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Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-86

by Universal House of Justice

compiled on behalf of Geoffry W. Marks.
start page single page chapter 2 next chapter

Chapter 1

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OCCASION WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS MOST GREAT JUBILEE COMMEMORATING CENTENARY ASCENSION BAHA'U'LLAH THRONE HIS SOVEREIGNTY WITH HEARTS OVERFLOWING GRATITUDE HIS UNFAILING PROTECTION OVERFLOWING BOUNTIES JOYOUSLY ANNOUNCE FRIENDS EAST WEST ELECTION SUPREME LEGISLATIVE BODY ORDAINED BY HIM IN HIS MOST HOLY BOOK PROMISED BY HIM RECEIVE HIS INFALLIBLE GUIDANCE. MEMBERS FIRST HISTORIC HOUSE JUSTICE DULY ELECTED BY DELEGATES COMPRISING MEMBERS FIFTY-SIX NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES ARE CHARLES WOLCOTT ALI NAKHJAVANI H BORRAH KAVELIN IAN SEMPLE LUTFU'LLAH HAKIM DAVID HOFMAN HUGH CHANCE AMOZ GIBSON HUSHMAND FATHFAZAM. TO JUBILATION ENTIRE BAHA'I WORLD VICTORIOUS COMPLETION BELOVED GUARDIAN'S UNIQUE CRUSADE NOW ADDED HUMBLE GRATITUDE PROFOUND THANKSGIVING FOLLOWERS BAHA'U'LLAH FOR ERECTION UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE AUGUST BODY TO WHOM ALL BELIEVERS MUST TURN WHOSE DESTINY IS TO GUIDE UNFOLDMENT HIS EMBRYONIC WORLD ORDER THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS PRESCRIBED BY BAHA'U'LLAH ELABORATED BY `ABDU'L-BAHÁ LABORIOUSLY ERECTED BY SHOGHI EFFENDI AND ENSURE EARLY DAWN GOLDEN AGE FAITH WHEN THE WORD OF THE LORD WILL COVER THE EARTH AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA.

HAIFA, 22 APRIL 1963 HANDSFAITH


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Foreword

On 21 April 1963, one hundred years after Bahá'u'lláh's public declaration of His world-redeeming mission, the first International Bahá'í Convention was held on the majestic slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. The purpose of this momentous gathering was to elect, for the first time, the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing and legislative body of the Bahá'í Faith.

The election of the Universal House of Justice was greeted with great joy by the worldwide Bahá'í community, for it ensured the continuation of divine guidance until the advent of the next Manifestation of God, thereby fulfilling the prophecy that there would come a "Day which shall not be followed by night."

The continuation of divine guidance-the primary theme of this Book is a unique feature of the Bahá'í Faith. Unlike any of the Manifestations of God Who preceded Him, Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, made a Covenant with His followers to direct and channel the forces released by His Revelation, guaranteeing the continuity of infallible guidance after His death through institutions to which all of His followers must turn. In His will and testament Bahá'u'lláh designated His eldest son, Abdu'l-Bahá, His successor, the authoritative Interpreter of His writings, and the Center of His Covenant. In His own will and testament 'Abdu'l-Bahá perpetuated the Covenant through the Administrative Order ordained in Bahá'u'lláh's writings. 'Abdu'l-Bahá appointed as His twin successors the institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. He named His eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Cause of God and expounder of the Word of God, while giving the Universal House of Justice the role of legislating on matters not explicitly revealed in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá or dealt with by Shoghi Effendi.

Writing about the Universal House of Justice, Bahá'u'lláh explained that, "Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the Ministers of the House of Justice that they may act according to the needs and Requirements of the time.... It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them." Moreover,


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FOREWORD 'Abdu'l-Bahá asserts in His Will and Testament that "Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the Truth and the Purpose of God Himself."

Thus the fundamental purpose of the Universal House of Justice is to ensure the continuity of the divine guidance that flows from the Source of the Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers, and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Its origin, its authority, its duties, and its sphere of action are all derived from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh. His writings, along with those of Abdu'l-Bahá and of Shoghi Effendi constitute its bedrock foundation and its binding terms of reference.

Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986. - The Third Epoch of the Formative Age brings together letters, cables, telexes, and electronic mail messages sent to Bahá'í institutions and individuals during a twenty-three-year period that the Universal House of Justice has called the Third Epoch of the Formative Age of the Faith. The Formative Age stands between the Heroic Age (1844-1921), which is associated with the ministries of the Bab (the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá'í Faith), Bahá'u'lláh, and Abdu'l-Bahá, and the Golden Age, which will witness the dawning of the Most Great Peace, the emergence of a commonwealth of all the nations of the world, and the advent of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The First Epoch of the Formative Age (1921-44/46) saw the birth of the Bahá'í Administrative Order and the primary stages in the erection of its framework. This epoch was characterized by its focus on forming local and national institutions in all the continents, thereby laying the foundation needed to support future systematic teaching activities.

The First Epoch also witnessed the initiation of the first Seven Year Plan (1937-44), at the direction of Shoghi Effendi, by the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada. This plan, inspired by 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets of the Divine Plan, constituted the Bahá'í community's first systematic teaching campaign and began the initial stage of carrying out 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan in the Western Hemisphere.

The Second Epoch of the Formative Age (1946-63) witnessed the further development and maturation of the Administrative Order and the execution of a series of teaching plans that carried the Faith beyond the confines of the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Its two most distinguishing characteristics were the rise and steady consolidation of the World Center of the Faith in Haifa, including the appointment of the Hands of the Cause of God, the introduction of the Auxiliary Boards, and the establishment of the International Bahá'í Council, and the simultaneous and often spontaneous prosecution of Bahá'í national plans in both the East and the West. Shoghi Effendi now used the internally consolidated and administratively experienced National


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FOREWORD

Spiritual Assemblies to launch the Ten Year World Crusade (1953-63) in which he summoned the twelve existing National Spiritual Assemblies to participate in one concentrated, united effort to spread the Faith more widely throughout the world. This enterprise resulted in the opening Of 131 countries to the Faith, the formation of forty-four National Spiritual Assemblies, and a vast increase in the ethnic diversity of the Bahá'í community. However, the victorious completion of the Ten Year World Crusade came with a heavy price. In 1957, midway through the Crusade, Shoghi Effendi died unexpectedly of a heart attack. The Bahá'ís were devastated. Not only were they deprived of their Guardian, but they were also deprived of their source of divine guidance. The Guardianship was a hereditary office, and Shoghi Effendi had left no heir.

How would the unity of the Faith be preserved? How could the conflict and contention that has divided other religions be prevented? Clearly, unless the Bahá'í Faith could safeguard its unity, it could never hope to unify a sorely divided world. Into this chasm of doubt and despair stepped the Hands of the Cause of God, whom Shoghi Effendi had appointed and to whom he had referred as the "Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's embryonic World Commonwealth who have been invested by the unerring Pen of the Center of His Covenant with the dual function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the propagation, of His Father's Faith." Through their heroic stewardship they guided the community along the course Shoghi Effendi had set. By the end of the nearly six-year interregnum they had not only preserved the unity of the Faith but also inspired a surge of sacrificial service leading to the Ten Year Crusade's victorious conclusion and crowning achievement, the culminating event of the Second Epoch-the election of the Universal House of Justice.

The Universal House of Justice proclaimed in a letter dated October 1963 that the Third Epoch of the Formative Age had begun. Outlining what would become the distinctive characteristics of the new epoch, it said the Bahá'í Faith "must now grow rapidly in size, increase its spiritual cohesion and executive ability, develop its institutions and extend its influence into all strata of society." Moreover, its members, must, by constant study of the life-giving Word, and by dedicated service, deepen in spiritual understanding and show to the world a mature, responsible, fundamentally assured and happy way of life, far removed from the passions, prejudices and distractions of present day society.

The Third Epoch called the Bahá'ís of the world to a yet more mature level of functioning that would be consistent with expected vast increases in the community's size and diversity, its emergence as a model to humankind, and the extension of its influence in the world at large.


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FOREWORD

The nature of individual and community maturity for which the Universal House of Justice called is evident as one reads the book. Through the release of translations and compilations of Bahá'í writings and through a voluminous correspondence in which perplexing questions about various personal and social problems are discussed, the Universal House of Justice guides individuals and communities in their efforts to live a Bahá'í life. Matters of spiritual growth, sexual morality, relations between husband and wife, family life, prejudice, politics, possession of firearms, ranks and stations in the Faith, the tests of Bahá'í community life, and the suffering of humanity are a few of the topics of individual and community life that are addressed. Numerous accounts of the vicious persecution of the Iranian Bahá'ís and of their efforts and the efforts of the Bahá'í communities around the world to help them testify to the spiritual and administrative maturation of the worldwide Bahá'í community.

The increasing maturity of the worldwide Bahá'í community is further evidenced as the Universal House of Justice guides the Bahá'í community to progressively more mature levels of functioning through three major world teaching plans conducted during the Third Epoch of the Formative Age: the Nine Year Plan (1964-73), the Five Year Plan (1974-79), and the Seven Year Plan (1979-86). Among the results and achievements won during these three plans are the faiths gradual emergence from obscurity, its assumption by the Universal House of Justice of the role of a promoter of world peace, the initiation of activities intended to foster social and economic development, the establishment of the Continental Boards of Counselors and the International Teaching Center, the introduction of assistants to the Auxiliary Boards, and one of the crowning events of the Third Epoch-the construction and occupation of the seat of the Universal House of Justice at the World Center of the Faith.

The publication of Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986. The Third Epoch of the Formative Age comes ten years after the inauguration of the Fourth Epoch. Although the Bahá'í Faith is well into this new stage of development, and new patterns of growth and change are evident, yet the study of the messages contained in this volume yields a treasure of insight, knowledge, and understanding of the principles guiding the unfoldment of the Bahá'í Faith and the efforts of individuals and communities as they strive to adopt the pattern of life prescribed by Bahá'u'lláh. Moreover, the inclusion of virtually every major message of the Third Epoch enables one to survey significant developments in the organic growth of the Bahá'í world community, to follow its increasing maturity and acquisition of new powers and capacities, to perceive a continuity in its development, and to detect patterns in the interplay between the forces of light and darkness, between crisis and


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FOREWORD

victory. Individuals, communities, and institutions will find the book an important aid in making decisions as they apply themselves to meeting current challenges and will derive continual inspiration and encouragement from the majestic pronouncements, authoritative elucidations, and ennobling, luminous, and loving counsels of the Universal House of Justice. The messages themselves are sufficient proof that the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh is unbroken, that the channel of divine guidance remains open, and that "the Day which shall not be followed by night" has at last dawned upon the world.

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF THE UNITED STATES


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A Note from the Compiler

Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986.- The Third Epoch of the Formative Age brings under one cover 456 letters, cables, telexes, and electronic mail messages from the Universal House of Justice to Bahá'í institutions, to Bahá'ís gathered at special events, to individuals, or -- in one case -- to the peoples of the world.

A volume long overdue, it enlarges upon and replaces two earlier compilations of messages: Wellspring of Guidance: Messages, 1963-1968, published in 1969, and Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1968-1973, published in 1976. In preparing the new volume several factors where considered. First was the need to make available the messages contained in the first two compilations and to add thirty-six messages from the 1963 through 1973 period that had not been included. Second was the need to publish messages received after 1973. Thus it was decided to publish a new volume that would encompass and expand upon the first two books.

The time frame of the new volume became clear in January 1986 when the Universal House of justice announced the closing of the Third Epoch (1963-1986) and the inception of the Fourth Epoch, signaled by new developments in the maturation of the institutions of the Faith. Hence Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986 enables the reader to survey the full sweep of the Third Epoch, beginning with the first message issued by the Universal House of Justice after its establishment in 1963 and ending with the annual Ridvan message of 1986. The messages record the progress of the Faith through the Nine, Five, and Seven Year Plans, chronicling extraordinary advances in proclamation, expansion, and consolidation. They reach a climax in the last two years of the Seven Year Plan with the Faith's emergence from obscurity, the release of a statement on peace addressed to the peoples of the world, and the inception of the Fourth Epoch of the Formative Age. These and countless other achievements stand in marked contrast to the contemporaneous persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran, throwing into sharp relief the interplay between crisis and victory. The dynamic interaction between these two forces is a chief characteristic of the unfoldment of the Bahá'í Faith and a prominent theme in this volume.

Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986 includes numerous features that have been introduced for the reader's convenience. A table of epochs of the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Bahá'í Faith and a list of significant


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A NOTE FROM THE COMPILER

milestones, anniversaries, and events in the Third Epoch offer a brief overview of recent Bahá'í history. Each message has been given a heading and assigned a number, and the paragraphs or other divisions of text within the messages have been numbered to facilitate reference. An extensive index is included, its locators corresponding to the numbering system used in the text. Subheadings have been added to many longer messages; spellings have been Americanized; and, for consistency, dates have been given in a day-month year format. Addressees, salutations, and complimentary closings have been retained, except for a few cases in which confidentiality required their omission. Because the compilation of messages covers almost a quarter of a century, footnotes have been added to explain historical details, allusions, technical terms, sources of most quotations, cross references to other messages on the same topic, and references to further details in the glossary or in other books. To help keep the notes as brief as possible, the titles of many Bahá'í books were abbreviated. A list of abbreviations and the titles they stand for appears at the front of the book. A glossary has been included to give background information and define technical Bahá'í terms. A bibliography provides information about books and compilations referred to in the text and footnotes.

No changes have been made to the texts of the messages without explicit permission from the Universal House of Justice. Extracts from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab, and Abdu'l-Bahá that are quoted in the messages have been checked against authenticated sources and authorized translations and have been updated accordingly where appropriate. Noticeable changes in the translations of such extracts are footnoted. The dates of certain cables may differ slightly from those of the same cables published elsewhere because cables of general interest that were addressed to a specific National Spiritual Assembly were usually conveyed to other National Spiritual Assemblies by mail a few days later. In such cases the date of the original cable is used.

Occasionally the reader will encounter references to enclosures or attachments, such as compilations and lists of pioneer assignments given to National Spiritual Assemblies. Such enclosures have been omitted because of space limitations. Most of the compilations have already been published, and, wherever possible, a reference to the published work is given.

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to the Universal House of Justice for its assistance in making available many messages that were previously unpublished and particularly for its direction in all phases of the production of this volume. Thanks are due to Ivor Stoakley, Diane Taherzadeh, and Lewis Walker for their assistance with footnotes and glossary entries; to John Walbridge for helpful comments on the glossary; to Dr. Manuchihr Derakhshani for assistance with Persian and Arabic transliterations; to Dr. Betty


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A NOTE FROM THE COMPILER

J. Fisher and Terry J. Cassiday of the Bahá'í Publishing Trust whose insights, scholarship, hard work, and close attention to detail have been invaluable; and to my wife, Amy, for her unwavering encouragement and support. We hope this book will prove to be a useful and convenient source of guidance and inspiration for both individuals and institutions the world over as they strive to serve the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and carry the healing balm of His teachings to all humanity.

GEOFFRY W. MARKS


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List of Abbreviations

ABL 'Abdu'l-Bahá in London ADJ The Advent of Divine Justice, 1990 ed. BA Bahá'í Administration BN Bahá'í News BNE Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era BP Bahá'í Prayers, 1991 U.S. ed. BW 9 The Bahá'í World, Volume IX BW 13 The Bahá'í Work Volume XIII BW 14 The Bahá'í World, Volume XIV BW 15 The Bahá'í World, Volume XV BW 16 The Bahá'í World, Volume XVI BW 17 The Bahá'í World, Volume XWI BW 18 The Bahá'í World, Volume XVIII BW 19 The Bahá'í World, Volume XIX CC The Compilation of Compilations CF Citadel of Faith CUHJ Constitution of the Universal House of Justice DB The Dawn-Breakers DND Dawn of a New Day ESW Epistle to the Son of the Wolf FSTS From Strength to Strength GPB God Passes By GWB Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh KA The Kitab-i-Aqdas KI The Kitab-i-Iqan LFG Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand LG Lights of Guidance MA Messages to America MBW Messages to the Bahá'í World


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ABBREVIATIONS

MC Messages to Canada MF Memorials of the Faithful PB The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh PDIC The Promised Day Is Come, 1996 ed. PM Prayers and Meditations PP The Priceless Pearl PT Paris Talks PUP The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 1982 ed. SAQ Some Answered Questions, 1984 ed. SBS Selections from Bahá'í Scriptures SC Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas SDC The Secret of Divine Civilization SWAB Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Bahá TABA Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas TB Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas TDP Tablets of the Divine Plan, 1992 ed. TN A Travelers Narrative UD Unfolding Destiny WOB The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh WT Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá


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Epochs of the Heroic Age

1844-1853 The First Epoch

The Babi Dispensation

1853-1892 The Second Epoch

The Ministry of Bahá'u'lláh

1892-1921 The Third Epoch

The Ministry of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

___ 1. Based on the attachment to the letter dated 5 February 1986 from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies. See message no. 451.


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Epochs of the Formative Age

1921-1944/46 The First Epoch

1921-1936 Period of Preparation 1937-1944 The first Seven Year Plan of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada 1944-1946 Consolidation of victories

1946-1963 The Second Epoch

1946-1953 The second Seven Year Plan of the Bahá'ís of the United States and plans of varying duration pursued by nine other regional and national Bahá'í communities (Canada; Central America and South America; Australia and New Zealand; India, Pakistan, and Burma; the British Isles; Germany and Austria; Persia; Egypt; Iraq)2

1953-1963 The Ten Year World Crusade

1963-1986 The Third Epoch

1963-1964...........Year of Preparation 1964-1973 ...........Nine Year Plan 1973-1974............Year of Preparation 1974-1979............Five Year Plan 1979-1986 ............Seven Year Plan

___ 1. Based on the attachment to the letter dated 5 February 1986 from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies. See message no. 451.

2. See FSTS, pp. 33-38.


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EPOCHS OF THE FORMATIVE AGE

1986- The Fourth Epoch

1986-1992 ...Six Year Plan 1992-1993 ...Holy Year Commemorating the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh and the Inauguration of His Covenant 1993-1996 ...Three Year Plan 1996-2000.... Four Year Plan


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The Third Epoch Significant Milestones, Anniversaries, and Events

Milestones

Ridvan 1963 First election of the Universal House of Justice April 28-May 2 1963 First Bahá'í World Congress commemorating Bahá'u'lláh's declaration of His mission and the victorious consummation of the Ten Year World Crusade Ridvan 1964 Inauguration of the Third Epoch with the launching of the Nine Year Plan

Ridvan 1973 End of the Nine Year Plan

Naw-Ruz 1974 Beginning of the Five Year Plan Ridvan 1979 End of the Five Year Plan Beginning of the Seven Year Plan

January 1986 Inauguration of the Fourth Epoch Ridvan 1986 End of the Seven Year Plan Beginning of the Six Year Plan

Significant Anniversaries

26 March 1966 Fiftieth anniversary of the revelation of the first Tablets of the Divine Plan

April 1963 Centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's public declaration of His Mission

September/ Celebration of the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's October 1967 proclamation to the Kings

27 September 1967 Celebration of the centenary of the revelation of the Suriy-i-Muluk

12 November 1967 Sesquicentennial of the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh

31 August 1968 Centenary of the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh in the Holy Land

23 June 1968 Centenary of the passing of Mirza Mihdi, the Purest Branch


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THE THIRD EPOCH * MILESTONES, ANNIVERSARIES, AND EVENTS

28 November 1971 Fiftieth anniversary of the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá 1973 Centenary of the revelation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas June 1977 Centenary of the termination of Bahá'u'lláh's confinement in 'Akka July 1982 Fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf 4 November 198-2 Twenty-fifth anniversary of the passing of Shoghi Effendi

Significant Events Ridvan 1963 Convening of 1st International Bahá'í Convention, Haifa, and election of the Universal House of Justice Ridvan 1964 Launching of the Nine Year Plan

July 1964 Dedication of the Mother Temple of Europe, Langenhain, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany November 1965 Purification of the Most Holy Tomb October 1967 Opening of a period of proclamation inaugurated by the presentation by the Universal House of Justice to 140 heads of state of a special edition of The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh Commemoration of the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's proclamation to the kings with the holding of six intercontinental conferences in Panama City, Panama; Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A.; Sydney, Australia; Kampala, Uganda; Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and New Delhi, India Assumption by the Universal House of Justice of representation of the Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations October 1967 Laying of the foundation stone of the Mother Temple of Latin America, Panama City, Panama

February 1968 Embracing of the Faith by His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa Ridvan 1968 Convening of the 2nd International Bahá'í Convention, Haifa, and election of the Universal House of Justice June 1968 Establishment of the Continental Boards of Counsellors August 1968 Commemoration of the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival in the Holy Land with the holding of First Oceanic Conference, Palermo, Sicily


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THE THIRD EPOCH - MILESTONES, ANNIVERSARIES, AND EVENTS

February 1970 Bahá'í International Community's attainment of consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council August 1970-Holding of eight oceanic and continental conferences September 1971 in La Paz, Bolivia; Rose Hill, Mauritius; Monrovia, Liberia; Djakarta, Indonesia; Suva, Fiji; Kingston, Jamaica; Sapporo, Japan; Reykjavik, Iceland

April 28 - May 2 1972 Dedication of the Mother Temple of Latin America, Panama City, Panama June 1972 Announcement of the decision to build the Seat of the Universal House of Justice September 1972 Murder of three Iranian Bahá'í students in the Philippine Islands November 1972 Adoption of the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice March 1973 Purchase of the Mazra'ih Mansion

Ridvan 1973 Convening of the 3rd International Bahá'í Convention, Haifa, and election of the Universal House of Justice Publication of A Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas May 1973 Announcement of the embracing of the Bahá'í Faith by His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa

June 1973 Establishment of the International Teaching Center

February 1974 Acceptance of the design for the seat of the Universal House of Justice Ridvan 1974 Launching of the Five Year Plan January 1975 Acquisition of the House of Abdu'llah Pasha in 'Akka

April 1975 Excavation of the site of the seat of the Universal House of justice

July 1976 Holding of eight international teaching conferences January 1977 in Helsinki, Finland; Anchorage, Alaska; Paris, France; Nairobi, Kenya; Hong Kong; Auckland, New Zealand; Bahá'í, Brazil; and Merida, Mexico. September 1976 Visit of His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II to the resting-place of Shoghi Effendi in London, England

May 1977 Murder of Ruhu'llah Taymuri-Muqaddam, an Iranian homefront pioneer, in his home by fanatics


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THE THIRD EPOCH - MILESTONES, ANNIVERSARIES, AND EVENTS October 1977 Laying of foundation stone for Mother Temple of Indian subcontinent, New Delhi, December 1977 Initiation of broadcasting by the first Bahá'í radio station, Otavalo, Ecuador Ridvan 1978 Convening of the 4th International Bahá'í Convention, Haifa, and election of the Universal House of Justice August 1978 Inauguration of Radio Bahá'í Ecuador December 1978 - Intensification of the persecution of January 1979 the Bahá'ís in Iran January 1979 Laying of the foundation stone of the Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands Naw-Ruz 1979 Launching of the Seven Year Plan June 1979 Fixing of Counselors' term of service at five years June-July 1979 Numerous appeals made by Local Spiritual Assemblies around the world to Ayatollah Khomeini, asking him to stop the persecution of the Bahá'ís of June-August 1979 Addresses by H. Borrah Kavelin, representative of the Universal House of Justice, at a series of significant meetings in North America and Europe about the importance of redeeming the Iranian Bahá'ís sacrifices through service to the Faith September 1979 Demolition of the House of the Bab in November 1979 Arrest of a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of December 1979 Commencement of excavation of the site of the Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands, Apia, Western Samoa July 1980 Commencement of construction of Mother Temple of the Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, India August 1980 Arrest of all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran and two Auxiliary Board members November 1980 Appointment of a new contingent of Continental Counselors to a five-year term of service January 1981 Execution of chairman of National Spiritual Assembly of Iran May 1981 Establishment of a European Branch Office of the Bahá'í International Community August 1981 Increase in the severity of the persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran




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THE THIRD EPOCH - MILESTONES, ANNIVERSARIES, AND EVENTS

November 1981 Arrest of six members of National Spiritual Assembly of Iran Inauguration of Radio Bahá'í Peru December 1981 Demolition of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Takur Arrest and execution of eight members of the National Spiritual Assembly

May-September 1982 Holding of five international conferences in Lagos, Nigeria; Montreal, Canada; Quito, Ecuador; Dublin, Ireland; and Canberra, Australia July 1982 By-election to replace one member of the Universal House of Justice December 1982 Establishment of first Bahá'í radio station in North America January 1983 Occupation by the Universal House of Justice of its permanent seat April 1983 opening of the House of Abdu'11ah Pasha to pilgrims Ridvan 1983Convening of the 5th International Bahá'í Convention, Haifa, and election of the Universal House of Justice May 1983 Increase in the responsibilities of the International Teaching Center Public defense of the Bahá'ís of Iran by the President of the United States June 1983 Execution of seventeen Bahá'ís in Shiraz, including ten women Call for the youth of the world to vindicate the martyred youth of Shiraz August 1983 Banning of Bahá'í administration in Iran September 1983 Sending of an open letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran to the authorities responding to the false charges made against the Bahá'í community October 1983Call for Bahá'í involvement in social and economic development activities April 1984Attempt to achieve false confessions from the Bahá'ís of Iran by use of torture Inauguration of Radio Bahá'í Bolivia August 1984 Dedication of the Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands, Apia, Western Samoa


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THE THIRD EPOCH - MILESTONES, ANNIVERSARIES, AND EVENTS

July 1985 Release of compilation on the Law of Huququ'llah Establishment of Public Information Office at the Bahá'í World Centre October 1985 Release by the Universal House of Justice of a statement on peace addressed to the peoples of the world

Appointment of a new and expanded contingent of members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors November 1985 Presentation of the peace statement to the Secretary General of the United Nations December 1985 Emergence of the Bahá'í Faith from obscurity signaled by adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly supporting the Iranian Bahá'í community

December 1985 - Conference of the Continental Boards of Counselor January 1986 in the Holy Land with Hands of the Cause of God, members of the Universal House of Justice, and the International Teaching Center January 1986. Announcement of the beginning of the Fourth Epoch of the Formative Age by the Universal House of Justice in a letter to the Bahá'ís of the world Inauguration of Radio Bahá'í Pan February 1986 Setting of date for dedication of Mother Temple of the Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, India Invitation from the Universal House of Justice to National Spiritual Assemblies and Continental Counselors to consult about national goals within the framework of the major objectives of the Six Year Plan set by the Universal House of Justice Ridvan 1986 Review by the Universal House of justice of achievements of the Seven Year Plan, comments on the Faith's emergence from obscurity and the maturation of the institutions of the Cause and announcement of World Center goals of publishing an English translation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, education of the Bahá'ís about the law of Huququ'llah, planning for the completion of the remaining buildings on the Arc, and broadening the basis of the international relations of the Faith Launching of the Six Year Plan.
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