands, Cocos Island and Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean,
and Loyalty Islands, Sakhalin Island and Hainan Island in the Pacific
Ocean—one of which is a native reserve, two of which are within the Soviet
orbit, while four others are either privately owned or controlled by
private companies—as yet unopened by the heroic band battling for the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The northern limits of the Faith in Europe have been pushed beyond the
Arctic Circle as far as 70 degrees latitude, through the settlement of a
Bahá’í pioneer in Reals Kolen, Batsfjord, Finnmark, only three degrees
below Arctic Bay, Franklin, the northernmost Bahá’í Center established, in
the course of the opening year of the Ten-Year Plan, in the North American
Continent. Valiant pioneers have, moreover, volunteered and are busily
engaged in devising plans, or have actually embarked on the necessary
preparations, to cross the mountain frontiers of Tibet, to enter the
Ukraine, beyond the Iron Curtain, to gain admission to the few remaining,
hitherto inaccessible islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and to
penetrate deep into the Arctic Ocean as far as the icebound island of
Spitzbergen.



NUMBER OF RACES, LANGUAGES, INCORPORATED ASSEMBLIES AUGMENTED


No less than forty races are now represented in the world-wide Bahá’í
Community, which has been recently enriched through the enrollment of
representatives of the Greek, the Berber, the Pigmy, the Somali and
Guanche races. The number of localities where Bahá’ís now reside is well
over thirty-two hundred, of which fourteen hundred are located in the
Great Republic of the West, over six hundred in the Cradle of the Faith,
more than three hundred in the African Continent, and over one hundred
each in the Dominion of Canada, in Australasia, Latin America and in the
Indian Sub-Continent. In the African Continent alone the number of members
of the Negro race has, within the space of four years, increased to over
thirteen hundred; the number of territories opened to the Faith has
reached fifty-eight, the number of local Spiritual Assemblies already
established and functioning is now fifty, the number of tribes represented
within the swiftly expanding Bahá’í Community is now over ninety, whilst
the number of African languages into which Bahá’í literature has been and
is being translated exceeds fifty.

The total number of the European, the African, the Asiatic and
American-Indian languages into which Bahá’í literature has been and is
being translated is one hundred and sixty-seven, of which fifty-five are
among those included in the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan, and
twenty-four are supplementary languages into which the translation of
Bahá’í literature has been spontaneously undertaken by the indefatigable
band of pioneers and new converts in Africa, in South East Asia, in the
South Pacific Islands and in the Antipodes.

The number of incorporated Bahá’í national and local Spiritual Assemblies
has now reached one hundred and forty, seventy-five of which are located
in the United States of America, the latest additions to this steadily
mounting list in other continents being the Assemblies of London and
Manchester in the British Isles; of Ciudad Trujillo in the Dominican
Republic; of Kuching in Sarawak; of Jakarta in Indonesia; of Helsinki in
Finland and of San Juan in Puerto Rico.



ACTIVITIES AT THE WORLD CENTER


In the Holy Land, the Center and Pivot around which the institutions of a
world-encompassing Administrative Order revolve, steps have been taken for
the preparation of a Synopsis, and for the Codification of the Laws, of
the Most Holy Book, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of the Bahá’í
Revelation, as an essential prelude to the eventual translation and
publication of its entire text.

A Fund has been inaugurated in anticipation of the adoption of preliminary
measures for the ultimate construction of Bahá’u’lláh’s Sepulcher in the
heart of the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas recently established in the plain of Akká.

The international Bahá’í endowments on Mt. Carmel have been greatly
enhanced by the signature of a contract with the Israeli Authorities for
the acquisition of an area of thirty-six thousand square meters, situated
on the promontory of Mt. Carmel, overlooking the Cave of Elijah, as well
as the spot sanctified by the footsteps of Bahá’u’lláh and associated with
the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, for the price of one hundred and
eight thousand dollars, to serve as the site for the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Holy Land, the entire sum having been donated
by Amelia Collins, Hand of the Cause and outstanding benefactress of the
Faith.

The vast area surrounding the Báb’s Sepulcher has been enlarged through
the purchase from the Development Authority of the State of Israel, of
five houses, adjoining the last terrace of His Shrine for a sum of
approximately sixty thousand dollars, as well as through the acquisition
of a six thousand dollar plot that has been registered in the name of the
Israeli Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the
British Isles; of a house, valued at ten thousand dollars, that has been
registered in the name of the Israeli Branch of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; of a twenty-eight thousand dollar plot,
to be registered in the name of the Israeli Branch of the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; and of a five thousand dollar
plot to be registered in the name of the Israeli Branch of the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand. Moreover,
steps are now being taken for the purchase of several properties, valued
at approximately one hundred and forty thousand dollars, the acquisition
of which is essential for the safeguarding of the area in the close
vicinity of the Báb’s Sepulcher, as well as for the future extension of
the arc around which the edifices, destined to serve as the seat of the
future Bahá’í World Commonwealth, are to be erected.

Following the expropriation by the Israeli Finance Minister, on the
recommendation of the Mayor of the City of Haifa, of the plot adjoining
the site of the future International Bahá’í Archives on Mt. Carmel, the
fixing of the position of the far-flung arc, around which the edifices
constituting the Seat of the World Bahá’í Administrative Order are to be
built, the location of the site of the building and the preparations for
the excavation of its foundations, an hundred and twelve thousand dollar
contract has been signed in Rome for the quarrying, the dressing and
carving of the stones and the fifty-two columns of the building which will
amount in weight to over nine hundred tons and are to be shipped within
less than two years to the Holy Land.

The landscaping of the extensive area stretching between the Báb’s
Sepulcher and the resting-places of the Greatest Holy Leaf, the Purest
Branch and their mother, and destined to encircle this Edifice, has been
undertaken, adding greatly to the beauty of the surroundings of these
consecrated Spots in the heart of God’s Holy Mountain.



ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE CRADLE OF THE FAITH


In the Cradle of the Faith, the site of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál, the scene of the
birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission and the second holiest spot in His native
land, purchased in the course of the first year of the Ten-Year Plan, has
been transferred by the donor of this holy and historic place, Habíb
Sábet, to the name of one of the Hands of the Cause acting as my official
representative in that country.

A five-year Plan has been inaugurated for the purpose of raising twelve
million túmans for the construction of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in
that land. The design of this historic Edifice has been finally selected
from among a number of designs submitted by Bahá’í Architects in both the
East and the West, the choice falling upon the plan conceived by the Hand
of the Cause and President of the International Bahá’í Council, Mason
Remey—a design which incorporates a dome reminiscent of that of the Báb’s
Holy Sepulcher.

A contract has moreover been signed as a preliminary step for the eventual
purchase of the Fortress of _Ch_ihríq and its surroundings, for a sum of
over two hundred thousand túmans.



GOALS ATTAINED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


In the United States of America a plot has been acquired in the precincts
of the Mother Temple of the West to serve as the site for the construction
of a Home for the Aged, and which will constitute the first of the
Dependencies to be erected around that holiest Bahá’í House of Worship.
Measures have been adopted, and the design authorized, for the completion
of the landscaping of the area surrounding that same building. The
National Bahá’í Publishing Committee has been converted into a Bahá’í
Publishing Trust, functioning under the jurisdiction of the American
National Spiritual Assembly. The total number of American Indian tribes
with which contact has been established has now reached twenty-two, whilst
members of the Apache, the Cherokee, the Omaha, the Oneida, and the Sioux
tribes have been enrolled in the American Bahá’í Community. The number of
territories, federal districts and states of the United States of America
where official authorization for the conduct of Bahá’í marriages has been
granted is now twenty-one, whilst the number of localities in that same
country where the Bahá’í Holy Days are officially recognized is over
twenty-five.



PROPERTIES ACQUIRED AROUND THE WORLD


Land for no less than eight of eleven Temple sites to be acquired
according to the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan, and involving an
expenditure of eighty thousand dollars has been purchased in the following
places: in the holy city of Ba_gh_dád, on the banks of the Tigris, blessed
by the footsteps of Bahá’u’lláh, of an area of thirty thousand square
meters; on the banks of the Nile in Cairo, the center of both the Arab and
Islamic worlds, of an area of seventeen thousand square meters; in
Frankfurt, the heart of the European continent, of an area of seventeen
thousand square meters; in New Delhi, the capital of India, of an area of
sixty-six thousand square meters; in Sydney, the oldest Bahá’í center in
the Australian continent, of an area of eleven thousand square meters; in
Kampala, in the heart of the African continent, of an area of twenty-four
thousand square meters; in Johannesburg, the second largest city in the
African continent, of an area of six thousand square meters; and in Panama
City, the importance of which has been underlined by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the
Tablets of the Divine Plan, of an area of twenty thousand square meters.

No less than fourteen national Hazíratu’l-Quds, out of the forty-nine
listed in the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan and which are to serve as
seats of future Bahá’í National Spiritual Assemblies, have already been
purchased, largely through the liberal contributions of the Hand of the
Cause, Amelia Collins. These buildings, involving the expenditure of over
two hundred thousand dollars, are situated in five continents of the
globe; in London, Bern and Vienna in the European continent; in Anchorage,
Lima and Panama City in the American continent; in Tokyo, Istanbul, Kábul,
Bahrayn and Suva in the Asiatic continent; in Johannesburg and Tunis in
the African continent; and in Auckland in the Antipodes. Negotiations for
the purchase of three additional Hazíratu’l-Quds, in the cities of Rome,
Jakarta and Colombo are moreover under way, while funds, totalling one
hundred and thirty thousand dollars have been pledged for the purchase, in
the immediate future, of twenty-seven other Hazíratu’l-Quds in Latin
America and the European continent.

Furthermore, the sum of fifty thousand dollars has been contributed by the
Hand of the Cause, Amelia Collins, as yet another evidence of her
munificence, for the purpose of establishing Bahá’í national endowments in
no less than fifty countries, situated in all five continents of the
globe. A plot has, moreover, been purchased in South Africa, a property
offered in the Aleutian Islands and a fund initiated for the same purpose
in Alaska and Finland.



SIXTEEN NEW NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES BY RIDVAN, 1957


Such marvelous progress, involving such diversified activities, extending
over so immense a field, within such a brief space of time, and
notwithstanding the smallness of the numbers of the participants in this
Global Crusade, the meagerness of their resources and the restrictions
imposed upon them by those who are either unsympathetic to their Cause, or
alarmed by their rising influence, or envious of the pervasive power of
the Faith they champion, impels me to announce, in anticipation of the
opening of the third phase of the Ten-Year Plan, the formation, during
Ridván, 1957, in addition to the three Regional National Spiritual
Assemblies to be elected in 1956 in the African continent, of thirteen
National Spiritual Assemblies, some of which will be regional, others
independent, some interim and others permanent.

These National Spiritual Assemblies, representing no less than forty-two
territories will be established in four continents of the globe. Four will
be in Asia: in Japan, in Pákistán, in the Arabian Peninsula and in
South-East Asia. Three will be in Europe: in Scandinavia and Finland, in
the Benelux countries and in the Iberian Peninsula. Five will be in
America: the first, combining within its jurisdiction the Republics of
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia; the second, comprising
the Republics of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela; the third
including Mexico and the Republics of Central America, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama; the fourth embracing
the Islands of the Greater Antilles, Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican
Republic, and the fifth in Alaska. And lastly, one will be in the
Antipodes, in the Dominion of New Zealand.

Responsibility for the convocation of the eight Bahá’í Conventions, whose
delegates are to elect eight National Spiritual Assemblies in North,
Central and South America and in Europe, and which are to be held in
Anchorage, in Panama City, in Port-au-Prince, in Buenos Aires, in Lima, in
Stockholm, in Brussels and in Madrid, will devolve upon the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; for the
convocation of the four conventions whose delegates are to elect four
National Spiritual Assemblies in Asia, and which are to be held in Tokyo,
in Karachi, in Bahrayn and in Jakarta, upon the National Spiritual
Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America, of Persia, and
of India, Pákistán and Burma; and for the convocation of the convention
whose delegates are to elect the National Spiritual Assembly of New
Zealand, which is to be held in Auckland, upon the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand.



HANDS OF THE CAUSE TO ATTEND HISTORIC CONVENTIONS


I call upon the following Hands of the Cause to act as my representatives
at these thirteen historic conventions, that are to pave the way for the
erection, in four continents of the globe, of the pillars destined to
support, in varying measure, the Universal House of Justice, the final
unit in the construction of the edifice of the Administrative Order of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh: Valíyu’lláh Varqá and Horace Holley at the South
American Conventions to be held in Buenos Aires and Lima respectively;
Corinne True at the Greater Antilles Convention to be held in
Port-au-Prince; _Dh_ikru’lláh _Kh_ádem at the Central American Convention
to be held in Panama City; Paul Haney at the Alaska Convention, to be held
in Anchorage; Hermann Grossmann and Adelbert Mühlschlegel at the
Scandinavian-Finnish Convention to be held in Stockholm; George Townshend
at the Benelux Convention to be held in Brussels; Ugo Giachery at the
Iberian Convention to be held in Madrid; Tarazu’lláh Samandarí at the
Arabian Convention to be held in Bahrayn; ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan at the
Southeast Asian Convention, to be held in Jakarta; _Sh_u‘á’u’lláh ‘Alá’í
at the Pákistání Convention to be held in Karachi; Jalál _Kh_ázeh at the
Japanese Convention to be held in Tokyo; Clara Dunn at the New Zealand
Convention to be held in Auckland.

I urge, moreover, as many members as feasible of the Auxiliary Boards
appointed by the aforementioned Hands of the Cause, in the American, the
European, the Asiatic and the Australian continents, to attend these
momentous gatherings, at which the representatives of as many as forty-two
Bahá’í Communities will assemble, and, through their active participation,
reinforce and widen the scope of the deliberations of the elected
delegates.

Furthermore, I cannot too strongly emphasize the vital necessity for all
the Bahá’í groups, scattered throughout these forty-two countries, to
brace themselves, and make a supreme effort, during these intervening two
years, to achieve assembly status, ensuring thereby their participation in
the election of the delegates to these fate-laden conventions, and
contributing, through this act, to the broadening and strengthening of the
foundations of these projected pivotal institutions, destined to play so
prominent and vital a part in ushering in the last phase in the gradual
establishment of the structure of an Administrative Order that must needs
slowly evolve into the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, and which in turn will
give birth, in the fullness of time, to a world spiritual civilization,
which posterity will hail as the fairest fruit of His Revelation.



GUARDIAN’S APPEAL TO UPHOLDERS OF THE FAITH


Finally, I direct my appeal, through the assembled delegates, to the
entire body of the believers whom they represent, and indeed, on this
occasion, to all the upholders of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh wherever they
reside in all the continents of the globe, to arise, at so auspicious an
hour in the fortunes of the Faith, synchronizing with so fateful and
perilous an hour in the fortunes of mankind, and consecrate themselves
afresh, throughout this last, fast-fleeting year of the present phase of
this momentous, world-girdling Plan, to the furtherance of the immediate
objectives enumerated in my last year’s Convention Message, ensuring
thereby a befitting conclusion to a stage in its resistless unfoldment
destined to usher in its third and most brilliant phase—a phase on which
the triumphant consummation of the Plan itself must so largely depend.

It is indeed my fervent and constant prayer that the members of this
firmly-knit, intensely alive, world-embracing Community, spurred on by the
triple impulse generated through the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel by
Bahá’u’lláh and the Will and Testament as well as the Tablets of the
Divine Plan bequeathed by the Center of His Covenant—the three Charters
which have set in motion three distinct processes, the first operating in
the Holy Land for the development of the institutions of the Faith at its
World Center and the other two, throughout the rest of the Bahá’í world,
for its propagation and the establishment of its Administrative Order—may
advance from strength to strength and victory to victory. May they hasten,
by their present exertions, the advent of that blissful consummation when
the shackles hampering the growth of their beloved Faith will have been
finally burst asunder, when its independent status will have been
officially and universally recognized, when it will have ascended the
throne and wielded the scepter of spiritual and temporal authority, when
the brightness of its glory will have illuminated the whole earth, and its
dominion will have been established over the entire planet.

—Shoghi

[April, 1955]



Achievements—Supplementary Report


Share National Assemblies following announcement supplementing message
recently addressed to delegates of the Bahá’í Conventions.

Annual elections of the second year, second decade, of the second Bahá’í
century, were signalized by the formation of the first historic local
Assemblies in communities as diversified and far apart as Mecca, Qiblih of
Islamic world, Muscat and Riaz, situated on the shore and in the heart of
the Arabian Peninsula; in the Bahamas, British West Indies; in Diu Island,
Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Sargodha, Saigon, in Southeast Asia; Monte Carlo,
Basel, Mongat, Orleans, Marseilles, Bergen, Cologne, in Europe; in Reunion
Island, Zanzibar, Seychelles, Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean; in the holy
cities of Kazímayn and Najaf, strongholds of _Sh_í’ih orthodoxy in ‘Iráq,
in addition to the group already established in Karbilá; Teneriffe and Las
Palmas, in the Atlantic Ocean.

Africa alone boasts the establishment of above seventy new Assemblies,
raising the total number established since the launching of the systematic
simultaneous teaching campaigns on the African continent four years ago to
well above one hundred. Uganda in particular achieved the unique,
memorable feat of the formation of seventeen new Assemblies, swelling
number of Assemblies to forty-one, localities to over hundred, total
believers to almost nine hundred.

The sacred dust of the Báb’s infant son, extolled in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá
was respectfully and ceremoniously transferred on the anniversary of his
Father’s martyrdom, in the presence of pilgrims and resident believers to
the Bahá’í cemetery in _Sh_íráz, the prelude to the translation to the
same spot of the remains of the Báb’s beloved and long-suffering consort.

Five additional incorporations of local Assemblies, including Suva, Fiji.

A pioneer has embarked for Loyalty Island, the last remaining unopened
island in the Pacific Ocean outside the Soviet orbit.

Negotiations for the purchase of national Hazírás in Colombo and Jakarta
are nearing completion.

Preliminary steps have been undertaken for the establishment of a Bahá’í
Publishing Trust in Ṭihrán.

The design for the Mother Temple in the cradle of the Faith was unveiled
in the presence of pilgrims and resident believers assembled within the
Ḥaram-i-Aqdas on the first day of Ridván.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 30, 1955]



Prayers for Faith in Persia


Call upon all believers to join me in special, fervent prayers for Divine
protection of the vital interests and complete emancipation from shackles
of the beloved Faith in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, April 30, 1955]



Appointment to International Bahá’í Council


Announce to National Assemblies the number of the members of the
International Council has been raised to nine through appointment of
Sylvia Ioas.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, May 4, 1955]



Implications and Requirements


Impelled at this grave hour in the chequered history of the over
century-old, world-encompassing, repeatedly-persecuted yet undefeatable
Faith, to summon the entire body of the valorous upholders of its
institutions who, severally and collectively, stand pledged to the
prosecution of the mightiest crusade launched since its inception, whether
residing in homelands or overseas, however repressive the regimes under
which they labor, to ponder anew the full implications and essential
requirements of their stewardship of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Entreat them to refuse to allow any vicissitudes, present or future, to
dampen their ardor and enthusiasm, impair their solidarity, weaken their
resolution, or deflect them from their high purpose. Unbowed by adversity,
disdainful of the clamors, undeterred by the machinations of the
inveterate, artful, traditional enemies who are alarmed by their own
declining fortunes, contrasting with the evidence of the dynamic force,
impelling power, rising prestige, indivisible unity, accumulating
resources, multiplying institutions and inextinguishable spirit of God’s
infant Faith, it behoveth them to bend their energies, rise to higher
levels of consecration, vigilantly combat all forms of misrepresentations,
eradicate suspicions, dispel misgivings, silence criticisms, through still
more compelling demonstration of loyalty to their respective governments,
win, maintain and strengthen the confidence of the civil authorities in
their integrity and sincerity, reaffirm the universality of the aims and
purposes of the Faith, proclaim the spiritual character of its fundamental
principles, and assert the non-political character of its administrative
institutions.

Appeal to members of communities untrammeled by the disabilities and
shackles imposed on their less privileged brethren, particularly those
established in the North American continent, recognized stronghold of the
administrative order of the Faith, and those residing in the British
Commonwealth and Empire, situated in the heart, the East and West of the
African continent, scattered throughout the Antipodes and Pacific area, to
arise promptly and accelerate the tempo of their activities, multiply
exploits which will more than offset the transient setbacks which a
steadily-advancing and as yet not fully-emancipated Faith may suffer.
Theirs is the sublime opportunity so to act as to thoroughly dishearten
and confound any schemes which envious, fanatical and embittered
adversaries, tottering to their fall, may devise.

Share message with National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, May 26, 1955]



Archbreaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant


Announce to National Assemblies that Majdi’d-Dín, the most redoubtable
adversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, denounced by Him as the incarnation of Satan
and who played a predominant part in kindling the hostility of
‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd and Jamál Pá_sh_á, and who was the chief instigator of
Covenant-breaking and archbreaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, and who above
sixty years labored with fiendish ingenuity and guile to undermine its
foundations, miserably perished struck with paralysis affecting his limbs
and tongue. Dispensation of Providence prolonged the span of his infamous
life to a hundred years, enabling him to witness the extinction of his
cherished hopes and the disintegration with dramatic rapidity of the
infernal crew he unceasingly incited and zealously directed, and the
triumphant progress and glorious termination of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s thirty-year
ministry as well as evidences of the rise and establishment in all
continents of the globe of the administrative order, child of the
divinely-appointed Covenant and harbinger of the world-encircling order.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, June 3, 1955]



World-Wide Reverberations


Mysterious dispensations of ever-watchful Providence, hastening, through
turmoil and trial, the triumph of His undefeatable Faith, dictating at
this critical hour the sudden deterioration of the situation confronting
the largest community of the Bahá’í world, as evidenced by the violent
recrudescence of the persecution afflicting intermittently, for over a
century, its members residing in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land.

Following the seizure and the destruction of the dome of the community’s
national administrative headquarters, the occupation of similar
institutions in all provinces, the government declaration to the Majlis
outlawing the Faith and a virulent press and radio campaign, distorting
its history, calumniating its Founders, misrepresenting its tenets and
obscuring its aims and purposes, a series of atrocities has been
perpetrated in rapid succession throughout the length and breadth of the
land against members of a sorely-tried community.

The House of the Báb, the foremost Shrine in Írán, has been twice
desecrated and severely damaged; Bahá’u’lláh’s ancestral Home at Takur
occupied; the house of the Báb’s uncle razed to the ground; shops, farms
plundered; crops burned, livestock destroyed; bodies disinterred in the
cemeteries and mutilated; private houses broken into, damaged and looted;
adults execrated and beaten; young women abducted and forced to marry
Muslims; children mocked, reviled, beaten and expelled from the schools;
boycott by butchers and bakers imposed; fifteen-year-old girl raped;
eleven-month-old baby trampled underfoot; and pressure brought to bear
upon believers to recant their Faith.

More recently a family of seven, the oldest eighty, the youngest nineteen,
residing in Hurmuzak of the Province of Yazd, were set upon by a mob two
thousand strong, accompanied by music of drums and trumpets, which hacked
them to pieces with spades and axes. Meanwhile an official circular has
been issued by the Prime Minister, addressed to Government Departments
ordering the expulsion of all Bahá’í employes refusing to recant.

This highly distressing situation threatens to worsen during Muharram and
Safar.

Reacting to these barbarous acts, over a thousand groups and local
Assemblies of the Bahá’í world appealed telegraphically to the
authorities, and all National Assemblies addressed written communications
to the _Sh_áh, the government and parliament, pleading for justice and
protection.

Finding written pleas unanswered, an appeal has been lodged with United
Nations by representatives of the International Bahá’í Community at
Geneva. Copies of the appeal were delivered to representatives of member
nations of the Social and Economic Council, the Director of the Human
Rights Division and certain specialized agencies of nongovernmental
organizations with consultative status. Furthermore, President Eisenhower
who, according to the newspapers, first mentioned the persecutions at a
Press Conference in Washington, has been appealed to by the National
representatives of the American Bahá’í Community and all Assemblies and
groups in the United States to intervene on behalf of their oppressed
sister community.

Whatever the outcome of the present heart-rending events, one fact emerges
clear and indisputable. God’s infant Faith, provided, through the
operation of a quarter-century-long process associated with the first
epoch of the formative age of the Faith, with the machinery of a divinely
appointed Administrative Order, and utilizing in the course of the
succeeding epoch, through the formulation of a series of national plans,
culminating in the launching of the World Crusade, the newly-born
administrative agencies for the systematic propagation of the Faith, is
now gradually emerging from obscurity in the wake of the ordeal convulsing
the overwhelming majority of the followers of the Faith.

The world-wide reverberations of this nation-wide commotion will be hailed
by posterity as the mighty blast of God’s trumpet designed to awaken,
through the instrumentality of its oldest, most redoubtable, most vicious,
most fanatical adversaries, countless multitudes, and the Chancelleries
and Chief Magistrates of the East and of the West, to the existence and
implications of the Faith proclaimed by His Messenger in this Day. This
long-desired, ardently-hoped-for emergence, itself a long-drawn-out
process, is bound to pave the way for the emancipation of this same Faith
from the fetters of orthodoxy in Islamic countries, as well as the
ultimate recognition of the independent character of the Revelation of
Bahá’u’lláh in His homeland.

Owing to the grievous losses sustained, and the necessity to demonstrate
world-wide Bahá’í solidarity, an “Aid the Persecuted” Fund has been
inaugurated for the purpose of bringing immediate relief to the despoiled
and homeless victims. Myself contributing the equivalent of eighteen
thousand dollars for this noble purpose. However conscious I am of the
manifold demands on the adherents of the Faith, I am impelled to invite
them to participate through contributions to be transmitted through their
respective National Assemblies.

Moreover, undeterred by the obstacles placed in the path of the crusaders
of Bahá’u’lláh, the historic decision has been arrived at to raise the
Mother Temple of Africa in the City of Kampala, situated in its heart and
constituting a supreme consolation to the masses of oppressed valiant
brethren in the Cradle of the Faith. Every continent of the globe except
Australasia will thereby pride itself on and derive direct spiritual
benefits from its own Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár. Befitting recognition will,
moreover, have been accorded the marvelous expansion of the Faith and the
amazing multiplications of its administrative institutions throughout this
continent, a continent fully deserving of a House of Worship,
complementing the four national Hazíratu’l-Quds already established,
wherein the spirit of an unconquerable Faith can dwell, within whose walls
the African adherents of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh can congregate, and from
which anthems of praise glorifying the Most Great Name can ascend to the
Concourse of the Abhá Kingdom.

Transmit message to Hands of the Cause and National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, August 23, 1955]



Hand of Cause Appointment


Inform Hands and National Assemblies that Varqá’s son, ‘Alí Muḥammad has
been appointed to succeed his father now gathered into the concourse on
high in the Abhá Kingdom, as Trustee of Ḥuqúq and elevated to rank of Hand
of the Cause.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, November 15, 1955]



So Significant a Victory


The triumphant termination of the second phase of the decade-long global
Spiritual Crusade on which the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh have
so auspiciously embarked impels me to share with the delegates assembled
at the Annual Bahá’í Conventions convened in all the continents of the
globe the feelings of joy, of pride and of thankfulness which so
significant a victory has evoked in my heart.



A REMARKABLE VICTORY


The year that has just ended—a year which posterity cannot fail to regard
as one of the most eventful and challenging in the annals of the Formative
Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation—has been overshadowed, in the course of its
opening months, by a sudden and highly menacing crisis in the fortunes of
this Faith, a crisis which, though as yet not fully resolved, has already
led to a remarkable victory over the combined forces of its traditional
adversaries in the land of its birth, who, for more than a century, have
plotted assiduously to disrupt its foundations, tarnish its glory and
extinguish its light. A long-abused, down-trodden, sorely tried community,
constituting the overwhelming majority of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers,
subjected recently to the strain and stress of a violent recrudescence of
persecution, which was marked throughout by intense vilification,
intimidation, spoliation, expulsion, arson, rape, and murder, has emerged
triumphant from yet another gruelling experience—a testing period of
exceptional severity—its unity unbroken, its confidence reinforced, its
prestige considerably enhanced, its fame noised abroad to an unprecedented
degree, its administrative agencies unshaken, its endowments unimpaired,
and the grim, boastful and reiterated threats of its sworn enemies to
outlaw it through formal legislative action, confiscate its property,
demolish its edifices, imprison and deport its members, and extirpate it,
root and branch, in the native land of its Founder unenforced.



PROGRESSIVE UNFOLDMENT OF THE TEN-YEAR CRUSADE


Simultaneous with this marvelous, awe-inspiring interposition of
Providence, at this critical stage in the mysterious evolution and the
resistless progress of God’s infant Faith in the land of its birth,
towards the two shining goals of complete emancipation from the shackles
of religious orthodoxy and of state recognition, an equally significant
development can be noted, during the last twelve-month, in the progressive
unfoldment, beyond the confines of this storm-tossed land, and stretching
to the farthest corners of the earth, of the Ten-Year Plan, now entering
upon the third, and what promises to be the most brilliant, phase in its
execution.

This world-encompassing enterprise, embarked upon, three years ago, on the
occasion of the world-wide celebrations commemorating the centenary of the
birth of the Mission of the Founder of our Faith, has, in all phases of
its operation, throughout five continents, as well as the islands of the
seas, gathered swift momentum, and is demonstrating, in both its
territorial and institutional aspects, a vitality, and has registered
successes, that have far exceeded the expectations of even the most
sanguine among its promoters.

The number of localities into which the light of this unconquerable Faith,
now radiating the splendor of its glory over the face of the planet, has
penetrated, has swelled to well nigh thirty-seven hundred, marking an
increase of almost five hundred in the course of a single year. The number
of Sovereign States and Chief Dependencies included within its pale, which
multiplied with such amazing swiftness during the opening year of this
World-Crusade, has now risen to two hundred and forty-seven through the
arrival of the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh Udai Narain Singh, Frank Wyss and
Daniel Haumont, in Tibet, in Cocos Island and Loyalty Islands,
respectively, as well as through the opening of Laos and Cambodia and of
the Islands of Pemba, Fernando Po, Trinidad and Corisco—territories not
included in the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan,—and as a result of
information recently received indicating the presence of a few believers
in the Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The number of local
Spiritual Assemblies now functioning throughout the length and breadth of
the Bahá’í World exceeds nine hundred. Every single country listed in the
Plan within the confines of every continent of the globe, with the
exception of those within the Soviet Orbit, are now opened to the Faith.
All islands figuring in that Plan, over seventy in number, situated in the
Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian Oceans, in the Mediterranean and the
North Sea, have, likewise been opened except Nicobar Islands, Chagos
Archipelago, Hainan Island, Sakhalin Island, Spitzbergen and Anticosti
Island. The number of the islands of the globe to which the Message of
Bahá’u’lláh has been carried since its inception now totals ninety-eight.
In the Pacific Ocean alone the number of opened territories is now over
forty, while the number of localities where Bahá’ís reside exceeds one
hundred and seventy. The number of languages into which Bahá’í literature
has been and is being translated has now reached one hundred and ninety,
no less than thirty-four of which are to be regarded as supplementary to
those included in the provisions of the Plan.



FAST-AWAKENING CONTINENT OF AFRICA


In the Continent of Africa and in its neighboring islands, in both the
Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, the number of the avowed supporters of the
Faith has passed the three thousand mark; over two thousand five hundred
of whom belong to the Negro race. The number of territories opened to the
Faith in that fast-awakening continent and its neighboring islands has
risen to fifty-eight, while the number of localities where Bahá’ís reside
is over four hundred. The number of tribes represented in the Bahá’í
Community is now over one hundred and forty, the number of local
Assemblies already established is over one hundred and twenty, and the
number of languages into which Bahá’í literature has been and is being
translated exceeds fifty.



FORTY-THREE NATIONAL HAZÍRATU’L-QUDS


The number of incorporated Assemblies, both local and national, in various
continents of the globe, has been raised to one hundred and sixty-eight,
the latest additions being the Italo-Swiss National Spiritual Assembly and
the Local Spiritual Assemblies of Brussels, Tokyo, Liverpool, Hamilton,
Winnipeg, Quincy, Basel, Zürich, Geneva, Heidelberg, Buenos Aires, Saigon,
Suva, Malacca and Addis Ababa. The number of National Hazíratu’l-Quds, the
precursors of Bahá’í National Spiritual Assemblies, acquired in the
capitals and leading cities of North, Central and South America, of the
goal countries of Europe, of Africa, Asia and Australasia, and of several
islands of the globe, has reached forty-three, involving the expenditure
of over half a million dollars, amply compensating for the seizure and
occupation of the National Administrative Headquarters of the Faith and
the demolition of its dome by the military authorities in the Persian
capital.



TEMPLE SITES AND ENDOWMENTS


Land for ten Temple sites has moreover been acquired at a cost of no less
than one hundred thousand dollars, while negotiations are well advanced
for the acquisition of the one remaining Temple site to be purchased in
the Swedish capital. In no less than thirty of the fifty-one countries
listed in the Ten-Year Plan, National Bahá’í endowments estimated as
having a value of one hundred thousand dollars have been acquired,
outstanding among them being the Maxwell Home honored by the presence of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá while in Montreal, which has been transferred by the Hand of
the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá to the Canadian National Spiritual Assembly.
Efforts are moreover being strenuously exerted for the establishment of
similar endowments in the twenty-one remaining countries. Following the
completion and adoption of the design for the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár
in the cradle of the Faith, steps have been taken for the preparation of
no less than three additional designs, one for the Temple scheduled to be
erected in the heart of the European Continent, another for the one to be
erected in the near future in the African Continent, and the third for the
one contemplated for Australasia, paving the way thereby in each of the
remaining continents of the globe for the erection of a House to be
consecrated to the worship of the one true God, and to the glory and honor
of His Messenger for this Day.



DEVELOPMENT OF BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTER


In the Holy Land, the center and pivot round which the divinely appointed,
fast multiplying institutions of a world-encircling, resistlessly marching
Faith revolve, the double process, so noticeable in recent years,
involving a rapid decline in the fortunes of the breakers of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Covenant and proclaiming the rise of the institutions of its World
Administrative Center, in the shadow of His Shrine, has been accelerated
on the one hand, through the death, in miserable circumstances, of the
treacherous and malignant Majdi’d-Dín, the last survivor of the principal
instigators of the rebellion against the Will of the Founder of our Faith,
and, on the other, through the laying of the foundation, and the erection
of some of the pillars, of the facade and of the northern side of the
International Bahá’í Archives—the first of the major edifices destined to
constitute the seat of the World Bahá’í Administrative Center to be
established on Mt. Carmel. No less than thirty of the fifty-two pillars,
each over seven meters high, of this imposing and strikingly beautiful
edifice have already been raised, whilst half of the nine hundred tons of
stone ordered in Italy for its construction have already been safely
delivered at the Port of Haifa. A contract, moreover, for over fifteen
thousand dollars has been placed with a tile factory in Utrecht for the
manufacture of over seven thousand green tiles designed to cover the five
hundred square meters of the roof of the building.

Coincident with these building operations an extensive plot, adjoining the
resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf has, after protracted and
difficult negotiations, been purchased for the sum of one hundred thousand
dollars, for the purpose of extending and safeguarding, on the one hand,
the area of the international Bahá’í endowments on Mt. Carmel, and of
providing, on the other, the much needed space for the extension and
completion of the far-flung arc around which the edifices of the World
Bahá’í Administrative Order are to be built. The recently acquired area
surrounding the holiest Shrine in the Bahá’í World and its appointed
Qiblih in the plain of Akká has been further extended through the purchase
from the Development Authority of the State of Israel of a dilapidated
house, situated south of the Mansion and blessed by the presence of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and in which He was wont to receive His friends, amongst them
the first party of western Bahá’í pilgrims to arrive in the Holy Land
after the passing of Bahá’u’lláh. To these latest acquisitions must be
added the purchase of another plot situated in the neighborhood of the
Báb’s Sepulcher and adjoining the area surrounding the future seat of the
World Bahá’í Administrative Order, raising thereby the total area of the
international Bahá’í endowments in the Holy Land to over four hundred
thousand square meters. Furthermore, the necessary formalities have been
completed in connection with the purchase of the site of the future
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mt. Carmel, while the transfer of the title deeds
of recently acquired plots to the name of the Israel branches of the
United States, the British, the Persian, the Canadian and Australian
Bahá’í National Spiritual Assemblies is being expeditiously carried out.



EVENTS IN THE UNITED STATES


In the United States of America, the home of the champion-builders of a
fast-evolving Order, an official invitation was extended to the Bahá’í
Community by the San Francisco Council of Churches to send representatives
to attend a Service of Prayer for Peace and Divine Guidance to the United
Nations, an invitation to which the Community warmly responded. At this
inter-religious gathering, held in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the
birthplace of the Charter of the United Nations, which united nearly
sixteen thousand people in worship and silent prayers, and at which
government leaders, among them the United States Secretary of State, were
present, the voice of the Bahá’í representative was the first to be
raised, reciting a prayer revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, after whom a prayer was
read by each of the representatives of the Christian, the Muslim, the
Jewish, the Hindu, and the Buddhist Faiths, all of whom were similarly
invited to participate in that immense and historic gathering. A prayer
revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for America was presented by the elected national
representatives of the United States Bahá’í Community to President
Eisenhower, who acknowledged its receipt in warm terms and above his own
signature.



OTHER VICTORIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS


Nor should mention be omitted in this brief survey of Bahá’í victories and
achievements in the course of the closing year of the second phase of the
Ten-Year Plan of the establishment of a Bahá’í Publishing Trust in India;
of the establishment of over thirty new centers and fifteen Assemblies in
India, Pákistán and Burma; of the purchase of some of the holy sites
blessed by the footsteps of Bahá’u’lláh in Adrianople, the Land of Mystery
and the scene of the proclamation of His Message; of the holding of the
first Bahá’í Summer School in Central Africa, in Kobuka, Uganda, attended
by about one hundred African and white believers and representatives of no
less than twenty-eight Bahá’í local Assemblies; of the convocation of the
first historic All-France Teaching Conference, the first fruit of the
combined labors of the believers of about thirty centers already
established throughout the length and breadth of that country; of the
setting apart of a plot to serve as a burial-ground for the members of the
Bahá’í community in Tripoli, Libya and in the capital of Tanganyika; of
the purchase of land for the establishment of a Bahá’í Summer School in
‘Iráq; of the extension to the Bahá’í women in Egypt of the right to be
elected to the Egyptian Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly as well as to
participate as delegates in the National Bahá’í Convention; of the
purchase, in an island near Muara Siberut, Mentawei Islands, of a plot
supplementing the Bahá’í endowment established in Jakarta, the Indonesian
capital; of the pushing of the northern outpost of the Faith in Alaska to
Point Barrow beyond the Arctic Circle; of the initiation of auxiliary
plans for the promotion of the Faith in the Seychelles Islands and in the
Sudan; and of the arrival of a pioneer in Praslin Island forming a part of
the Seychelles group.



APPEAL TO UNITED NATIONS


Nor can I in this survey allow to pass unnoticed the energetic and
commendable efforts exerted by Bahá’í communities the world over for the
support, protection and relief of the persecuted members of the Persian
Bahá’í Community subjected to one of the severest ordeals experienced in
recent years by the steadfast followers of the Faith in the land of its
birth. Following this barbarous recrudescence of religious persecution and
the transmission of over one thousand messages by Bahá’í communities, some
in writing and others telegraphically, to His Majesty the _Sh_áh, the
Government, the Majlis and the Senate, and reinforcing the wide publicity
given in the world’s leading newspapers and the numerous protests voiced
by scholars, statesmen, government envoys and people of eminence such as
Pandit Nehru, Eleanor Roosevelt, Professor Gilbert Murray and Professor A.
Toynbee, a written communication accompanied by a memorandum listing the
atrocities perpetrated throughout the Persian provinces, was submitted in
Geneva to the Secretary General of the United Nations, who appointed a
commission of United Nations officers, headed by the High Commissioner for
Refugees, instructing its members to contact the Persian Foreign Minister
and urge him to obtain from his government in Ṭihrán a formal assurance
that the rights of the Bahá’í minority in that land would be protected.
Copies of this communication addressed to the United Nations were
delivered to the representatives of the member nations of the Social and
Economic Council, to the Director of the Human Rights Division, and to
certain specialized agencies of non-governmental organizations with
consultative status. Furthermore, the American President was appealed to
by the national representatives of the American Bahá’í Communities as well
as by all local Assemblies and groups in the United States. A courteous
and reassuring letter was subsequently received by the American Bahá’í
National Spiritual Assembly from the State Department in Washington,
acknowledging the receipt of the appeal, while the Director of the
Division of Human Rights addressed in his turn a communication to the
Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly, informing him that
summaries of both the letter and petition forwarded to him would be
furnished to the Commission of Human Rights, and copies sent to the
Persian Government. Assurance was moreover given that summaries would also
be sent to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities. As a further measure to obtain redress a
forty-thousand dollar publicity campaign was initiated by the American
Bahá’í Community designed to lend an impetus to the proclamation of the
fundamental verities of the Faith, the aims and purposes of its followers,
and of the disabilities suffered by the overwhelming majority of its
adherents in the land of its birth.



ENROLLMENTS IN VIRGIN TERRITORIES


Nor can I refrain from emphasizing in this rapid survey the highly
significant fact that in over sixty territories, constituting more than a
half of the total number of virgin territories opened to the Faith, since
the inauguration of the World Spiritual Crusade, the number of those who
have espoused the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh and enlisted under His banner has
surpassed the number originally anticipated and regarded as a minimum for
the opening of these territories; that in a considerable proportion of
them the Bahá’í membership has far exceeded the number required for the
formation of local Assemblies; that in Gambia as many as three hundred,
and in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands as many as five hundred, have been
and are being enrolled beneath His standard; and that in Uganda alone,
which holds the palm of victory, the number of registered believers has
exceeded one thousand.



NEXT PHASE OF WORLD CRUSADE


Such heart-warming, soul-stirring examples of Bahá’í initiative and
enterprise; such splendid testimonies to Bahá’í solidarity, perseverance,
courage, fortitude, and self-sacrifice, displayed in rapid succession, and
over so immense an area of the globe’s surface, and in the face of
mounting opposition on the part of those who envy the ever widening glory
of the Faith or fear the influence of its all-pervasive power, have shed
on the opening chapter of this Crusade a luster which the passing of time
can never tarnish. The third phase of this momentous enterprise—the
opening of which is, at this hour, being signalized by the emergence of no
less than three additional Regional Bahá’í Assemblies in the African
Continent—must cast on the annals of this prodigious Crusade an
illumination of such brilliancy as will eclipse the splendor of this
luster.

The glorious and stupendous work already accomplished, singly and
collectively, in the course of three brief years, in five continents of
the globe and the islands of the seas, both at home and abroad, in the
teaching as well as the administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity must, as
the army of Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders marches forward into new and vaster
fields to capture still greater heights, never be jeopardized or allowed
to lag or suffer a setback. The prizes so arduously won should not only be
jealously preserved but should be constantly enriched. Far from suffering
the long and distinguished record of feats which have been achieved to be
tarnished, assiduous efforts must be exerted to ennoble it with every
passing day.

The newly opened territories of the globe must, under no circumstances, be
allowed to relapse into the state of spiritual deprivation from which they
have so recently and laboriously been rescued. Nay, the highly edifying
evidences proclaiming the expansion and the consolidation of the superb
historic work achieved in so many of these territories must be rapidly
multiplied. The local assemblies that have been so diligently and
patiently established must under no circumstances be allowed to dissolve,
or their foundations be in any way endangered. The mighty and steady
process involving the increase in the number of the avowed supporters of
the Faith, and the multiplication of isolated centers, groups and local
assemblies must, throughout this newly opened phase of the Plan, be
markedly accelerated. The incorporation of local assemblies must proceed
with a rapidity that will throw into shade the progress achieved in this
respect during the first two phases of the Plan. The remaining unopened
territories of the globe outside the Soviet orbit, now confined to no more
than four lonely islands, must with the least possible delay, be won over
to the ever spreading dominion of Bahá’u’lláh, consummating thereby the
most far-reaching and thrilling of all the enterprises launched through
the concerted efforts of His valiant followers. The one remaining Temple
site destined to be bought in the Swedish capital must be speedily
acquired. The six remaining Hazíratu’l-Quds, some in Latin America, others
in the European continent, must likewise be rapidly established. The
Bahá’í endowments in the countries still deprived of the benefits of this
divinely appointed institution must be forthwith purchased. The task of
completing the translation of Bahá’í literature into the languages listed
in the provisions of the Plan must be carried out with renewed
determination and vigor. The Bahá’í Publishing Trusts that are as yet
unestablished must be founded at the earliest possible opportunity. The
sacred obligation of purchasing the remaining chief historic sites in the
birthplace of the Faith, and particularly the scenes of the Báb’s
incarceration and martyrdom, must be discharged as expeditiously as
possible. The search now being conducted for the purpose of identifying
the resting-places of the Father of Bahá’u’lláh, of the Mother and the
Cousin of the Báb must be pursued with the utmost diligence and
circumspection. The construction of the Mother Temple of Europe, so vital
and yet so long overdue, must be speedily commenced, whilst a parallel
effort must be exerted in Africa for the erection, without delay, of a
similar institution which the phenomenal progress of the Faith in that
continent has made imperative. The Construction of the Home for the Aged,
marking the inauguration of the first of the Dependencies of the Holiest
House of Worship in the Bahá’í world, must, now that the site in the
proximity of the Temple has been acquired, be started and expeditiously
carried forward. The process of incorporating the newly formed National
Spiritual Assemblies, whether regional or independent, must be initiated
soon after their formation, and should be continually stimulated with
every increase in the number of these assemblies in all the continents of
the globe. Above all, an effort unprecedented in its range and intensity,
must be exerted for the speedy multiplication of local spiritual
assemblies in all the territories where National Spiritual Assemblies,
whether independent or regional, provisional or permanent, are to be
established, for the purpose of broadening and strengthening the
foundations on which these potent national institutions—the pillars of the
future Universal House of Justice—must rest. Immediate attention should be
focused on the multiplication of such institutions in areas where these
National Spiritual Assemblies are to be established in the near future,
such as South and Central America, the Arabian Peninsula, Southeast Asia,
Pákistán, Alaska, Japan, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Finland, the Benelux
countries, the Iberian Peninsula and France, as well as those territories
in which national assemblies are to be established at a later stage in the
course of the unfoldment of the present phase of the Plan, and the date of
the formation of which will, to a large extent, depend on the rapidity
with which these local assemblies are formed.



A MAJOR TURNING POINT


The Crusade, on which the army of the Lord of Hosts has so joyously and
confidently embarked, now stands at a major turning point in the history
of its marvelous unfoldment. Three years of magnificent exploits, achieved
for the propagation of the light of an immortal and infinitely precious
Faith and for the strengthening of the fabric of its Administrative Order,
now lie behind it. A spirit of abnegation and self-sacrifice, so rare that
only the spirit of the Dawn-breakers of a former age can be said to have
surpassed it, has consistently animated, singly as well as collectively,
its participants in every clime, of all classes, of either sex, and of
every age. A treasure, immense in its range has been willingly and
lovingly expended to insure its systematic and successful prosecution.
Already a few heroic souls have either quaffed the cup of martyrdom, or
laid down their lives, or been subjected to divers ordeals while combating
for its Cause. Its repercussions have spread so far as to alarm a not
inconsiderable element among the traditional and redoubtable adversaries
of its courageous and consecrated prosecutors. Indeed as it has forged
ahead, it has raised up new enemies intent on obstructing its forward
march and on defeating its purpose. Premonitory signs can already be
discerned in far-off regions heralding the approach of the day when troops
will flock to its standard, fulfilling the predictions uttered long ago by
the Supreme Captain of its forces.

Before the eyes of the warriors enlisting under its banner stretch fields
of exploration and consolidation of such vastness as might well dazzle the
eyes and strike awe into the heart of any soul less robust than those who
have arisen to identify themselves with its Cause. The heights its
champions must scale are indeed formidable. The pitfalls that bestrew
their path are still numerous. The road leading to ultimate and total
victory is tortuous, stony and narrow. Theirs, however, is the emphatic
assurance, revealed by the Pen of the Most High—the Prime Mover of the
forces unleashed by this world-girdling Crusade—that “Whosoever ariseth to
aid our Cause God will render him victorious over ten times ten thousand
souls, and, should he wax in his love for Me, him will We cause to triumph
over all that is in heaven and all that is on earth.”

Putting on the armor of His love, firmly buckling on the shield of His
mighty Covenant, mounted on the steed of steadfastness, holding aloft the
lance of the Word of the Lord of Hosts, and with unquestioning reliance on
His promises as the best provision for their journey, let them set their
faces towards those fields that still remain unexplored and direct their
steps to those goals that are as yet unattained, assured that He Who has
led them to achieve such triumphs, and to store up such prizes in His
Kingdom, will continue to assist them in enriching their spiritual
birthright to a degree that no finite mind can imagine or human heart
perceive.

—Shoghi

[April, 1956]



Evidences of the Resistless March of the World Crusade


At this auspicious hour, marking yet another milestone in the progress of
the divinely-guided, world-embracing, steadily consolidating Community of
the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, I feel once again impelled to
share with the elected representatives of the vast majority of its avowed
supporters, assembled on the occasion of the convocation of the
twenty-four Bahá’í Conventions being held simultaneously in the American,
the European, the Asiatic, the African, and the Australian continents, the
latest evidences of its resistless march along the path traced for it by
both its Founder and the appointed Center of His Covenant.

The year that has just expired, signalized, at the hour of its birth, by
the emergence of three regional spiritual assemblies, on the northern
fringes, in the heart, and at the southern extremity of the long dormant
African continent, and ushering in the third phase of a decade-long,
world-encompassing Spiritual Crusade, has, as we look back on the triumphs
and trials that have marked its course, accelerated, to a notable extent,
the two parallel processes of integration and disintegration associated
respectively with the rising fortunes of God’s infant Faith and the
sinking fortunes of the institutions of a declining civilization.

Indeed, as we gaze in retrospect beyond the immediate past, and survey, in
however cursory a manner, the vicissitudes afflicting an increasingly
tormented society, and recall the strains and stresses to which the fabric
of a dying Order has been increasingly subjected, we cannot but marvel at
the sharp contrast presented, on the one hand, by the accumulated
evidences of the orderly unfoldment, and the uninterrupted multiplication
of the agencies, of an Administrative Order designed to be the harbinger
of a world civilization, and, on the other, by the ominous manifestations
of acute political conflict, of social unrest, of racial animosity, of
class antagonism, of immorality and of irreligion, proclaiming, in no
uncertain terms, the corruption and obsolescence of the institutions of a
bankrupt Order.



PORTENTOUS PROPHECIES


Against the background of these afflictive disturbances—the turmoil and
tribulations of a travailing age—we may well ponder the portentous
prophecies uttered well-nigh fourscore years ago, by the Author of our
Faith, as well as the dire predictions made by Him Who is the unerring
Interpreter of His teachings, all foreshadowing a universal commotion, of
a scope and intensity unparalleled in the annals of mankind.

The violent derangement of the world’s equilibrium; the trembling that
will seize the limbs of mankind; the radical transformation of human
society; the rolling up of the present-day Order; the fundamental changes
affecting the structure of government; the weakening of the pillars of
religion; the rise of dictatorships; the spread of tyranny; the fall of
monarchies; the decline of ecclesiastical institutions; the increase of
anarchy and chaos; the extension and consolidation of the Movement of the
Left; the fanning into flame of the smouldering fire of racial strife; the
development of infernal engines of war; the burning of cities; the
contamination of the atmosphere of the earth—these stand out as the signs
and portents that must either herald or accompany the retributive calamity
which, as decreed by Him Who is the Judge and Redeemer of mankind, must,
sooner or later, afflict a society which, for the most part, and for over
a century, has turned a deaf ear to the Voice of God’s Messenger in this
day—a calamity which must purge the human race of the dross of its
age-long corruptions, and weld its component parts into a firmly-knit
world-embracing Fellowship—a Fellowship destined, in the fullness of time,
to be incorporated in the framework, and to be galvanized by the
spiritualizing influences, of a mysteriously expanding, divinely appointed
Order, and to flower, in the course of future Dispensations, into a
Civilization, the like of which mankind has, at no stage in its evolution,
witnessed.

Parallel with this process of progressive deterioration in human affairs,
now visibly gathering momentum outside the pale of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh, and recalling the convulsions which, on a far more restricted
scale, seized a declining empire in the opening centuries of the Christian
era, far less spectacular in its manifestation, has been the process of
integration, as demonstrated by the increasing cohesion, the
multiplication, and the reinforcement of the foundations, of the
institutions of the embryonic Bahá’í World Order, which, now, under the
impact of the forces released by a World Spiritual Crusade, deriving its
authority from the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and launched for
the express purpose of executing the Divine Plan bequeathed by Him to His
followers in the evening of His life, is contributing, unnoticed by a
generation forgetful of its God, and already in the shadow of His
Visitation, to the building up, slowly but irresistibly, of that Ark of
human salvation, ordained as the ultimate haven of a society destined, for
the most part, to be submerged by the tidal wave of the abuses and evils
which its own perversity has engendered.



VICTORY OVER ECCLESIASTICAL FORCES


The fourth year of this Ten-Year Crusade, endowed with such tremendous
potentialities, has witnessed, in the Cradle of the Faith, and in direct
consequence of the strenuous, the concerted and persistent efforts exerted
by the champion-builders of this embryonic World Order, holding aloft the
standard of an unconquerable Faith in the American and European
continents, and reinforced by the voice of men of eminence in both the
East and the West, and, particularly, by responsible officials, occupying
high positions in various agencies of the United Nations, a victory over
the ecclesiastical forces leagued against it and a fanatical population
determined to extirpate it root and branch—a victory which must rank as
one of the most striking among those won in the Formative Age of the
Bahá’í Dispensation. The numerous properties, serving, for the most part,
as the administrative headquarters of the Faith, and scattered throughout
the provinces of that sorely tried land, outstanding among which is the
House of the Báb in _Sh_íráz—the holiest spot in that country, the scene
of the birth of His Revelation, and the ordained Center of
Pilgrimage—have, pursuant to orders issued by the central authorities in
Ṭihrán, been returned to their owners, despite the protests of a
relentless and powerful clergy, the agitation of a hostile population, and
the importunate demands made by prominent members of the Legislature to
outlaw and disendow the Faith, confiscate its literature, raze to the
ground its principal edifices, deport its chief supporters, and root it
out of the provinces. A firm and categorical assurance has, moreover, been
given by the Chief Magistrate and the head of his Cabinet to the national
representatives of the Persian Bahá’í Community that their national
administrative headquarters in Ṭihrán, together with all its furnishings,
books and documents, which have thus far been kept intact in that edifice,
will be restored.

Whilst so conspicuous a victory was being registered by a persecuted Faith
in the land of its birth over the combined forces of its traditional
adversaries, its stalwart standard-bearers, in both hemispheres, have, in
accordance with their solemn pledges, given at the time of the inception
of the Ten-Year Crusade, been pursuing their historic task of enlarging
the orbit, and of consolidating the institutions, of a rapidly maturing
Administrative Order.



ACHIEVEMENTS OF WORLD CRUSADE


The number of territories included within the pale of the Faith, embracing
all the sovereign states and chief dependencies of the planet, has now, in
consequence of this prodigious effort, been raised to two hundred and
fifty-one, as a result of the opening of the island of Anticosti, in the
North Atlantic Ocean, by the Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, Mary Zabolotny, of the
arrival of a pioneer in Mafia Island, off the coast of Tanganyika, and of
the news received recently of the presence of a few followers of the Faith
in the Soviet Republics of Tád_zh_íkistán and of Kirgizia, almost
doubling, within the space of four years, the total number of territories
opened in the course of eleven decades of Bahá’í history. Of the hundred
and thirty-one territories listed in the Ten-Year Plan, only Spitzbergen,
Nicobar Islands and the Chagos Archipelago, as well as eleven territories,
which are either incorporated in the Soviet Union or are included within
its orbit, remain to be opened by the band of intrepid warriors intent
upon enlarging the limits, and spreading far and wide the fame, of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Every single territory of the hundred and twenty,
mentioned by the Author of the Divine Plan in His memorable Tablets, is
now opened to His Father’s Faith, proclaiming the exemplary fidelity of
His followers to the dearest wishes expressed by the Center of the
Covenant in those Tablets.

The total number of localities where the followers of the Most Great Name
now reside has, as a result of their unprecedented scattering over the
surface of the globe, exceeded the forty-two hundred mark, representing an
increase of no less than a thousand centers in the course of the last two
years. Of these localities—foci of the warming and healing light of an
all-conquering Revelation—over a hundred are now established in
Australasia, over a hundred and ten in the British Isles, over a hundred
and ten in the Goal Countries of Europe, over a hundred and ten in the
Dominion of Canada, over a hundred and thirty in Latin America, over a
hundred and thirty in Germany and Austria, over a hundred and forty in the
Indian subcontinent, over two hundred and ten in the Pacific area, over
five hundred and fifty in the African continent, over nine hundred and
eighty in Persia, over fourteen hundred and sixty in the United States of
America.

The northernmost outpost of the Faith has now been pushed far beyond the
Arctic Circle, as far as 76 degrees latitude, in consequence of the
arrival of William Carr, a Canadian believer, in Thule, Greenland, a
settlement situated three degrees above Arctic Bay, Franklin, the most
northerly center hitherto established in the Bahá’í world.

The number of local spiritual assemblies organized in all the continents
of the globe, constituting the broad and indestructible foundation of the
edifice of a rising Order, now exceeds one thousand, an increase of more
than a hundred in the space of a single year.

The number of islands now within the pale of the Faith, situated in the
Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Oceans as well as in the
Mediterranean and the North Sea, is now over a hundred, seventy-four of
which have been opened since the inauguration of the World Spiritual
Crusade, including five islands, situated in the Atlantic and Indian
Oceans and not listed as objectives of the Ten-Year Plan.

The number of languages into which the continually expanding literature of
the Faith has been and is being translated has risen to two hundred and
thirty, representing an increase of forty in the course of one year.
Seventy-five of these languages are included in the ninety-one named in
the Ten-Year Plan, while sixty-six have been added to those originally
specified in the provisions of that same Plan. Of this widely disseminated
literature seven books have been lately presented by an adherent of the
Faith residing in Christchurch, New Zealand, to the officer in charge of
the American Antarctic Expedition for its library, while others have been
dispatched, beyond the Antarctic Circle, as far south as the Expedition’s
base, at McMurdo Sound, 77 degrees latitude, on the shores of the Ross
Sea.

The number of incorporated spiritual assemblies, whether local or
national, in all the continents of the globe, has now swelled to one
hundred and ninety-five, more than ninety of which are situated in the
United States of America. Outstanding among those that have been recently
registered are the assemblies of Bern, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Germany;
Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Brisbane, Australia; Scarborough, Canada; Aligarh,
India; Mastung, Pakistan; Huncayo, Peru; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Colombo,
Ceylon; Kuala Lumpur, Malaya; Asmara, Eritrea; Monrovia and Bomi Hills,
Liberia; Tuarabu, Gilbert and Ellice Islands; Baro-bai-Amantai, Indonesia;
and Simatalu Saibi, Simatalu Ulu, Sipipajet, Mentawai Islands.

Of the forty-nine National Hazíratu’l-Quds enumerated in the Ten-Year Plan
all but three have already been established, involving the expenditure of
over five hundred and seventy thousand dollars, raising thereby the value
of all the edifices, serving as the national administrative headquarters
of the Faith in all the continents of the globe, to over two and a half
million dollars.

Of the fifty-one countries in which, in accordance with that same Plan,
national Bahá’í endowments are to be purchased within the space of a
decade, as many as forty-nine have achieved their goals, through the
expenditure of a sum estimated at more than one hundred and thirty
thousand dollars.

The number of sovereign states, dependencies, as well as territories,
federal districts and states of the United States of America, where the
Bahá’í Marriage Certificate is recognized is now over thirty, the latest
additions being Vietnam, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Indonesia and
Liberia. The number of countries, states as well as cities of the United
States, where the Educational Authorities have recognized the Bahá’í Holy
Days now exceeds forty-five, among which are included Israel, the British
Isles, Samoa, Liberia, Tanganyika, the states of Victoria and of South
Australia. Mention in this connection, moreover, should be made of the
recognition officially extended by the authorities of H. M. Kitalya Farm
Prison in Uganda to its recently converted Bahá’í inmates to observe these
same Holy Days.



THE QIBLIH OF A WORLD COMMUNITY


In the Holy Land—the Qiblih of a world community, the heart from which the
energizing influences of a vivifying Faith continually stream, and the
seat and center around which the diversified activities of a divinely
appointed Administrative Order revolve—following upon the termination of
the construction of the Báb’s holy Sepulcher, marking the closing of the
first chapter in the history of the evolution of the central institutions
of a world Faith, a marked progress in the rise and establishment of these
institutions has been clearly noticeable. The remaining twenty-two pillars
of the International Bahá’í Archives—the initial Edifice heralding the
establishment of the Bahá’í World Administrative Center on Mt. Carmel—have
been erected. The last half of the nine hundred tons of stone, ordered in
Italy for its construction, have reached their destination, enabling the
exterior of the building to be completed, while the forty-four tons of
glazed green tiles, manufactured in Utrecht, to cover the five hundred
square meters of roof, have been placed in position, the whole
contributing, to an unprecedented degree, through its colorfulness, its
classic style and graceful proportions, and in conjunction with the
stately, golden-crowned Mausoleum rising beyond it, to the unfolding glory
of the central institutions of a World Faith nestling in the heart of
God’s holy mountain.

Simultaneous with this striking development, the plan designed to insure
the extension and completion of the arc serving as a base for the erection
of future edifices constituting the World Bahá’í Administrative Center,
has been successfully carried out. The dilapidated house, situated in the
close neighborhood of Bahá’u’lláh’s Shrine, recently acquired from the
Development Authority of the State of Israel, because of its historic
associations, has been restored. Negotiations, moreover, have been
initiated with that same Authority for the acquisition of two plots to the
north and south of the Shrine, for the purpose of safeguarding its
precincts from a further extension of the new settlements springing up
rapidly in the plain of Akká. Steps have also been taken to register the
title-deeds of a centrally located plot, originally owned by a
Covenant-breaker, and abutting on the International Archives, in the name
of the Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
the British Isles. A further blow has been struck at the remnants of the
implacable enemies of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the breakers of His Father’s Covenant,
still living in the immediate vicinity of the holiest shrine of the Bahá’í
world, through the destruction of a row of ruinous sheds which had been
under their control, through orders issued by the Municipal Authorities of
Akká. And, lastly, an expropriation order has been published in the Israel
Official Gazette by the Treasury Department of Israel related to buildings
enclosed within the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas, aiming at the eviction of these same
enemies from the outer Sanctuary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Sepulcher, following
upon the evacuation by them of the Mansion at Bahjí after two score years
of occupancy, and which, when carried out, will mark the final cleansing,
after more than sixty-five years, of the immediate surroundings of the
holiest Spot in the Bahá’í world.

Nor can I dismiss this subject related to the progress achieved in the
development of Bahá’í international institutions in the Holy Land without
a special reference to the continual extension and embellishment of the
international endowments of the Faith in the plain of Akká and on the
slopes of Mt. Carmel, the value of which now exceeds five million two
hundred thousand dollars, as well as to the ever-swelling crowds of
visitors flocking to the Bahá’í Shrines in both of these places, and
particularly to the number of those entering the Tomb of the Báb which,
during a single day, in a three-hour period, has exceeded a thousand.



THE TEN-YEAR PLAN IN THE UNITED STATES


In the United States of America, the cradle and citadel of the embryonic
World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, the elected national representatives of the
American Bahá’í Community, acting as the representatives of the
International Bahá’í Community, charged with the defense of the cause of
their persecuted brethren in the cradle of the Faith, have energetically
pursued their efforts, through representations made to the United Nations
officials and agencies in New York and Geneva, through their contact with
high-ranking officials of the American State Department and through
measures of publicity in the American Press, all culminating in the
victory won over the adversaries of the Faith, to which reference has been
made earlier in these pages.

The landscaping of the Temple area, including the operation of the nine
fountains, as envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has been completed at a cost of
two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The number of visitors who,
since public guiding has been instituted, have flocked to the doors of
this Mother Temple of the West, now standing amidst such attractive
surroundings, has exceeded seven hundred thousand, whilst more than three
thousand have entered its doors in the course of a single day.
Authorization has moreover been recently given by the Wilmette Village
Board for the construction of the Home for the Aged, the first Dependency
of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár. The value of national and local endowments
owned by, and under the control of, that community, whose members have so
spontaneously and effectively championed the cause of the persecuted and
the down-trodden, and so generously contributed to their relief in the
past, is now four and a half million dollars. The number of American
Indian tribes with which contact has been established in the Western
Hemisphere—an achievement in which the members of this Community have
played a leading role—is now over forty-five. No less than eighteen
American Indian tribes are now represented in the Bahá’í communities of
that same hemisphere, mainly as a result of the assiduous endeavors
exerted by the members of this Community. The number of territories,
federal districts and states where official authorization for the conduct
of Bahá’í marriages has been obtained is now twenty-eight, whilst the
number of localities, in that same country, where the Bahá’í Holy Days are
officially recognized is one short of forty.



IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT


In the African continent, where the momentum gained in the process of
propagation of the Faith and the consolidation of its newly-born
administrative institutions has exceeded the rate of progress achieved in
every other continent of the globe, and particularly since the emergence,
a year ago, of three regional spiritual assemblies, the number of the
adherents of the Faith, including those in the newly-opened islands off
the eastern and western coasts of that vast continent, is now well over
thirty-five hundred, over three thousand of whom are Negroes. The number
of localities where the followers of Bahá’u’lláh reside is over five
hundred and fifty. The number of tribes represented in these flourishing
communities has reached one hundred and ninety-seven. The number of
languages into which Bahá’í literature has been and is being translated is
over seventy, whilst the number of local spiritual assemblies,
constituting the bedrock of a solidly established Order, is approaching
one hundred and fifty.



IN THE PACIFIC AREA


In the Pacific area, where Bahá’í exploits bid fair to outshine the feats
achieved in any other ocean, and indeed in every continent of the globe,
now competing for the palm of victory with the African continent itself,
preliminary measures have been undertaken for the formation of no less
than three of the thirteen national and regional spiritual assemblies
which are to be established in the course of this year’s Ridván
festivities. These three assemblies, the seats of which are to be located
in Japan, in Indonesia and in the Dominion of New Zealand, are destined to
function in regions where the yellow, the brown and white races
predominate, and in which the majority of the inhabitants belong either to
the Buddhist, the Muslim or Christian Faiths. In so vast and promising an
area, blessed by the labors of two Hands of the Cause of God, the number
of localities where Bahá’ís reside, which in the concluding years of the
Apostolic Age of the Faith, had barely reached ten, has now swelled to
over two hundred and ten, scattered over no less than forty islands. It
already boasts over seventeen hundred believers of the brown race alone,
more than fifty local spiritual assemblies, five national Hazíratu’l-Quds,
three Bahá’í schools, twenty-one incorporated local spiritual assemblies,
four states where Bahá’í national endowments have been established, a site
purchased for its first projected Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, three territories
where the Bahá’í Marriage Certificate is recognized, and three others
where Bahá’í children have been allowed to observe the Bahá’í Holy Days,
as well as the translation of Bahá’í literature into no less than fifty of
the languages current among its indigenous population. It, moreover,
prides itself on the initiation of teaching activities in no less than a
hundred of the four hundred islands constituting one of its numerous
southern archipelagos.



THE MOTHER-TEMPLES OF THREE CONTINENTS


So brilliant and diversified a record of services to the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh, in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, has been greatly
enriched by the plans now initiated for the launching of an ambitious
three-fold enterprise, designed to compensate for the disabilities
suffered by the sorely-tried Community of the followers of His Faith in
the land of His birth, aiming at the erection, in localities as far apart
as Frankfurt, Sydney and Kampala, of the Mother-Temples of the European,
the Australian and African continents, at a cost of approximately one
million dollars, complementing the Temples already constructed in the
Asiatic and American continents. One-third of this sum I, gladly and with
a grateful heart, pledge at this auspicious hour, a sum which, when added
to the funds already donated for this laudable purpose, amounting to one
hundred and forty thousand dollars—over one hundred thousand of which
represents the munificent donation of the Hand of the Cause, Amelia
Collins—will constitute well-nigh half of the entire amount required to
ensure the consummation of this stupendous, epoch-making undertaking.

The designs for these sacred Fanes, to be raised to the glory of the
Founder of our Faith, and dedicated to the worship of the one true God,
have, in the case of the Australian and African Temples, been already
executed by the Hand of the Cause, Mason Remey, whilst the design for the
German Temple has been completed by the German architect, Teuto
Rocholl—all three of which will be exhibited, for the first time, to the
assembled delegates at the thirteen historic Bahá’í National Conventions
being held for the first time during this year’s Ridván Festival. The
excavation of the foundations of the African Temple has actually
commenced, whilst plans and specifications are being prepared by a
well-known firm in Kampala. The construction of the Australian Temple has,
moreover, been placed in the hands of a reliable Sydney architect, who
will have completed the detailed drawings and specifications by the first
of Ridván, and contemplates beginning work on the foundations by next June
and completing the building by March, 1959.

To the National and Local Spiritual Assemblies, more than a thousand in
number, to groups as well as individuals, in every continent of the globe,
and in whatever island they may be laboring in the service of this
glorious Faith, I direct an earnest plea to arise, now that the prodigious
task of the purchase of more than forty national Hazíratu’l-Quds, and the
establishment of Bahá’í national endowments in nearly fifty countries, has
been triumphantly consummated and display, at this hour when the global
Spiritual Crusade has just passed the third-way point, the self-same
solidarity, generosity, tenacity and single-mindedness which they have
consistently demonstrated since its inauguration four years ago, which
have insured the success of some of the most arduous enterprises launched
under the Ten-Year Plan, and which, in the decades preceding its
inception, have brought to a glorious culmination the task of erecting the
first two Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs of the Bahá’í world.



KNIGHTS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH AND HEROIC PIONEERS


A special tribute, I feel, should be paid in this survey of worldwide
Bahá’í achievements, to the heroic band of pioneers, and particularly to
the company of the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh, who, as a result of their
indomitable spirit, courage, steadfastness, and self-abnegation, have
achieved in the course of four brief years, in so many of the virgin
territories newly opened to His Faith, a measure of success far exceeding
the most sanguine expectations. Such a success, reflected in both the
numerical strength of these territories and the range and solidity of the
achievements of the Bahá’í crusaders responsible for their opening and
development, has surpassed to an unbelievable extent the goals set for
them under the Ten-Year Plan.

To Uganda, opened on the eve of the Global Crusade, where the number of
the avowed adherents of the Faith has now passed the eleven hundred mark,
and the number of Bahá’í centers exceeds one hundred and eighty, to the
Gilbert and Ellice Islands and Gambia where the number of the believers
has reached five hundred and three hundred respectively, must be added
Mentawai Islands, where adult Bahá’ís now number over eleven hundred; the
British Cameroons, with well-nigh three hundred adult Bahá’ís; Mauritius
with over seventy; Basutoland with over fifty; Ruanda-Urundi and the
Seychelles, each with over thirty; Spanish Morocco, Reunion Island, the
French Cameroons, British Togoland, French Togoland, Sikkim, the Canary
Islands, British Guiana, Cape Verde Islands, Ashanti Protectorate,
Swaziland, South Rhodesia, each with over twenty; and Key West, French
Equatorial Africa, Cook Islands, Balearic Islands, French Somaliland,
Italian Somaliland, Cyprus, Morocco International Zone, Samoa Islands,
Mariana Islands, New Hebrides Islands, Solomon Islands, Portuguese Timor,
Bechuanaland, Northern Territories Protectorate, Bahama Islands, and
Brunei, each with between ten and twenty.



CONFERENCES AND INSTITUTES


Nor should reference be omitted in these pages to the surprisingly
numerous conferences and institutes which, in the course of the last
twelve months, have been organized by the enterprising, the indefatigable
and vigilant members of Bahá’í communities in various parts of the world,
supplementing the multiple activities carried on with such splendid vigor
in the course of the prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan. A mere enumeration
of these institutes and conferences will serve to reveal their diversity
and scope, and demonstrate the earnestness with which their organizers and
participants are discharging their primary obligation to propagate their
Faith:

The first Southeast Asia Teaching Conference in Djakarta, Indonesia; the
first All-Taiwan Teaching Conference in Tainan; the Korean Summer and
Winter Conference in Kwangju; the Indo-China Teaching Conference in
Saigon; the Japanese National Teaching Conference in Kyoto; the first
American Indian Teaching Conference in Northern Arizona; the American
Indian Teaching Conference in Los Angeles, California; the Alaskan
Teaching Conference in Fairbanks; the Hawaii-wide Teaching Conference in
Honolulu; the Western Canada Summer Conference in Banff; the Maritime
Teaching Conference in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; the Teaching
Conference in Beaulac, Canada; the French Teaching Conference in
Mentone-Garavan; the third Italian Teaching Conference in Rome; the third
Swiss Teaching Conference in Basel; the Teaching Conference in Romanshorn;
the Teaching Conference in Neuchatel; the Iberian Teaching Conferences in
Barcelona; the first Austrian Teaching Conference in Gosau; the Teaching
Conference in Frankfurt; the Regional Convention in Stuttgart; the
Teaching Conference in Stockholm; the Benelux Regional Teaching
Conferences in Brussels and in The Hague; the Nordisk Teaching Conference
in Moss, Norway; the Northwest Teaching Conferences in Liverpool,
Blackpool and Manchester; the Midlands Teaching Conference in Birmingham;
the Southeast Teaching Conferences in London and Reading; the Scottish
Teaching Conferences in Edinburgh and Glasgow; the Northern Ireland
Teaching Conference in Belfast; the Northeast Teaching Conference in
Leeds; the Southwest Teaching Conferences in Portcawl, Torquay and
Cardiff; the British Northern Isles Teaching Conference in Lerwick,
Shetland Islands; the South India Teaching Conference in Bangalore; the
Pákistán Teaching Conference in Karachi; the South Australian State
Teaching Conference in Adelaide; the New South Wales Regional Teaching
Conference in Sydney; the Australian Post-Convention Teaching Institute in
Sydney; the New Zealand Teaching Conference in Wellington; the New Zealand
Regional Teaching Conference in New Plymouth; the Regional Teaching
Conference in Hobart, Tasmania; the Canary Islands Teaching Conference in
Las Palmas; the first Colombian Teaching Conference in Bogotà; the
Peruvian Teaching Conference in Lima; the first Mexican Teaching
Conference in Mexico City; the Cuban Teaching Conference in Havana; the
Haitian Teaching Conference in Port-au-Prince; the Honduran Teaching
Conference in Honduras; the Guatemalan Teaching Conference in Guatemala;
the Dominican Teaching Conference in Ciudad Trujillo; the Jamaican
Teaching Conference in Kingston; the El Salvador Teaching Conference in
Santa Ana; the Nicaraguan Teaching Conference in Managua; the Costa Rican
Teaching Conference in San José; the Panamanian Teaching Conference in
Panama City; the Annual Study Institute of Brazil in Rezende; the Teaching
Conferences of the British Cameroons in Mutengere, as well as a large
number of similar conferences and institutes too numerous to mention held
throughout the United States of America.

To these highly praiseworthy accomplishments, in which an increasing
number of the promoters of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, whether teachers or
administrators, have shared in recent years, must be added an even more
impressive list of enterprises, none of them specified as part of the
Ten-Year Plan, and which stalwart upholders of His Cause, driven by an
irresistible impulse to further enlarge its limits, multiply its assets,
consolidate its foundations, and noise abroad its fame, have initiated and
conducted at a steadily accelerated pace since the launching of the World
Spiritual Crusade.

Indeed the multiplicity, variety, scope, and significance of these
enterprises have impelled me to tabulate and record them for posterity on
a specially prepared map, designed to present graphically the achievements
supplementing the tasks already performed in pursuance of the provisions
of the Ten-Year Plan. A bare recital of these additional victories won, in
such rapid succession, over so vast a field, by the band of Bahá’u’lláh’s
crusaders, will amply demonstrate the unquenchable enthusiasm, no less
than the inflexible resolve and boundless devotion, animating His
followers in the pursuit of their high calling.



DYNAMIC POWER OF FAITH


The opening of the Sovereign states of Laos and of Cambodia and of the
islands of Trinidad, of Corisco, of Fernando-Po, of Pemba and of Mafia;
the acquisition of sites for the construction of the future Mother-Temples
of Argentina, of Brazil and of Libya; the sum recently allocated for the
purchase of a site for the erection of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of
the British Isles; the launching of the twin far-reaching enterprises
designed to culminate in the establishment of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs
of Africa and of Australasia; the founding of Bahá’í Schools in the New
Hebrides Islands, in Mentawai Islands and in the Gilbert and Ellice
Islands; the establishment of Bahá’í burial grounds in Libya, Burma and
Tanganyika; the formulation of supplementary plans by the newly emerged
regional spiritual assemblies in Africa, and by the Bahá’í communities of
the Seychelles and the Súdán; the acquisition of land for the Bahá’í
summer schools of Egypt, of ‘Iráq and of Chile; the establishment of
Bahá’í endowments in the Aleutian Islands, in Swaziland, in Mentawai
Islands, in Spanish Morocco, in Basutoland and in Liberia; the acquisition
of local Hazíratu’l-Quds in Gambia, in the Aleutian Islands, in Uganda, in
Spanish Morocco, in the British Cameroons, in Algeria and in French
Morocco; the translation of Bahá’í literature into thirty-one African,
seven American Indian, and twenty-eight miscellaneous languages; the
purchase of Bahá’í historic sites in the City of Adrianople; the founding
of an Indian Cultural Institute in Chichicastenango, Guatemala; the
transfer of the remains of the Báb’s infant son from a mosque in _Sh_íráz
to the Bahá’í burial ground in that city—these proclaim, in no uncertain
terms, the splendid initiative and the dynamic power of the faith of the
bearers of the Gospel of the New Day, as well as their unyielding
determination to exceed, by every means in their power, the bounds of
their prescribed duties and responsibilities assumed under the Ten-Year
Plan, and to enhance, through every channel open to them, and over as wide
a range as their circumstances permit, their share of service in the
collective task now being prosecuted with such exemplary heroism, on the
whole surface of the planet, for the world-wide triumph of the Cause of
Bahá’u’lláh and the ultimate redemption of all mankind.



SOLEMN RENEWAL OF DEDICATION


Dearly-beloved friends: The opening of the second year of the third phase
of a ten-year long Crusade, marking the passing of a little over one third
of its duration; coinciding with the closing of a period rendered
memorable by the achievement of so many of its goals, as well as by a
succession of victories won in fields beyond its scope; significantly
ushered in by the emergence of no less than thirteen national and regional
spiritual assemblies in four continents, with a jurisdiction embracing
more than forty territories of the globe, in the election of which over
three hundred delegates representing more than one hundred and thirty
local communities will participate; and over the inauguration of which no
less than thirteen Hands of the Cause of God will preside—the opening of
so auspicious a year must be signalized by a solemn renewal of dedication,
on the part of all who are participating in this colossal, world-girdling
enterprise, and indeed by the entire company of those who profess the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh—a dedication which, as the year pursues its course,
will be reflected in acts the brilliance of which will eclipse the shining
exploits achieved since the inception of the Crusade, and, indeed, since
the commencement of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

The preeminent task of teaching the Faith to the multitudes who
consciously or unconsciously thirst after the healing Word of God in this
day—a task so dear to the heart of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; at once so sacred, so
fundamental, and so urgent; primarily involving and challenging every
single individual; the bed-rock on which the solidity and the stability of
the multiplying institutions of a rising Order must rest—such a task must,
in the course of this year, be accorded priority over every other Bahá’í
activity.

“If they arise to teach My Cause,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself, revealing the
secret of success for the propagation of His Faith, has declared, “they
must let the breath of Him Who is the Unconstrained, stir them, and must
spread it abroad on the earth with high resolve, with minds that are
wholly centered in Him, and with hearts that are completely detached from,
and independent of, all things, and with souls that are sanctified from
the world and its vanities. It behooveth them to choose as the best
provision for their journey reliance upon God, and to clothe themselves
with the love of their Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. If they
do so, their words shall influence their hearers.”



TASKS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR


The historic work initiated, at the price of so much sacrifice, in more
than one hundred territories of the globe, must not only be jealously
safeguarded, but continually expanded, and wisely consolidated. A
determined effort must be made to insure, as speedily as possible, the
resettlement of the territories which Bahá’í pioneers have been forced to
abandon, and the opening of the three virgin islands situated in the North
Sea and in the Indian Ocean, as well as the six Republics of the Soviet
Union and the five territories included within the Soviet Orbit.
Particular attention should be paid to the all-important task of
broadening and consolidating the foundations of the newly emerged national
and regional spiritual assemblies, as an essential preliminary to the
formation of additional ones designed to buttress the fabric of a steadily
expanding Administrative Order. Simultaneous with the acceleration in the
process of individual conversion, the equally pressing need of
safeguarding local spiritual assemblies from dissolution and of increasing
rapidly their number, must continually be borne in mind, as the most
effectual means for the strengthening of the structural basis of the
Administrative Order of the Faith. Complementing this laudable task,
strenuous efforts must be exerted for the purpose of multiplying the
existing groups and isolated centers in all the continents of the globe,
insuring thereby the early attainment of the goal of five thousand Bahá’í
centers in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The three remaining
Hazíratu’l-Quds, the last two national endowments, the one remaining
Temple site, must, despite the present obstacles and the complications
that have arisen, be speedily acquired, whilst the unexpected setback in
the purchase of the Temple site in Frankfurt must be overcome. The
important two-fold task of translating and of publishing Bahá’í
literature, constituting so vital an aspect of the Plan, must be
diligently pursued and rapidly completed. The construction of the Home for
the Aged—an institution designed to inaugurate the Dependencies of the
Mother Temple of the West—must without further delay be commenced. The
process of incorporating firmly grounded local as well as newly formed
national and regional spiritual assemblies must be given an unprecedented
impetus in every continent of the globe. The no less essential obligation
to establish the remaining Bahá’í Publishing Trusts must likewise be
discharged. Strenuous efforts must be exerted to vindicate the independent
character of the Bahá’í Faith through obtaining recognition by civil
authorities, in as many countries, states and localities as possible, of
both the Bahá’í Marriage Certificate and the Bahá’í Holy Days. Nor should
any effort be spared, however severe the challenge, to insure the
acquisition and preservation for posterity of the few remaining historic
sites in the Cradle of the Faith, and particularly those associated with
the incarceration and execution of its Herald in Á_dh_irbayján. The
equally meritorious project of transferring the remains of the Father of
Bahá’u’lláh, of the mother and of the cousin of the Báb to the Bahá’í
burial ground in the vicinity of the Most Great House, must receive the
continued and prayerful attention of those on whom this sacred
responsibility primarily devolves. In particular a determined effort must
be made, now that no less than nine of the fifteen republics constituting
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are included within the pale of
the Faith, and especially by those Bahá’í communities situated on the
periphery of this vast territory, to establish a nucleus, however small,
in each of the six remaining republics, all of which are now confined to
the European continent, as well as in each of the two islands and of the
three satellites included within the Soviet Orbit, thereby decisively
contributing to the consummation of one of the most challenging objectives
of this world-embracing Crusade.

Supplementing these manifold and pressing duties, which the audacious
prosecutors of this vast Crusade are now, with such modest resources, and
despite the smallness of their numbers, so nobly discharging, over so
large a portion of the globe, and at so turbulent a stage in the affairs
of mankind, is the no less vital obligation to insure through a still more
spectacular demonstration of world-wide Bahá’í solidarity and
self-sacrifice, the means whereby the three monumental Edifices, each
designed to serve as a house for the indwelling Spirit of God and a
tabernacle for the glorification of His appointed Messenger in this day,
may, without any interruption, be raised and dedicated, in the European,
the African and Australian continents, and contribute their share to the
world-wide celebrations of the Centenary towards which every Bahá’í heart
is eagerly straining.

Great are the strides that have already been made, and phenomenal the
success achieved, by the prosecutors of a thrice blessed Crusade—a Crusade
so closely associated with the epoch-making Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Divine Plan, utilizing as its agencies the laboriously erected
institutions of an efficiently functioning, divinely-appointed
Administrative Order, and linking, as it forges ahead, two historic
centenaries commemorating the Birth and the Declaration of the Mission of
the Founder of our Faith. The tasks that still remain to be accomplished,
however, are truly formidable. Above all, the homefront, that must serve
as a base, and act as a reservoir for the supply of a steady flow of
pioneers and resources for the multiple organized operations of a
continually expanding Crusade, and which, alas, in several countries,
distinguished by an outstanding record of service to the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh has been progressively declining, must, at whatever cost, and
within as short a time as possible, be revitalized, extended and
consolidated. More than ever its manpower must rapidly increase, the
administrative machinery it utilizes, and on which it relies, for the
effectual discharge of its Mission, must be assiduously perfected, and,
most important of all, its spiritual driving force must be constantly
reinforced through a firmer grasp by the individuals, ultimately
responsible for its progress, of the distinguishing verities and
fundamental purposes of their Faith, through a fuller dedication to its
glorious Mission, and through a closer communion with its animating
Spirit.



THE GUARDIAN’S APPEAL TO ALL BAHÁ’ÍS


I appeal, as I close this review of the superb feats already accomplished,
in the course of so many campaigns, by the heroic band of the warriors of
Bahá’u’lláh, battling in His Name and by His aid for the purification, the
unification and the spiritualization of a morally and spiritually bankrupt
society, now hovering on the brink of self-destruction, for a renewed
dedication, at this critical hour in the fortunes of mankind, on the part
of the entire company of my spiritual brethren in every continent of the
globe, to the high ideals of the Cause they have espoused, as well as to
the immediate accomplishment of the goals of the Crusade on which they
have embarked, be they in active service or not, of either sex, young as
well as old, rich or poor, whether veteran or newly enrolled—a dedication
reminiscent of the pledges which the Dawn-breakers of an earlier Apostolic
Age, assembled in conference at Bada_sh_t, and faced with issues of a
different but equally challenging nature, willingly and solemnly made for
the prosecution of the collective task with which they were confronted.

May this Crusade, on which the privileged heirs and present successors of
the heroes of the Primitive Age of our Faith have so auspiciously
embarked, yield, as it speeds on to its mid-way point, such a harvest as
will amaze its prosecutors, astonish the world at large, and draw forth
from the Source on high a measure of celestial strength adequate to insure
its triumphant consummation.

—Shoghi

[April, 1957]



Epoch-Making Victory Won Over Covenant-Breakers


With feelings of profound joy, exultation and thankfulness, announce on
morrow of sixty-fifth Anniversary of Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, signal,
epoch-making victory won over the ignoble band of breakers of His Covenant
which, in the course of over six decades, has entrenched itself in the
precincts of the Most Holy Shrine of the Bahá’í world, provoking through
acts of overt hostility and ingenious machinations, in alliance with
external enemies under three successive regimes, the wrath of the Lord of
the Covenant Himself, incurring the malediction of the Concourse on high,
and filling with inexpressible anguish the heart of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

The expropriation order issued by the Israeli government, mentioned in the
recent Convention Message, related to the entire property owned by
Covenant-breakers within the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas, recently contested by these
same enemies through appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court, now confirmed
through adverse decision just announced by same Court, enabling the civil
authorities to enforce the original decision and proceed with the eviction
of the wretched remnants of the once redoubtable adversaries who, both
within the Holy Land and beyond its confines, labored so long and so
assiduously to disrupt the foundations of the Faith, sap their loyalty and
cause a permanent cleavage in the ranks of its supporters.

This final, shattering and most humiliating blow may well be regarded as
the culmination in the long series of reverses suffered by these same
relentless foes, marked by the repudiation of their preposterous claims
following the Passing of Bahá’u’lláh, by the overwhelming majority of His
followers, east and west; by the abject failure of ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, as well
as the notorious Commission of Inquiry, to banish ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Fezzan;
by the ignominious defeat of the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, the cruel,
boastful Jamál Pá_sh_á, following his threat to crucify the Center of the
Covenant outside the main gate of the fortress City of Akká; by
acquisition of the site for the construction of the Báb’s Sepulcher; by
the restitution of the keys to the Most Holy Tomb and the recognition by
the British authorities of the right of the Bahá’í world community to the
custodianship of the Bahá’í Shrines; by the establishment of the
international Bahá’í endowments on Mt. Carmel; by the formation of the
Palestine branches of the Bahá’í National Assemblies; by exhumation of the
Brother and Mother of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and reburial in the neighborhood of the
Báb’s resting place; by the evacuation by these same adversaries of the
Mansion of Bahjí, after forty years’ occupancy; by the demise, in
distressing circumstances, of the archbreaker of the Covenant himself; by
the ignominious flight of his henchmen on the eve of the disturbances
which rocked the Holy Land in recent years; by the deaths with dramatic
swiftness of this same lieutenant, his kindred and closest associates; by
the intervention of the Israeli government in denying the competence of
the civil courts to adjudicate the case brought by the remnant of these
same Covenant-breakers and the subsequent authorization issued by the
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to demolish the ruined
building close to the vicinity of Bahá’u’lláh’s Tomb; finally, by the
extinction of the life of the prime mover in the diabolical plans directed
during the course of three decades against ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

The implementation of this order will, at long last, cleanse the Outer
Sanctuary of the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world of the pollution staining the
fair name of the Faith and pave the way for the adoption and execution of
preliminary measures designed to herald the construction in future decades
of the stately, befitting Mausoleum designed to enshrine the holiest dust
the earth ever received into its bosom.

Share announcement Hands of the Cause and all National Assemblies.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, June 3, 1957]



Call to Hands of Cause and National Assemblies


Divinely appointed Institution of the Hands of the Cause, invested by
virtue of the authority conferred by the Testament of the Center of the
Covenant with the twin functions of protecting and propagating the Faith
of Bahá’u’lláh, now entering new phase in the process of the unfoldment of
its sacred mission. To its newly assured responsibility to assist National
Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’í world in the specific purpose of
effectively prosecuting the World Spiritual Crusade, the primary
obligation to watch over and insure protection to the Bahá’í world
community, in close collaboration with these same National Assemblies, is
now added.

Recent events, the triumphant consummation of a series of historic
enterprises, such as the construction of the superstructure of the Báb’s
Sepulcher, the dedication of the Mother Temple of the West, the world-wide
celebrations of the Holy Year, the convocation of four Intercontinental
Teaching Conferences launching the Ten Year Crusade, the unprecedented
dispersal of its valiant prosecutors over the face of the globe, the
extraordinary progress of the African and Pacific campaigns, the rise of
the administrative order in the Arabian Peninsula in the heart of the
Islámic world, the discomfiture of the powerful antagonists in the Cradle
of the Faith, the erection of the International Archives, heralding the
establishment of the seat of the World Administrative Order in the Holy
Land, served to inflame the unquenchable animosity of its Muslim opponents
and raised up a new set of adversaries in the Christian fold and roused
internal enemies, old and new Covenant-breakers, to fresh attempts to
arrest the march of the Cause of God, misrepresent its purpose, disrupt
its administrative institutions, dampen the zeal and sap the loyalty of
its supporters.

Evidences of increasing hostility without, persistent machinations within,
foreshadowing dire contests destined to range the Army of Light against
the forces of darkness, both secular and religious, predicted in
unequivocal language by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, necessitate in this crucial hour
closer association of the Hands of the five continents and the bodies of
the elected representatives of the national Bahá’í communities the world
over for joint investigation of the nefarious activities of internal
enemies and the adoption of wise, effective measures to counteract their
treacherous schemes, protect the mass of the believers, and arrest the
spread of their evil influence.

Call upon Hands and National Assemblies, each continent separately, to
establish henceforth direct contact and deliberate, whenever feasible, as
frequently as possible, to exchange reports to be submitted by their
respective Auxiliary Boards and national committees, to exercise
unrelaxing vigilance and carry out unflinchingly their sacred, inescapable
duties. The security of our precious Faith, the preservation of the
spiritual health of the Bahá’í communities, the vitality of the faith of
its individual members, the proper functioning of its laboriously erected
institutions, the fruition of its worldwide enterprises, the fulfilment of
its ultimate destiny, all are directly dependent upon the befitting
discharge of the weighty responsibilities now resting upon the members of
these two institutions, occupying, with the Universal House of Justice,
next to the Institution of the Guardianship, foremost rank in the divinely
ordained administrative hierarchy of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, June 4, 1957]



Restitution of Bahá’í Properties in Persia


Rejoice announce yet another victory won in cradle of Faith, swiftly
following crushing defeat recently sustained by Covenant-breakers in Holy
Land. National Hazíratu’l-Quds in Ṭihrán has been returned, completing
thereby the restitution of Bahá’í properties seized at the instigation of
traditional enemies in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, June 8, 1957]



Purification of Ḥaram-i-Aqdas


Announce to Hands and all National Assemblies that following the loss of
the appeal to the Supreme Court, the Government expropriation order has
been implemented, resulting in the complete evacuation of the remnant of
Covenant-breakers and the transfer of all their belongings from the
precincts of the Most Holy Shrine, and the purification, after six long
decades, of the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas from every trace of their contamination.
Measures under way to effect transfer of title deeds of the evacuated
property to the triumphant Bahá’í community.

—Shoghi

[Cablegram, September 6, 1957]



Announcement of Series of Five Intercontinental Conferences and
Appointment of Eight Additional Hands of the Cause


On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the opening of the memorable
Holy Year associated with the Centenary celebrations of the birth of the
Mission of Bahá’u’lláh in the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán—an anniversary
falling only a few months before the decade-long global Spiritual Crusade,
on which the entire company of His followers have embarked, will have
reached its midway point—I feel moved to announce the convocation of a
series of Intercontinental Conferences, five in number, to be held
successively in Kampala, Uganda, in the heart of the African continent; in
the city of Sydney, the oldest Bahá’í center established in the Antipodes;
in Chicago, where the name of Bahá’u’lláh was publicly mentioned for the
first time in the western world; in the city of Frankfurt, in the heart of
the European continent; and in Djakarta, the capital city of the Republic
of Indonesia.

These historic gatherings, which will recall in some of their aspects the
four epoch-making Conferences which commemorated the hundredth anniversary
of the inception of the Bahá’í Revelation, are to be held respectively in
the months of January, March, May, July and September, under the auspices
of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central and East
Africa, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia, the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of
America, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and
Austria, and the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of South-East
Asia.

They are to be convened by the chairmen of the aforementioned Regional and
National Spiritual Assemblies for the five-fold purpose of offering humble
thanksgiving to the Divine Author of our Faith, Who has graciously enabled
His followers, during a period of deepening anxiety and amidst the
confusion and uncertainties of a critical phase in the fortunes of
mankind, to prosecute uninterruptedly the Ten-Year Plan formulated for the
execution of the Grand Design conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; of reviewing and
celebrating the series of signal victories won so rapidly in the course of
each of the campaigns of this world-encircling Crusade; of deliberating on
ways and means that will insure its triumphant consummation; and of
lending simultaneously a powerful impetus, the world over, to the vital
process of individual conversion—the preeminent purpose underlying the
Plan in all its ramifications—and to the construction and completion of
the three Mother Temples to be built in the European, the African, and
Australian continents.



PHENOMENAL ADVANCE ACHIEVED IN WORLD CRUSADE


The phenomenal advances made since the inception of this globe-girdling
Crusade, in the brief space of less than five years, eclipses—if we pause
to ponder the scope and significance of recent developments—in both the
number and quality of the feats achieved by its prosecutors, any previous
collective enterprise undertaken by the followers of the Faith, at any
time and in any part of the world, since the close of the initial and most
turbulent epoch of the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

The raising of the number of Bahá’í centers—foci and pivots of Bahá’í
teaching and administrative activity—all over the globe, from twenty-five
hundred to forty-five hundred; of the number of countries, both sovereign
States and Dependencies, included within the pale of the Faith from one
hundred and twenty-eight to two hundred and fifty-four; and of the number
of Bahá’í national and regional Spiritual Assemblies—forerunners of the
Universal House of Justice—from twelve to twenty-six; the substantial
multiplication of Bahá’í local Spiritual Assemblies—constituting the
foundation of a rising Administrative Order—throughout five continents,
whose number has now passed the thousand mark; the planting of the banner
of the Faith in over seventy islands, situated in the Pacific, the
Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean and the
North Sea; the establishment of its northernmost outpost beyond the Arctic
Circle, in far-off Thule, Greenland; the erection and completion, in the
Holy Land itself, at the cost of over a quarter of a million dollars, of
the Bahá’í International Archives, heralding the emergence, in its
plenitude, of the seat of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh on the
slopes of Mt. Carmel and facing the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world; the
enlargement of the scope of Bahá’í international endowments in the twin
cities of Akká and Haifa, constituting the World Center of the Faith,
until their present value can now be estimated at over five and a half
million dollars; a corresponding extension of Bahá’í national endowments
in the Great Republic of the West—the stronghold of the Bahá’í
Administrative Order—the value of which is fast approaching five million
dollars, and of Bahá’í holdings in the Cradle of the Faith, conservatively
estimated to be well over forty million túmans; the acquisition of no less
than forty-eight National Hazíratu’l-Quds—the central administrative
headquarters of Bahá’í communities established in the sovereign States and
chief Dependencies of the globe—involving an expenditure of over half a
million dollars; the founding of Bahá’í national endowments in no less
than fifty capitals and chief cities of all five continents, the cost of
which may be estimated to be at least one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars; the initiation of the construction of the Mother Temples of both
Africa and Australia, as well as the purchase of eleven Temple sites for
over two hundred thousand dollars; the incorporation of over ninety
national and local Spiritual Assemblies, raising the total number of
incorporated Assemblies the world over to over two hundred; the
translation of Bahá’í literature into one hundred and forty-eight
languages, of which no less than seventy-two are over and above those
called for by the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan, bringing the total
number of languages to two hundred and thirty-seven; as well as a series
of additional accomplishments, too numerous to recount, supplementing the
objectives of that Plan, in connection with the opening of virgin
territories, the acquisition of Temple sites, the inauguration of Bahá’í
schools, the founding of Bahá’í local endowments, the establishment of
local Hazíratu’l-Quds, the formulation of subsidiary Plans, the initiation
of a Bahá’í Publishing Trust, the purchase of Bahá’í Holy Sites, and of
plots for Bahá’í burial-grounds and for Bahá’í summer schools—all these
can be regarded by any fair-minded observer in no other light except as
the manifestations of a momentous progress as diversified in character as
it is far-reaching in its import.



ANOTHER CONTINGENT OF HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD


So marvelous a progress, embracing so vast a field, achieved in so short a
time, by so small a band of heroic souls, well deserves, at this juncture
in the evolution of a decade-long Crusade, to be signalized by, and indeed
necessitates, the announcement of yet another step in the progressive
unfoldment of one of the cardinal and pivotal institutions ordained by
Bahá’u’lláh, and confirmed in the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
involving the designation of yet another contingent of the Hands of the
Cause of God, raising thereby to thrice nine the total number of the Chief
Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth, who have been
invested by the unerring Pen of the Center of His Covenant with the dual
function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the propagation,
of His Father’s Faith.

The eight now elevated to this exalted rank are: Enoch Olinga, William
Sears, and John Robarts, in West and South Africa; Hasan Balyuzi and John
Ferraby in the British Isles; Collis Featherstone and Rahmatu’lláh
Muhájir, in the Pacific area; and Abu’l-Qásim Faizí in the Arabian
Peninsula—a group chosen from four continents of the globe, and
representing the Afnán, as well as the black and white races and whose
members are derived from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Pagan backgrounds.

This latest addition to the band of the high-ranking officers of a fast
evolving World Administrative Order, involving a further expansion of the
august institution of the Hands of the Cause of God, calls for, in view of
the recent assumption by them of their sacred responsibility as protectors
of the Faith, the appointment by these same Hands, in each continent
separately, of an additional Auxiliary Board, equal in membership to the
existing one, and charged with the specific duty of watching over the
security of the Faith, thereby complementing the function of the original
Board, whose duty will henceforth be exclusively concerned with assisting
the prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan.

At these five Intercontinental Conferences the Hands of the Cause, whether
previously or recently appointed, particularly those associated with the
Conference being held in the continent they represent, as well as members
of their Auxiliary Boards, and representatives of the Regional and
National Spiritual Assemblies primarily concerned with the opening of the
virgin territories included in the continent to which they belong and of
the islands situated in the neighborhood of that continent, as well as all
believers, wherever their residence may be, are invited to be present.

To the Kampala Conference a representative of each of the United States,
the British, the Persian, the North-East African, the Indian and the Iráqí
National Spiritual Assemblies; to the Chicago Conference a representative
of each of the United States, the Canadian, and Latin American National
Spiritual Assemblies; to the Frankfurt Conference a representative of each
of the British, the German, the Italo-Swiss and the United States National
Spiritual Assemblies; and to the Djakarta Conference a representative of
each of the United States, the Canadian, the Persian, the Indian, the
Australian and the Iráqí National Spiritual Assemblies, should be sent in
the capacity of an official participant.

Any other members of these Assemblies, as well as any of the members of
the newly established National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies, are
welcome to be present at these five successive Conferences.



THE GUARDIAN’S REPRESENTATIVES AT THE CONFERENCES


The following five Hands, who, in their capacity as members of the
International Bahá’í Council, are closely associated with the rise and
development of the institutions of the Faith at its World Center, have
been chosen to act as my special representatives at this second series of
Intercontinental Conferences: Amatu’l-Bahá, Rúhíyyih, accompanied by
Lutfu’lláh Hakím, member of the International Council, at the Kampala
Conference; Mason Remey, at the Sydney Conference; Ugo Giachery, at the
Chicago Conference; Amelia Collins, at the Frankfurt Conference; and Leroy
Ioas, at the Djakarta Conference.

To three of them, attending the Kampala, the Sydney and the Frankfurt
Conferences, I shall entrust a portion of the blessed earth from the
inmost Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, a lock of His precious Hair, and a
reproduction of His Portrait, to be exhibited by them to the assembled
friends at these Conferences. Two of these representatives will be
instructed to deposit, on my behalf, the blessed earth in the foundations
of the two Temples to be erected in the African and Australian continents,
while the other sacred gifts will be delivered for safe keeping by these
representatives to the Central and East African Regional Assembly and the
Australian and German National Spiritual Assemblies. A fourth portrait of
Bahá’u’lláh will be entrusted to my representative, Leroy Ioas, to be
exhibited at the Djakarta Conference, and returned for safe keeping to the
Holy Land, while to Ugo Giachery, representing me at the Chicago
Conference, will be assigned the duty of exhibiting the portraits of
Bahá’u’lláh and of the Báb, already entrusted to the United States
National Spiritual Assembly.



FOURTH PHASE OF TEN-YEAR PLAN


The holding of this second series of Intercontinental Conferences, marking
the halfway point of the greatest Crusade ever embarked upon for the
propagation of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in both the eastern and western
hemispheres, signalizes the opening of the fourth phase of the Ten-Year
Plan. The first phase, covering the initial twelve months of this
stupendous enterprise, will forever be associated with the carrying of the
Message of Bahá’u’lláh to no less than a hundred countries of the globe.
The second phase, lasting twice as long as the first, witnessed the
acquisition of a remarkably large number of national Hazíratu’l-Quds, and
the establishment, in numerous countries, of Bahá’í national endowments,
complementing, through the process of administrative consolidation, the
striking enlargement of the orbit of the Faith in the course of the
initial phase of the Plan. The third phase, equal in duration to the
preceding phase, has been made memorable by the striking multiplication of
Bahá’í centers, and the formation of no less than sixteen Regional and
National Spiritual Assemblies.

The fourth phase, the opening of which is now approaching, must be
immortalized, on the one hand, by an unprecedented increase in the number
of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of
every race, clime, creed and color, and from every stratum of present-day
society, coupled with a corresponding increase in the number of Bahá’í
centers, and, on the other, by a swift progress in the erection of the
Mother Temples of Africa and Australia, as well as by the initiation of
the construction of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Europe.

The phase which the valiant prosecutors of a Crusade, endowed with such
tremendous potentialities, are about to enter must, as this divinely
propelled, this highly beneficent, mysteriously unfolding enterprise
hastens past its midway point, and approaches the closing stages of its
world-wide operations, witness, in both the teaching and administrative
spheres, and in consequence of the impact, which, it is ardently hoped,
the deliberations and resolutions of the attendants at these forthcoming
Conferences will have upon the immediate destinies of this Crusade, an
upsurge of enthusiasm and consecration, before which every single as well
as collective exploit, associated with any of the three previous phases,
will pale.

I call upon each and every Hand of the Cause of God, previously or now
appointed, upon the entire body of the believers participating in this
Crusade, and, in particular, upon their elected representatives, the
members of the various Regional and National Spiritual Assemblies in both
the East and the West, and, even more emphatically, upon those privileged
to convene and organize these history-making Conferences, to bestir
themselves, and, according to their rank, capacity, function and
resources, befittingly prepare themselves, during the short interval
separating them from the opening of the first of these five Conferences,
to meet the challenge, and seize the opportunities, of this auspicious
hour, and insure, through a dazzling display of the qualities which must
distinguish a worthy stewardship of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, the total
and resounding success of these Conferences, dedicated to the
glorification of His Name, and expressly convened for the purpose of
accelerating the march of the institutions of His world-redeeming Order,
and of hastening the establishment of His Kingdom in the hearts of men.

—Shoghi

[October, 1957]



MESSAGES TO THE BAHÁ’Í WORLD
1950–1957
A Supplementary Collection



New Step in Building the Báb’s Shrine


Announce to national assemblies of America, Europe, and Australia the
initiation of preliminary measures for erection of steel framework
designed to support the contemplated dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher. Holy
edifice, whose site the Founder of the Faith designated while Himself an
exile in Most Great Prison, whose central structure the Center of His
Covenant erected in the course of the turbulent years of His ministry,
whose enveloping arcade was constructed despite internal disturbance
rocking the Holy Land, is now carried forward despite the mounting
international tension through signing of sixty-three thousand dollar
contract for stonework of octagon. Request beloved friends, collaborators
in historic undertaking, to join me in prayers for uninterrupted
prosecution of work simultaneously initiated in Italy and Holy Land
designed to attain final consummation in rearing the lofty dome, crowning
unit of enterprise so intimately associated with the Three Central Figures
of Faith linking the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Bahá’í Dispensation.

[January 4, 1951]



Construction of Shrine Moves Forward


Announce to friends of East and West that operations commenced last
Naw-Rúz on excavation for eight shafts designed for piers supporting the
dome of the Báb’s Sepulcher terminated. Consignment of thirty-three tons
of steel, fifty tons of cement safely delivered to Holy Land. Seven
thousand three hundred pound (i.e., Israeli unit of currency) contract for
structural work, capable of sustaining the thousand-ton weight of
superstructure, signed. First installment out of eight hundred tons of
stones for octagon and dome of Shrine recently received. Greatly heartened
by response of self-sacrificing believers in both hemispheres enabling
energetic prosecution at this critical hour of so holy an enterprise. May
sustained support of all communities hasten its glorious consummation.

[May 29, 1951]



Pilgrimage to World Center Again Permitted


Announce to all national assemblies restrictions on pilgrimage being
gradually removed. Owing to prevailing conditions, maximum duration will
be nine days. Permission of Guardian necessary, as few at a time are now
permitted.

[December 25, 1951]



Administrative Headquarters in Africa


Inform United States, British, Persian, Egyptian, Indian National
Assemblies of imminent purchase of Hazíratu’l-Quds of Central Africa. Have
forwarded my contribution, six thousand dollars, toward historic
enterprise. Appeal five cooperating National Assemblies to participate
through contribution toward meritorious purchase. Purchase price 5500
pounds. Advise forward contributions to Banani, Kampala.

[March 16, 1952]



William Sutherland Maxwell Passes—Rúhíyyih Khánum Appointed Hand


With sorrowful heart announce through national assemblies that Hand of
Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, highly esteemed, dearly beloved Sutherland Maxwell,
has been gathered into the glory of the Abhá Kingdom. His saintly life,
extending well nigh four score years, enriched during the course of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ministry by services in the Dominion of Canada, ennobled
during Formative Age of Faith by decade of services in Holy Land, during
darkest days of my life, doubly honored through association with the crown
of martyrdom won by May Maxwell and incomparable honor bestowed upon his
daughter, attained consummation through his appointment as architect of
the arcade and superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher as well as elevation
to the front rank of the Hands of Cause of God. Advise all national
assemblies to hold befitting memorial gatherings particularly in the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in Wilmette and in the Hazíratu’l-Quds in Ṭihrán.

Have instructed Hands of Cause in United States and Canada, Horace Holley
and Fred Schopflocher, to attend as my representatives the funeral in
Montreal. Moved to name after him the southern door of the Báb’s Tomb as
tribute to his services to second holiest Shrine of the Bahá’í world. The
mantle of Hand of Cause now falls upon the shoulders of his distinguished
daughter, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih, who has already rendered and is still
rendering manifold no less meritorious self-sacrificing services at World
Center of Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

[March 26, 1952]



Progress on Shrine of the Báb


On eve of opening of Holy Year announce to Bahá’í communities of East and
West joyful tidings of conclusion of over ten thousand dollar contract
with Utrecht firm for the fabrication of twelve thousand gilded tiles to
cover an area of two hundred and fifty square meters of dome of Báb’s
Sepulcher. Eighteen stained glass windows of drum and twenty-four windows
of octagon delivered to Mount Carmel. Stones required for construction of
drum and ribs and brim and lantern of dome nearing completion, heralding
the early commencement of the erection of the last remaining unit of
rapidly rising edifice. Eastward extension of terrace adjoining Sepulcher
virtually terminated raising the total length of horizontal area fronting
the Shrine to about six hundred feet, adding greatly to the beauty and
stateliness of the approaches to the magnificent structure, already
enhanced through recent extension of terraces linking Haifa’s oldest and
most imposing avenue with Báb’s resting place majestically rising in the
bosom of Carmel.

[October 14, 1952]



Achievements of Heroic Pioneers in Africa


Rejoice to share with Bahá’í communities East and West thrilling reports
of feats achieved by the heroic band of Bahá’í pioneers laboring in divers
widely scattered African territories, particularly in Uganda, in the heart
of the continent, reminiscent alike of episodes related in the Book of
Acts and the rapid, dramatic propagation of the Faith through the
instrumentality of the dawn-breakers in the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í
Dispensation. The marvelous accomplishments signalizing the rise and
establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith in Latin America
have been eclipsed. The exploits immortalizing the recently launched
crusade in the European continent have been surpassed. The goal of the
seven-month plan, initiated by the Kampala Assembly, aiming at doubling
the twelve enrolled believers, has been outstripped. The number of
Africans converted in the course of the last fifteen months, residing in
Kampala and outlying districts, with Protestant, Catholic and pagan
backgrounds, lettered and unlettered, of both sexes, representative of no
less than sixteen tribes, has passed the two hundred mark.

The effulgent rays of God’s triumphant Cause, radiating from the focal
center, are fast awakening the continent and penetrating at an
accelerating rate isolated regions unfrequented by white men and
enveloping with their radiance souls hitherto indifferent to the
persistent humanitarian activities of the Christian missions and the
civilizing influence of the civil authorities. No less than nine
localities will be qualified to attain, by this coming Ridván, assembly
status within a single territory of the long-slumbering continent.

Zanzibar, Madagascar, French Morocco, South Rhodesia, Italian Somaliland
are already or soon will be opened to the Faith.

Desire to pay special tribute to the strenuous efforts exerted by ‘Alí
Na_kh_javání, setting an example of dedication and freedom from prejudice
to fellow pioneers laboring in inhospitable surroundings and confronted by
manifold and formidable obstacles.

Planning to entrust to the special representative delegated to attend the
approaching Kampala Conference a portrait of the holy Báb, a replica of
the one deposited beneath the dome of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in
Wilmette, to be exhibited to the assembled attendants on the historic
occasion. Confident unveiling may draw newly recruited vanguard of the
ever-swelling host of Bahá’u’lláh, as well as all participating visitors,
itinerant teachers and settlers, closer to the spirit of the
Martyr-Prophet of the Faith and bestow everlasting benediction on all
gathered at the memorable sessions of the epoch-making Intercontinental
Conference dedicated to the prosecution of the latest, most glorious
crusade launched in the course of eleven decades of Bahá’í history.

[January 5, 1953]



Rapid Progress of Twin Sacred Undertakings


On eve of convocation of history-making, long eagerly anticipated African
Intercontinental Conference share with communities of Bahá’í world the
joyous news of the rapid progress of the twin sacred undertakings launched
on the Mountain of God and the holy Plain of Akká, destined to culminate
in the erection of worthy sepulchers of the Herald and Author of the
Bahá’í Revelation. World-wide celebrations of the Holy Year inaugurated
last October, heightened during course of present month through the
holding of the epoch-making gathering, moving steadily towards climax
during approaching Ridván festivities, have been greatly enhanced by the
latest developments of the institutions at the World Center of the Faith.

Construction of the third unit of the Báb’s Shrine is terminated,
synchronizing with the safe arrival at the port of Haifa of the last
consignment of stones ordered in Italy totaling over thirteen hundred
tons. First section of the brim of the dome, constituting the base of the
topmost tier of the triple crown of the majestic edifice, has been
erected, heralding the placing during Ridván period of tiles as well as
construction of ribs of the golden dome.

The landscaping initiated at the inception of the Holy Year of thirteen
thousand square meter area immediately surrounding the Qiblih of the
Bahá’í world, involving extension of its outer sanctuary, to be designated
henceforth as the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas, is virtually concluded, paving the way,
successively, for the embellishment and extensive illumination of the
entire area and erection of stately portals, presaging the rearing at a
future date of a magnificent mausoleum in its heart. The striking
enhancement of the beauty and stateliness of the most holy spot in the
Bahá’í world constitutes a befitting tribute to the memory of the Founder
of the Faith, within the hallowed area adjacent to His resting place, on
the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the birth of His glorious
Mission.

[February 9, 1953]



African Intercontinental Conference


[Kampala, Uganda, February 12–18, 1953]

I hail with a joyous heart the convocation in the heart of the African
continent of the first of the four Intercontinental Teaching Conferences
constituting the highlights of the world-wide celebrations of the Holy
Year which commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the
Mission of the Founder of our Faith. I welcome with open arms the
unexpectedly large number of the representatives of the pure-hearted and
the spiritually receptive Negro race, so dearly loved by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for
whose conversion to His Father’s Faith He so deeply yearned and whose
interests He so ardently championed in the course of His memorable visit
to the North American continent. I am reminded, on this historic occasion,
of the significant words uttered by Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who as attested
by the Center of the Covenant, in His Writings, “compared the colored
people to the black pupil of the eye,” through which “the light of the
spirit shineth forth.” I feel particularly gratified by the substantial
participation in this epoch-making conference of the members of a race
dwelling in a continent which for the most part has retained its primitive
simplicity and remained uncontaminated by the evils of a gross, a rampant
and cancerous materialism undermining the fabric of human society alike in
the East and in the West, eating into the vitals of the conflicting
peoples and races inhabiting the American, the European and the Asiatic
continents, and alas threatening to engulf in one common catastrophic
convulsion the generality of mankind. I acclaim the preponderance of the
members of this same race at so significant a conference, a phenomenon
unprecedented in the annals of Bahá’í conferences held during over a
century, and auguring well for a corresponding multiplication in the
number of the representatives of the yellow, the red and brown races of
mankind dwelling respectively in the Far East, in the Far West and in the
islands of the South Pacific Ocean, a multiplication designed ultimately
to bring to a proper equipoise the divers ethnic elements comprised within
the highly diversified world-embracing Bahá’í fellowship.



TRIBUTE TO PIONEERS IN AFRICAN FIELD


I feel moved, on this auspicious occasion, to pay a warm tribute to the
elected representatives, as well as the members, of the British, the
Persian, the American, the Egyptian and the Indian Bahá’í Communities
which have participated, in pursuance of their respective plans, in the
opening stage of a colossal teaching campaign, constituting a vital phase
of the impending decade-long World Crusade, and aiming at the spiritual
conquest of the entire African continent. I desire in particular to
express to all those gathered at this conference my feelings of abiding
appreciation of the magnificent role played and of the remarkable prizes
won, by the small band of Persian, British and American pioneers, in the
course of the initial stage of this divinely propelled and mysteriously
unfolding collective enterprise, which has overshadowed both the Latin
American and European teaching campaigns launched in recent years, which
is destined to exert an incalculable influence on the fortunes of the
Faith throughout the world, and which may well have far-reaching
repercussions among the two chief races dwelling in the North American
continent.



FIRST AFRICAN PILLAR OF UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


To the American Bahá’í Community, the chief executor of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
Divine Plan; to the British Bahá’í Community, destined to play in future
decades a predominating role in opening to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh not
only the British territories throughout the African continent, but the
divers dependencies of the British Crown scattered on the surface of the
globe; to the Persian Bahá’í Community, at once the most venerable and
most consistently persecuted among its sister communities in both the East
and the West; to the Egyptian Bahá’í Community that may well boast of
having erected in that continent the first pillar of the Universal House
of Justice; to the Indian Bahá’í Community, fated to contribute, to a
marked degree, to the spiritual quickening of the Indians constituting a
noble element of the population of Africa—to these communities I feel I
must acknowledge my deep sense of thankfulness for the strenuous efforts
exerted by their pioneers to raise aloft the standard of the Faith in the
territories allocated to them in Liberia, Uganda, Tanganyika, the Gold
Coast, Kenya, Somaliland, Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia, Libya, Algeria,
Zanzibar and Madagascar. To others who, though not following the fixed
pattern of the plan initiated for the present African campaign, have
arisen to introduce the Faith in the territories of Sierra Leone, Angola,
Mozambique and Southern Rhodesia I feel, moreover, a debt of gratitude is
due for their share in extending the range of Bahá’í pioneer activity in
that continent.



AFRICAN PROJECTS TO BE LAUNCHED


The hour is indeed propitious, as the climax of the world-wide rejoicings
signalizing the Holy Year approaches, for the national spiritual
assemblies of these same communities to gird up their loins, in
collaboration with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
‘Iráq, in a supreme effort to launch, on the morrow of this fateful
conference, that phase of the Ten-Year Crusade which, God willing, will
culminate in the introduction of our glorious Faith in all the remaining
territories of that vast continent as well as the chief neighboring
islands lying in the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. The decade on whose
threshold they now stand must, circumstances permitting, witness:

First, the erection of three additional pillars within the confines of
that continent and its neighboring islands, designed to support, together
with no less than forty-five other national spiritual assemblies to be
established in other parts of the world, the final unit in the erection of
the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, namely: The National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central and East Africa, to be formed
under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the
British Isles, with its seat in Kampala; the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of South and West Africa, to be formed under the aegis of
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of
America, with its seat in Johannesburg; the National Spiritual Assembly of
the Bahá’ís of North West Africa, to be formed under the aegis of the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Egypt and Súdán, with its
seat in Tunis.

Second, the initial purchase of land for the future construction of three
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs, one in Cairo, one in Kampala and one in
Johannesburg, situated respectively in the north, the heart and the south
of the African continent.

Third, the opening of the following thirty-three virgin territories and
islands: Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, French Somaliland, French
Togoland, Mauritius, Northern Territories Protectorate, Portuguese Guinea,
Reunion Island, Spanish Guinea, St. Helena, and St. Thomas Island,
assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United
States of America; Ashanti Protectorate, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Italian
Somaliland, Southern Rhodesia and Swaziland, assigned to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; French Equatorial Africa,
French West Africa, Morocco (International Zone), Rio de Oro, Spanish
Morocco and Spanish Sahara, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of
the Bahá’ís of Egypt and Súdán; Comoro Islands, French Cameroons, Gambia,
Ruanda-Urundi and Socotra Island, assigned to the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and Burma; the British
Cameroons, British Togoland, Madeira and South West Africa, assigned to
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles; and
Seychelles Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq.

Fourth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the
following thirty-one languages to be undertaken by the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles: Accra, Afrikaans, Aladian,
Ashanti, Banu, Bemba, Bua, Chuana, Gio, Gu, Jieng, Jolof, Kuanyama,
Krongo, Kroo, Luimbi, Malagasy, Nubian, Pedi, Popo, Ronga, Sena, Shilha,
Shona, Sobo, Suto, Wongo, Xosa, Yalunka, Yao and Zulu.

Fifth, the consolidation of the twenty-four following territories already
opened to the Faith in the African continent: Angola, Belgian Congo, Gold
Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika, Uganda and Zululand,
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British
Isles; Abyssinia, Algeria, Eritrea, Libya, French Morocco, Somaliland,
Súdán and Tunisia, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of Egypt and Súdán; Madagascar, Mozambique and Zanzibar, allocated
to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and
Burma; Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, allocated to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; Liberia and South Africa,
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United
States of America.

Sixth, the establishment, circumstances permitting, of a national Bahá’í
Court in the capital city of Egypt, the recognized center of both the
Islamic and Arab worlds, officially empowered to apply, in matters of
personal status, the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas,
the Mother-Book of the Bahá’í Revelation.

Seventh, the incorporation of the three above-mentioned regional national
spiritual assemblies.

Eighth, the establishment by those same national spiritual assemblies of
national Bahá’í endowments.

Ninth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in Johannesburg and
one in Tunis and the conversion into a similar institution of the local
Hazíratu’l-Quds of Kampala.

Tenth, the formation of a national Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Cairo.

Eleventh, the formation of an Israel branch of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Egypt and Súdán, authorized to hold, on behalf
of its parent institution, property dedicated to the holy shrines at the
World Center of the Faith in the state of Israel.

Twelfth, the appointment, during Ridván 1954, by the Hand of the Cause in
Africa, of an Auxiliary Board of nine members who will, in conjunction
with the six national spiritual assemblies participating in the African
campaign, assist, through periodic and systematic visits to Bahá’í
centers, in the efficient and prompt execution of the plans formulated for
the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the African continent.



A SPIRITUALLY WELDED UNIT


May the six aforementioned national spiritual assemblies, aided by the
Hand of the Cause appointed in that continent, and the Auxiliary Board to
be chosen by him, and supported by the national committees and
subcommittees to be formed in due course, and reinforced by the constant
and energetic efforts of an ever-swelling number of pioneers, whether
settlers or itinerant teachers, and assisted by the wholehearted
collaboration of the indigenous believers in all localities, be
spiritually welded into a unit at once dynamic and coherent, and be
suffused with the creative, the directing and propelling forces proceeding
from the Source of the Revelation Himself, and be made, as the projected
campaign unfolds, the vehicle of His grace from on high, and prove
themselves worthy and effective instruments for the execution and ultimate
consummation of one of the most thrilling and far-reaching enterprises
undertaken in the Formative Age of the Faith and constituting one of the
noblest phases of the most glorious Crusade ever launched in the course of
Bahá’í history for the systematic propagation of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh
over the surface of the entire planet.

[February 1953]



Fivefold Historic Celebration in America


On the occasion of the fivefold historic celebration—the dedication for
public worship of the holiest Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world;
the convocation of the Second Intercontinental Teaching Conference of the
Holy Year; the anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden
of Ridván; the holding of the Forty-Fifth American Bahá’í Convention, and
the launching of the epochal, global, spiritual Crusade, marking the
climax of the festivities associated with the Centenary of the birth of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission—announce to His followers of East and West that the
final phase of the construction of the Báb’s Sepulcher has been ushered in
through the erection of scaffolding for the completion of the shuttering
of the dome.

Forty-four gilded tiles out of a total of twelve thousand, designed to
cover two hundred fifty square meter surface of the dome, were placed in
permanent position on the eve of the ninth day of the ninetieth
anniversary of the Ridván Festival. On the afternoon of the same day,
during the course of a moving ceremony in the presence of pilgrims and
resident believers of Akká and Haifa, I have placed reverently a fragment
of the plaster ceiling of the Báb’s prison cell in the castle of Máh-Kú
beneath the gilded tiles of the crowning unit of the majestic edifice,
circumambulated the base of the dome, paid homage to His memory, recalled
His afflictive imprisonment and offered prayers on behalf of the friends
of East and West on a subsequent visit to the interior of His Shrine.

Preparatory steps are now being taken for the pouring of concrete for the
construction of the ribs of the dome, as well as for the placing of
ornamental stones surrounding its base.

My hopes are heightened that the termination of the five-year-long,
three-quarter million dollar enterprise, undertaken in the heart of
Carmel, will coincide with the termination of the world-wide celebrations
commemorating the Centenary of the inception of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry.

Also announce the formation of no less than sixteen new spiritual
assemblies in the African continent:—Monrovia, Benghazi, Nairobi, Jinja,
Akarukei, Tilling, Mbale, Atoot, Kococwa, Acissa, Opot, Fassy, Ocaka,
Osopotoil, Kadoki, Kabuku.

In Uganda alone the number of believers is over two hundred ninety,
residing in twenty-five localities, representative of twenty tribes.

Finally share the heart-warming news of the impending establishment of the
long-overdue Hazíratu’l-Quds in the French capital through the conclusion
of an agreement to purchase a nine thousand pound property situated in the
best residential quarter of the city.

Kiyani’s spontaneous, generous contribution is solely responsible for the
achievement of the great victory of the establishment of the institution
designed to serve as the administrative headquarters of both the present
Paris Assembly and the projected French National Spiritual Assembly.

Advise the American National Assembly to share this message with its
sister assemblies throughout the Bahá’í world.

[April 30, 1953]



All-America Intercontinental Conference—First Message


[Wilmette—Chicago, May 1953]

With a heart overflowing with joy and thankfulness I acclaim, at this hour
marking the climax of the world-wide festivities of this Holy Year, the
convocation, in the heart of the North American continent and under the
shadow of the newly consecrated Mother Temple of the West, of the second
and, without doubt, the most distinguished of the four Intercontinental
Teaching Conferences commemorating the Centenary of the inception of the
Mission of Bahá’u’lláh. On the occasion of the opening of this
epoch-making conference, at which members of the United States, the
Canadian, the Central American and South American National Spiritual
Assemblies, as well as representatives of the Bahá’í communities in the
states of the American Union, in the provinces of the Dominion of Canada,
in Alaska, and in the republics of Latin America, are assembled, I recall
the unique, the historic, the highly significant and profoundly moving
summons issued by the Author of the Bahá’í Faith Himself, and enshrined
for all time in the Mother-Book of His Revelation and repository of His
laws, and addressed collectively to the rulers of the entire Western
Hemisphere, conferring upon them an honor such as has not been conferred
by Him on the rulers of any other continent of the globe. With a throbbing
heart I call to mind, at a distance of more than a century, since the
Herald of the Faith bade in His Qayyúmu’l-Asmá the “peoples of the West”
to “issue forth” from their “cities” to aid His Cause, the long series of
events which have illuminated the annals of Bahá’í history in the course
of six memorable decades stretching from the time when the name of
Bahá’u’lláh was first publicly mentioned on the American continent to the
present hour when the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the West has finally
been dedicated to public worship on the occasion of the celebrations
signalizing the termination of the first century since the birth of His
Mission. I can but, at this juncture, touch upon certain outstanding
episodes which, viewed in their proper perspective, may well be regarded
as landmarks in the rise and development of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh
throughout the Americas. I am particularly reminded of the holding of the
World Parliament of Religions of Chicago in September 1893; of the arrival
of the first American Bahá’í pilgrims in the Holy Land in December 1898;
of the inception of the Temple enterprise in June 1903; of the opening of
the first American Bahá’í Convention in March 1909; of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
arrival in America in April 1912; of the laying by Him of the cornerstone
of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in May 1912; of the unveiling of the Tablets
of the Divine Plan in April 1919; of the birth and rise of the Bahá’í
Administrative Order on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension; of the
official inauguration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan through the launching of the
first seven-year teaching enterprise in April 1937; of the completion of
the exterior ornamentation of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, on the eve of the
centenary celebrations of the Founding of the Faith, in May 1944; of the
inception of the Second Seven-Year Plan in April 1946; of the formation of
an independent National Spiritual Assembly in the Dominion of Canada in
April 1948; of the establishment of the National Spiritual Assemblies of
Central and South America in April 1951; and of the completion of the
interior ornamentation of the Temple in October 1952.



SIX DECADES OF ACHIEVEMENT


So remarkable a development in the course of the past six decades,
spanning the concluding phase of the Heroic and the opening decade of the
Formative Age of the Faith, and encompassing the length and breadth of a
continent, so greatly blessed, so richly endowed, has resulted in the
extension of the ramifications of a nascent Administrative Order to every
state of the American Union, to every province of the Dominion of Canada,
and to every republic of Central and South America; in the construction,
the ornamentation, and the dedication to public worship of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world; in the erection of no less
than four pillars destined with others to sustain the weight of the final
and crowning unit of the administrative structure of the Faith; in the
establishment of over ninety centers in the Dominion of Canada, of over an
hundred centers in Latin America, and of over twelve hundred centers in
the great republic of the West, covering a range that stretches from the
Arctic Circle in the North to the extremity of Chile in the South; in the
founding of local and national endowments estimated at over three million
dollars; in the incorporation of no less than four national, and of more
than fifty local Bahá’í spiritual assemblies; in the recognition by
eighteen states of the American Union of the Bahá’í marriage certificate;
in the establishment of two national administrative headquarters, one in
the Dominion of Canada and the other in the heart of the North American
continent; in the framing of national Bahá’í constitutions; in the
inauguration of summer schools; and in a notable progress in the
translation, the printing and the dissemination of Bahá’í literature.

The hour has now struck for the national Bahá’í communities dwelling
within the confines of the Western Hemisphere—the first region in the
western world to be warmed and illuminated by the rays of God’s infant
Faith shining from its World Center in the Holy Land—to arise and, in
thanksgiving for the manifold blessings continually showered upon them
from on high during the past six decades and for the inestimable bounties
of God’s unfailing protection and sustaining grace vouchsafed His Cause
ever since its inception more than a century ago, and in anticipation of
the Most Great Jubilee which will commemorate the hundredth anniversary of
Bahá’u’lláh’s formal assumption of His prophetic office, launch,
determinedly and unitedly, the third and last stage of an enterprise
inaugurated sixteen years ago, the termination of which will mark the
closing of the initial epoch in the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine
Plan. Standing on the threshold of a ten-year-long, world-embracing
Spiritual Crusade these communities are now called upon, by virtue of the
weighty pronouncement recorded in the Most Holy Book, and in direct
consequence of the revelation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, to play a
preponderating role in the systematic propagation of the Faith, in the
course of the coming decade, which will, God willing, culminate in the
spiritual conquest of the entire planet.

It is incumbent upon the members of the American Bahá’í Community, the
chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, the members of the Canadian
Bahá’í Community acting as their allies, and the members of the Latin
American Bahá’í Communities in their capacity as associates in the
execution of this Plan, to brace themselves and initiate, in addition to
the responsibilities they have assumed, and will assume, in other
continents of the globe, an intercontinental campaign designed to carry a
stage further the glorious work already inaugurated throughout the Western
Hemisphere.



SPECIAL TASKS OF FOUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES


The task, at once arduous, thrilling and challenging, which now confronts
these four Bahá’í communities involves: First, the formation, under the
aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United
States, and in collaboration with the two existing national assemblies in
Latin America, of one national spiritual assembly in each of the twenty
Latin American republics as well as the establishment of a national
spiritual assembly in Alaska under the aegis of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America. Second, the
establishment of the first dependency of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in
Wilmette. Third, the purchase of land for the future construction of two
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs, one in Toronto, Ontario; one in Panama City,
Panama, situated respectively in North and in Central America. Fourth, the
opening of the following twenty-seven virgin territories and islands:
Anticosti Island, Baranof Island, Cape Breton Island, Franklin, Grand
Manan Island, Keewatin, Labrador, Magdalen Islands, Miquelon Island and
St. Pierre Island, Queen Charlotte Islands and Yukon, assigned to the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; Aleutian Islands,
Falkland Islands, Key West and Kodiak Island assigned to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; Bahama
Islands, British Honduras, Dutch West Indies and Margarita Island,
assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central
America; British Guiana, Chilöe Island, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana,
Galapagos Islands, Juan Fernandez Islands, Leeward Islands, and Windward
Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
South America. Fifth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature
in the following ten languages, to be undertaken by the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America: Aguaruna, Arawak,
Blackfoot, Cherokee, Iroquois, Lengua, Mataco, Maya, Mexican and Yahgan.
Sixth, the consolidation of Greenland, Mackenzie and Newfoundland,
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; of
Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands and Puerto Rico allocated to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; of
Bermuda, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central
America; and of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador,
Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, allocated to the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of South America. Seventh, the incorporation of
the twenty-one above-mentioned national spiritual assemblies. Eighth, the
establishment by these same national spiritual assemblies of national
Bahá’í endowments. Ninth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds
in the capital city of each of the aforementioned republics, as well as
one in Anchorage, Alaska. Tenth, the formation of two national Bahá’í
publishing trusts, one in Wilmette, Illinois, and the other in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. Eleventh, the formation of an Israel branch of the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, authorized to hold,
on behalf of its parent institution, property dedicated to the holy
shrines at the World Center of the Faith in the state of Israel. Twelfth,
the appointment during Ridván 1954, by the Hands of the Cause in the
United States and Canada, of an Auxiliary Board of nine members who will,
in conjunction with the four national spiritual assemblies participating
in the American campaign, assist, through periodic and systematic visits
to Bahá’í centers, in the efficient and prompt execution of the plans
formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the American
continent.



PORTRAIT OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH SENT


Mindful of the magnificent services rendered during over half a century by
the chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, within a territory that
posterity will regard as the cradle of the embryonic World Order of
Bahá’u’lláh and the stronghold of its nascent institutions, and confident
that this vast and historic assemblage, over which the national elected
representatives of this privileged community are presiding, will prove to
be the harbinger of still greater victories, I have been impelled to
transmit, through my special representative, who will participate on my
behalf in the proceedings of this conference and act as my deputy at the
official dedication of the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár, a reproduction of the
portrait of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, made in the prime of His life, whilst an
exile in Ba_gh_dád, as a token of my admiration for this community’s
unflagging and herculean labors, and as a benediction and inspiration for
those who, whether officially or unofficially, are participating in the
proceedings of a conference that will go down in history as the most
momentous gathering held since the close of the Heroic Age of the Faith
and will be regarded as the most potent agency in paving the way for the
launching of one of the most brilliant phases of the grandest crusade ever
undertaken by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh since the inception of His
Faith more than a hundred years ago.

[May 3, 1953]



All-America Intercontinental Conference—Second Message


On the occasion of the launching of an epochal, global, spiritual,
decade-long crusade, constituting the high-water mark of the festivities
commemorating the centenary of the birth of the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh,
coinciding with the ninetieth anniversary of the declaration of that same
Mission in the Garden of Ridván, and synchronizing with both the
convocation of the All-American Intercontinental Teaching Conference in
Chicago, and the fiftieth anniversary of the inception of the holiest
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the Bahá’í world and its dedication to public
worship—on such a solemn and historic occasion I invite His followers, the
world over, to contemplate with me the glorious and manifold evidences of
the onward march of His Faith and of the steady unfoldment of its
embryonic World Order both in the Holy Land and in the five continents of
the globe.

This infinitely precious Faith, despite eleven decades of uninterrupted
persecution, on the part of governments and ecclesiastics, involving the
martyrdom of its Prophet-Herald, the four banishments and forty-year-long
exile suffered by its Founder, the forty years of incarceration inflicted
upon its Exemplar, and the sacrifice of no less than twenty thousand of
its followers, has succeeded in firmly establishing itself in all the
continents of the globe, and is irresistibly forging ahead, with
accelerating momentum, bidding fair to envelop, at the close of the coming
decade, the whole planet with the radiance of its splendor.

Confined within the lifetime of its Martyr-Prophet to two countries,
reaching during the period of the ministry of its Author thirteen other
lands, planting its banner in the course of the ministry of the Center of
the Covenant in twenty additional sovereign states and dependencies in
both hemispheres, this Faith has spread, since the ascension of
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to ninety-four countries, raising the total number of the
territories within its pale to one hundred twenty-nine, no less than
eighteen of which were added in a single year, while fifty-one were opened
in the course of the nine-year interval separating the first from the
second Bahá’í Jubilee. The number of eastern and western languages into
which its literature has been translated and printed, or is in the process
of translation, and which reached forty-one a decade ago, is now
ninety-one, including thirteen African and twenty-five Indian and Burmese
languages. The number of settlements in Greenland provided with Bahá’í
scriptures in the Greenlandic tongue has been raised to forty-eight,
including Thule beyond the Arctic Circle and Etah near the 80th latitude,
whilst Bahá’í literature in that same language has been dispatched as far
north as the radio station at Brondlunsfjord, Pearyland, 82nd latitude,
the northernmost outpost of the world. Representatives of thirty-one races
and of twenty-four African tribes have been enrolled in the Bahá’í World
Community. Contact has been established with the following seventeen
minority groups and races: the Eskimos of Alaska and Greenland, the Lapps
of Scandinavia, the Maoris of New Zealand, the Sea-Dayaks of Sarawak, the
Polynesians of the Fiji Islands, the Cree Indians of Prairie Provinces,
Canada, the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, the Oneida Indians in
Wisconsin, the Omaha Indians in Nebraska, the Seminole Indians in Florida,
the Mexican Indians in Mexico, the Indians of the San Blas Islands, the
Indians of Chichicastenango in Guatemala, the Mayans in Yucatan, the
Patagonian Indians in Argentina, the Indians of La Paz in Bolivia and the
Inca Indians in Peru.



ELEVEN PILLARS OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE RAISE CENTERS TO 2500


The national plans, formulated and vigorously and systematically
prosecuted, in the course of the concluding years of the first, and the
opening years of the second, epoch of the Formative Age of the Faith, by
the Bahá’í communities in the United States, in Persia, in the British
Isles, in Latin America, in Canada, in India, Pákistán and Burma, in
‘Iráq, in Australia and New Zealand, in Germany and Austria, in Egypt and
the Súdán, have raised the number of Bahá’í centers established in both
hemispheres to two thousand five hundred maintained by representatives of
the white, the black, the yellow, the red and the brown races of mankind,
comprising ten in the Arabian Peninsula, over thirty in Egypt and the
Súdán, over forty in the recently opened European goal countries, over
fifty in the British Isles, over sixty in Australia, New Zealand and
Tasmania, over seventy in Germany and Austria, over ninety in Canada, over
ninety in India, Pákistán and Burma, over one hundred in Central and South
America, over six hundred in Persia and over one thousand two hundred in
the United States of America. The superstructure of the Sepulcher of the
Martyr-Herald of the Faith—a three-quarters of a million dollar
enterprise—is nearing completion, on the slopes of the Mountain of God,
within the heart of the Holy Land, the nest of the Prophets, and the
divinely chosen Spiritual and Administrative Center of the Bahá’í world.
The preliminary measures, heralding the unfoldment of the institution of
Guardianship, the pivot of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament, have been
adopted, through the appointment of the first two contingents of the Hands
of the Cause, numbering nineteen, recruited from the five continents of
the globe, representative in their extraction of the three principal
religions of mankind, and constituting the nucleus of that august
institution invested with such weighty and sacred functions by the Center
of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant. The International Bahá’í Council, comprising
eight members, charged with assisting in the manifold activities attendant
upon the rise of the World Administrative Center of the Faith, which must
pave the way for the formation of a Bahá’í International Court and the
eventual emergence of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme
legislative body of the future Bahá’í Commonwealth, has been established,
enlarged, and the functions of its members defined. The number of the
pillars of the Universal House of Justice has been raised to twelve
through the successive formation of the Canadian, the Central American,
the South American and the Italo-Swiss National Spiritual Assemblies. The
stupendous process of the rise and consolidation of the World
Administrative Center of the Faith has been accelerated through the
acquisition, in the Plain of Akká, of a one hundred and sixty thousand
square meter area, surrounding the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world, permitting
of the extension of the Outer Sanctuary of the Most Holy Tomb—to be
designated henceforth the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas—through the initiation, at the
inception of the Holy Year, of the landscaping and embellishment of a
tenth of the acquired area, and through the adoption of measures for the
extensive illumination of the entire Sanctuary and the erection of stately
portals constituting a befitting tribute to the memory of the Author of
the Faith, within the sacred precincts of His Sepulcher, on the occasion
of the celebration of the greatest festival of the year commemorating the
Centenary of the birth of His Mission. The fifty-year-old enterprise,
involving the purchase of land for the construction, the exterior and
interior ornamentation, and the landscaping of the grounds of the holiest
House of Worship ever to be reared to the glory of the Most Great Name,
the Mother Temple of the West, and involving the expenditure of over two
and a half million dollars, has been consummated, in time for its
dedication to public worship during the Ridván period of this Holy Year
coinciding with both the fiftieth anniversary of the inception of this
enterprise and the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s
ministry. The design for the Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár on Mt. Carmel,
conceived by the architect appointed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has been completed,
and a model constructed, which is soon to be unveiled at the All-America
Intercontinental Teaching Conference, in anticipation of the selection and
the purchase of its future site, and of its ultimate construction in the
neighborhood of the Báb’s Sepulcher. The total area of Bahá’í
international endowments, surrounding and permanently dedicated to the
Tomb of the Báb has been raised, through recent successive purchases of
extensive plots, overlooking that hallowed spot, to almost one-quarter of
a million square meters. The estimated value of the Bahá’í international
endowments and holy places at the World Center of the Faith, in the twin
cities of Akká and Haifa, has passed the four million dollar mark. The
Bahá’í national endowments in the United States of America now exceed
three million dollars. The area of land purchased on the slopes of the
Elburz Mountains, overlooking the city of Ṭihrán, in anticipation of the
construction of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Persia, has reached
approximately four million square meters. The area of land dedicated to
the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, in the vicinity of the confines of the Holy
Land, exceeds two million three hundred thousand square meters. The area
of land dedicated to the Shrine of the Báb and registered in the name of
the Israel branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the
United States of America, is more than one hundred thousand square meters.
Over one hundred and fifty thousand square meters of land have been
dedicated to the Faith in the Antipodes, eighty thousand square meters in
the Territory of Alaska, whilst the lands contributed in Latin America for
a similar purpose approximate one-half of a million square meters, ninety
thousand of which have been set aside near Santiago, Chile, for the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of South America. The estimated value of the
national Bahá’í administrative headquarters established in Ṭihrán, in
Wilmette, Illinois, in Ba_gh_dád, in Cairo, in New Delhi, in Sydney, in
Frankfurt and in Toronto, exceeds one and three-quarters of a million
dollars. The Bahá’í spiritual assemblies now incorporated number one
hundred and fourteen, of which nine are national and the rest local
assemblies, fifty-six of which are in the United States of America,
sixteen in India, eleven in South America, six in Central America, three
each in Pákistán, in Burma and in Canada, two in Australia and one each in
Germany, in Balú_ch_istán, in New Zealand, in the Philippine Islands and
in Malaya. The Bahá’í marriage certificate has been recognized by the
Israel civil authorities, as well as by twenty-one federal districts and
states of the United States of America. The Bahá’í holy days have been
recognized by the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel, in the
British Isles, by the state of Victoria in Australia, in Anchorage,
Alaska, in Washington, D.C. and in seven states of the American Union.
National Bahá’í conferences have been held in recent years in Bern,
Zurich, Basel, Rome; national Bahá’í women’s conventions and youth
conferences have convened in Ṭihrán, whilst regional teaching conferences
have been organized in Buenos Aires, in Panama City, in Scandinavia, in
the Iberian Peninsula, and in the Benelux countries. European
international teaching conferences have been convened successively in
Geneva, in Brussels, in Copenhagen, in Scheveningen and in Luxembourg
City, paving the way for the convocation of four successive
Intercontinental Teaching Conferences, the first of which has recently
been held in Kampala, in the heart of the African continent, the rest to
be successively convened in Wilmette, Illinois, in Stockholm and in New
Delhi—Conferences which, God willing, will be the forerunners of the World
Bahá’í Congress, to be convened in the city of Ba_gh_dád, on the occasion
of the centenary of the formal assumption by Bahá’u’lláh of His prophetic
office. Recognition has been extended to the Faith by the United Nations
as an international non-governmental organization enabling the Bahá’í
International Community to appoint accredited representatives, who have
already attended, in their capacity as observers, the Conference on Human
Rights held in Geneva and the United Nations General Assembly held in
Paris and participated in United Nations regional non-governmental
conferences, held in localities as far apart as New York, Santiago,
Manila, Istanbul, Den Passar, Paris, Managua, Geneva and Montevideo.



PRELUDE TO PRODIGIOUS EXPANSION


So glorious a record of accomplishments in the service of the Faith of
Bahá’u’lláh, whether local, national or international, in both the
teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, can be regarded in
no other light than as a prelude to a period of prodigious expansion and
consolidation to be inaugurated by the launching of a global spiritual
crusade, on the threshold of which the Bahá’í world now stands. This
crusade extending through ten years will involve the simultaneous
prosecution of twelve national plans, will necessitate the active and
sustained participation of each of the twelve existing national spiritual
assemblies representing no less than thirty-six nations and will demand
the utmost exertion, consecration and heroism. It aims at the broadening
and the reinforcement of the foundations of the Faith in each of the
twelve areas that are to serve as operational bases for the prosecution of
these twelve national plans; the opening of one hundred and thirty-one
territories to the Faith; the consolidation of one hundred and eighteen
territories; the translation and printing of literature in ninety-one
languages; the construction of two Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs; the acquisition
of sites for the future construction of eleven Temples; the formation of
forty-eight national spiritual assemblies; the founding of forty-seven
national Hazíratu’l-Quds; the incorporation of fifty national spiritual
assemblies; the framing of Bahá’í national constitutions and the
establishment of Bahá’í national endowments by each of these national
assemblies; the adoption of preliminary measures for the construction of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Sepulcher; the erection of the first dependency of the first
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the western world; the development of the
institution of the Hands of the Cause; the transformation of the
International Bahá’í Council into an international Bahá’í court; the
codification of the laws and ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas; the
establishment of six national Bahá’í Courts in the chief cities of the
Islamic East; the extension of international Bahá’í endowments in the
Plain of Akká and on the slopes of Mt. Carmel; the construction of the
International Bahá’í Archives in the neighborhood of the Báb’s Sepulcher;
the construction of the tomb of the Báb’s wife in _Sh_íráz; the
identification of the resting-places of Bahá’u’lláh’s father, of the Báb’s
mother and of His cousin and their reburial in the neighborhood of the
Most Great House; the acquisition of the Garden of Ridván in Ba_gh_dád,
and of the sites of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál in Ṭihrán, of the Báb’s martyrdom in
Tabríz and of His incarceration in _Ch_ihríq; the establishment of six
Bahá’í national publishing trusts; the formation of seven Israel branches
of Bahá’í national spiritual assemblies; the participation of women in the
membership of Bahá’í local and national spiritual assemblies in Persia;
the establishment of a Bahá’í national printing-press in Ṭihrán; the
reinforcement of the ties binding the Bahá’í World Community with the
United Nations; the opening to the Faith, circumstances permitting, of
eleven republics comprised in the Soviet Union, as well as two
Soviet-controlled European states—all, please God, culminating in the
convocation of a World Bahá’í Congress, in the vicinity of the Garden of
Ridván, in the third holiest city of the Bahá’í world, on the occasion of
the world-wide celebrations commemorating the centenary of the formal
assumption by Bahá’u’lláh of His prophetic office.



A PLANETARY SPIRITUAL CRUSADE


Let there be no mistake. The avowed, the primary aim of this Spiritual
Crusade is none other than the conquest of the citadels of men’s hearts.
The theater of its operations is the entire planet. Its duration a whole
decade. Its commencement synchronizes with the centenary of the birth of
Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission. Its culmination will coincide with the centenary of
the declaration of that same Mission. The agencies assisting in its
conduct are the nascent administrative institutions of a steadily evolving
divinely appointed order. Its driving force is the energizing influence
generated by the Revelation heralded by the Báb and proclaimed by
Bahá’u’lláh. Its Marshal is none other than the Author of the Divine Plan.
Its standard-bearers are the Hands of the Cause of God appointed in every
continent of the globe. Its generals are the twelve national spiritual
assemblies participating in the execution of its design. Its vanguard is
the chief executors of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s master plan, their allies and
associates. Its legions are the rank and file of believers standing behind
these same twelve national assemblies and sharing in the global task
embracing the American, the European, the African, the Asiatic and
Australian fronts. The charter directing its course is the immortal
Tablets that have flowed from the pen of the Center of the Covenant
Himself. The armor with which its onrushing hosts have been invested is
the glad tidings of God’s own message in this day, the principles
underlying the order proclaimed by His Messenger, and the laws and
ordinances governing His Dispensation. The battle cry animating its heroes
and heroines is the cry of Yá-Bahá’u’l-Abhá, Yá ‘Alíyyu’l-A‘lá.

So vast, so momentous and challenging a crusade that will, God willing,
illuminate the annals of the second epoch of the Formative Age of the
Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and immortalize the second decade of the second
Bahá’í century, and the termination of which will mark the closing of the
first epoch in the evolution of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine Plan, will, in
itself, pave the way for, and constitute the prelude to, the initiation of
the laborious and tremendously long process of establishing in the course
of subsequent crusades in all the newly opened sovereign states,
dependencies and islands of the planet, as well as in all the remaining
territories of the globe, the framework of the Administrative Order of the
Faith, with all its attendant agencies, and of eventually erecting in
these territories still more pillars to share in sustaining the weight and
in broadening the foundation of the Universal House of Justice.



BEGIN NINTH PART OF MAJESTIC PROCESS


Then, and only then, will the vast, the majestic process, set in motion at
the dawn of the Adamic cycle, attain its consummation—a process which
commenced six thousand years ago, with the planting, in the soil of the
divine will, of the tree of divine revelation, and which has already
passed through certain stages and must needs pass through still others ere
it attains its final consummation. The first part of this process was the
slow and steady growth of this tree of divine revelation, successively
putting forth its branches, shoots and offshoots, and revealing its
leaves, buds and blossoms, as a direct consequence of the light and warmth
imparted to it by a series of progressive dispensations associated with
Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muḥammad and other Prophets, and of the
vernal showers of blood shed by countless martyrs in their path. The
second part of this process was the fruition of this tree, “that belongeth
neither to the East nor to the West,” when the Báb appeared as the perfect
fruit and declared His mission in the Year Sixty in the city of _Sh_íráz.
The third part was the grinding of this sacred seed, of infinite
preciousness and potency, in the mill of adversity, causing it to yield
its oil, six years later, in the city of Tabríz. The fourth part was the
ignition of this oil by the hand of Providence in the depths and amidst
the darkness of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál of Ṭihrán a hundred years ago. The fifth,
was the clothing of that flickering light, which had scarcely penetrated
the adjoining territory of ‘Iráq, in the lamp of revelation, after an
eclipse lasting no less than ten years, in the city of Ba_gh_dád. The
sixth, was the spread of the radiance of that light, shining with added
brilliancy in its crystal globe in Adrianople, and later on in the
fortress town of Akká, to thirteen countries in the Asiatic and African
continents. The seventh was its projection, from the Most Great Prison, in
the course of the ministry of the Center of the Covenant, across the seas
and the shedding of its illumination upon twenty sovereign states and
dependencies in the American, the European, and Australian continents. The
eighth part of that process was the diffusion of that same light in the
course of the first, and the opening years of the second, epoch of the
Formative Age of the Faith, over ninety-four sovereign states,
dependencies and islands of the planet, as a result of the prosecution of
a series of national plans, initiated by eleven national spiritual
assemblies throughout the Bahá’í world, utilizing the agencies of a newly
emerged, divinely appointed Administrative Order, and which has now
culminated in the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Mission. The ninth part of this process—the stage we are now entering—is
the further diffusion of that same light over one hundred and thirty-one
additional territories and islands in both the Eastern and Western
Hemispheres, through the operation of a decade-long world spiritual
crusade whose termination will, God willing, coincide with the Most Great
Jubilee commemorating the centenary of the declaration of Bahá’u’lláh in
Ba_gh_dád. And finally the tenth part of this mighty process must be the
penetration of that light, in the course of numerous crusades and of
successive epochs of both the Formative and Golden Ages of the Faith, into
all the remaining territories of the globe through the erection of the
entire machinery of Bahá’u’lláh’s Administrative Order in all territories,
both East and West, the stage at which the light of God’s triumphant Faith
shining in all its power and glory will have suffused and enveloped the
entire planet.

This present Crusade, on the threshold of which we now stand, will,
moreover, by virtue of the dynamic forces it will release and its wide
repercussions over the entire surface of the globe, contribute effectually
to the acceleration of yet another process of tremendous significance
which will carry the steadily evolving Faith of Bahá’u’lláh through its
present stages of obscurity, of repression, of emancipation and of
recognition—stages one or another of which Bahá’í national communities in
various parts of the world now find themselves in—to the stage of
establishment, the stage at which the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh will be
recognized by the civil authorities as the state religion, similar to that
which Christianity entered in the years following the death of the Emperor
Constantine, a stage which must later be followed by the emergence of the
Bahá’í state itself, functioning, in all religious and civil matters, in
strict accordance with the laws and ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the
Most Holy, the Mother-Book of the Bahá’í Revelation, a stage which, in the
fullness of time, will culminate in the establishment of the World Bahá’í
Commonwealth, functioning in the plenitude of its powers, and which will
signalize the long-awaited advent of the Christ-promised Kingdom of God on
earth—the Kingdom of Bahá’u’lláh—mirroring however faintly upon this
humble handful of dust the glories of the Abhá Kingdom.

This final and crowning stage in the evolution of the plan wrought by God
Himself for humanity will, in turn, prove to be the signal for the birth
of a world civilization, incomparable in its range, its character and
potency, in the history of mankind—a civilization which posterity will,
with one voice, acclaim as the fairest fruit of the Golden Age of the
Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, and whose rich harvest will be garnered
during future dispensations destined to succeed one another in the course
of the five thousand century Bahá’í Cycle.

[May 4, 1953]



Appeal for Funds to Purchase Temple Site in Italy


Launching of the World Crusade signalized spontaneous contributions from
the delegates assembled in Florence to purchase land for the first Italian
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár within the stronghold of leading community of
Christendom. Appeal to national assemblies of the Bahá’í world to
participate in the historic enterprise synchronizing with emergence of a
sister assembly on European continent. Urged in message, addressed to Hand
of the Cause Ugo Giachery, the selection of the site. Transmitting one
thousand pounds as my contribution for this meritorious purpose to the
treasurer, Anne Lynch, in Geneva.

[May 4, 1953]



Joyful Announcement of Progress


Joyfully announce to the Bahá’í world the rapid progress of the final
stages of the construction of the Báb’s mausoleum on Mt. Carmel, as well
as the splendid initiative of the Bahá’ís of Panama aiming at the
acquisition of the site of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Central
America. Erection of the lantern and the placing of the ribs of the dome
completed. Five thousand gilded tiles dispatched from Utrecht have been
safely received, half of which have been already placed in position,
disclosing a glimpse of the shining splendor of the completed dome.

Appeal to national assemblies, East and West, to participate through
contributions, in the meritorious endeavors exerted toward the eventual
establishment of a Bahá’í House of Worship in the City of Panama,
specifically mentioned by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, situated in the heart of the
Western Hemisphere. Myself contributed five hundred pounds for the
furtherance of this notable objective of the Ten Year Global Crusade.

Share message with national assemblies.

[June 25, 1953]



European Intercontinental Conference


[Stockholm, Sweden, July 21–26, 1953]

With a glad and grateful heart I welcome the convocation, in the capital
city of Sweden, of the third of a series of Intercontinental Teaching
Conferences associated with the world-wide festivities commemorating the
centenary of the Mission of Bahá’u’lláh and destined to exert a profound
and lasting influence on the immediate fortunes of His Faith in all
continents of the globe.

I look back, with feelings of wonder, thankfulness and joy, upon the chain
of memorable circumstances which, a little over a century ago, accompanied
the introduction of the Faith into, and marked the inception of its
nascent institutions within, a continent which, in the course of the last
two thousand years, has exercised on the destiny of the human race a
pervasive influence unequaled by that of any other continent of the globe.

I feel impelled, on this historic occasion, when the members of the
American, the British, the German and the newly formed Italo-Swiss
National Spiritual Assemblies, as well as representatives of the Bahá’ís
of the United Kingdom, of Eire, of Germany, of Austria, of the
Scandinavian and Benelux countries, of the Iberian Peninsula, of Italy, of
Switzerland, of France and of Finland are assembled, to pay a warm tribute
to the valiant labors of the early British and French Bahá’í pioneers, who
at the very dawn of the Faith in Europe, strove with such diligence,
consecration and resolution, to fan into flame that holy fire which the
hand of the appointed Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant had kindled in the
northwest extremity of that continent on the morrow of His Father’s
ascension. I recall the slow eastward spread of that infant light which
led to the gradual emergence of the German and Austrian Bahá’í
Communities, during the darkest period of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s incarceration in
the prison-fortress of Akká. I am reminded of His subsequent epoch-making
visit, soon after His providential release from His forty-year confinement
in the Most Great Prison, to these newly fledged struggling communities,
of His patient seed-sowing destined to yield at a later age its first
fruits, and constituting a landmark of the utmost significance in the rise
and establishment of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in that continent.



EMERGENCE OF FAITH’S EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS


I, moreover, call to mind, on this occasion, the successive episodes
which, on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension, in the course of the
initial epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, signalized
the emergence of those administrative institutions, both local and
national, which proclaimed the germination of those potent seeds which had
lain dormant for more than a decade in these newly opened European
territories, and which culminated in the construction of the framework of
the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh and the erection of
the first two pillars destined to sustain in that continent the weight of
the final unit of that Order.

Nor can I fail to acclaim, as a further milestone in the irresistible
evolution of that Faith, the launching, following the creation of the
administrative agencies designed to provide the effectual instruments for
its propagation, of the Six-Year Plan of the British Bahá’í Community
followed successively by the European Teaching Campaign, inaugurated in
accordance with the provisions of the Second Seven-Year Plan of the
American Bahá’í Community, the Five-Year Plan conceived by the German and
Austrian Bahá’í Communities and the Two-Year Plan later initiated by the
British Bahá’í Community—Plans which, within less than a decade, succeeded
in laying the structural basis of the Administrative Order of the Faith in
Wales, in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and in Eire, in multiplying and
consolidating Bahá’í institutions throughout the British Isles, in
broadening and strengthening the foundations of that same Order in Germany
and Austria, in erecting the National Administrative Headquarters of the
Faith in the city of Frankfurt, in establishing spiritual assemblies in
the capital cities of no less than ten sovereign states in Europe, in
reinforcing the administrative foundations of that Faith in those
territories, in providing the means for the convocation of five European,
and a series of regional, teaching conferences, and above all, in the
convocation of the historic convention in Florence culminating in the
emergence of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and
Switzerland, the third in a series of institutions destined to play their
part in the eventual establishment of the supreme legislative body of the
Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

The hour is now ripe for these communities whether new or old, local or
national, already functioning on the northern, the western and the
southern fringes of that continent, as well as those situated in its very
heart, to initiate befittingly and prosecute energetically the European
campaign of a global Crusade which will not only contribute, to an
unprecedented degree, to the broadening and the consolidation of the
foundations of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh on the continent of Europe, but
will also diffuse its light over the neighboring islands, and will, God
willing, carry its radiance to the eastern territories of that continent,
and beyond them as far as the heart of Asia.



CRUSADE PROJECTS TO BE UNDERTAKEN


The privileged prosecutors of so revolutionizing, so gigantic, so sacred
and beneficent a campaign, are, on the morrow of its launching, and, at
such a crucial hour in the destinies of the European continent, summoned
to undertake:

First, the formation, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of the United States, of one national spiritual assembly in
each one of the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, and those of the
Iberian Peninsula, and one in Finland, as well as the establishment, in
collaboration with the Paris Spiritual Assembly, of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of France; the establishment, under the aegis of
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria, of
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Austria; and the
establishment, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of the United States, and in association with the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland, of independent
National Spiritual Assemblies in Italy and Switzerland.

Second, the construction of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of Europe in
the city of Frankfurt, the heart of Germany, which occupies such a central
position in the continent of Europe.

Third, the purchase of land for the future construction of two
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs, one in the north in the city of Stockholm, and one
in the south in the city of Rome, the seat and stronghold of the most
powerful church in Christendom.

Fourth, the opening of the following thirty virgin territories and
islands: Albania, Crete, Estonia, Finno-Karelia, Frisian Islands, Greece,
Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Rumania, White Russia, assigned to the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria; Channel
Islands, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Hebrides Islands, Malta, Orkney Islands,
Shetland Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of the British Isles; Andorra, Azores, Balearic Islands, Lofoten
Islands, Spitzbergen, Ukraine, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; Liechtenstein, Monaco,
Rhodes, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, assigned to the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and Switzerland.

Fifth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the
following ten languages to be undertaken by the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America, through its
European Teaching Committee: Basque, Estonian, Flemish, Lapp, Maltese,
Piedmontese, Romani, Romansch, Yiddish, Ziryen.

Sixth, the consolidation of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland,
Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, allocated
to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of
America; of Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russian
S.F.S., Yugoslavia, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of Germany and Austria; of Eire, allocated to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles; of Iceland,
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; and
of Corsica, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
Italy and Switzerland.

Seventh, the incorporation of the thirteen above-mentioned national
spiritual assemblies.

Eighth, the establishment by these same national spiritual assemblies of
national Bahá’í endowments.

Ninth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the capital city
of each of the countries where national spiritual assemblies are to be
established, as well as one in London and one in Paris.

Tenth, the formation of a national Bahá’í Publishing Trust in Frankfurt,
Germany.

Eleventh, the formation of Israel branches of the National Spiritual
Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles and of Germany and Austria,
authorized to hold, on behalf of their parent institutions, property
dedicated to the holy shrines at the World Center of the Faith in the
state of Israel.

Twelfth, the conversion to the Faith of representatives of the Basque and
Gypsy races.

Thirteenth, the appointment, during Ridván 1954, by the Hands of the Cause
in Europe, of an Auxiliary Board of nine members who will, in conjunction
with the four national spiritual assemblies participating in the European
campaign, assist, through periodic and systematic visits to Bahá’í
centers, in the efficient and prompt execution of the plans formulated for
the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the European continent.



OPENING OF A GREAT SPIRITUAL REVIVAL


A continent, occupying such a central and strategic position on the entire
planet; so rich and eventful in its history, so diversified in its
culture; from whose soil sprang both the Hellenic and Roman civilizations;
the mainspring of a civilization to some of whose features Bahá’u’lláh
Himself paid tribute; on whose southern shores Christendom first
established its home; along whose eastern marches the mighty forces of the
Cross and the Crescent so frequently clashed; on whose southwestern
extremity a fast evolving Islamic culture yielded its fairest fruit; in
whose heart the light of the Reformation shone so brightly, shedding its
rays as far as the outlying regions of the globe; the wellspring of
American culture; whose northern and western fringes were first warmed and
illuminated, less than a century ago, by the dawning light of the
Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh; in whose heart a community, so rich in promise,
was subsequently established; whose soil was later sanctified by the
twice-repeated visit of the appointed Center of His Covenant; which
witnessed, in consequence of the rise and establishment of the
Administrative Order of His Faith, the erection of two of the foremost
pillars of the future Universal House of Justice; which, in recent years,
sustained the dynamic impact of a series of national plans preparatory to
the launching of a World Spiritual Crusade—such a continent has at last at
this critical hour—this great turning-point in its fortunes—entered upon
what may well be regarded as the opening phase of a great spiritual
revival that bids fair to eclipse any period in its spiritual history.

May the elected representatives of the national Bahá’í communities
entrusted with the conduct of this momentous undertaking launched on the
soil of this continent, aided by the Hands of the Cause and their
Auxiliary Board, reinforced by the local communities, the groups and
isolated believers sharing in this massive and collective enterprise, and
supported by the subsidiary agencies to be appointed for its efficient
prosecution, be graciously assisted by the Lord of Hosts to contribute, in
the years immediately ahead, through their concerted efforts and
collective achievements, in both the teaching and administrative spheres
of Bahá’í activity, to the success of this glorious Crusade, and lend a
tremendous impetus to the conversion, the reconciliation and the ultimate
unification of the divers and conflicting peoples, races and classes
dwelling within the borders of a travailing, a sorely agitated, and
spiritually famished continent.

May all the privileged participators, enlisting under the banner of
Bahá’u’lláh for the promotion of so preeminent and meritorious a Cause, be
they from the Eastern or Western Hemisphere, of either sex, white or
colored, young or old, neophyte or veteran, whether serving in their
capacity as expounders of the teachings, or administrators, of His Faith,
as settlers or itinerant teachers, distinguish themselves by such deeds of
heroism as will rival, nay outshine, the feats accomplished nineteen
hundred years ago, by that little band of God-intoxicated disciples who,
fearlessly preaching the Gospel of a newly arisen Messiah, contributed so
decisively to the illumination, the regeneration and the advancement of
the entire European continent.

[July 1953]



Magnificent Response by Communities of East and West


Happy to convey to assembled friends at epoch-making conference the news
of the magnificent response by Bahá’í communities in the East and in the
West, during the course of the less than three-month interval separating
the second and third Intercontinental Conferences of this Holy Year, to
the call to arise and befittingly inaugurate the opening phase of the
World Crusade. The number of the pioneers, whether white or colored, young
or old, on all continents who volunteered for service in both virgin and
open territories is past the two hundred mark, including three offers for
the leper colonies. Ruanda-Urundi, Samoan Islands, Daman, Southern
Rhodesia, Goa, Kodiak Island and Italian Somaliland are already opened.

The settlement of French Equatorial Africa, Solomon Islands, Queen
Charlotte Islands, South West Africa, Cape Verde Islands, Togoland,
Mauritius, Reunion Island, St. Helena Island, St. Thomas Island, Channel
Islands, Aleutian Islands, Azores, Key West, Cook Islands, Monaco,
Balearic Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Hebrides Islands, Northern Territories
Protectorate, Seychelles, Andorra, Canary Islands and French Somaliland is
virtually assured. The northern outposts of the Faith in the Western
Hemisphere have been pushed as far as Arctic Bay, Franklin, seventy-three
degrees north latitude, and in Europe as far as the Lofoten Islands. A
pioneer is en route to Fezzan, Libya, chosen scene of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s
banishment by ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd.

All the areas within the Western Hemisphere allocated to the United States
National Assembly are assigned. A third of the membership of that same
Assembly is joining the ranks of the pioneers. The remaining sister
national assemblies are now vying in a spiritual race to complete
assignments in their respective continents. Funds are inaugurated and
sites are being investigated for the purchase of land for the
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs of Rome, Panama City and Toronto and for a national
Hazíratu’l-Quds in London. I appeal to the attendants at this conference,
in thanksgiving for the manifold blessings abundantly showered upon
Bahá’u’lláh’s crusaders, to immortalize their proceedings through the
inauguration of funds for the purchase of sites for Temples in that
northern city, the scene of the present conference, and in Frankfurt in
the heart of the European continent. I am contributing two thousand pounds
for the furtherance of these meritorious enterprises.

I urge, moreover, that the participants, in view of the disproportionately
small number of pioneers destined for virgin territories in relation to
the total of volunteers, swell the roll of honor through enlisting
promptly under the unfurled banner of the advancing hosts of Bahá’u’lláh.
No worthier contribution can be offered on the altar of Bahá’í sacrifice,
no greater honor won during the course of the Holy Year now swiftly
drawing to its close.

[July 1953]



Asian Intercontinental Conference


[NEW DELHI, INDIA, OCTOBER 7–15, 1953]

With high hopes and a joyful heart I acclaim the convocation, in the
leading city of the Indian subcontinent, of the fourth and last of the
Intercontinental Teaching Conferences of a memorable Holy Year
commemorating the centenary of the birth of the prophetic Mission of
Bahá’u’lláh.

On this historic occasion, when the members of the National Spiritual
Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America, of the Dominion
of Canada, of Central and South America, of Persia, of the Indian
subcontinent and of Burma, of ‘Iráq and of Australasia, as well as
representatives of the sovereign states and dependencies of the Asiatic
continent, of the republics of North, Central and South America, and of
Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania are assembled, and are to deliberate
on the needs and requirements of the recently launched triple campaign
embracing the Asiatic mainland, the Australian continent and the islands
of the Pacific Ocean—a campaign which may well be regarded as the most
extensive, the most arduous and the most momentous of all the campaigns of
a world-girdling Crusade, and which, in its scope, is unparalleled in the
history of the Faith in the entire Eastern Hemisphere—my thoughts, on such
an occasion, go back to the early dawn of our Faith, to those
unforgettable scenes of matchless heroism, of dark tragedy, of
imperishable glory which heralded its birth, and accompanied the spread of
its infant light in the heart of the Asiatic continent.

I vividly recall the meteoric rise of the Faith of the Báb in the
provinces of Persia and the stirring episodes associated with His cruel
incarceration in the mountain-fastnesses of Á_dh_irbayján, with the
revelation of the laws of His Dispensation, with the proclamation of the
independence of His Faith, with the peerless heroism of His disciples,
with the fiendish cruelty of His foes—the chief magistrate, the civil
authorities, the ecclesiastical dignitaries and the masses of the people
of His native land—with the humiliation, the spoliation, the dispersal,
the eventual massacre of a vast number of His followers, and, above all,
with His own execution in the city of Tabríz.



EARLY STAGES OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH’S FAITH


With a throb of wonder I call to mind the early and sudden fruition of His
Dispensation in the capital city of that land, and the dramatic
circumstances attending the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation culminating
in His precipitate banishment to ‘Iráq.

I am reminded, moreover, of the initial spread of the light of this
revelation, in consequence of the banishment of Bahá’u’lláh, to the
adjoining territories of ‘Iráq, and, as far as the western fringes of that
continent, to Turkey and the neighboring territories of Lebanon, Jordan
and Syria, and, at a later stage, to the Indian subcontinent and China,
situated on the southern and eastern extremities of that continent as well
as to the Caucasus and Russian Turkistán.

Nor can I fail to remember the series of alternating crises and victories,
each constituting a landmark in the evolution of the Faith—which it has
experienced in some of these territories, associated with the distressful
withdrawal of its Author to the mountains of Sulamáníyyih; with the
glorious declaration of His Mission in Ba_gh_dád; with His second and
third banishments to Constantinople and Adrianople; with the grievous
rebellion of His half-brother; with the proclamation of His own Mission;
with His fourth banishment to the desolate and far-off penal colony of
Akká in Syria; with the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, His Most Holy
Book; with His ascension in the Holy Land; with the establishment of His
Covenant and the inauguration of the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His son and
the Exemplar and authorized Interpreter of His teachings.

These opening stages in the evolution of His Faith in the Asiatic
continent were followed, while the first and Apostolic Age of His
Dispensation was drawing to a close, by the opening of the islands
situated in the Pacific Ocean, Japan in the north, and the Australian
continent in the south. To these memorable chapters of Asian Bahá’í
history another was soon added, on the morrow of the ascension of the
Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, and during the initial epoch of the
Formative Age of the Faith, distinguished by the rise of the
Administrative Order and the erection of its pillars in the cradle of that
Faith, in ‘Iráq, in India, Pákistán and Burma and in the Antipodes. This
memorable episode in its development in that vast continent was succeeded
by the initiation, during the second epoch of that same Age, of a series
of plans in those same territories in support of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Divine
Plan and as a prelude to the opening of the recently launched
world-embracing Spiritual Crusade.



ASIA’S HOUR IN THE GLOBAL CRUSADE


The hour has now struck for this continent, on whose soil, more than a
century ago, so much sacred blood was shed, in whose very heart deeds of
such tragic heroism were performed, and in many of whose territories such
brilliant victories have been won, to contribute, in association with its
sister continents, to the progress and ultimate triumph of this global
Crusade, in a manner befitting its unrivaled position in the entire Bahá’í
world.

The various Bahá’í communities dwelling within the borders of this
continent and those situated to the south of its shores in the Antipodes,
which include the oldest and most venerable among all the communities of
the Bahá’í world, and whose members in their aggregate constitute the
overwhelming majority of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, are called upon, in
close association with four other Bahá’í communities in the Western
Hemisphere, to undertake in the course of the coming decade:

First, the construction of the first Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár in
Bahá’u’lláh’s native land, in the city of Ṭihrán, surnamed by Bahá’u’lláh
“Mother of the World.”

Second, the purchase of land for the future construction of three
Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kárs, one in the city of Ba_gh_dád, enshrining the “Most
Great House,” the third holiest city of the Bahá’í world, one in New
Delhi, the leading city of the Indian subcontinent, and the third in
Sydney, the oldest and foremost Bahá’í center in the Antipodes.

Third, the formation of no less than eleven national spiritual assemblies,
one each in Pákistán, Burma and Ceylon, under the aegis of the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and Burma; one in
Turkey and one in Af_gh_ánistán, under the aegis of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; one in Japan, under the aegis of the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of
America; one in New Zealand, under the aegis of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand, as well as four
regional national spiritual assemblies, one in the Arabian Peninsula,
under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
Persia; one in southeast Asia, under the aegis of the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and Burma; a third in the South
Pacific, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís
of the United States of America; and a fourth in the Near East, under the
aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq.

Fourth, the opening of the following forty-one virgin territories and
islands: Andaman Islands, Bhutan, Daman, Diu, Goa, Karikal, Máhe, Mariana
Islands, Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry, Sikkim, assigned to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and Burma; Caroline
Islands, Dutch New Guinea, Hainan Island, Kazakhstan, Macao Island,
Sakhalin Island, Tibet, Tonga Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America; Brunei, Chagos
Archipelago, Kirgizia, Mongolia, Solomon Islands, Tadzhikistan,
Uzbekistan, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
Persia; Admiralty Islands, Cocos Island, Loyalty Islands, Mentawei
Islands, New Hebrides Islands, Portuguese Timor, Society Islands, assigned
to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New
Zealand; Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Marshall Islands, Tuamotu
Archipelago, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
Central America; Hadhramaut, Kuria-Muria Islands, assigned to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq; Marquesas Islands, Samoa
Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
Canada; Cook Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of South America.

Fifth, the translation and publication of Bahá’í literature in the
following forty languages, to be undertaken by the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India, Pákistán and Burma, in association with
the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New
Zealand: Abor Miri, Aneityum, Annamese, Balochi, Bentuni, Binandere,
Cheremiss, Chungchia, Georgian, Houailou, Javanese, Kado, Kaili, Kopu,
Kusaie, Lepcha, Lifu, Manchu, Manipuri, Manus Island, Marquesas, Mentawei,
Mongolian, Mordoff, Mwala, Na-Hsi, Nicobarese, Niue, Ossete, Ostiak, Pali,
Panjabi, Pashto, Perm, Petats, Samoan, _Th_o, Tibetan, Tongan, Vogul.

Sixth, the consolidation of Aden Protectorate, Á_dh_irbayján,
Af_gh_ánistán, Ahsá, Armenia, Bahrein Island, Georgia, Ḥijáz,
Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Yemen, allocated to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Persia; of Balú_ch_istán, Borneo,
Burma, Ceylon, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya, Nepal, Pákistán, Sarawak,
Siam, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of
India, Pákistán and Burma; of China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Manchuria,
Philippine Islands, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá’ís of the United States of America; of Jordan, Kuweit, Lebanon,
Qatar, Syria, Trucial _Sh_ei_kh_s, Ummán, allocated to the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of ‘Iráq; of Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji,
New Caledonia, Australian New Guinea, allocated to the National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand; of Hong Kong,
allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British
Isles.

Seventh, the incorporation of the eleven above-mentioned national
spiritual assemblies, as well as those of Persia and ‘Iráq.

Eighth, the establishment by these above-mentioned eleven national
spiritual assemblies of national Bahá’í endowments.

Ninth, the establishment of a national Hazíratu’l-Quds in the capital
cities of each of the countries where national spiritual assemblies are to
be established, as well as one in Suva, one in Jakarta, one in Bahrein and
one in Beirut.

Tenth, the establishment of a national Bahá’í Court in the capital cities
of Persia, of ‘Iráq, of Pákistán and of Af_gh_ánistán—the leading Muslim
centers in the Asiatic continent.

Eleventh, the establishment of two national Bahá’í Publishing Trusts, one
in Ṭihrán and one in New Delhi.

Twelfth, the formation of Israel branches of the National Spiritual
Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of Persia, of ‘Iráq, and of Australia,
authorized to hold on behalf of their parent institutions property
dedicated to the holy shrines at the World Center of the Faith in the
state of Israel.

Thirteenth, the appointment, during Ridván 1954, by the Hands of the Cause
in Asia and in Australia of an Auxiliary Board of nine members who will,
in conjunction with the eight national spiritual assemblies participating
in the Asiatic and Australian campaigns, assist, through periodic and
systematic visits to Bahá’í centers, in the efficient and prompt execution
of the plans formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaigns in
the continent of Asia and in the Antipodes.



ON THE THRESHOLD OF A NEW SPIRITUAL ERA


The Asiatic continent, the cradle of the principal religions of mankind;
the home of so many of the oldest and mightiest civilizations which have
flourished on this planet; the crossways of so many kindreds and races;
the battleground of so many peoples and nations; above whose horizons, in
modern times, the suns of two independent revelations—the promise and
consummation of a six thousand year old religious cycle—have successively
arisen; where the Authors of both of these revelations suffered banishment
and died; within whose confines the Center of a divinely appointed
Covenant was born, endured a forty-year incarceration and passed away; on
whose western extremity the Qiblih of the Bahá’í world has been definitely
established; in whose heart the city proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh as the
“Mother of the World” is enshrined; within whose borders another city
regarded as the “cynosure of an adoring world” and the scene of the
greatest and most glorious revelation the world has witnessed is
embosomed; on whose soil so many saints, heroes and martyrs, associated
with both of these revelations, have lived, struggled and died—such a
continent, so privileged among its sister continents and yet so long and
so sadly tormented, now stands at the hour of the launching of a
world-encompassing Crusade, on the threshold of an era that may well
recall, in its glory and ultimate repercussions, the great periods of
spiritual revival which, from the dawn of recorded history have, at
various stages in the revelation of God’s purpose for mankind, illuminated
the path of the human race.

May this Crusade, launched simultaneously on the Asiatic mainland, its
neighboring islands and the Antipodes, under the direction of eight
national spiritual assemblies, and through the operation of eight
systematic teaching plans, and the concerted efforts of Bahá’í communities
in both the East and the West, provide, as it unfolds, an effective
antidote to the baneful forces of atheism, nationalism, secularism and
materialism that are tearing at the vitals of this turbulent continent,
and may it re-enact those scenes of spiritual heroism which, more than any
of the secular revolutions which have agitated its face, have left their
everlasting imprint on the fortunes of the peoples and nations dwelling
within its borders.

[October 1953]



Triple Announcement on Conclusion of Holy Year


On the occasion of the conclusion of the Holy Year I am overjoyed to share
the following triple announcement with the attendants at the fourth and
final Intercontinental Teaching Conference, marking the termination of
festivities associated with the centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s
Prophetic Mission.

The five-year-old, three-quarter million dollar enterprise, constituting
the final stage in the initial epoch of the evolutionary process initiated
over sixty years ago by the Founder of the Faith, in the heart of the
Mountain of God, is consummated. The finishing touches of the installation
of stained glass windows in the drum and octagon, the removal of
scaffolding from the exterior and interior of the edifice, the interior
calcimining of the dome, drum and octagon, tuck-pointing, cleaning and
floodlighting the entire structure have been completed, synchronizing with
the closing weeks of the glorious, twelve-month annals of the Holy Faith.

A steadily swelling throng of visitors from far and near, on many days
exceeding a thousand, is flocking to the gates leading to the Inner
Sanctuary of this majestic mausoleum; paying homage to the Queen of Carmel
enthroned on God’s Mountain, crowned in glowing gold, robed in shimmering
white, girdled in emerald green, enchanting every eye from air, sea, plain
and hill.

I am moved to request the attendants at the Conference to hold a befitting
memorial gathering to pay tribute to the Hand of the Cause, Sutherland
Maxwell, immortal architect of the arcade and superstructure of the
Shrine. I feel, moreover, acknowledgement should be made at the same
gathering to the unflagging labors and vigilance of the Hand of the Cause,
Ugo Giachery, in negotiating contracts, inspecting and dispatching all
materials required for the construction of the edifice, as well as of the
assiduous, constant care of the Hand of the Cause, Leroy Ioas, in
supervising the construction of both drum and dome. To two doors of the
Shrine recently named after the first two aforementioned Hands, the
octagon door, now added, will henceforth be associated with the third Hand
who contributed to the raising of this stately, sacred structure.

The second announcement is that the world-wide process of the settlement
of virgin areas of the globe has been accelerated by the arrival of the
following pioneers at their respective posts: Cora Oliver, British
Honduras; Carole and Dwight Allen, Greece; Mr. and Mrs. Xavier Rodrigues,
Portuguese Guinea; Brigitte Hasselblatt, Shetlands; Elizabeth Hopper, Ada
Schott, Sara Kenny and Mrs. Duffield, Madeira; H. J. Snider, Key West;
Hugh McKinley and mother, Cyprus; Max Kenyerezi, French Equatorial Africa;
Elsa Grossmann, Frisian Islands; Helen Robinson, Baranof; Mr. and Mrs. Ted
Anderson, Yukon; Tabendeh Payman, San Marino; Una Townshend, Malta; Rolf
Haug, Crete, swelling the Roll of Honor, raising the number of territories
within the pale of the Faith to one hundred sixty-five. Two additional
pioneers are proceeding to leper colonies in Puerto Rico and French
Guiana. Two valiant pioneers from India and America are preparing entry
into Tibet. Two more members of the United States National Assembly have
volunteered to pioneer, raising the number to five. United States pioneers
are departing to twenty-four virgin territories ere the conclusion of the
Holy Year. The Feast of Names was celebrated last August by two stalwart
crusaders at the weather station at Buchanan Bay on desolate Ellesmere
Island, latitude seventy-nine, less than seven hundred miles from the
North Pole. The irresistibly unfolding Crusade has been sanctified by the
death of heroic, eighty-eight year old Ella Bailey, elevating her to the
rank of the martyrs of the Faith, shedding further luster on the American
Bahá’í Community and consecrating the soil of the fast-awakening African
continent.

The third announcement is that preliminary steps have been taken, aiming
at the acquisition of an extensive area at the head of the holy mountain,
scene of the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, preparatory to the
purchase of the site for the future Mother Ma_sh_riqu’l-A_dh_kár of the
Holy Land, made possible by the munificent hundred thousand dollar
donation of the Hand of the Cause, Amelia Collins, signalizing the opening
of the second stage in the unfoldment of the mighty process set in motion
by the Author of the Faith.



A TRIPLE RESPONSIBILITY


This triple bounty vouchsafed the Community of the Most Great Name,
scattered over the face of the planet, calls for tremendous, immediate,
concerted exertion by the assembled believers in order adequately to
discharge this triple responsibility. First, redoubled consecration to the
pioneering task, particularly in the Pacific area emphasized in the
Tablets of the Divine Plan, raising thereby, ere adjournment of the
Conference, the number of territories opened to the Faith or assigned
pioneers for immediate settlement to above two hundred. Second, the
demonstration of increasing self-sacrifice through the inauguration of
Funds for the purchase of land for future Temples on the Asiatic continent
and in the Antipodes, in Ba_gh_dád, New Delhi and Sydney. I am
contributing three thousand pounds for the furtherance of these
meritorious enterprises. Third, earnest consultation by representatives of
the Persian and Iráqí National Assemblies, directly concerned with the
holy task, with the assembled Hands of the Cause on ways and means to
conduct a thorough investigation to ensure purchase of the holy places,
particularly the site of the Síyáh-_Ch_ál, the cradle of the Revelation to
the Author of the Faith, as well as the identification and transfer to
Bahá’í cemeteries of the bodies of the relatives of the Báb and
Bahá’u’lláh, constituting vital objectives of the Ten-Year Plan.

I am ardently hoping, fervently supplicating that this epochal Conference,
setting the seal on the celebration of the second Bahá’í Jubilee, may
contribute in an unprecedented degree through the character of its
deliberations, the solidity of its achievements, the scope of its
accomplishments, to the ultimate attainment of the shining goals of the
World Crusade, destined to culminate in the not far distant Most Great
Jubilee associated with the hundredth anniversary of the assumption by
Bahá’u’lláh of His prophetic office.

[7 October 1953]



Hands at New Delhi Conference to Aid in Attaining Goals


On the eve of the conclusion of the festivities commemorating the
centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry, I am moved to direct the
following specific message to the Hands assembled at the conference. In
grateful recognition of the multiple bounties showered in rapid succession
upon the army of the Lord of Hosts during the course of the Holy Year,
auspiciously ushered in through the proclamation of the objectives of the
World Crusade, whose opening months witnessed the convocation in the heart
of the African continent of the first Intercontinental Teaching
Conference; whose climax was signalized by the simultaneous holding in the
heart of North America of the Intercontinental Conference of the Western
Hemisphere, the dedication of the Mother Temple of the West and the
launching of the Ten-Year Plan; whose record has been ennobled by two
additional intercontinental gatherings, successively convened in the
European and Asiatic continents, all eleven Hands are called upon to arise
to enhance the abiding value of their strenuous, exemplary labors during
the last twelve months, constituting the initial chapter in their steadily
unfolding world mission.

The hour is propitious on the morrow of the last intercontinental
conference to gird your loins for yet another, still wider dispersal,
extending over one or two months and embracing Asia, Africa and
Australasia, for the purpose of establishing close contact with the
national assemblies, advising and assisting local assemblies and
individuals to attain the goals of the globe-girdling Plan.

The adoption of the following itinerary is recommended: Mason Remey,
Dorothy Baker and Horace Holley to India, Pákistán, Burma and Ceylon; Ugo
Giachery to Persia; Valíyu’lláh Varqá, _Sh_u‘á’u’lláh ‘Alá’í to ‘Iráq,
Turkey and Egypt; Clara Dunn and ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan to Australia and New
Zealand; Zikru’lláh _Kh_ádem to Malaya and Japan; Tarazu’lláh Samandarí
and Músá Banání to the Arabian Peninsula. I am contributing three thousand
pounds for assistance in the execution of this meritorious enterprise.

I urge the Persian, Indian, Australian, Egyptian and Iráqí National
Assemblies to extend the utmost assistance, to arrange schedules,
publicize the Faith wherever advisable and direct local assemblies to
utilize every means in their power to add momentum to the most ambitious
undertaking yet embarked upon by the followers of Bahá’u’lláh during the
one hundred ten years of Bahá’í history.

[October 1953]



Further Additions to Roll of Honor


As the Holy Year expires I am overjoyed to announce to the assembled
believers no less than thirteen additions to the Roll of Honor since
transmission of the last message to the Conference a week ago: Clair Gung,
Southern Rhodesia; Ursula von Brunn, Frisian Islands; Richard Nolen and
family, Azores; Katherine Meyer, Margarita Island; Geraldine Craney,
Hebrides; Fawzi Zeinolabedin and family, Spanish Morocco; Manouchihr
Hezari, Morocco, International Zone; Earle Render, Leeward Islands; Ted
Cardell, Southwest Africa; William Danjon, Andorra; Fred and Jean Allen,
Cape Breton Island; Frederick and Elizabeth Laws, Basutoland; Amín Batt,
Rió de Oro. The total number of virgin areas, inscribed on the scroll with
the names of conquerors since the launching of the World Crusade last
Ridván, has mounted to fifty. The number of territories included in the
orbit of the Faith has been raised within an unbelievably short time to
one hundred seventy-eight, marking an increase of one hundred countries
since the celebration of the first Jubilee nine years ago. In addition,
sixty unopened areas are bespoken, including the Ukraine and Albania. No
more than eight volunteers are required to be dispatched to Ashanti
Protectorate, Bechuanaland, Chagos Archipelago, Comoro Islands, Marquesas
Islands, Marshall Islands, Spanish Sahara and Tonga Islands in order to
ensure the attainment of the preeminent goal of the Global Crusade,
excluding the Socialist republics and satellite countries. The moment has
arrived for the last day of this year, forever sanctified in the memory of
future generations owing to its sacred associations, to be linked with the
closing of the already narrow gap separating the vanguard of the army of
crusaders from victory in the most glorious phase of the grandest
collective spiritual enterprise yet embarked upon by the organized, firmly
knit communities of the Most Great Name scattered throughout the planet.

[October 14, 1953]



Valíyu’lláh Varqá Passes; Son Appointed


Profoundly grieved by loss of outstanding Hand of Cause of God, exemplary
Trustee of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, distinguished representative of most venerable
community of Bahá’í world, worthy son, brother of twin immortal martyrs of
the Faith, dearly beloved disciple of Center of the Covenant. Shining
record of his services extending over half century enriched the annals of
Heroic and Formative Ages of Bahá’í Dispensation. His reward in Abhá
Kingdom is inestimable. Advise you to erect on my behalf befitting
monument at his grave. His mantle as Trustee of funds of Ḥuqúq now falls
on ‘Alí Muḥammad his son. Instruct Rawhani Ṭihrán to arrange befitting
memorial gatherings in capital and provinces to honor memory of mighty
pillar in cradle of Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. Newly appointed Trustee of Ḥuqúq
is now elevated to rank of Hand of Cause.

[November 15, 1955]



Passing of George Townshend


Deeply mourn the passing of dearly loved, much admired, greatly gifted,
outstanding Hand of Cause George Townshend. His death on morrow of
publication of his crowning achievement robs the British followers of
Bahá’u’lláh of their most distinguished collaborator and Faith itself of
one of its stoutest defenders. His sterling qualities, his scholarship,
his challenging writings, his high ecclesiastical position unrivalled by
any Bahá’í in western world, entitle him to rank with Thomas Breakwell and
Dr. Esslemont, one of three luminaries shedding brilliant luster on annals
of Irish, English and Scottish Bahá’í communities. His fearless
championship of the Cause he loved so dearly, served so valiantly,
constitutes significant landmark in British Bahá’í history. So enviable a
position calls for national tribute to his memory by assembled delegates
and visitors at forthcoming British Bahá’í Convention. Assure relatives of
deepest loving sympathy in grievous loss. Confident his reward is
inestimable in Abhá Kingdom.

[March 25, 1957]



George Townshend Passes; Agnes Alexander Appointed


Inform Hands and national assemblies of the Bahá’í world of the passing
into Abhá Kingdom of Hand of Cause George Townshend, indefatigable, highly
talented, fearless defender of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Agnes Alexander, distinguished pioneer of the Faith, elevated to rank of
Hand of Cause. Confident her appointment will spiritually reinforce
teaching campaign simultaneously conducted in north, south and heart of
Pacific Ocean.

[March 27, 1957]



Remains of Mírzá Buzurg Transferred


Inform Hands and national assemblies of transfer of remains of Mírzá
Buzurg, marking attainment of yet another outstanding objective of the
Crusade. Advise avoid publicity.

[July 17, 1957]



FOOTNOTES


    1 i.e. Akká





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