7. The First National Convention
of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia, 1957
By direction of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the
Bahá'í Faith, in 1957 the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá'ís of North East Asia was elected. In his message to the
first convention he wrote, "With feelings of exultation, joy, and pride I hail
the convocation of this history-making Convention of the Bahá'ís
of North East Asia, paving the way for the emergence of a Regional Spiritual
Assembly with an area of jurisdiction embracing Japan, Korea, Formosa, Macao,
Hong Kong, Hainan Island and Sakhalin Island.
"This auspicious event, which posterity will regard as the culmination of a
process initiated, half a century ago, in the capital city of Japan ... marks
the opening of the second chapter in the history of the evolution of His Faith
in the North Pacific area. Such a consummation cannot fail to lend a tremendous
impetus to its onward march in the entire Pacific Ocean..."
The names of Sakhalin Island and Hainan Island were dropped from the
jurisdiction of the National Assembly as it was not possible to travel or teach
in those places. However, both remained goals of the National Assembly to open
to the Faith. In 1959 Mr. John Chang, a resident of Macau, went to Hainan for
two weeks, thereby becoming a Knight of Bahá'u'lláh for opening
that area. Sakhalin was opened in 1990.
A letter written on behalf of the Guardian shortly before the Convention
stated, "The Guardian is looking forward with keen anticipation to the
forthcoming Ridván period, as it marks the establishment of thirteen new
National Assemblies; the most important of which are in the Pacific area..."
Mrs. Ruthy Tu had been elected as a delegate from Tainan to the convention but
unfortunately she was unable to attend. As Mr. and Mrs. Suleimani attended,
Taiwan was represented.
An invitation sent out by a committee of the Local Spiritual
Assembly of Tainan.