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Taiwan Bahá'í Chronicle:
An Historical Record of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Faith in Taiwan

by Barbara R. Sims

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Chapter 7

18

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.


19

(click for larger picture)

An invitation sent out by a committee of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tainan.
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