Read: Messages to the Bahai World - 1950-1957


MESSAGES TO THE BAHA'I WORLD: 1950-1957
© 1958, 1971 National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States


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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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.

Baha'i 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 Bab's Mausoleum on Mount Carmel, raising the total tonnage ordered to almost eight hundred.
[4]

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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community consummated 31 Assemblies, 17 Groups, 11 Isolated Centers formed beyond prescribed objectives.

Recognition, long last, accorded by Iraqi authorities to all marriages solemnized by Baha'i Assemblies in Iraq 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 Baha'i marriages issued by the District of Columbia court.

Eight islands of Hawaii granted authority to recognize Baha'i marriages.

Baha'i marriage contract legalized by attorney general throughout the territory of Alaska.

Baha'i 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 Baha'i Conference the latest, most promising fruit of the transatlantic enterprise initiated by the American Baha'i Community, held in the Swiss capital, presaging the acquisition by the goal countries of an independent status within the family of Baha'i national Communities.

The process of extension of Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community.

Ties binding the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations reinforced through participation in European Regional [5] 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Bab'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 [6] 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 Baha'u'llah's visit to Mount Carmel. This process which gathered momentum through the transportation of His Holiness, the Bab's remains to the Holy Land after fifty years' concealment, through the erection of the sanctuary by 'Abdu'l-Baha 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 Bab'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 Hazira or Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, reared in the past or in process of construction. The hour is propitious, particularly during the three year interval separating the Centennials of the Bab's martyrdom and the birth of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah, and 'Abdu'l-Baha, linking the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Baha'i Dispensation, cementing the ties binding the communities of the East [7] and West with the World Center of the Faith and shedding imperishable luster on the first and second centuries of the Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah after leaving Prison City of Akka now being furnished in anticipation opening door to pilgrimage.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, December 16, 1950]


Formation of First International Baha'i Council

Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Baha'i 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 Akka 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 Bab's Sepulcher on Mount Carmel, the present adequate maturity of nine vigorously functioning national administrative institutions throughout Baha'i World, combine to induce me to arrive at this historic decision marking most significant milestone in evolution of Administrative Order of the Faith of Baha'u'llah 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 Bab'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, [8] marking its development into officially recognized Baha'i 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 Baha'i Dispensation potentially unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since inception of Administrative Order of Faith on morrow of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'i Cycle. Advise publicize announcement through Public Relations Committee.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah in Acre,* 1 scene of prolonged afflictions sustained by Founder of Faith, as well as supreme crisis suffered by 'Abdu'l-Baha 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 Bahji and Mazra'ih, twin historic Houses inhabited by Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha; twin International Archives adjoining the Bab's Sepulcher and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf; twin Pilgrim Houses, constructed for Oriental and Occidental pilgrims; twin Gardens of Ridvan and Firdaws, associated with the memory of the Author of the Baha'i 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 [9] World Centers permanently fixed in the Holy Land constituting the midmost heart of the entire planet.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, March 2, 1951]
___________________
* i.e. Akka


Transcending in Sacredness

On occasion of celebration of Naw-Ruz Festival announce to followers of Faith of Baha'u'llah East and West, through National Assemblies, completion of excavation for foundations for eight piers designed to support the mighty dome of the Bab'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i community unavoidably prolonged and now extended to embrace the entire Baha'i world in recognition of the pressing needs and paramount importance of this glorious international task.
[10]

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 Baha'i history associated with the martyrdom of the immortal Tahirih, the subjection of Baha'u'llah to the rigors of the Siyah-Chal in Tihran and the barbarous execution of unnumbered heroes and saints of the Apostolic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation.
ÑShoghi
[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 Bab'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-Baha, pilgrim kings ascending this route to pay humble tribute to Martyr-Herald of Faith of Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah's Covenant foiling the schemes, levelling the hopes, and well-nigh extinguishing the remnants [11] 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 Baha'i 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 Bab.

The number of languages into which Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah's prophetic mission.

The prelude to the historic African campaign, the foremost objective of the two year plan of the Baha'i 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 Bab'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.
[12]

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 Baha'u'llah.

A notable step in the progress of Baha'i 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.

Baha'i 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 Baha'i custody, the recognition of Baha'i Holy Days by the Ministry of Education and Culture, following exemption granted to Baha'i international endowments, and recognition accorded Baha'i marriage certificate.

Baha'u'llah's residence in Akka, 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 Baha'i laws of personal status, already codified and submitted to the central government by the Egyptian National Assembly.

Bonds binding the Baha'i world community to United Nations strengthened by Baha'i participation in regional conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Geneva and Istanbul.

Preliminary steps taken in preparation of final design for the [13] Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Mount Carmel by President of the International Baha'i Council, specifically appointed by 'Abdu'l-Baha to be its architect.

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

I hail particularly the brilliant victory won by the American Baha'i 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 Bab's Sepulcher in the Holy Land.

I am thrilled by the multiple evidences of the simultaneous prosecution of Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah of which the establishment of the International Baha'i Council and the construction of the superstructure of the Bab'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 Baha and the precincts of the Shrine on Mount Carmel, Haifa, essential to their [14] preservation, resulting from far-reaching changes in the newly-established state, demand henceforth reorientation and necessitate increasing financial support by Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah.

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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah in memory of the Prophet-Herald of Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 [15] 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 Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha for glorification of eternal resting-place of Primal Point in bosom of God's Holy Mountain.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, August 24, 1951]


Acquisition of Area on Mount Carmel

Announce to National Assemblies of Baha'i 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 Bab'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 Baha'i 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 [16] upon incorporation of their respective branches on soil of Holy Land.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, September 24, 1951]


Old and New Covenant-Breakers

With feeling profound concern, grief, indignation, am compelled disclose Baha'i 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-Baha. 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 Ali involving marriage his granddaughter with Ruha's son and personal contact recently established my own treacherous, despicable brother Riaz with Majdi'd-Din, redoubtable enemy Faith, former henchman Muhammad-'Ali, Archbreaker Baha'u'llah's Covenant. Convey information all National Assemblies.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, December, 13, 1951]


Jubilee Centenary

Convey all National Assemblies Baha'i world the following momentous announcement.

Approaching Great Jubilee commemorating Centenary termination Babi Dispensation, birth Baha'u'llah's Revelation in Siyah-Chal, Tihran, as well as imperative necessity adopt effectual measures insure befitting inauguration third concluding phase of initial epoch in the execution 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan destined culminate hundredth anniversary of Declaration of Founder of Faith in Baghdad, impel me summon entire Baha'i 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 Baha'i solidarity [17] of unprecedented scope and intensity during entire course Baha'i 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 Baha'i activity. Initiation this highly significant measure further cementing Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Bab's Sepulcher in Holy Land, the convocation of four intercontinental Baha'i 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 Baha'is 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 Ridvan period, representative of chief trustees 'Abdu'l-Baha's Plan, their ally and associates United States, Canadian, Latin American National Assemblies, to which Baha'is 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 Baha'is of each ten goal countries Europe and England, [18] 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, Iraq, Australasia, United States, Canada, Central and South America, to which Baha'is 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 Shaykh Ahmad, eulogized by the Bab, extolled by both Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha, and constituting prelude to Most Great Jubilee, which will alike commemorate Centenary formal assumption by Author of Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah in Holy Land regarded as third most momentous epoch-making [19] development since inception of the Formative Age on morrow of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community marking inauguration first epoch in execution of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah's embryonic World Order. Gigantic process now set in motion opening decade second Baha'i 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 Bab's Sepulcher. Second, creation of International Baha'i Council in precincts Holy Shrine, forerunner of International House of Justice, supreme legislative organ of nascent, divinely-conceived, world-encircling Baha'i Administrative Order. Third, acquisition, restoration and embellishment of historic sites associated with incarceration of Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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 Akka, and acquire extensive, sorely needed properties in vicinity of Bab's Sepulcher destined serve as site of future edifices envisaged by 'Abdu'l-Baha to house auxiliary agencies revolving around twin institutions of Guardianship and House of Justice. Fifth, preparation of design of future Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Mount Carmel, outstanding indispensable feature unfoldment [20] 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 Baha'i 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-Baha'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-Baha'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 Baha'i Administrative Order.

Nominated Hands comprise, Holy Land, Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, President, Vice-President, International Baha'i Council; cradle Faith, Valiyu'llah Varqa, Tarazu'llah Samandari, Ali-Akbar Furutan; 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 Baha'i communities.

Communicate text of announcement to all National Assemblies.
ÑShoghi
[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 [21] the Cause of God to nineteen. Dominion Canada and United States, Fred Schopflocher and Corinne True, respectively. Cradle of Faith, Dhikru'llah Khadem, Shu'a'u'llah Ala'i. Germany, Africa, Australia, Adelbert Muhlschlegel, Musa Banani, Clara Dunn, respectively. Members august body invested in conformity with 'Abdu'l-Baha's Testament, twofold sacred function, the propagation and preservation of the unity of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Haziratu'l-Quds similar to those already founded in Teheran, Wilmette, Baghdad, 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 Haziratu'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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, February 29, 1952]


Triple Announcement

Occasion approaching celebration ninth Naw-Ruz second Baha'i century, desire share following triple announcement Baha'i 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.
[22]

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-Ruz 1909, sixty lunar years after the Bab's martyrdom, of His dust in the vault of the Shrine; second, the laying, forty years later, Naw-Ruz 1949, of the first threshold stones of the Arcade of the Sepulcher; third, the completion, two years later, Naw-Ruz 1951, of the excavation for eight piers, designed to support the Dome, followed by the placing, a year later, on the eve of Naw-Ruz 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 Babi 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 Baha'i Community, recently elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause, and newly-appointed member of the International Baha'i Council, who is ably discharging manifold responsibilities connected with the mighty undertaking.

Second announcement: The enlargement of the International Baha'i Council. Present membership now comprises: Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih, 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 Haziratu'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 Baha'is of Italy and Switzerland.
[23]

Advise United States National Assembly arrange, through European Teaching Committee, the election on the occasion of Naw-Ruz 1953 of nineteen delegates by all local Assemblies already established in both countries. Urge convocation Ridvan same year, in the city of Florence, on the occasion of the festivities of the Baha'i Holy Year of the first Convention for the express purpose of electing through the delegates the projected National Assembly. Appeal to the American Baha'i community, particularly the Baha'is 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 Baha'i World a specific plan enabling it, in conjunction with its sister National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah in the remaining states, dependencies and islands of the whole planet. Invite the attendants to the third Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah'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 [24] the Swiss believers in the first teaching conference in Rome on the eve of Naw-Ruz 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Bab's Sepulcher.

The historic process of establishment of international Baha'i endowments on Mount Carmel, inevitably held in abeyance for fifty years after the inception of the Faith, initiated on the morrow of Baha'u'llah's Ascension, through the purchase, in the course of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah's Covenant, has now struck down second son of Siyyid Ali, Nayer Afnan, pivot of machinations, connecting link between old and new Covenant-breakers.
[25]

Time alone will reveal extent of havoc wreaked by this virus of violation injected, fostered over two decades in 'Abdu'l-Baha's family. History will brand him one whose grandmother, wife of Baha'u'llah, joined breakers of His Covenant on morrow of His passing, whose parents lent her undivided support, whose father openly accused 'Abdu'l-Baha as one deserving capital punishment, who broke his promise to the Bab'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 Baha'u'llah in Baghdad, whose sister-in-law is championing the cause of declared enemies of Faith, whose brothers supported him attributing to 'Abdu'l-Baha 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-Baha, 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 Badi'u'llah in recent lawsuit challenging the authority conferred upon Guardian of Faith in 'Abdu'l-Baha's Testament.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'i National Assemblies of five continents, as well as the inauguration of the second, glorious Jubilee of the Baha'i 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 [26] twenty-four. Languages in which Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Bahji. The design for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Carmel, conceived by the President of the International Baha'i Council, completed. Privileges, exemption already accorded Baha'i Holy Places in Israel by Ministry of Finance extended to 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Bab'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 Baha'i community of the British Isles formally launched on the African continent through the dispatch of pioneers to the virgin territories of Tanganyika, Uganda, and [27] 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 Haziratu'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i marriage certificate by civil authorities of Indianapolis; by the authorization by Adjutant General of Baha'i identification for believers serving in U.S. Armed Forces.

Baha'i administrative centers steadily multiplying in Hijaz, Yemen, Bahrayn, Ahsa, Koweit, Qatar, Dubai, Masqat, Aden, heralding convocation of historic Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community to United Nations reinforced by official participation of Baha'i delegates in regional Non-Governmental Conferences in Istanbul, Managua, Den [28] Passar, Paris and Lawrence, Kansas. Historic site of House occupied by Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i history, associated with the nation-wide holocaust of Tahirih's martyrdom, and with Baha'u'llah's imprisonment in the Siyah-Chal in Tihran, 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-Baha'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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, April 23, 1952]


Rapid Progress of a World CenterÑDecline in Fortunes of Covenant-Breakers

On morrow of sixtieth anniversary of Baha'u'llah's Ascension share double announcement with Baha'i 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 Baha'i world community.
[29]

The termination of the Octagon, setting the second crown on the Holy Edifice, synchronizing with last Naw-Ruz Festival, was followed by the erection and gilding of the balustrade during the course of the succeeding Ridvan 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-Baha'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-Baha'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, long denied a befitting entrance through the deliberate [30] obstruction by the enemies of the Faith. Public access to the heart of the Qiblih of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah'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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i world of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Baha'u'llah's prophetic Mission; the magnificent services already rendered by the recently elevated American Hands of the Cause of God, in diversified spheres of Baha'i activity, at the World Center of the Faith, in the triple function of hastening the [31] construction of the Bab's Sepulcher, of consolidating the ties binding the International Baha'i Council to the civil authorities of Israel, and of completing the design of the projected Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Mt. Carmel, as well as in Latin America; the repeated contributions made for the erection of that Sepulcher, for the extension of Baha'i international endowments and the institution of the Haziratu'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-Baha'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 AssemblyÑthe fairest fruit of that mighty ProjectÑthese 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 Baha'i 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-Baha'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 Baha'i history, in the service of the Cause of Baha'u'llah, 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 [32] the Bab and the raising of its crowning unitÑthe Dome itselfÑmust, 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 Bahji, and for the embellishment of the approaches of that hallowed ShrineÑthe Qiblih of the Baha'i worldÑas 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 continentÑthe European Teaching Conference in Luxemburg and the Italo-Swiss Convention in FlorenceÑmust be pushed forward with extreme care, vigilance and vigor. The utmost help and the ncessary 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 [33] 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i World will enter upon [34] 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 Siyah-Chal of Tihran, 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 Baha'i history, an event even more potent in its implications than the birth of the Babi 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 Baghdad, His Prophetic Office. The radiance of God's infant light shining within the walls of that pestilential PitÑa radiance, an infinitesimal glimmer of which, as the Founder of the Faith, Himself, later testified, caused the dwellers of Sinai to swoon awayÑseemed, as it were, to be intermingled, whilst Baha'u'llah 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 Bab marks the termination of the second and darker crisis in the annals of the Babi 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 Ministy.

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 MissionÑlittle wonder that the followers of the Author of such a Revelation should be called upon to pour forth, as a [35] 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community, the chosen trustees and principal executors of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan, who, by virtue of the mission entrusted to them by the Center of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah'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 [36] 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 Baha'i Community in the furtherance of the Grand Design delineated in 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah; 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Islam; 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 Baha'u'llah 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 beqeathed by 'Abdu'l-Baha; 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 Baha'i 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 [37] systematic prosecution of this Crusade, can still, and indeed must, lend his particular assistance in this gigantic enterpriseÑto 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Islam, whether it be in Mecca, Rome, Cairo, Najaf or Karbila; 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 ecclesiasticismÑto 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 Baha'u'llah'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, Mongoliaand 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 [38] 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 Abha Kingdom, celebrate the hour of final victory.

"O, that I could travel," 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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 `Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha' 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 Baha," 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 CauseÑthese 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-Baha'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 `Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha' ... 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, [39] 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 planetÑI 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
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah and constituting, next to the martyrdom of its Herald, the darkest, bloodiest and most tragic episode of the Heroic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation. Invite members of all communities of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i Revelation in the Siyah-Chal in Tihran, 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.
[40]

Request them to dwell particularly upon the seeming helplessness of God's struggling Faith and direct special attention to the ordeals undergone by Baha'u'llah, 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah'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 Babi Dispensation. Evoke on this auspicious occasion the glorious memory and acclaim the immortal exploits of the Dawn-Breakers of the Apostolic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation in the cradle of the Faith and the mighty feats of the champion builders [41] 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 Ridvan period, that the plans formulated by the valiant members of the World Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i world aiming at the immediate extension of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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-Baha's Divine Plan are destined to culminate in the world-wide [42] 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 Baha'i world.

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

Adoption of preliminary measures to the construction of Baha'u'llah'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-Baha'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 Baha'i literature is translated, printed or in process of translationÑforty in Asia, thirty-one in Africa, ten each in Europe and America, to be allocated to the American, British, Indian and Australian Baha'i communities, including for the most part those into which Gospels have been already translated. Doubling the number of Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Wilmette. The development of the functions of the institution of the Hands of the Cause. The establishment of a Baha'i Court in the Holy Land, preliminary to the emergence of the Universal House of Justice.

Codification of the laws and ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Mother Book of the Baha'i Revelation. Establishment of six national Baha'i Courts in the chief cities of the Islamic EastÑTihran, Cairo, Baghdad, New Delhi, Karachi, Kabul. Extension of international Baha'i endowments in the Holy Land, on the plain of [43] Akka and the slopes of Mount Carmel. Construction of international Baha'i Archives in the neighborhood of the Bab's Sepulcher. Construction of a tomb for the wife of the Bab in Shiraz. Identification of the resting places of the father of Baha'u'llah and the mother and cousin of the Bab for reburial in the Baha'i cemetery in the vicinity of the Most Great House. Acquisition of the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad, site of the Siyah-Chal in Tihran, site of the martyrdom of the Bab in Tabriz, and of His incarceration in Chihriq.

More than quadruple the number of National Spiritual AssembliesÑtwenty-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 Haziratu'l-Quds, their establishment in the capital cities of the chief Sovereign States and chief cities of the principal Dependencies of the planetÑtwenty-one in America, fifteen in Europe, nine in Asia, three in Africa, one in New Zealand. Framing national Baha'i constitutions, and establishment of national Baha'i endowments in same capitals and cities of same States and Dependencies.

More than quintuple the number of incorporated National AssembliesÑtwenty-one in America, thirteen in Europe, twelve in Asia, three in Africa, one in Australasia. The establishment of six national Baha'i Publishing TrustsÑtwo 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 AssembliesÑtwo from Europe, two from Asia, one each from America, Africa and Australia. The establishment of a national Baha'i printing press in Tihran.

Reinforcement of the ties binding the Baha'i 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 Baha'i Congress in the vicinity of the Garden of Ridvan, Baghdad, third holiest city of Baha'i world, on the occasion of the world-wide celebrations of the Most Great Jubilee, commemorating the Centenary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah to the Throne of His Sovereignty.

Current Baha'i history must henceforth, as second decade of second Baha'i century opens, move rapidly and majestically as it has never moved before since the inception of the Faith over a [44] century ago. Earthly symbols of Baha'u'llah'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-Baha'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. Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah'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-Baha: "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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i centers, in the efficient, prompt execution of the twelve projected National Plans. Moreover request communities observing Baha'i Holy Days, solar calendar, celebrate with befitting solemnity [45] the approaching anniversary of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, October 8, 1952]


Acquisition of Vitally-Needed Property

Announce to Baha'i communities, East and West, on the joyous occasion of the hundred and thirty-fifth Anniversary of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i holdings on the holy plain of Akka from four thousand to one hundred and fifty-five thousand square meters, was exchanged against property donated by children of Zikrullah, grandchildren of Mirza Muhammad Quli, Baha'u'llah's faithful half-brother and companion in exile.

This spontaneous offer contrasts with the shameful action of the family in the sale to non-Baha'is of the property in the neighborhood of the Jordan valley purchased through the instrumentality of 'Abdu'l-Baha during Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i international endowments purchased in the course of sixty years in the vicinity of the Bab'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 [46] of the notorious enemy of 'Abdu'l-Baha 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 Baha'i world, itself the prelude to the eventual erection, as happened in the case of the Bab'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 Bab's resting-place on Mount Carmel.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, November 12, 1952]


Representatives for Intercontinental Conferences

On occasion of Centenary of Baha'u'llah's release from oppressive imprisonment in the Siyah-Chal, Tihran, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Council, [47] 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-Baha, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Baha'i world reared to the everlasting glory and honor of the Most Great Name in the heart of the North American continent.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, December 15, 1952]


Twofold Victory in Holy Land

On occasion of Naw-Ruz of Holy Year convey twin joyful tidings to National Assemblies of the Baha'i world. Building operations of the final unit of the Bab's Sepulcher commenced. Recall at this hour successive landmarks, each coinciding with a Naw-Ruz Festival in the history of the sixty year old enterprise founded by the Author of the Baha'i Revelation. First, Naw-Ruz, 1909, witnessed the entombment within the Holy of Holies of the Shrine constructed by 'Abdu'l-Baha of the dust of the Martyr-Prophet of the Faith. Second, Naw-Ruz, 1949, coincided with the laying of the first threshold stones of the arcade. Third, Naw-Ruz, 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-Ruz, 1952, is associated with the completion of the octagon setting second crown of the holy Edifice.

The celebrations of Naw-Ruz 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 [48] 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 Baha'u'llah's Covenant, Roy Wilhelm, raising the total area within the precincts permanently dedicated to the Bab'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 Baha'i New Year's Day, presaging still greater triumphs as the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[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-Baha's enemy, is now openly lecturing on Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, May 17, 1953]


The Paramount Issue

On occasion of the sixty-first Anniversary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, 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 [49] 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-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i World.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, May 28, 1953]
[50]


Sealing the Triumphant Festivities of Holy Year

Transmit to the National Assemblies of the Baha'i world the joyous news that the placing of gilded tiles over the entire surface of the dome of the Bab'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 Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, August 19, 1953]


Roll of Honor

Transmit the following joyful tidings National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'i world. World spiritual crusade, mightiest agency yet conceived for the systematic execution of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan, has been befittingly ushered in through successive, magnificent victories won by Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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 [51] 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'llah 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. Amin Banani, Greece; Abbas 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; Zia'u'llah 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 Baha'is 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 [52] a feat paralleling, in the eyes of posterity, the triumphant completion of the superstructure of the Sepulcher of its Co-Founder at the Baha'i World Center in the Holy Land.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, September 20, 1953]


Twenty-One Virgin Areas

Announce to National Assemblies of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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, Chiloe 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, Mahe; Ola Pawlowska, Miquelon and St. Pierre Islands; Elsie Austin, Nosrat Shayesteh, Abbas Muhammad-'Ali Jalali Rowhani, Ardekani Hasanzadeh Rafii, Morocco, International Zone; Bertha Dobbins, New Hebrides; Opal and Leland Jensen, Reunion Island; Marie Ciocca, Sardinia; Abbas 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; Muhammad Mostafa, Spanish Sahara; Lillian Middlemast and Esther M. Evans, Windward Islands.
[53]

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 Ridvan 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.
ÑShoghi
[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-Baha.

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 Baha'u'llah'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 [54] so magnificently celebrated in the course of the festivities of the recently concluded Holy Year.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, December 16, 1953]


World Crusade Forges Ahead

Inform National Assemblies East and West that the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkars on Carmel and in Canada, Panama, Italy, Sweden, Iraq, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkars 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 Tihran [55] calculated to hasten the construction of the third and fourth Mashriqu'l-Adhkars of the Baha'i world in the heart of the European and Asiatic continents.

Appeal to individual believers to reinforce to whatever extent possible the contributions of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i Houses of Worship in the north, the heart, and the south of the African continent.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, December 7, 1953]


Hand of Cause Appointment

Inform National Assemblies elevation of Jalal Khazeh to rank of Hand of Cause.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah 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.
[56]

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 Baha'i 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 Ridvan.

Supplicating with redoubled ardor a further measure of Baha'u'llah'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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, February 8, 1954]
[57]


Hand of Cause Appointment

Announce to all National Assemblies elevation of Paul Haney to rank of Hand of the Cause.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, March 19, 1954]


Roll of HonorÑAdditional Inscriptions

On occasion Naw-Ruz, marking opening the second decade of the second Baha'i century, inform National Assemblies of the Baha'i 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, Mahe.

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.
[58]

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 Ridvan rendered memorable by the swift, magnificent victories achieved in the pioneering field, unsurpassed in the course of the eleven decades of Baha'i history.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, March 21, 1954]


Institution of Hands of the Cause

To all the Hands of the Cause and all National Assemblies of the Baha'i World:

Hail emergence of the unfoldment in the opening years of the second epoch of the formative age of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.

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 Bab'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Ridvan with the appointment, in each [59] continent separately, from among the resident Baha'is 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 Tihran, 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 Baha'i 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 Varqa, Holley, Giachery, Banani 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 Baha'i Administrative [60] Order, presaging the emergence of the World Order of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i Cycle.

Airmail copies to all Hands and National Assemblies.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, April 6, 1954]


A Divinely-Guided Faith

On the eve of this Ridvan Festival marking the opening of the second decade of the second Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah'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 [61] 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 Iraq, reaching, in the course of the thirty-nine years of Baha'u'llah's Ministry, to thirteen other lands, enlarged, during 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'i 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 Bab's Mission to seventy-eight. The nine-year interval separating the first from the second Baha'i 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, [62] into which Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i, 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 Baha'i 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, Baha'is have been enrolled, swelling the number of races represented in the Baha'i 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 [63] 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 Bab's Sepulcher which had commenced with Naw-Ruz of the Holy Year, was followed successively by the laying, during the Ridvan 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 Baha'u'llah. The site for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Holy Land has been selectedÑan area of approximately twenty thousand square metersÑsituated at the head of the Mountain of God, in close proximity to the Spot hallowed by the footsteps of Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i endowments, situated in the heart of Mt. Carmel, an in the plain of Akka, 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 [64] 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 heartÑfor the acquisition of which negotiations have been set afootÑwill constitute an addition of over thirty thousand square meters to the vast area of Baha'i holdings permanently dedicated to the Shrines of the Founder of the Faith and of its Herald. The embellishment of the Haram-i-Aqdas, the outer Sanctuary of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i Archives, the first stately Edifice destined to usher in the establishment of the World Administrative Center of the Faith on Mt. CarmelÑthe Ark referred to by Baha'u'llah in the closing passages of His Tablet of CarmelÑhas 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Department in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and in an official statement bythe Head of this Ministry to Parliament emphasizing the international scope of the Faith and the importance of its World CenterÑa series of events that have paved the way for the forthcoming official visit, during the early days of the Ridvan period, of the President of Israel, himself, to the Bab's Sepulcher on Mt. Carmel.

The site of the Siyah-ChalÑthat pestilential subterranean Pit, the scene of the birth of Baha'u'llah's prophetic Mission, and the holiest place in the capital city of His native landÑhas been recently purchased, together with the surrounding area, involving an expenditure of approximately four hundred thousand dollars contributed [65] by a Persian follower of the Faith, whilst negotiations have been initiated for the acquisition of the site of the Bab's incarceration in the mountains of Adhirbayjan. Full rights have been accorded to Baha'i women residing in the cradle of the Faith, to participate in the membership of both national and local Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community.

Eleven Temple Funds have been inaugurated, amounting to almost a quarter of a million dollars, for the purchase of land for future Baha'i 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 Baha'i National Haziratu'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 Haziratu'l-Quds of the Baha'is of Paris, destined to evolve into the national administrative headquarters of the French Baha'i Community, and through the inauguration of National Haziratu'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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'i incorporated Assemblies in the United States of America and in the entire Baha'i world to sixty-three and one hundred and twenty, respectively. National Baha'i endowments have been established in Anchorage, Alaska. The Baha'i Assemblies of Tucson, Arizona and of Sacramento, California have been qualified [66] to conduct legal Baha'i marriage services. Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Temples in the American, the European, the Asiatic and the African continents; the [67] initiation of Funds for the establishment of National Haziratu'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 Baha'i literature in the languages allocated under that same Plan, to various National Spiritual Assemblies; the continued acquisition of Baha'i Holy Places in Baha'u'llah's native land; the adoption of preparatory measures for the construction of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkars of Tihran and of Frankfurt; the establishment of the first Dependency of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Wilmette; the inauguration of National Baha'i 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 Baha'i Publishing TrustsÑthese stand out as the essential objectives of the phase now unfolding before the eyes of the Baha'i communities in the five continents of the globe.

I direct my fervent plea to all the delegates assembled at the twelve annual Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[April, 1954]


Glad Tidings

On the morrow of the close of the Ridvan period share with National Assemblies of the Baha'i 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.
[68]

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 Baha'is 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 Baha'i centers scattered over the surface of the globe to well nigh twenty-nine hundred.

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

The number of Baha'i 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-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah'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, Galapagos 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.
[69]

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 Baha'u'llah 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i centers scattered over the continents and [70] 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Holy City of Baghdad. 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Indian sub-continent. A twelve thousand dollar plot has been bought in Johannesburg as the site of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of South Africa. A five-year Plan has been initiated in Baha'u'llah's native land designed to raise twelve million tumans for the projected construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'is 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Bab's Sepulcher, in the name of the recently established Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Bab's resting-place and for their subsequent registration in the name of the Israel Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is of Persia and of Australia and New Zealand, respectively. A national Haziratu'l-Quds has been purchased in Kabul and one in Johannesburg. Arrangements will soo be completed for the purchase of a building costing over eighteen thousand dollars for a national Haziratu'l-Quds in Tunis. Funds totalling over one hundred thousand dollars have been initiated for the purchase of similar institutions in Anchorage, Asuncion, 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 Jose, Santiago, San Salvador, Stockholm, Suva, Tegucigalpa, [71] The Hague, Tokyo, and Vienna, as well as for the acquisition of the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad, the transfer of the remains of the wife of the Bab in Shiraz and for the purchase of the sites associated with Baha'u'llah'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 Chihriq 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 Bab'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'is of Central and East Africa; the second the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of South and West Africa; and the third the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'u'llah in the African [72] 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, Reunion 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'is 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 AssembliesÑan 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 Ridvan 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, Musa Banani, 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 [73] throughout the African continent as well as in the islands situated in its neighborhoodÑalready four score in numberÑto seize their present golden opportunity during the fast-fleeting months separating them from next Ridvan, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 AssembliesÑa 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 Baha'i history.

Share this message with the Hands of the Cause and the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the Baha'i World.
ÑShoghi
[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-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 [74] the acquisition of an area which, however circumscribed, occupies a central position amidst the extensive Baha'i domains in the heart of God's Holy Mountain, is situated in the vicinity of the Bab's Sepulcher, overlooks the Tomb of the Greatest Holy Leaf, and adjoins the resting-places of the Brother and the Mother of 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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 Baha'i world.

The ownership of this plot will now enable us to locate the site, excavate the foundations, and erect the structure, of the International Baha'i Archives, designed by the Hand of the Cause, Mason Remey, President of the International Baha'i 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 Baha'i Dispensation, of her Brother, offered up as a ransom by Baha'u'llah 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 developmentsÑthe establishment of the Lesser Peace and the evolution of Baha'i national and local institutionsÑthe one outside and the other within the Baha'i worldÑwill 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 [75] the plenitude of its power and glory, of the focal Center of the agencies constituting the World Order of Baha'u'llah. The final establishment of this seat of the future Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 characterÑa 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 Baha'i world.
ÑShoghi
[November 27, 1954]


International Archives Building and Design for Temple in Persia

On the occasion of the Naw-Ruz 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah's native land, paving the way for the construction of the third Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah [76] at the World Center of the Faith and within the cradle of His Revelation.

Share twin glad tidings with all National Assemblies.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'i World Spiritual Crusade, I invite the delegates assembled at the twelve Annual Conventions, convened simultaneously throughout the Baha'i world during the Ridvan 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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah 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, [77] the Asiatic and the African continents, assigned to ten Baha'i National Assemblies, have, with the exception of Soviet-controlled territories, been opened. Of the seventy-two islands allocated to eleven Baha'i National Assemblies no less than sixty-four have opened their doors to the vanguard of Baha'i 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 OceanÑone 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 companiesÑas yet unopened by the heroic band battling for the Faith of Baha'u'llah.

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 Baha'i pioneer in Reals Kolen, Batsfjord, Finnmark, only three degrees below Arctic Bay, Franklin, the northernmost Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is 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 [78] 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 Baha'i Community is now over ninety, whilst the number of African languages into which Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah's Sepulcher in the heart of the Haram-i-Aqdas recently established in the plain of Akka.

The international Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah and associated with the revelation of the [79] Tablet of Carmel, for the price of one hundred and eight thousand dollars, to serve as the site for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Bab'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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is 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 Bab'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Archives on Mt. Carmel, the fixing of the position of the far-flung arc, around which the edifices constituting the Seat of the World Baha'i 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 Bab'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 [80] 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 Siyah-Chal, the scene of the birth of Baha'u'llah'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, Habib Sabet, 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 tumans for the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in that land. The design of this historic Edifice has been finally selected from among a number of designs submitted by Baha'i 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 Baha'i Council, Mason RemeyÑa design which incorporates a dome reminiscent of that of the Bab's Holy Sepulcher.

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

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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Publishing Committee has been converted into a Baha'i 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 Baha'i Community. The number of territories, federal districts and states of the United States of America where official authorization for the conduct of Baha'i marriages has been granted is now twenty-one, whilst the number of localities in that same country [81] where the Baha'i 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 Baghdad, on the banks of the Tigris, blessed by the footsteps of Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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-Baha in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, of an area of twenty thousand square meters.

No less than fourteen national Haziratu'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 Baha'i 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, Kabul, 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 Haziratu'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 Haziratu'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 [82] evidence of her munificence, for the purpose of establishing Baha'i 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 Ridvan, 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 Pakistan, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is of the United States of America; for the convocation of [83] 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 Baha'is of the United States of America, of Persia, and of India, Pakistan 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'u'llah: Valiyu'llah Varqa 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; Dhikru'llah Khadem 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 Muhlschlegel 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'llah Samandari at the Arabian Convention to be held in Bahrayn; Ali-Akbar Furutan at the Southeast Asian Convention, to be held in Jakarta; Shu'a'u'llah Ala'i at the Pakistani Convention to be held in Karachi; Jalal Khazeh 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i groups, scattered throughout these forty-two [84] 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'u'llah 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 phaseÑa 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 Baha'u'llah and the Will and Testament as well as the Tablets of the Divine Plan bequeathed by the Center of His CovenantÑthe 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 Baha'i world, for its propagation and the establishment of its Administrative OrderÑmay 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, [85] 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.
ÑShoghi
[April, 1955]


AchievementsÑSupplementary Report

Share National Assemblies following announcement supplementing message recently addressed to delegates of the Baha'i Conventions.

Annual elections of the second year, second decade, of the second Baha'i 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 Kazimayn and Najaf, strongholds of Shi'ih orthodoxy in Iraq, in addition to the group already established in Karbila; 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 Bab's infant son, extolled in the Qayyumu'l-Asma' was respectfully and ceremoniously transferred on the anniversary of his Father's martyrdom, in the presence of pilgrims and resident believers to the Baha'i cemetery in Shiraz, the prelude to the translation to the same spot of the remains of the Bab's beloved and long-suffering consort.

Five additional incorporations of local Assemblies, including Suva, Fiji.
[86]

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 Haziras in Colombo and Jakarta are nearing completion.

Preliminary steps have been undertaken for the establishment of a Baha'i Publishing Trust in Tihran.

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 Haram-i-Aqdas on the first day of Ridvan.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah's native land.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, April 30, 1955]


Appointment to International Baha'i Council

Announce to National Assemblies the number of the members of the International Council has been raised to nine through appointment of Sylvia Ioas.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah.
[87]

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.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, May 26, 1955]


Archbreaker of Baha'u'llah's Covenant

Announce to National Assemblies that Majdi'd-Din, the most redoubtable adversary of 'Abdu'l-Baha, denounced by Him as the incarnation of Satan and who played a predominant part in kindling the hostility of Abdu'l-Hamid and Jamal Pasha, and who was the [88] chief instigator of Covenant-breaking and archbreaker of Baha'u'llah'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-Baha'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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'i world, as evidenced by the violent recrudescence of the persecution afflicting intermittently, for over a century, its members residing in Baha'u'llah'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 Bab, the foremost Shrine in Iran, has been twice desecrated and severely damaged; Baha'u'llah's ancestral Home at Takur occupied; the house of the Bab'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 [89] 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i world appealed telegraphically to the authorities, and all National Assemblies addressed written communications to the Shah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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.
[90]

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 Baha'u'llah in His homeland.

Owing to the grievous losses sustained, and the necessity to demonstrate world-wide Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. 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 Haziratu'l-Quds already established, wherein the spirit of an unconquerable Faith can dwell, within whose walls the African adherents of the Faith of Baha'u'llah can congregate, and from which anthems of praise glorifying the Most Great Name can ascend to the Concourse of the Abha Kingdom.

Transmit message to Hands of the Cause and National Assemblies.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, August 23, 1955]
[91]


Hand of Cause Appointment

Inform Hands and National Assemblies that Varqa's son, Ali Muhammad has been appointed to succeed his father now gathered into the concourse on high in the Abha Kingdom, as Trustee of Huquq and elevated to rank of Hand of the Cause.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah have so auspiciously embarked impels me to share with the delegates assembled at the Annual Baha'i 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 endedÑa year which posterity cannot fail to regard as one of the most eventful and challenging in the annals of the Formative Age of the Baha'i DispensationÑhas 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 Baha'u'llah'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 experienceÑa testing period of exceptional severityÑits 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 [92] 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 Baha'u'llah 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 CoriscoÑterritories not included in the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan,Ñand 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 Baha'i World exceeds nine hundred. Every single country listed in [93] 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'is reside exceeds one hundred and seventy. The number of languages into which Baha'i 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 Baha'is reside is over four hundred. The number of tribes represented in the Baha'i 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 Baha'i literature has been and is being translated exceeds fifty.

FORTY-THREE NATIONAL HAZIRATU'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, Zurich, Geneva, Heidelberg, Buenos Aires, Saigon, Suva, Malacca and Addis Ababa. The number of National Haziratu'l-Quds, the precursors of Baha'i 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 [94] 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 Baha'i 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-Baha while in Montreal, which has been transferred by the Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Baha 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 BAHA'I 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 Baha'u'llah'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-Din, the last survivor of the principal instigators of the rebellion against the Will of the Founder of our [95] 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 Baha'i ArchivesÑthe first of the major edifices destined to constitute the seat of the World Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Administrative Order are to be built. The recently acquired area surrounding the holiest Shrine in the Baha'i World and its appointed Qiblih in the plain of Akka 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-Baha and in which He was wont to receive His friends, amongst them the first party of western Baha'i pilgrims to arrive in the Holy Land after the passing of Baha'u'llah. To these latest acquisitions must be added the purchase of another plot situated in the neighborhood of the Bab's Sepulcher and adjoining the area surrounding the future seat of the World Baha'i Administrative Order, raising thereby the total area of the international Baha'i 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'i National Spiritual Assemblies is being expeditiously carried out.
[96]

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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i representative was the first to be raised, reciting a prayer revealed by Baha'u'llah, 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-Baha for America was presented by the elected national representatives of the United States Baha'i 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 Baha'i victories and achievements in the course of the closing year of the second phase of the Ten-Year Plan of the establishment of a Baha'i Publishing Trust in India; of the establishment of over thirty new centers and fifteen Assemblies in India, Pakistan and Burma; of the purchase of some of the holy sites blessed by the footsteps of Baha'u'llah in Adrianople, the Land of Mystery and the scene of the proclamation of His Message; of the holding of the first Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i community in Tripoli, Libya and in the capital of Tanganyika; of the purchase of land for the establishment of a Baha'i Summer School in Iraq; of the extension [97] to the Baha'i women in Egypt of the right to be elected to the Egyptian Baha'i National Spiritual Assembly as well as to participate as delegates in the National Baha'i Convention; of the purchase, in an island near Muara Siberut, Mentawei Islands, of a plot supplementing the Baha'i 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 Baha'i communities the world over for the support, protection and relief of the persecuted members of the Persian Baha'i 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 Baha'i communities, some in writing and others telegraphically, to His Majesty the Shah, 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 Tihran a formal assurance that the rights of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i Communities as well as by all local Assemblies and groups in the United States. A courteous [98] and reassuring letter was subsequently received by the American Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i initiative and enterprise; such splendid testimonies to Baha'i 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 [99] of this Crusade a luster which the passing of time can never tarnish. The third phase of this momentous enterpriseÑthe opening of which is, at this hour, being signalized by the emergence of no less than three additional Regional Baha'i Assemblies in the African ContinentÑmust 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 Baha'i activity must, as the army of Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Haziratu'l-Quds, some in Latin America, others in [100] the European continent, must likewise be rapidly established. The Baha'i 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 Baha'i literature into the languages listed in the provisions of the Plan must be carried out with renewed determination and vigor. The Baha'i 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 Bab'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 Baha'u'llah, of the Mother and the Cousin of the Bab 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 Baha'i 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 beestablished, for the purpose of broadening and strengthening the foundations on which these potent national institutionsÑthe pillars of the future Universal House of JusticeÑmust 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, Pakistan, 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 [101] 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 HighÑthe Prime Mover of the forces unleashed by this world-girdling CrusadeÑthat "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." [102] 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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, [103] 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 disturbancesÑthe turmoil and tribulations of a travailing ageÑwe 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 earthÑthese 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 dayÑa 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 FellowshipÑa 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 [104] affairs, now visibly gathering momentum outside the pale of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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-Baha, 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 branchÑa victory which must rank as one of the most striking among those won in the Formative Age of the Baha'i 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 Bab in ShirazÑthe holiest spot in that country, the scene of the birth of His Revelation, and the ordained Center of PilgrimageÑhave, pursuant to orders issued by the central authorities in Tihran, 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 [105] 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 Baha'i Community that their national administrative headquarters in Tihran, 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Tadzhikistan and of Kirgizia, almost doubling, within the space of four years, the total number of territories opened in the course of eleven decades of Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah. 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 [106] 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 localitiesÑfoci of the warming and healing light of an all-conquering RevelationÑover 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 Baha'i 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 [107] 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 Haziratu'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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i inmates to observe these same Holy Days.
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THE QIBLIH OF A WORLD COMMUNITY

In the Holy LandÑthe 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 revolveÑfollowing upon the termination of the construction of the Bab'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 Baha'i ArchivesÑthe initial Edifice heralding the establishment of the Baha'i World Administrative Center on Mt. CarmelÑhave 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 Baha'i Administrative Center, has been successfully carried out. The dilapidated house, situated in the close neighborhood of Baha'u'llah'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 Akka. 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 Baha'is of the British Isles. A further blow has been struck at the remnants of the implacable enemies of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the breakers of [109] His Father's Covenant, still living in the immediate vicinity of the holiest shrine of the Baha'i world, through the destruction of a row of ruinous sheds which had been under their control, through orders issued by the Municipal Authorities of Akka. 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 Haram-i-Aqdas, aiming at the eviction of these same enemies from the outer Sanctuary of Baha'u'llah's Sepulcher, following upon the evacuation by them of the Mansion at Bahji 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 Baha'i world.

Nor can I dismiss this subject related to the progress achieved in the development of Baha'i 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 Akka 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 Baha'i Shrines in both of these places, and particularly to the number of those entering the Tomb of the Bab 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 Baha'u'llah, the elected national representatives of the American Baha'i Community, acting as the representatives of the International Baha'i 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-Baha, 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, [110] 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. 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 HemisphereÑan achievement in which the members of this Community have played a leading roleÑis now over forty-five. No less than eighteen American Indian tribes are now represented in the Baha'i 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 Baha'i marriages has been obtained is now twenty-eight, whilst the number of localities, in that same country, where the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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.
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IN THE PACIFIC AREA

In the Pacific area, where Baha'i 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'is 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 Haziratu'l-Quds, three Baha'i schools, twenty-one incorporated local spiritual assemblies, four states where Baha'i national endowments have been established, a site purchased for its first projected Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, three territories where the Baha'i Marriage Certificate is recognized, and three others where Baha'i children have been allowed to observe the Baha'i Holy Days, as well as the translation of Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 [112] 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 dollarsÑover one hundred thousand of which represents the munificent donation of the Hand of the Cause, Amelia CollinsÑwill 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 RochollÑall three of which will be exhibited, for the first time, to the assembled delegates at the thirteen historic Baha'i National Conventions being held for the first time during this year's Ridvan 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 Ridvan, 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 Haziratu'l-Quds, and the establishment of Baha'i 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkars of the Baha'i world.
[113]

KNIGHTS OF BAHA'U'LLAH AND HEROIC PIONEERS

A special tribute, I feel, should be paid in this survey of worldwide Baha'i achievements, to the heroic band of pioneers, and particularly to the company of the Knights of Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is now number over eleven hundred; the British Cameroons, with well-nigh three hundred adult Baha'is; 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 Baha'i communities in various parts of the world, supplementing the multiple activities carried on with such splendid vigor in the course of the prosecution [114] 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 Pakistan 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 Reginal 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 Bogota; the [115] 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 Jose; 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'u'llah'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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the British Isles; the [116] launching of the twin far-reaching enterprises designed to culminate in the establishment of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkars of Africa and of Australasia; the founding of Baha'i Schools in the New Hebrides Islands, in Mentawai Islands and in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands; the establishment of Baha'i burial grounds in Libya, Burma and Tanganyika; the formulation of supplementary plans by the newly emerged regional spiritual assemblies in Africa, and by the Baha'i communities of the Seychelles and the Sudan; the acquisition of land for the Baha'i summer schools of Egypt, of Iraq and of Chile; the establishment of Baha'i endowments in the Aleutian Islands, in Swaziland, in Mentawai Islands, in Spanish Morocco, in Basutoland and in Liberia; the acquisition of local Haziratu'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 Baha'i literature into thirty-one African, seven American Indian, and twenty-eight miscellaneous languages; the purchase of Baha'i historic sites in the City of Adrianople; the founding of an Indian Cultural Institute in Chichicastenango, Guatemala; the transfer of the remains of the Bab's infant son from a mosque in Shiraz to the Baha'i burial ground in that cityÑthese 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 Baha'u'llah 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 [117] 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 presideÑthe 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 Baha'u'llahÑa 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 Baha'i Dispensation.

The preeminent task of teaching the Faith to the multitudes who consciously or unconsciously thirst after the healing Word of God in this dayÑa task so dear to the heart of 'Abdu'l-Baha; 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 restÑsuch a task must, in the course of this year, be accorded priority over every other Baha'i activity.

"If they arise to teach My Cause," Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 [118] 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 Baha'i centers in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The three remaining Haziratu'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 Baha'i literature, constituting so vital an aspect of the Plan, must be diligently pursued and rapidly completed. The construction of the Home for the AgedÑan institution designed to inaugurate the Dependencies of the Mother Temple of the WestÑmust 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 Baha'i Publishing Trusts must likewise be discharged. Strenuous efforts must be exerted to vindicate the independent character of the Baha'i Faith through obtaining recognition by civil authorities, in as many countries, tates and localities as possible, of both the Baha'i Marriage Certificate and the Baha'i 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 Adhirbayjan. The equally meritorious project of transferring the remains of the Father of Baha'u'llah, of the mother and of the cousin of the Bab to the Baha'i burial ground in the vicinity of the Most Great House, must receive the continued and prayerful attention of those on [119] 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 CrusadeÑa Crusade so closely associated with the epoch-making Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'u'llah has been progressively declining, must, at whatever cost, and within as short a time as possible, be revitalized, extended and consolidated. More [120] 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 BAHA'IS

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 Baha'u'llah, 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 enrolledÑa dedication reminiscent of the pledges which the Dawn-breakers of an earlier Apostolic Age, assembled in conference at Badasht, 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 [121] Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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-Baha.

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 Haram-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 Baha'u'llah, by the overwhelming majority of His followers, east and west; by the abject failure of Abdu'l-Hamid, as well as the notorious Commission of Inquiry, to banish 'Abdu'l-Baha to Fezzan; by the ignominious defeat of the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, the cruel, boastful Jamal Pasha, following his threat to crucify the Center of the Covenant outside the main gate of the fortress City of Akka; by acquisition of the site for the construction of the Bab'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 Baha'i world community to the custodianship of the Baha'i Shrines; by the establishment of the international Baha'i endowments on Mt. Carmel; by the formation of the Palestine branches of the Baha'i National Assemblies; by exhumation of the Brother and Mother of 'Abdu'l-Baha and reburial in the neighborhood of the Bab's resting place; by the evacuation by these same adversaries of the Mansion of Bahji, 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 [122] 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 Baha'u'llah'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-Baha.

The implementation of this order will, at long last, cleanse the Outer Sanctuary of the Qiblih of the Baha'i 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.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i world in the specific purpose of effectively prosecuting the World Spiritual Crusade, the primary obligation to watch over and insure protection to the Baha'i 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 Bab'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 [123] the African and Pacific campaigns, the rise of the administrative order in the Arabian Peninsula in the heart of the Islamic 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-Baha, necessitate in this crucial hour closer association of the Hands of the five continents and the bodies of the elected representatives of the national Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, June 4, 1957]
[124]


Restitution of Baha'i 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 Haziratu'l-Quds in Tihran has been returned, completing thereby the restitution of Baha'i properties seized at the instigation of traditional enemies in Baha'u'llah's native land.
ÑShoghi
[Cablegram, June 8, 1957]


Purification of Haram-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 Haram-i-Aqdas from every trace of their contamination. Measures under way to effect transfer of title deeds of the evacuated property to the triumphant Baha'i community.
ÑShoghi
[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 Baha'u'llah in the Siyah-Chal of TihranÑan 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 pointÑI 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 Baha'i center established in the Antipodes; [125] in Chicago, where the name of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is of Central and East Africa, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Australia, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Germany and Austria, and the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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-Baha; 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 conversionÑthe preeminent purpose underlying the Plan in all its ramificationsÑand 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, eclipsesÑif we pause to ponder the scope and significance of recent developmentsÑin 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 Baha'i Dispensation.
[126]

The raising of the number of Baha'i centersÑfoci and pivots of Baha'i teaching and administrative activityÑall 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 Baha'i national and regional Spiritual AssembliesÑforerunners of the Universal House of JusticeÑfrom twelve to twenty-six; the substantial multiplication of Baha'i local Spiritual AssembliesÑconstituting the foundation of a rising Administrative OrderÑthroughout 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 Baha'i International Archives, heralding the emergence, in its plenitude, of the seat of the embryonic World Order of Baha'u'llah on the slopes of Mt. Carmel and facing the Qiblih of the Baha'i world; the enlargement of the scope of Baha'i international endowments in the twin cities of Akka 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 Baha'i national endowments in the Great Republic of the WestÑthe stronghold of the Baha'i Administrative OrderÑthe value of which is fast approaching five million dollars, and of Baha'i holdings in the Cradle of the Faith, conservatively estimated to be well over forty million tumans; the acquisition of no less than forty-eight National Haziratu'l-QudsÑthe central administrative headquarters of Baha'i communities established in the sovereign States and chief Dependencies of the globeÑnvolving an expenditure of over half a million dollars; the founding of Baha'i 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 Baha'i literature into one hundred and [127] 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 Baha'i schools, the founding of Baha'i local endowments, the establishment of local Haziratu'l-Quds, the formulation of subsidiary Plans, the initiation of a Baha'i Publishing Trust, the purchase of Baha'i Holy Sites, and of plots for Baha'i burial-grounds and for Baha'i summer schoolsÑall 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 Baha'u'llah, and confirmed in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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 Baha'u'llah'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'llah Muhajir, in the Pacific area; and Abu'l-Qasim Faizi in the Arabian PeninsulaÑa group chosen from four continents of the globe, and representing the Afnan, 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 [128] 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 Iraqi 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 Iraqi 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 Baha'i 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-Baha, Ruhiyyih, accompanied by Lutfu'llah Hakim, member of the International Council, at the Kampala Conference; Mason Remey, at the Sydney Conference; Ugo Giachery, at the Chicago Conference; [129] 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah and of the Bab, 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Haziratu'l-Quds, and the establishment, in numerous countries, of Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 [130] 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 Baha'i 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'u'llah, 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.
ÑShoghi
[October, 1957]
[131]


MESSAGES TO THE BAHA'I WORLD 1950-1957
A Supplementary Collection


New Step in Building the Bab'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 Bab'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 Baha'i Dispensation.
[January 4, 1951]


Construction of Shrine Moves Forward

Announce to friends of East and West that operations commenced last Naw-Ruz on excavation for eight shafts designed for piers supporting the dome of the Bab'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 [132] 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 Haziratu'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 PassesÑRuhiyyih Khanum Appointed Hand

With sorrowful heart announce through national assemblies that Hand of Cause of Baha'u'llah, highly esteemed, dearly beloved Sutherland Maxwell, has been gathered into the glory of the Abha Kingdom. His saintly life, extending well nigh four score years, enriched during the course of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 Bab'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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Wilmette and in the Haziratu'l-Quds in Tihran.

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 Bab's Tomb as tribute to his services to second holiest Shrine of the Baha'i world. The mantle of Hand of Cause now falls upon the shoulders of his distinguished daughter, Amatu'l-Baha [133] Ruhiyyih, who has already rendered and is still rendering manifold no less meritorious self-sacrificing services at World Center of Faith of Baha'u'llah.
[March 26, 1952]


Progress on Shrine of the Bab

On eve of opening of Holy Year announce to Baha'i 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 Bab'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 Bab's resting place majestically rising in the bosom of Carmel.
[October 14, 1952]


Achievements of Heroic Pioneers in Africa

Rejoice to share with Baha'i communities East and West thrilling reports of feats achieved by the heroic band of Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 [134] 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 Ridvan, 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 Ali Nakhjavani, 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 Bab, a replica of the one deposited beneath the dome of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i world the joyous news of the rapid progress of the twin sacred undertakings launched on the Mountain of God and the holy Plain of Akka, destined to culminate in the erection of worthy [135] sepulchers of the Herald and Author of the Baha'i 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 Ridvan 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 Bab'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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i world, involving extension of its outer sanctuary, to be designated henceforth as the Haram-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 Baha'i 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-Baha, for whose conversion to His Father's Faith He so deeply yearned and whose interests He so ardently [136] 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 [137] 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 Baha'i Community, the chief executor of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan; to the British Baha'i Community, destined to play in future decades a predominating role in opening to the Faith of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i Community, at once the most venerable and most consistently persecuted among its sister communities in both the East and the West; to the Egyptian Baha'i Community that may well boast of having erected in that continent the first pillar of the Universal House of Justice; to the Indian Baha'i Community, fated to contribute, to a marked degree, to the spiritual quickening of the Indians constituting a noble element of the population of AfricaÑto 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is of Iraq, 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:
[138]

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 Baha'u'llah, namely: The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa, to be formed under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles, with its seat in Kampala; the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of South and West Africa, to be formed under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America, with its seat in Johannesburg; the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of North West Africa, to be formed under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Egypt and Sudan, with its seat in Tunis.

Second, the initial purchase of land for the future construction of three Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, 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 Baha'is of the United States of America; Ashanti Protectorate, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Italian Somaliland, Southern Rhodesia and Swaziland, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Egypt and Sudan; Comoro Islands, French Cameroons, Gambia, Ruanda-Urundi and Socotra Island, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma; the British Cameroons, British Togoland, Madeira and South West Africa, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles; and Seychelles Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iraq.

Fourth, the translation and publication of Baha'i literature in the following thirty-one languages to be undertaken by the National Spiritual [139] Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of the British Isles; Abyssinia, Algeria, Eritrea, Libya, French Morocco, Somaliland, Sudan and Tunisia, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Egypt and Sudan; Madagascar, Mozambique and Zanzibar, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma; Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia; Liberia and South Africa, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America.

Sixth, the establishment, circumstances permitting, of a national Baha'i 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 Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of the Baha'i Revelation.

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

Eighth, the establishment by those same national spiritual assemblies of national Baha'i endowments.

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

Tenth, the formation of a national Baha'i Publishing Trust in Cairo.

Eleventh, the formation of an Israel branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Egypt and Sudan, 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 Ridvan 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 [140] visits to Baha'i 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 Baha'i history for the systematic propagation of the Cause of Baha'u'llah over the surface of the entire planet.
[February 1953]


Fivefold Historic Celebration in America

On the occasion of the fivefold historic celebrationÑthe dedication for public worship of the holiest Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Baha'i world; the convocation of the Second Intercontinental Teaching Conference of the Holy Year; the anniversary of the Declaration of Baha'u'llah in the Garden of Ridvan; the holding of the Forty-Fifth American Baha'i Convention, and the launching of the epochal, global, spiritual Crusade, marking the climax of the festivities associated with the Centenary of the birth of Baha'u'llah's MissionÑannounce to His followers of East and West that the final phase of the construction of the Bab's Sepulcher has been ushered in through the erection of scaffolding for the completion of the shuttering of the dome.
[141]

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 Ridvan Festival. On the afternoon of the same day, during the course of a moving ceremony in the presence of pilgrims and resident believers of Akka and Haifa, I have placed reverently a fragment of the plaster ceiling of the Bab's prison cell in the castle of Mah-Ku 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 Baha'u'llah's ministry.

Also announce the formation of no less than sixteen new spiritual assemblies in the African continent:ÑMonrovia, 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 Haziratu'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 Baha'i world.
[April 30, 1953]
[142]


All-America Intercontinental ConferenceÑ

First Message
[WilmetteÑChicago, 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 Baha'u'llah. 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Qayyumu'l-Asma' 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 Baha'i history in the course of six memorable decades stretching from the time when the name of Baha'u'llah was first publicly mentioned on the American continent to the present hour when the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 perspectve, may well be regarded as landmarks in the rise and development of the Faith of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i Convention in March [143] 1909; of 'Abdu'l-Baha's arrival in America in April 1912; of the laying by Him of the cornerstone of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in May 1912; of the unveiling of the Tablets of the Divine Plan in April 1919; of the birth and rise of the Baha'i Administrative Order on the morrow of 'Abdu'l-Baha's ascension; of the official inauguration of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Plan through the launching of the first seven-year teaching enterprise in April 1937; of the completion of the exterior ornamentation of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'i spiritual assemblies; in the recognition by eighteen states of the American Union of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i constitutions; in the inauguration of summer schools; and in a notable [144] progress in the translation, the printing and the dissemination of Baha'i literature.

The hour has now struck for the national Baha'i communities dwelling within the confines of the Western HemisphereÑthe 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 LandÑto 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 Baha'u'llah'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-Baha'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 Baha'i Community, the chief executors of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan, the members of the Canadian Baha'i Community acting as their allies, and the members of the Latin American Baha'i 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 Baha'i communities involves: First, the formation, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 [145] the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America. Second, the establishment of the first dependency of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Wilmette. Third, the purchase of land for the future construction of two Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, 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 Baha'is of Canada; Aleutian Islands, Falkland Islands, Key West and Kodiak Island assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America; Bahama Islands, British Honduras, Dutch West Indies and Margarita Island, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central America; British Guiana, Chiloe Island, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana, Galapagos Islands, Juan Fernandez Islands, Leeward Islands, and Windward Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of South America. Fifth, the translation and publication of Baha'i literature in the following ten languages, to be undertaken by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Canada; of Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands and Puerto Rico allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Central America; and of Argentina, olivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'i endowments. Ninth, the establishment of a national Haziratu'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 Baha'i publishing trusts, one in Wilmette, Illinois, and the other in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eleventh, the formation of an [146] Israel branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i centers, in the efficient and prompt execution of the plans formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the American continent.

PORTRAIT OF BAHA'U'LLAH SENT

Mindful of the magnificent services rendered during over half a century by the chief executors of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Divine Plan, within a territory that posterity will regard as the cradle of the embryonic World Order of Baha'u'llah 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, a reproduction of the portrait of Baha'u'llah Himself, made in the prime of His life, whilst an exile in Baghdad, 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 Baha'u'llah since the inception of His Faith more than a hundred years ago.
[May 3, 1953]


All-America Intercontinental ConferenceÑ

Second Message

On the occasion of the launching of an epochal, global, spiritual, decade-long crusade, constituting the high-water mark of the festivities [147] commemorating the centenary of the birth of the Mission of Baha'u'llah, coinciding with the ninetieth anniversary of the declaration of that same Mission in the Garden of Ridvan, 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Baha'i world and its dedication to public worshipÑon 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-Baha, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i scriptures in the Greenlandic tongue has been raised to forty-eight, including Thule beyond the Arctic Circle and Etah near the 80th latitude, whilst Baha'i 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 [148] African tribes have been enrolled in the Baha'i 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 Baha'i communities in the United States, in Persia, in the British Isles, in Latin America, in Canada, in India, Pakistan and Burma, in Iraq, in Australia and New Zealand, in Germany and Austria, in Egypt and the Sudan, have raised the number of Baha'i 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 Sudan, 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, Pakistan 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 FaithÑa three-quarters of a million dollar enterpriseÑis 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 Baha'i world. The preliminary measures, heralding the unfoldment of the institution of Guardianship, the pivot of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 [149] the nucleus of that august institution invested with such weighty and sacred functions by the Center of Baha'u'llah's Covenant. The International Baha'i 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 Baha'i International Court and the eventual emergence of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme legislative body of the future Baha'i 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 Akka, of a one hundred and sixty thousand square meter area, surrounding the Qiblih of the Baha'i world, permitting of the extension of the Outer Sanctuary of the Most Holy TombÑto be designated henceforth the Haram-i-AqdasÑthrough 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 ollars, has been consummated, in time for its dedication to public worship during the Ridvan 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 Baha'u'llah's ministry. The design for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar on Mt. Carmel, conceived by the architect appointed by 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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 Bab's Sepulcher. The total area of Baha'i international endowments, [150] surrounding and permanently dedicated to the Tomb of the Bab 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 Baha'i international endowments and holy places at the World Center of the Faith, in the twin cities of Akka and Haifa, has passed the four million dollar mark. The Baha'i 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 Tihran, in anticipation of the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of Persia, has reached approximately four million square meters. The area of land dedicated to the Shrine of Baha'u'llah, 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 Bab and registered in the name of the Israel branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of South America. The estimated value of the national Baha'i administrative headquarters established in Tihran, in Wilmette, Illinois, in Baghdad, in Cairo, in New Delhi, in Sydney, in Frankfurt and in Toronto, exceeds one and three-quarters of a million dollars. The Baha'i 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 eachin Pakistan, in Burma and in Canada, two in Australia and one each in Germany, in Baluchistan, in New Zealand, in the Philippine Islands and in Malaya. The Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i conferences have been held in recent years in Bern, Zurich, Basel, Rome; national Baha'i women's conventions and youth [151] conferences have convened in Tihran, 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 DelhiÑConferences which, God willing, will be the forerunners of the World Baha'i Congress, to be convened in the city of Baghdad, on the occasion of the centenary of the formal assumption by Baha'u'llah of His prophetic office. Recognition has been extended to the Faith by the United Nations as an international non-governmental organization enabling the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah, whether local, national or international, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 [152] of two Mashriqu'l-Adhkars; 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 Haziratu'l-Quds; the incorporation of fifty national spiritual assemblies; the framing of Baha'i national constitutions and the establishment of Baha'i national endowments by each of these national assemblies; the adoption of preliminary measures for the construction of Baha'u'llah's Sepulcher; the erection of the first dependency of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the western world; the development of the institution of the Hands of the Cause; the transformation of the International Baha'i Council into an international Baha'i court; the codification of the laws and ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas; the establishment of six national Baha'i Courts in the chief cities of the Islamic East; the extension of international Baha'i endowments in the Plain of Akka and on the slopes of Mt. Carmel; the construction of the International Baha'i Archives in the neighborhood of the Bab's Sepulcher; the construction of the tomb of the Bab's wife in Shiraz; the identification of the resting-places of Baha'u'llah's father, of the Bab's mother and of His cousin and their reburial in the neighborhood of the Most Great House; the acquisition of the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad, and of the sites of the Siyah-Chal in Tihran, of the Bab's martyrdom in Tabriz and of His incarceration in Chihriq; the establishment of six Baha'i national publishing trusts; the formation of seven Israel branches of Baha'i national spiritual assemblies; the participation of women in the membership of Baha'i local and national spiritual assemblies in Persia; the establishment of a Baha'i national printing-press in Tihran; the reinforcement of the ties binding the Baha'i 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 statesÑall, pleae God, culminating in the convocation of a World Baha'i Congress, in the vicinity of the Garden of Ridvan, in the third holiest city of the Baha'i world, on the occasion of the world-wide celebrations commemorating the centenary of the formal assumption by Baha'u'llah 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 [153] duration a whole decade. Its commencement synchronizes with the centenary of the birth of Baha'u'llah'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 Bab and proclaimed by Baha'u'llah. 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-Baha'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 Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha, Ya Aliyyu'l-A'la.

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 Baha'u'llah, and immortalize the second decade of the second Baha'i century, and the termination of which will mark the closing of the first epoch in the evolution of 'Abdu'l-Baha'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 consummationÑa [154] 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, Muhammad 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 Bab appeared as the perfect fruit and declared His mission in the Year Sixty in the city of Shiraz. 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 Tabriz. The fourth part was the ignition of this oil by the hand of Providence in the depths and amidst the darkness of the Siyah-Chal of Tihran a hundred years ago. The fifth, was the clothing of that flickering light, which had scarcely penetrated the adjoining territory of Iraq, in the lamp of revelation, after an eclipse lasting no less than ten years, in the city of Baghdad. 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 Akka, 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 procss 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah's Mission. The ninth part of this processÑthe stage we are now enteringÑis the further diffusion of that same light over one hundred and thirty-one additional territories and islands [155] 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 Baha'u'llah in Baghdad. 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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah through its present stages of obscurity, of repression, of emancipation and of recognitionÑstages one or another of which Baha'i national communities in various parts of the world now find themselves inÑto the stage of establishment, the stage at which the Faith of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i state itself, functioning, in all religious and civil matters, in strict accordance with the laws and ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy, the Mother-Book of the Baha'i Revelation, a stage which, in the fullness of time, will culminate in the establishment of the World Baha'i Commonwealth, functioning in the plenitude of its powers, and which will signalize the long-awaited advent of the Christ-promised Kingdom of God on earthÑthe Kingdom of Baha'u'llahÑmirroring however faintly upon this humble handful of dust the glories of the Abha 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 mankindÑa civilization which posterity will, with one voice, acclaim as the fairest fruit of the Golden Age of the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, and whose rich [156] harvest will be garnered during future dispensations destined to succeed one another in the course of the five thousand century Baha'i 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar within the stronghold of leading community of Christendom. Appeal to national assemblies of the Baha'i 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 Baha'i world the rapid progress of the final stages of the construction of the Bab's mausoleum on Mt. Carmel, as well as the splendid initiative of the Baha'is of Panama aiming at the acquisition of the site of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Baha'i House of Worship in the City of Panama, specifically mentioned by 'Abdu'l-Baha, 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]
[157]


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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i Communities, during the darkest period of 'Abdu'l-Baha's incarceration in the prison-fortress of Akka. 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 Baha'u'llah in that continent.

EMERGENCE OF FAITH'S EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS

I, moreover, call to mind, on this occasion, the successive episodes [158] which, on the morrow of 'Abdu'l-Baha's ascension, in the course of the initial epoch of the Formative Age of the Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i Community followed successively by the European Teaching Campaign, inaugurated in accordance with the provisions of the Second Seven-Year Plan of the American Baha'i Community, the Five-Year Plan conceived by the German and Austrian Baha'i Communities and the Two-Year Plan later initiated by the British Baha'i CommunityÑPlans 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'u'llah.

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 [159] consolidation of the foundations of the Faith of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is of France; the establishment, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Germany and Austria, of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Austria; and the establishment, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States, and in association with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Italy and Switzerland, of independent National Spiritual Assemblies in Italy and Switzerland.

Second, the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, 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 Baha'is of Germany and Austria; Channel Islands, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Hebrides Islands, Malta, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles; Andorra, Azores, Balearic Islands, Lofoten Islands, Spitzbergen, Ukraine, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America; Liechtenstein, Monaco, Rhodes, [160] San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Italy and Switzerland.

Fifth, the translation and publication of Baha'i literature in the following ten languages to be undertaken by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Germany and Austria; of Eire, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles; of Iceland, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada; and of Corsica, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'i endowments.

Ninth, the establishment of a national Haziratu'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 Baha'i Publishing Trust in Frankfurt, Germany.

Eleventh, the formation of Israel branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i centers, in the efficient and prompt execution of the plans formulated for the prosecution of the teaching campaign in the European continent.
[161]

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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah; 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 CrusadeÑsuch a continent has at last at this critical hourÑthis great turning-point in its fortunesÑentered 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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.
[162]

May all the privileged participators, enlisting under the banner of Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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-Baha's banishment by Abdu'l-Hamid.

All the areas within the Western Hemisphere allocated to the [163] 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkars of Rome, Panama City and Toronto and for a national Haziratu'l-Quds in London. I appeal to the attendants at this conference, in thanksgiving for the manifold blessings abundantly showered upon Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah. No worthier contribution can be offered on the altar of Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah.

On this historic occasion, when the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is 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 Iraq 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 [164] mainland, the Australian continent and the islands of the Pacific OceanÑa 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 HemisphereÑmy 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 Bab in the provinces of Persia and the stirring episodes associated with His cruel incarceration in the mountain-fastnesses of Adhirbayjan, 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 foesÑthe chief magistrate, the civil authorities, the ecclesiastical dignitaries and the masses of the people of His native landÑwith 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 Tabriz.

EARLY STAGES OF BAHA'U'LLAH'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 Baha'u'llah's Revelation culminating in His precipitate banishment to Iraq.

I am reminded, moreover, of the initial spread of the light of this revelation, in consequence of the banishment of Baha'u'llah, to the adjoining territories of Iraq, 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 Turkistan.

Nor can I fail to remember the series of alternating crises and victories, each constituting a landmark in the evolution of the FaithÑwhich it has experienced in some of these territories, associated with the distressful withdrawal of its Author to the mountains of Sulamaniyyih; with the glorious declaration of His Mission in Baghdad; 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 [165] to the desolate and far-off penal colony of Akka in Syria; with the revelation of the Kitab-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-Baha, 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 Baha'i history another was soon added, on the morrow of the ascension of the Center of Baha'u'llah'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 Iraq, in India, Pakistan 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-Baha'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 Baha'i world.

The various Baha'i 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 Baha'i world, and whose members in their aggregate constitute the overwhelming majority of the followers of Baha'u'llah, are called upon, in close association with four other Baha'i communities in the Western Hemisphere, to undertake in the course of the coming decade:

First, the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Baha'u'llah's native land, in the city of Tihran, surnamed by Baha'u'llah "Mother of the World."
[166]

Second, the purchase of land for the future construction of three Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, one in the city of Baghdad, enshrining the "Most Great House," the third holiest city of the Baha'i world, one in New Delhi, the leading city of the Indian subcontinent, and the third in Sydney, the oldest and foremost Baha'i center in the Antipodes.

Third, the formation of no less than eleven national spiritual assemblies, one each in Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma; one in Turkey and one in Afghanistan, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia; one in Japan, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America; one in New Zealand, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Persia; one in southeast Asia, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma; a third in the South Pacific, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America; and a fourth in the Near East, under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iraq.

Fourth, the opening of the following forty-one virgin territories and islands: Andaman Islands, Bhutan, Daman, Diu, Goa, Karikal, Mahe, Mariana Islands, Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry, Sikkim, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan 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 Baha'is of the United States of America; Brunei, Chagos Archipelago, Kirgizia, Mongolia, Solomon Islands, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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 Baha'is of Australia and New Zealand; Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Marshall Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central America; Hadhramaut, Kuria-Muria Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iraq; Marquesas Islands, Samoa Islands, assigned to the National [167] Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada; Cook Islands, assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of South America.

Fifth, the translation and publication of Baha'i literature in the following forty languages, to be undertaken by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma, in association with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is 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, Tho, Tibetan, Tongan, Vogul.

Sixth, the consolidation of Aden Protectorate, Adhirbayjan, Afghanistan, Ahsa, Armenia, Bahrein Island, Georgia, Hijaz, Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Yemen, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Persia; of Baluchistan, Borneo, Burma, Ceylon, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sarawak, Siam, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan and Burma; of China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Philippine Islands, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States of America; of Jordan, Kuweit, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Trucial Sheikhs, Umman, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iraq; of Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji, New Caledonia, Australian New Guinea, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Australia and New Zealand; of Hong Kong, allocated to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the British Isles.

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

Eighth, the establishment by these above-mentioned eleven national spiritual assemblies of national Baha'i endowments.

Ninth, the establishment of a national Haziratu'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 Baha'i Court in the capital cities of Persia, of Iraq, of Pakistan and of AfghanistanÑthe leading Muslim centers in the Asiatic continent.

Eleventh, the establishment of two national Baha'i Publishing Trusts, one in Tihran and one in New Delhi.

Twelfth, the formation of Israel branches of the National Spiritual [168] Assemblies of the Baha'is of Persia, of Iraq, 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 Ridvan 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 Baha'i 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 revelationsÑthe promise and consummation of a six thousand year old religious cycleÑhave 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 Baha'i world has been definitely established; in whose heart the city proclaimed by Baha'u'llah 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 diedÑsuch 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 [169] eight systematic teaching plans, and the concerted efforts of Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah'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 [170] 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 Baha'i 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 Mashriqu'l-Adhkar 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.
[171]

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 Baghdad, 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 Iraqi 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 Siyah-Chal, the cradle of the Revelation to the Author of the Faith, as well as the identification and transfer to Baha'i cemeteries of the bodies of the relatives of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah'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 [172] 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, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon; Ugo Giachery to Persia; Valiyu'llah Varqa, Shu'a'u'llah Ala'i to Iraq, Turkey and Egypt; Clara Dunn and Ali-Akbar Furutan to Australia and New Zealand; Zikru'llah Khadem to Malaya and Japan; Tarazu'llah Samandari and Musa Banani 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 Iraqi 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 Baha'u'llah during the one hundred ten years of Baha'i 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 [173] 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; Amin Batt, Rio 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 Ridvan, 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]


Valiyu'llah Varqa Passes; Son Appointed

Profoundly grieved by loss of outstanding Hand of Cause of God, exemplary Trustee of Huququ'llah, distinguished representative of most venerable community of Baha'i 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 Baha'i Dispensation. His reward in Abha Kingdom is inestimable. Advise you to erect on my behalf befitting monument [174] at his grave. His mantle as Trustee of funds of Huquq now falls on Ali Muhammad his son. Instruct Rawhani Tihran to arrange befitting memorial gatherings in capital and provinces to honor memory of mighty pillar in cradle of Faith of Baha'u'llah. Newly appointed Trustee of Huquq 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 Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'i communities. His fearless championship of the Cause he loved so dearly, served so valiantly, constitutes significant landmark in British Baha'i history. So enviable a position calls for national tribute to his memory by assembled delegates and visitors at forthcoming British Baha'i Convention. Assure relatives of deepest loving sympathy in grievous loss. Confident his reward is inestimable in Abha Kingdom.
[March 25, 1957]


George Townshend Passes; Agnes Alexander Appointed

Inform Hands and national assemblies of the Baha'i world of the passing into Abha Kingdom of Hand of Cause George Townshend, indefatigable, highly talented, fearless defender of the Faith of Baha'u'llah.

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]
[175]


Remains of Mirza Buzurg Transferred

Inform Hands and national assemblies of transfer of remains of Mirza Buzurg, marking attainment of yet another outstanding objective of the Crusade. Advise avoid publicity.
[July 17, 1957]

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