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Macau Bahá'í Community in the Early Years

by Barbara R. Sims

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Chapter 1

"CHINA IS THE COUNTRY OF THE FUTURE"

"China, China, China, China-ward the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh must march! Where is that holy sanctified Bahá'í to become the teacher of China! China has most great capability. The Chinese people are most simple-hearted and truth-seeking. The Bahá'í teacher of the Chinese people must first be imbued with their spirit, know their sacred literature, study their national customs and speak to them from their own standpoint, and their own terminologies. He must entertain no thought of his own, but ever think of their spiritual welfare. In China one can teach many souls and train and educate divine personages, each one of whom may become a bright candle of the world of humanity. Truly, I say they are free from any deceit and hypocrisies and are prompted with ideal motives.

"Had I been feeling well, I would have taken a journey to China myself! China is the country of the future. I hope the right kind of teacher will be inspired to go to that vast empire to lay the foundation of the Kingdom of God to promote the principles of divine civilization, to unfurl the banner of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and to invite the people to the banquet of the Lord!

"For the last twenty years I have repeatedly emphasized the matter of spreading the Cause of God. In every city there must be organised assemblies of teaching-classes to teach the young how to teach the Cause and prepare them for this most important service.

"Every Bahá'í must acquire the lessons of teaching. This will yield results. No other service is as important as this. This service of the promotion of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is the most confirmed service. Every time, one service holds the most supreme importance.

"There is one season to harrow the ground, another season to scatter the seeds, still another season to irrigate the fields and still another to harvest the crop. We must attend to these various kinds of activities in their proper seasons in order to become successful. Now is the time of seed-sowing, but it seems to me some of the believers are thinking about crop-getting. This will give them no results. Whosoever is thinking of any other thing, is wasting his time.

"The promotion of the principles of Bahá'u'lláh is the most dominant issue before the believers of God."

`Abdu'l-Bahá

(Star of the West, Volume VIII-April 28, 1917)

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1. The Ten Year Crusade, 1953-1963


In 1953 the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, set in motion his monumental Ten Year Crusade. It was a spiritual crusade which would take the Bahá'í Faith to the remaining areas of the globe where no Bahá'ís resided -- countries, territories or islands mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá in His Tablets of the Divine Plan. The Crusade would inaugurate the third phase of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Plan, a plan for teaching the Bahá'í Faith throughout the world. There were many consolidation areas, such as Japan, Korea, and the Philippine Islands, which already had resident Bahá'ís. There were administrative goals such as electing forty-eight additional National Spiritual Assemblies and acquiring properties in the name of the Faith to be used as Administrative Centers. There were to be a series of Intercontinental Teaching Conferences. Altogether the Guardian listed some twenty-seven objectives. He mentioned 131 virgin areas of the world where the Light of the Faith had not as yet penetrated. The Faith had to be taken to those areas. Macau was one of them. The first Bahá'ís to settle in those 131 areas were to be designated by the Guardian as "Knights of Bahá'u'lláh".

History will no doubt view the Guardian's Ten Year World Crusade as a major turning point, not only in the Bahá'í Faith, but in the destiny of humankind. There surely had been nothing like it in the history of the planet. The Crusade lasted from Ridván 1953 to Ridván 1963, with hundreds of Bahá'ís leaving their native countries to proclaim the Faith throughout the world. The Crusade ended with a Congress in London, the "Great Jubilee", commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of the Bábí Dispensation and the beginning of the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh.

It was reported that at the London Congress in 1963, congregated the most diverse assortment of nationalities and ethnic groups ever brought together at one time, thus far, in human history; over 6,000 Bahá'ís representing 260 countries, and additionally, representation of various ethnic groups. Only within the Bahá'í Faith could that have happened in those years.
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