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Ministry of the Custodians:
An Account of the Stewardship of the Hands of the Cause 1957-1963

by Universal House of Justice

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Chapter 5


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MINISTRY OF THE CUSTODIANS
1961



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To the National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í World
January 1, 1961

Dear Co-workers:
In a communication dated November 13, 1960, we informed all National and Regional Assemblies that we were sending them nine ballot papers for the election of the International Bahá'í Council, one for each Assembly member.
In order to ensure that all existing National Assemblies participate fully in this supremely important election, we request that the Secretary of each Assembly inform us immediately whether these ballots have been received and distributed to the individual members. As indicated previously, the Secretaries are responsible for collecting the sealed ballots and mailing them in ample time to reach the World Centre before April 21, 1961.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To All National Spiritual Assemblies
January 4, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
On the occasion of the historic dedication for Bahá'í and public worship of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the African continent, we suggest that you either write or cable the National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa, congratulating them on the completion at so early a date of this Mother House of Worship, so dear to our beloved Guardian's heart.
We feel sure your messages will encourage and inspire the African believers throughout the continent, and bring to them a sense of the great solidarity of the believers all over the world and the degree to which they share each others' joys and victories.
We send you all our loving greetings,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

BAHA'I WILMETTE
JANUARY 12,1961

ANNOUNCE JOYOUS NEWS CORNERSTONE MOTHER TEMPLE EUROPE LAID


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IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY ATTENDED NEARLY ONE THOUSAND BAHA'I GUESTS SACRED DUST SHRINE Bahá'u'lláh, PLACED FOUNDATION BY BELOVED HAND AMELIA COLLINS STOP EXCAVATIONS FOUNDATIONS WALLS BEING RAPIDLY COMPLETED PLANS LAID EARLY CONSTRUCTION SUPERSTRUCTURE BUT ACTUAL BEGINNING THIS WORK DEPENDENT AVAILABILITY SUFFICIENT FUNDS STOP HEAVY INCREASE BUILDING COSTS DURING UNAVOIDABLE SEVEN YEAR DELAY OVERCOMING SERIOUS OBSTACLES NOW REQUIRES STEADY UNINTERRUPTED FLOW CONTRIBUTIONS STOP COMPLETION THIS HISTORIC STRUCTURE DURING CRUSADE NOW NECESSITATES FULFILMENT BELOVED GUARDIAN'S STIRRING CALL FOR GREAT OUTPOURING TREASURE BY BELIEVERS THROUGHOUT WORLD STOP REQUEST ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES IMMEDIATELY INAUGURATE SPECIAL FUND CONSTRUCTION MOTHER TEMPLE EUROPE URGE ALL FRIENDS SUPPORT THIS FUND LIBERALLY CONTINUOUSLY STOP ATTAINMENT THIS VITAL GOAL TEN YEAR PLAN WILL RELEASE UNTOLD SPIRITUAL POWER ADD PRESTIGE FAITH DEMONSTRATE VITALITY EVER VICTORIOUS WORLD BAHA'I COMMUNITY ATTRACT DIVINE CONFIRMATIONS BLESSINGS PROMISED BY 'Abdu'l-Bahá, TO ALL THOSE WHO SACRIFICE FOR HOUSE OF THE LORD STOP AIRMAIL MESSAGE ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

DEDICATION OF THE MOTHER TEMPLE OF AFRICA

Kampala, Uganda
January 14, 1961

To the Hands of the Cause, Auxiliary Board Members, Members of National Assemblies, and believers attending the Dedication of the Mother Temple of Africa and the Africa Teaching Conference.

Beloved Friends:
On the historic occasion of the opening for public worship of the Mother Temple of Africa and the gathering together for the third time in a period of seven years, of so many African believers and Bahá'í guests from other countries, our hearts turn in thanksgiving to our beloved Guardian who made this great victory possible.
At the inception of the Ten Year Plan, coincident with the Centenary celebration of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation, it was Africa which was chosen by Shoghi Effendi as the scene of the first of the four mighty Intercontinental Conferences which constituted part of the inauguration of that long-anticipated intercontinental stage in the administrative evolution



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of the Faith. On the occasion of that Conference he gave to Africa no less than 77 specific goals, almost all of which have already been achieved, and some far exceeded. It was Africa which was once again given the honour of holding the first of the second series of Intercontinental Conferences called by Shoghi Effendi in celebration of the midway point of the World Crusade.
It was Africa whose Temple was first ready to have its comer-stone laid, and receive the Sacred Dust from the holy Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh as his last loving gift.
As the Bahá'í Dispensation unfolds, the deep spiritual significance of this African Temple, the first Temple to be completed during the World Crusade, will be increasingly revealed. We should ponder the fact that the people of Africa have attracted the grace of Bahá'u'lláh to such a marked degree that after the construction in Asia-the continent which has been the Cradle of the Manifestations of God-of the first Bahá'í Temple to be erected, and the completion in America, the Cradle of the Administrative Order, of the second Bahá'í House of Worship, it was Africa which was singled out for the unique honour of completing the third Mother Temple to be raised in the name and to the glory of the Supreme Manifestation of God for this Day.
All the friends, particularly those who have come from Persia to attend the dedication of this blessed Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, should recall that in addition to its significance as the Mother Temple of Africa and the third of the Bahá'í world, it has a special, precious and most tender association with the long-suffering followers of Bahá'u'lláh in His native land. Our beloved Guardian, at a time when what he characterized as the worst crisis since the inception of the Formative Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation, was sweeping Persia, particularly stated that this Temple was to constitute a "supreme consolation" to our oppressed and valiant brethren in the Cradle of the Faith. How befitting that the majority of Bahá'ís present on this occasion should be of African and Persian extraction. How mysterious the link binding these two important branches of the Bahá'í family to each other-on the one hand, the Community that gave over 20,000 martyrs to this glorious Cause, on the other the representatives of those spiritually fertile peoples, over 15,000 of whom have, in the brief space of nine years, flocked to the Standard of Bahá'u'lláh, arisen to teach His Faith in their own countries, and gone forth as pioneers in His Name throughout their vast continent.
In conjunction with the opening of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar to public worship, a teaching conference affording unique opportunities for consultation between (Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, representing the Hands at the World Centre, the African Hands of the Cause, Board members, Regional Assembly members, pioneers, teachers and believers, is being



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held. We feel particular attention should be given to the supreme task of mass conversion, and ways and means of extending this work, so dear to our Guardian's heart, as well as better methods of consolidating the communities being so rapidly formed, and deepening the new believers in knowledge and understanding of the teachings.
Shoghi Effendi's vision, his determination, his overwhelming confidence in the wonderful qualities of the African people have brought us to the present hour of consummation. Who can doubt that this fulfilment of his fondest hope, this fruition of his cherished plan for Africa -- the completion of this Mother Temple -- will now cast over the entire continent a mighty blessing, and release a new and powerful wave of spiritual vitality. To the great "silent teacher" in the heart of the American continent, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá called the first Temple of the Western World, standing on the shores of Lake Michigan and attracting more notice to the Faith each year, has now been added a sister edifice in the heart of Africa. Her message of Oneness will increasingly flow out over that continent and affect its people, consciously and unconsciously.
The African believers, as well as those pioneers from abroad who have settled among them and been so largely instrumental in propagating the Faith there, must seize upon this opportunity, when they are together in the shadow of this newly-completed House of Worship, and discuss their problems and plans exhaustively. They must ponder the spirit as well as the letter of the many precious instructions and words of encouragement they received from Shoghi Effendi and devise ways of carrying out the great tasks that lie ahead of them. They must remember this is only the beginning of the work in Africa; surveying what has been accomplished in seven years. With what joy and enthusiasm must they look forward to the future, with its new victories, its fresh conquests of men's hearts, which will widen the bases on which many independent African national bodies must rest-national bodies to be established in the course of plans which must be undertaken during the years following the termination of the Ten Year Crusade. These future, glorious campaigns, will form a part, in the words of our beloved Guardian, of that "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."
How vast the scope for service which lies before the African believers, labouring in a continent comprising over fifty nations and territories, how



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great the part they must play in ushering in that blissful consummation described by him as "the long-awaited advent of the Christ-promised Kingdom of God on earth --the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh --mirroring however faintly upon this humble handful of dust the glories of the Abha Kingdom."
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

BAHA'I WILMETTE
JANUARY 24, 1961

JOYOUSLY SHARE BAHA'I WORLD NEWS COMPLETION DEDICATION MOTHER TEMPLE AFRICA MARKING SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONS FAITH THAT RICHLY BLESSED CONTINENT STOP MEMORABLE DEDICATION CEREMONY ATTENDED AMATU'l-BAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM AND NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED BELIEVERS REPRESENTING NINETEEN COUNTRIES STOP PRESENCE MORE THAN THOUSAND VISITORS INAUGURAL SERVICE PUBLIC WORSHIP WIDE PUBLICITY PRESS RADIO ATTEST GROWING RECOGNITION IMPORTANCE AFRICAN BAHA'I COMMUNITY STOP URGE FRIENDS EVERYWHERE JOIN PRAYERS THANKSGIVING ATTAINMENT THIS CHERISHED GOAL BELOVED GUARDIAN'S PLAN AIRMAIL MESSAGE ALL NATIONAL AS SEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To All National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies
February 12, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
The Hands of the Faith, from their Conclave in Bahji last October, made the joyous announcement to the Bahá'í world that the many obstacles in the way of actual construction work on the Mother Temple of Europe, in Frankfurt, Germany, had been overcome, and the seven-yearlong delay at last ended.
On November 20, 1960 the corner-stone was laid at an impressive ceremony, attended by nearly one thousand Bahá'ís and their guests, at which the Sacred Dust from the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, entrusted to the German National Assembly for this purpose by Shoghi Effendi himself, was placed in the foundation by the beloved Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins.
Since that day, work at the site has gone forward on the foundations, and weather permitting, this phase will soon be completed. Contracts have been signed for the erection of the superstructure, work on which is to



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start in early Spring, with completion scheduled in the late Fall of 1961.
The problem now is one of a steady and uninterrupted flow of funds. The beloved Guardian stated that the attainment of this goal will require "a great outpouring of treasure" on the part of the world-wide Bahá'í Community. The friends everywhere should realize that while this Temple is being constructed in Frankfurt, it is not a German Temple; and while it is the Mother Temple of Europe, its construction is the responsibility of the entire Bahá'í world, as it was given as one of the major goals of the Ten Year Crusade.
The Hands of the Faith are fully aware of the degree to which the friends everywhere are already sacrificing for the attainment of the goals of the Ten Year Plan. However, all of us are now called upon for a far greater degree of sacrifice than heretofore throughout the fast-fleeting twenty-seven months remaining for the successful completion of the World's Greatest Spiritual Crusade.
Funds are needed, and amply, at once, for the continuance of the work on the Temple in Frankfurt.
We call on the friends to contribute freely and liberally to this noble undertaking, from which such great spiritual bounties are promised, not only for the Bahá'ís but for all the peoples of the world.
To a continent twice baptized in the fire of the world's most terrible wars, this Temple will be the dawning place of the praises of God, and a focal point for the radiation of the spirit of peace and unity.
As the friends contribute to the fund you have established for the Mother Temple of Europe, we request that you send each month to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany, all monies received.
A steady flow of funds is essential to ensure that the work will go forward without interruption. Owing to the heavy concentration of payments involved in the contract for the erection of the superstructure, a minimum of $300,000 is needed in the calendar year 1961. An additional $125,000 will be needed in 1962.
As we contemplate the unprecedented sacrifices which must still be made before the divinely-conceived Plan of our beloved Guardian can be crowned with total victory in 1963; and as we arise to participate in that "great outpouring" called for by our Beloved, which alone will make possible the completion of this blessed edifice in the heart of the European continent, let us bear in mind the stirring promises of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself, describing the spiritual blessings which these Temples, "Dawning-places of the praises of God", release to the world.
Temples are the symbols of the divine uniting force ...
This is the spiritual foundation, for that reason it is the most



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important of all foundations; from that spiritual foundation will come forth all manner of advancement and progress in the world of humanity.... Not only does the building of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar have an effect upon those who build it, but upon the whole world. ... The friends of God must endeavour with all their hearts and souls that this structure may be raised and completed.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To All National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies
March 6, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
As you know, one of the great victories of the Ten Year Plan of our beloved Guardian will be achieved this coming Ridvan with the simultaneous formation of 21 new National Spiritual Assemblies in Latin America. This historic event offers an unparalleled opportunity for publicity and effective proclamation activities, based on the news value of what is taking place in 21 countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Not only should it be possible to obtain publicity in the press, but doubtless in some countries and cities opportunities can be developed for radio and possibly television coverage, in connection with general Bahá'í-sponsored programs.
We are asking the National Assembly of the United States to undertake the task of furnishing the other National and Regional Assemblies with factual publicity material, which can then be adapted by each Assembly for appropriate use within its own territory. Obviously there will be certain countries and regions, such as Arabia, 'Iraq and Iran, where it will not be possible to give any publicity to these events. Each National Assembly will of course know what is possible and appropriate in its own territory.
It has been the practice in the past for each existing national body to send a message of greeting to new National Assemblies at the time of their formation. These messages give the newly-established Assembly and the friends present at the Conventions during which they are elected, a feeling of oneness with their sister National Assemblies as an integral part of the world-wide Bahá'í Community. We suggest that you send such messages of greeting to the new Assembly of each of the 21 countries. They should be sent immediately in each case in care of the appropriate



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present Regional Assembly. In the event that you do not have the necessary information, the attached sheet indicates the address of the four existing Regional Assemblies, and the countries where the National Assemblies are to be formed under their sponsorship.
We send you loving greetings and the assurance of our ardent prayers for the success of your efforts to proclaim this important milestone in the unfoldment of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

Central America, Mexico and Panama
Costa RicaMexico
El SalvadorNicaragua
GuatemalaPanama
Honduras

Greater Antilles
CubaHaiti
Dominican RepublicJamaica

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
ArgentinaParaguay
BoliviaUruguay
Chile

Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
BrazilEcuador
PeruVenezuela
Colombia

BAHA'I WILMETTE
MARCH 13,1961

WITH HUMBLE HEARTS TURN BAHA'U'LLAH IN THANKSGIVING BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS BESTOWED HIS FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS THROUGHOUT WORLD DURING PAST YEAR ENABLING THEM WIN UNPRECEDENTED VICTORIES ALL FRONTS STOP MOTHER TEMPLE AFRICA BEFITTINGLY DEDICATED MOTHER TEMPLE AUSTRALIA NEARING COMPLETION CONSTRUCTION WORK MOTHER TEMPLE EUROPE RAPIDLY PROGRESSING STOP MASS CONVERSION SO ARDENTLY CALLED FOR BY BELOVED GUARDIAN CONTINUING AFRICAN CONTINENT EXPANDING SOUTH AMERICA INDONESIA MALAYA NOW BEGINNING


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INDIA STOP IN SENDING LOVING NAWRUZ GREETINGS URGE FRIENDS JOIN IN FERVENT PRAYERS BAHA`U'LLAH SUPPLICATE FURTHER OUTPOURING HIS BOUNTIES ASSURING IN COMING YEAR EVEN GREATER VICTORIES RAISING HIGHER BANNER HIS GLORIOUS FAITH IN EVERY LAND AS BEACON AND SOLE HOPE PEACE UNITY DISTRACTED WORLD STOP AIRMAIL MESSAGE ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

BAHA'I WILMETTE
APRIL 4,1961

GRIEVED LOSS DISTINGUISHED DISCIPLE 'Abdu'l-Bahá, HAND CAUSE CORINNE TRUE HER LONG ASSOCIATION EARLY HISTORY FAITH AMERICA RAISING MOTHER TEMPLE WEST STAUNCH UNFAILING CHAMPIONSHIP COVENANT STEADFAST SUPPORT BELOVED GUARDIAN EVERY STAGE UNFOLDMENT WORLD ORDER UNFORGETTABLE ENRICH ANNALS FAITH WESTERN WORLD STOP URGE HOLD BEFITTING MEMORIAL GATHERING MASHRIQU'LADHKAR.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

BAHA'I WILMETTE
APRIL 6,1961

OUR CABLE PASSING MOTHER TRUE ADD FOLLOWING QUOTE AIRMAIL MESSAGE HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES UNQUOTE ...
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To the Representatives of the Sponsoring Regional Assemblies at each Convention of Latin America
April 10, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
Enclosed is the Ridvan Message of the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land to the Annual Conventions of the Bahá'í world. The special message to the Latin American Conventions has already been sent to you. Both of these messages should be presented by the Hand of the Cause attending each Convention, though not necessarily read by him because of the language problem.



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We wish to inform the Conventions and the new National Assemblies that the Hands of the Cause are making a contribution of one thousand dollars to each of these twenty-one new administrative bodies, to inaugurate their National Funds. The announcement of this gift should be made by the Hand present at the Convention.
The Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins also wishes to inform the new Assemblies that she is making a separate contribution of one thousand dollars to each of the new National Funds, in loving appreciation of the great spiritual victory which has been won.
To facilitate transfer of these gifts, and in order to establish contact with the World Centre as quickly as possible, we request each new National Assembly to forward to Haifa the name and postal address of its Secretary and Treasurer, as well as the cable address of its National Office.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


RIDVAN MESSAGE
1961

To Annual Bahá'í Conventions

Dearly beloved Friends:
"Every nation in the Western Hemisphere is Illumined by the rays and woven into the fabric of Bahá'u'lláh's triumphant Administrative Order." Such, in the beloved Guardian's own words, is the nature of the unique victory the entire Bahá'í world is celebrating during this blessed Ridvan period, when twenty-one new and independent National Spiritual Assemblies are being elected throughout the length and breadth of Latin America. An enterprise officially inaugurated twenty-four years ago, through the launching of the first Seven Year Plan, has been gloriously consummated. The "onward marching legions of the army of Bahá'u'lláh" pause in wonder and survey with grateful hearts their majestic conquests. "That pioneer movement for which" Shoghi Effendi stated "the entire machinery" of the Administrative Order had "been primarily designed and erected" has yielded a mighty harvest. No less than twenty-four independent National Spiritual Assemblies now comprise the links in the mighty chain of Bahá'í solidarity, stretching from the Arctic Circle to the Strait of Magallanes. Humbly, and with infinite gratitude, the followers of the Blessed Beauty lay before His throne this blazing crown in the



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name and in the memory of their Guardian, for it is essentially his victory, the witness of his faithful and superhuman efforts to implement that Divine Plan for the spiritual conquest of the entire planet which 'Abdu'l-Bahá entrusted to his care, to him who was the Sign of God on earth.
An occasion for such rejoicing cannot be allowed to pass without reviewing the antecedents of this overwhelming victory in the Western Hemisphere, which comprises half of the globe, which embraces the entire New World, and which the Guardian said was "the first region in the Western World to be warmed and Illumined by the rays of God's infant Faith." He stated that in a sense the original impetus of the world teaching plan of the Master was given when the Bab. in the opening years of the first Bahá'í century, directed the "'peoples of the West' to issue forth 'from your cities and aid His Cause.'" Many times he pointed out that ever since "the momentous and stiffing summons" was "issued by the Author of the Revelation in His Most Holy Book, addressed to the rulers of all the Republics of the Western Hemisphere," the uninterrupted blessings of God had been poured upon the American continent. Bahá'u'lláh Himself testified that "In the East the Light of His Revelation hath broken; in the West the signs of His dominion have appeared", whilst 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1917, in one of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, made the extraordinary pronouncement that "the continent of America is, in the eyes of the one True God, the land wherein the splendours of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled. . . " "The American continent", He affirmed, "gives signs and evidences of very great advancement. Its future is even more promising. . . It will lead all nations spiritually."
Within the northern confines of a continent upon which had already been conferred such a remarkable station, the American Bahá'í Community was singled out for unique honours; it was "a community", Shoghi Effendi wrote, "invested with spiritual primacy by the Author of the immortal Tablets constituting the Charter of the Master Plan of the appointed Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant." In majestic and ringing words the Guardian himself gave the rank and titles of this favoured community, whose mission is so unbelievably great, whose responsibilities are so staggering. Its members were, he said: "the spiritual descendants of the Dawn-breakers of the Heroic Age of the Bahá'í Faith, the chief repository of the immortal Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan, the foremost executors of the Mandate issued by the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, the champion-builders of a divinely conceived Administrative Order, the standard-bearers of the all-conquering army of the Lord of Hosts, the torchbearers of a future divinely inspired world civilization . . ."



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A community, called by 'Abdu'l-Bahá "Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh" and specifically instructed by Him in the Tablets of the Divine Plan to carry the Message of His Father to all the Republics of Latin America and the islands fringing them in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was launched officially in 1937 on its mission of spiritual conquest when the Guardian set in motion the first Seven Year Plan. The precursor of this historic event was a letter from him written in May, 1936, to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada in which he said a "systematic, carefully conceived . . . plan should be devised" whose "supreme ... objective should be the permanent establishment of at least one centre in every State of the American Republic and in every Republic of the American continent. . . " The significance of this first Plan was increasingly revealed to the Bahá'í world. When two years had elapsed Shoghi Effendi wrote: "The five remaining years should essentially be consecrated to the imperative, the spiritual needs of the remaining Republics of both Central and South America, for whose entry into the fellowship of Bahá'u'lláh the Plan was primarily formulated." As the "carrying of the sacred Fire to all the Republics of the Western Hemisphere" went forward, the tone of jubilation in the Guardian's Messages mounted. "From Alaska to Chile," he wrote in 1942, "the Americas are astir with the leavening influences of the rising Order of the new-born Revelation." He said the "first fruits of the Divine Plan" had been garnered there in abundance and that the first Seven Year Plan, commenced on the eve of the greatest war the human race had ever experienced, had, "despite six years of chaos and tribulation, been crowned with a success far exceeding the most sanguine hopes of its ardent promoters. Within so short a period, during such troublous years, such exploits were achieved as will forever illuminate the pages of Bahá'í history." On the eve of the holding of the first All-America Convention in 1944, celebrating the Centenary of the "first, most shining century of the Bahá'í Era", in that "great turning point in the history of our Faith" when "a spiritual front extending the entire length of the Western Hemisphere" had been established, when "the crowning act of an entire century" had been accomplished, when the administrative structure of the Faith was already "raising its triumphant head in the Central and South American Republics", when his heart was "filled with joy, love, pride and gratitude", when "the greatest collective enterprise ever launched in the course of the history of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh" had been successfully concluded, Shoghi Effendi wrote: "A victory of undying fame has marked the culmination of the fifty-year-long labours of the American Bahá'í community in the service of Bahá'u'lláh and has shed imperishable lustre on the immortal records of His Faith during the first hundred



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years of its existence." In words such as these he sang the praises of the Community of the Most Great Name in the North American continent and indicated to the Bahá'í world the nature of the victories won during the first Seven Year Plan, not the least of which were the brilliant achievements in the southern part of the Western Hemisphere.
Two years later the American Bahá'í community was called upon to launch the second Seven Year Plan --a plan which the Guardian said surpassed every enterprise undertaken during the first Bahá'í century. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan was steadily gathering momentum. Whereas at the end of the first Seven Year Plan fourteen of the Latin American republics had established Local Assemblies, the remainder possessing groups only, whilst the total number of localities had risen to a little over fifty, by June 1947 there were thirty-seven Spiritual Assemblies and believers were to be found in over a hundred localities. To this extraordinary progress the beloved Guardian at that time paid a unique tribute: "No community", he wrote, "since the inception of the hundred-year-old Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not even the community of the Most Great Name in the North American continent, can boast of an evolution as rapid, a consolidation as sound, a multiplication of centres as swift, as those that have marked the birth and rise of the community of His followers in Latin America" whose motherlands had "been chosen as the scene of the earliest victories won by the prosecutors of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan". He called upon them to "bestir themselves for the collective, the historic and gigantic tasks that await them". He said the constitution of their National Spiritual Assemblies for the northern and southern zones was "one of the most vital objectives of the Second Seven Year Plan". He said these two National Assemblies were the "precursors of the institutions which must participate in the election, and contribute to the support, of the Universal House of Justice", and that they must lead, "gradually and uninterruptedly.... to the constitution in each of the republics of Central and South America, of a properly elected, fully representative National Assembly, constituting thereby the last stage in the administrative evolution" of the Faith in Latin America.
Slowly the magnitude of Latin America's destiny unfolded. Upon the occasion of the formation in 1951 of the two first Regional Assemblies in that part of the world, he wrote them that "these communities may be said to have been invested with rights and duties which no community in any continent of the Eastern Hemisphere can claim to possess." He pointed out that these "newly-fledged, spiritually alert communities in Central and South America ... 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 bequeathed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, With the launching of the



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World Crusade in 1953 new honours and responsibilities fell to the lot of these communities and the national bodies that represented them; in addition to the truly staggering plans made for them in their homelands, no less than nineteen new and previously opened territories were apportioned them as their share in this new globe-encircling phase of the Divine Plan-territories so far afield that some of them were situated in the very heart of the Pacific Ocean. Yet after the lapse of eight years nearly every major task at home and abroad set for them by their beloved Guardian has been fully and nobly achieved and the few remaining tasks required to perfect their labours are now well within their reach.
Such, briefly, is the history leading up to the formation of these twenty-one supreme administrative bodies. The mysterious impetus imparted by the Bab. in the Qayyumu'l-Asma, the singular, significant and dynamic statements of Bahá'u'lláh, the innumerable references of the beloved Master culminating in His Plan for the spiritual conquest of the entire globe, the detailed, brilliant and inspiring strategy worked out by Shoghi Effendi during his thirty-six-years Guardianship, the "daring exploits" of so many valiant Bahá'í pioneers, teachers and administrators all have contributed to bring the Bahá'í world to this magnificent consummation, this unique event.
Though this is the end of a long journey, it is only the beginning of a glorious future for these new national bodies, and the communities they represent. They must remember that they share with the North American Bahá'í Community, as its appointed "associates", a special responsibility in the prosecution of every phase in the successive unfoldment of the plans which form stages in the evolution of what the Guardian called the "Grand Design delineated in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's immortal Tablets"; the members of these new communities share in what Shoghi Effendi characterized as "the phenomenal destiny which the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the New World are to fulfil." They are, now, he wrote, "launched on their crusade for the spiritual conquest of the whole planet".
Before passing on to survey the victories won in other fields during the past year, we should recognize that aside from the fact that twenty nations and one dependency are electing their supreme Bahá'í administrative bodies, an additional event of far-reaching significance is taking place. "The islands of the West Indies", 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, ". . . have great importance; especially the two black republics, Haiti and Santo Domingo . . ." It is these republics which are now rearing up two of those autonomous pillars so soon to bear the weight of the Universal House of Justice. Who can doubt that these two new national communities, seconded by their sister community in Jamaica, and representative of that race which Bahá'u'lláh Himself likened



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to the "pupil of the eye" through which He claimed "the light of the spirit shineth forth", will greatly enrich the supra-national world-wide fellowship of His Faith and herald the day when innumerable other black nations of the continent of Africa elect their own independent National Assemblies.
The remarkable record of victories achieved since last Ridvan in the prosecution of the World Crusade of our beloved Guardian-the completion of which he indicated would mark the end of the first epoch in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá --bears eloquent testimony to the devotion and sacrifice with which the friends in every part of the globe have striven to fulfil his cherished hopes and high expectations. As the eighth year of the Ten Year Plan draws to a close, the believers everywhere may gain fresh inspiration and encouragement from the imposing list of achievements recorded during the past year.
The light of the Faith, now radiating from two hundred and fifty-seven countries, islands and dependencies, now covers the face of the globe, bringing to fulfilment the many prophecies foreshadowing the worldwide spread of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh ere the close of the first century following the declaration of His Mission, referred to by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as "the dawn of the Sun of Truth".
In his last Ridvan Message the beloved Guardian called upon the friends in all continents to exert strenuous efforts to assure the "early attainment of the goal of five thousand Bahá'í centres in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres." By Ridvan two years later, less than eighteen months after his passing, this goal was not only attained but exceeded, when the number of localities where Bahá'ís reside reached a total of over five thousand two hundred. This Ridvan, as a result of the continuing dispersion of pioneers and the winning of fresh recruits to the ranks of the Faith, the total has risen to the truly impressive level of nearly six thousand five hundred, a gain of no less than four thousand centres since the inception of the World Crusade in 1953.
This rapid process of multiplication of centres has brought the number of localities in Germany and Austria to a hundred and fifty; in the British Isles to a hundred and fifty-three; in Australasia to nearly a hundred and sixty; in Canada to a hundred and seventy-one; in the goal countries of Europe to nearly a hundred and seventy-five; in the fast-awakening Indian sub-continent to nearly two hundred and thirty; in Latin America to nearly three hundred and sixty; in the entire Pacific area to nearly six hundred; in Persia to more than one thousand and eighty; in the rapidly developing African continent to over fifteen hundred; and in the United States of America to nearly one thousand six hundred.
Particularly noteworthy is the rate of increase which has occurred in



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the four widely dispersed areas of the Indian sub-continent, Latin America, the Pacific area, and the continent of Africa. Since the announcement made by the Guardian in his Ridvan Message of 1957, the number of centres in the Indian sub-continent has almost doubled. In Latin America, the gain has been even more striking, from approximately a hundred and thirty to almost three hundred and sixty, a truly remarkable achievement in so short a space of time, and one contributing significantly to the fulfilment of the goal of a National Assembly in every republic of Central and South America. Throughout the Pacific region there has been an increase of more than three hundred centres in a four-year period, testifying to those spiritual potentialities mentioned in Shoghi Effendi's frequent references to the establishment and spread of the Faith in the countries of the Asiatic mainland and the islands of the Pacific. The total of more than fifteen hundred centres in Africa reflects the addition of nearly one thousand localities since 1957 when he so proudly announced in his last Ridvan Message that the total had reached a level of more than five hundred and fifty.
After the formation during the current Ridvan period of twenty-one National Spiritual Assemblies in Latin America, a total of forty-eight National and Regional Assemblies will be functioning throughout the Bahá'í world as the supreme, divinely-ordained administrative institutions of their respective countries and areas.
The total number of Local Spiritual Assemblies, the foundation upon which the entire Bahá'í administrative structure rests, is now nearly one thousand eight hundred and fifty, an increase of three hundred and eighty-five over the number reported in last year's Convention Message, and a further substantial increase will occur this year, as the fruit of the stupendous efforts exerted in all the continents of the globe to fulfil both the original and the supplementary goals of the Ten Year Plan. Two hundred and sixty-five of these local bodies are now incorporated, an objective to which the beloved Guardian attached great importance. Nearly twenty new registrations were secured during the past year, chiefly in the Western Hemisphere, in regions as widespread as Alaska, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Peru, and Chile. The incorporation of the four Brazilian Assemblies of Curitiba, Sdo Caetano, Campinas and Niteroi in one year, bringing the total in that country to eight, as well as the registration of the Local Assembly of Chiclayo, Peru, represent particularly significant victories, as both Brazil and Peru now have the unique distinction of being the first sovereign countries in the Bahá'í world to attain the goal of incorporation of every one of the Local Spiritual Assemblies within their borders. Another notable achievement of the past year was the incorporation of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Victoria,



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British Cameroons, the first in this region of West Africa, and one which undoubtedly will open the way for legal recognition of the Faith in other countries and dependencies of that important area.
The goal of translating the literature of the Faith into the indigenous languages of the territories included in the Ten Year Plan has, in most cases, been accomplished, and the supplemental achievements in this important field have exceeded all expectations. Since the inauguration of the Crusade translations have been completed in no less than one hundred and eighty-four different languages, eighty-one of which represent original or revised objectives, and the remaining one hundred and three supplementary achievements. All of the goals for translation have been fulfilled in the languages specified for Europe and the Americas, and nearly all of those for Africa; only ten in Asia remain to be completed. Including those already in existence before the opening of the Crusade, Bahá'í literature has now been translated into two hundred and seventy-three different languages, one hundred and twenty-five of these since the passing of the beloved Guardian.
The Ten Year Plan called for the acquisition of eleven sites for future Bahá'í Houses of Worship. Most of these were purchased in the early years of the Crusade, the last one having been added in 1958. Acquisition of Temple sites was also an objective of many of the supplementary plans given to various National and Regional Assemblies. Including the original eleven, no less than forty such sites have now been acquired, among these plots in all but two of the twenty republics of Latin America, foreshadowing the day when peoples in all the continents and major areas of the world can assemble for worship under the dome of future Mashriqu'l-Adkars.
Recognition of the independent character of the Faith by civil authorities, an objective constantly urged upon the friends by the beloved Guardian, has been further advanced during the past year through the action of school officials in twelve additional cities of the United States giving recognition to the Bahá'í Holy Days. Over ninety jurisdictions throughout the world now grant the Faith this form of recognition. During the past year the Bahá'í Marriage Certificate has been legalized in Louisiana in the United States, bringing to twenty-nine the number of states and federal districts in that country which recognize the right of Bahá'í Assemblies to conduct legal marriage ceremonies.
The extraordinary increase in the number of Bahá'í summer schools, winter schools, week-end schools, teaching conferences and congresses throughout the Bahá'í world, in both the East and the West, precludes detailed enumeration at this time, but bears witness to the greatly increased community activity of the believers and the range of that phase of



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their teaching efforts, aimed at deepening the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in their knowledge and understanding of His Faith. Also of significance has been the increase of endowments, a number of which have been contributed by devoted, newly-enrolled African believers who have, out of their meagre holdings, insisted on donating land for local Haziratu'l-Quds and schools.
In reviewing the extraordinary progress which has been made in achieving so many objectives of the Ten Year Plan, sufficient tribute could never be paid to the services rendered by the followers of the Faith in Bahá'u'lláh's native land. This oldest community in the Balid'i world, from whose ranks its early saints, heroes and martyrs were drawn, has poured forth its substance, and an army of pioneers, in a steadily mounting stream for the support of every undertaking embarked upon in every continent of the globe.
The eighth year of the world-embracing Crusade now drawing to a close has witnessed an unprecedented movement of pioneers from both Persia and America into the goal cities of Europe, paralleling and indeed surpassing that which occurred in Latin America in the months preceding the great victory won in that region last Ridvan. This stupendous effort, the first of its kind to join the two foremost communities of the Balid'i world in an international undertaking of such transcendent importance has, through the operation of the Joint Deputization Fund and the settlement of pioneers, assured the formation of the requisite number of Local Assemblies specified by the beloved Guardian as objectives of the homefront campaigns in the goal countries of the European continent, aimed at quadrupling the number of Local Assemblies existing at the beginning of the Crusade-the highest objective set by him for any home front in the Balid'i World Community.
This glorious victory represents a significant milestone in that "fate laden" process set in motion by the beloved Guardian in 1946 when he made "the initiation of systematic teaching activity in war-torn, spiritually famished European continent" a primary objective of the second Seven Year Plan launched in that year, and which constituted the second stage in the unfoldment of the world mission given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the American believers. In calling for a vanguard of pioneers to inaugurate the "spiritual conquest of the old world", he looked forward to the time when, "in the years to come", a host of Bahá'u'lláh's standard-bearers would "spiritually raise up the sorely ravaged continent of Europe." This confident hope of our beloved Guardian will become a reality this Ridvan when, as the fruit of the labours of this host of pioneers, the foundations for eleven future pillars of the Universal House of Justice will be laid, paving the way for the establishment of these divinely ordained institutions in the Ridvan period of 1962.



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The evolution of the World Centre of the Faith so often alluded to by the beloved Guardian in his references to the rise and development of the institutions functioning in the Holy Land, will enter another stage this Ridvan when the International Bahá'í Council, the forerunner of the Universal House of Justice, will be transformed into a duly elected body. This highly significant event, the first international election in Bahá'í history, has placed upon the members of the National and Regional Assemblies formed last Ridvan the obligation of participating in the election of a body to whose membership believers in every part of the world are eligible.
The process of erecting a Bahá'í House of Worship in each of the five continents of the globe, a task of far-reaching spiritual significance and one to which the beloved Guardian attached immense importance, may be said to have entered its final stage with the opening in Kampala, Uganda, of the completed Mother Temple of Africa last January, the contemplated dedication of the Mother Temple of the Antipodes in Sydney, Australia next September, and the laying of the corner-stone of the Mother Temple of Europe in Frankfurt, Germany last November. No one could have foreseen, when the vast panorama of the World Crusade was spread before our eyes in 1953, that in the eighth year of its prosecution Africa would snatch the palm of victory in yet another field.
The beautiful and dignified African Temple, enthroned like a queen on Kikaya Hill, overlooking the City of Kampala and the rolling green countryside, seems to emanate a warm and personal welcome to all who behold it, and is already demonstrating the truth of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's words that these Temples are great silent teachers of the Faith. On the day of its dedication the words of Bahá'u'lláh, recited in Persian, Arabic, many African languages and English, flowed over the assembled believers from East Africa, Abyssinia, Eritrea, Rhodesia, Ruanda-Urundi, South Africa, the Sudan, Arabia, Persia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the United States and other places, in mighty waves of benediction, lifting all hearts in praise of Him, and filling the souls of the friends with awe at the contemplation of the bounties of God poured forth in this Day of Days in such supreme abundance. On the day following this profound experience of Bahá'í fellowship, the Temple was formally opened to the public for worship; the crowds, representative of not only tile African peoples, but of European, Indian, Sikh, and other elements in the population, filled the Temple to its open doors and overflowed onto its surrounding terrace, an attentive, colourful and reverent throng united, for perhaps the first time, in a service of worship dedicated to the oneness of mankind, to the establishment of world peace and the creation of a society founded on the brotherhood of all men and the fatherhood of their common Creator.



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The blessings which this Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is now releasing in the heart of what once was termed the "dark continent" but which now may be truly said to have become the "bright continent" are indeed incalculable. Already similar blessings are beginning to flow out from the first Bahá'í House of Worship to be erected in the Southern Hemisphere, where thousands of people, in, anticipation of its forthcoming dedication, are visiting the Sydney Temple, receiving literature, asking questions and broadcasting news of the progress of Bahá'í activities throughout Australia.
There remains the construction, in the centre of that continent which is the cradle of western civilization, amongst peoples highly gifted but sorely disillusioned, often hopeless and cynical through direct experience of two cataclysmic wars, of the third great House of Worship which Shoghi Effendi called upon us to erect during this period of unparalleled expansion in all fields of Bahá'í activity. We have witnessed how far-reaching has been the effect of the completion in the heart of America of that most holy Temple dedicated by the Centre of the Covenant Himself; we now see before our eyes the new and powerful teaching influence which the African and Australian Temples are releasing. We cannot for a moment contemplate depriving the European continent and its spiritually famished multitudes of a similar blessing. A supreme effort is required, however, if we are to accomplish this purpose. The fanatical and calculated opposition of certain ecclesiastical elements in Germany has delayed, until the eighth year of the World Crusade, purchase of a site for and permission to build a Bahá'í House of Worship there. At long last the work has commenced, and there are bright prospects for the speedy erection of this building, whose design was approved by the beloved Guardian himself and for the support of which he urged the entire Bahá'í world to rally its forces. Unfortunately, the steady rise in prices in Europe, and particularly in Germany, since the passing of the Guardian, will now entail a tremendous increase in cost. This, as well as the maintenance abroad of that precious corps of pioneers in Latin America and Europe, whose steadfast and devoted services are the buttress of the newly elected Local Assemblies upon which the future pillars of the Universal House of Justice must rest, as well as the support of the various activities which are the mainstay of the mass conversion beginning at long last to take place will, if we are to meet our obligations and achieve our goals, require on the part of every single believer, whatever his or her personal circumstances, whether in the East or the West, a tremendous and unprecedented degree of self-sacrifice in the support of the various funds, the bedrock upon which all Bahá'í activity inevitably rests. Face to face with the gravity of our present obligations, we must never for a moment lose heart. We have never failed. Our record is unblemished. Miraculously, at the



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last hour, battles greater and more critical in the fortunes of our Faith have been won.
That the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, the "priceless gem of Divine Revelation enshrining", as the Guardian wrote, "the Spirit of God and incarnating His Purpose for mankind in this age", "feeds itself upon . . . hidden springs of celestial strength" and "propagates itself by ways mysterious and utterly at variance with the standards accepted by the generality of mankind" is, in every field of Bahá'í activity, being constantly demonstrated, but perhaps in no field as clearly as that of the teaching work. The vast process of mass conversion, in fulfilment of Shoghi Effendi's expressed wish that during this fourth phase of the Ten Year Plan "an unprecedented increase in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, should take place, is beginning to yield its first fruits.
Little wonder that these fruits are, for the most part, being garnered in lands and amongst peoples who have retained, he said, their "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."
In a little over a decade the ranks of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in the African continent-now representing no less than two hundred and eighty-six tribes-have swelled to twenty thousand, ten thousand alone having been added since the passing of the beloved Guardian in 1957. "The pure-hearted and the spiritually receptive Negro race" which, he testified, was "so dearly loved by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, for whose conversion to His Father's Faith He so deeply yearned", is now beginning to take its rightful place in the Bahá'í world; already seven national and regional bodies are representative of areas where the majority of the electorate belong to this distinguished race. The possibilities for an unprecedented enrolment of new believers in these areas are practically limitless, particularly in the African continent, and may be said to be solely dependent on a wider dispersal of Bahá'í pioneers and teachers and the provision of the necessary financial assistance in support of plans that are already formulated and only held in abeyance through lack of sufficient manpower and means.
Concomitant with the remarkable advances made in Africa, the Pacific region, upon which the Guardian lavished so much praise and encouragement during the last years of his life, and of whose newly-won victories he was so immensely proud, is witnessing a comparable expansion



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amongst the many peoples scattered throughout its islands and peninsulas who are as yet unspoiled by the blighting winds of Western materialism. In the Island of Mentawai alone there are now over five thousand Bahá'ís whilst in the entire Southeast Asian area the number of the adherents of the Faith has swelled to well over eight thousand. Throughout the islands of the Pacific Ocean the far-flung Bahá'í communities are rapidly expanding and steadily increasing numbers of their varied races are being enrolled under the banner of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. In the Indian sub-continent, one of the earliest regions to receive His Message during His Own lifetime, a wave of conversion is spreading amongst some of its more primitive people in the Madhya Pradesh area, over five hundred of whom have embraced the Cause during the last few months.
In conjunction with the extraordinary progress which has taken place in the spread and consolidation of the Faith throughout the Western Hemisphere during the last few years, a less conspicuous but equally important advance can be seen in a field to which both the Master and the Guardian attached the highest significance. Almost half a century ago 'Abdu'l-Bahá instructed the believers in the United States and Canada to "attach great importance to the . . . original inhabitants of America", promising that the Indians, like the original inhabitants of Arabia who accepted and supported Muhammad would, when educated and guided, "become so enlightened that the whole earth will be Illumined." The nineteenth objective of that portion of the World Crusade entrusted in 1953 to the American Bahá'í Community by its Guardian was the "conversion to the Faith of members of the leading Indian tribes." At a steadily accelerating pace this immensely significant process of conversion has gone on until at the present time we are witnesses of an event of extraordinary historic importance, the election in Bolivia of a National Bahá'í Assembly representative of a community the vast majority of whom belong to the Aymara race. No less than thirteen hundred of these Indians, in over one hundred localities have, with enthusiasm and conviction, embraced the Faith and are responsible for the formation during this present Ridvan of over twenty Local Assemblies, thus directly fulfilling the expressed wish of the Guardian that the Indians be elected to the councils of the Faith and lend their support to its administrative activities.
The establishment of Indian Assemblies in Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico-areas which were the scene of such mighty pre-Colombian civilizations as those of the Incas, the Mayas, and the Aztecs; the formation of no less than four Assemblies representative of Canadian Indians in the Yukon, Alberta and Saskatchewan; the fact that there are now over forty Indian and Eskimo tribes represented in the Bahá'í Community throughout the Western Hemisphere-more than double the number in



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1957-all testify that the devoted followers of Bahá'u'lláh, in both the East and the West, are mindful of the tremendously significant words of their beloved Guardian at the inception of the World Crusade, and are devoting special attention to the teaching work in these infinitely fertile fields.
At the moment when such great victories have been won, when such significant events are taking place, when the Ten Year Plan, the detailed, unique and precious Plan of Shoghi Effendi embodying his fondest hopes, and setting forth so clearly those tasks the accomplishment of which in their entirety must constitute the rock foundation of the work to come for generations, is drawing to a close--at such a moment we should pause and weigh once again the implications of those words he addressed to the first Intercontinental Teaching Conference held in Africa at the opening of the World Crusade: "I welcome", he said, "with open arms the unexpectedly large number of the representatives of the pure-hearted and the spiritually receptive Negro race ... I acclaim the preponderance of the members of this same race at so significant a Conference ... 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 Bahá'í fellowship."
There can be no doubt that one of the deepest sources of satisfaction to the heart of our beloved Guardian during the closing years of his life was the remarkable progress being made in carrying the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh to the members of these races. Their enrolment as Bahá'ís however, was far from being his ultimate goal. He desired their "active participation in the administration of the affairs of Bahá'í communities." This desire of his is now being rapidly fulfilled all over the world.
Significant as these other plans and considerations may be, there was a dream of the future in Shoghi Effendi's mind, a vision of things to come. This Crusade, he pointed out at its very inception, has been launched "for the systematic propagation of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh over the surface of the entire planet. . . ." "It must, as it approaches its climax, carry the torch of the Faith to regions so remote, so backward, so inhospitable that neither the light of Christianity or Islam has, after the revolution of centuries, as yet penetrated." Already in Africa, in the Pacific, and in the Americas, the first attacks on these remote outposts of paganism have been made and members of tribes as yet unconverted to any of the great living religions of the world have accepted, with steadfast and Illumined hearts, the regenerating truths enshrined in the Revelation of God for this



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Day. But beyond all this there were still heights and depths of service not yet attained, shining prizes within our reach, which Shoghi Effendi longed for us to seize, to which his eyes travelled with yearning and hope as he gazed upon the vision of our future. To all his "dearly loved ... onward marching legions of the army of Bahá'u'lláh-whether they laboured beyond the Arctic Circle, in the torrid zones of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, on the borders or in the heart of the jungles of Burma, Malaya, India or the Amazon, on the fringes of the African and Arabian deserts, in the lonely islands dotting the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans or the North Sea, whether they scaled the mountains of Tibet, penetrated the interior of China, Mongolia and Japan, sat with the leper, consorted with the outcast, traversed the steppes of Russia or the wastes of Siberia --"I direct", he wrote, "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 hosannas from the invisible angels in the Abha Kingdom, celebrate the hour of final victory."
The brilliant plans, the daring campaigns, initiated by the Guardian during the thirty-six years of his ministry to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh have borne fruit, during the eighth year of his World Crusade, in a manner and to a degree the staunchest believer would never have dreamed possible during that dark and fateful period associated with his passing. Great, however, as our present victories are, we must never for a moment lose sight of the fact that the crown of so much labour, and sacrifice will elude our grasp if the remaining objectives of the Ten Year Plan are not achieved and the prizes already won are not safeguarded during the two years that lie ahead of us.
The consolidation of the various home fronts, a task of such fundamental importance that 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Himself repeatedly stressed it as early as 1916 in His Tablets of the Divine Plan, must receive the special attention of all national bodies, whether presently or previously formed, throughout the entire Bahá'í world, for the home fronts, and primarily the formation of the number of Local Spiritual Assemblies specified by the Guardian himself for each one of them, are the bedrock upon which rest those pillars which must, at the end of the Crusade, sustain the weight of the Universal House of Justice itself. The Crusade "must," he wrote, "as it approaches its conclusion, pave the way for the laying, on an unassailable foundation, of the structural basis of an Administrative Order whose fabric must, in the course of successive Crusades, be laboriously erected throughout the entire globe. . ."
The process of carrying the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to all the peoples of the world must be accelerated, for He Himself ordained teaching as



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one of the primary duties of every single one of His followers. When broken in strength and advanced in years 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in those Tablets which constitute the Charter of teaching activities for centuries to come, recalled in most touching terms His own labours to spread the Faith of His Father and warned the believers against the vanity of all other preoccupations. "You have observed," He wrote, "that while 'Abdu'l-Bahá was in the utmost bodily weakness and feebleness, while He was indisposed, and had not the power to move ... He travelled through many countries . . ." "What result", He asked, "is forthcoming from material rest, tranquillity, luxury and attachment to this corporeal world! It is evident that the man who pursues these things will in the end become afflicted with regret and loss."
Shoghi Effendi pointed out to us, at the very inception of the Crusade, that the prosecution of all the other vital tasks he had enumerated as objectives of his world-embracing Plan, would "fail to achieve their supreme purpose if not supplemented by the equally vital task ... of winning to the Faith fresh recruits to the slowly yet steadily advancing army of the Lord of Hosts, Whose reinforcing strength is so essential to the safeguarding of the victories which the band of heroic Bahá'í conquerors are winning in the course of their several campaigns in all continents of the globe."
No words could better direct the attention of the friends to the significance of the immediate three-fold task that confronts the entire Bahá'í world-the consolidation of the home fronts, the process of mass conversion and the rearing of the Mother Temple of Europe-than these written by our beloved Guardian himself long ago, on another occasion, but in words so pregnant with meaning for this hour in which we find ourselves that they seem to have been written yesterday: "Ours is the duty to fix our gaze with undeviating attention on the duties and responsibilities confronting us at this present hour, to concentrate our resources, both material and spiritual, on the tasks that lie immediately ahead, to ensure that no time is wasted, that no opportunity is missed, that no obligation is evaded, that no task is hAli-heartedly performed, that no decision is procrastinated. The task summoning us to a challenge, unprecedented in its gravity and force, is too vast and sacred, the time too short, the hour too perilous, the workers too few, the call too insistent, the resources too inadequate, for us to allow these precious and fleeting hours to slip from our grasp, and to suffer the prizes within our reach to be endangered or forfeited. So much depends upon us, so pregnant with possibilities is the present stage in the evolution of the Plan, that great and small, individuals, groups and Assemblies, white and coloured, young and old, neophytes and veterans, settlers, pioneers, itinerant teachers and administrators, as isolated believers, as organizers of groups, and as contributors to the formation of Local or National Assemblies, as builders of the Temple ...



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all, without exception and in every sphere of activity, however modest, restricted, or inconspicuous, must participate and labour, assiduously and continually, until every ounce of our energy is spent, until, tired but blissful, our promised harvest is brought in, and our pledge to our Beloved fully redeemed."
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


ELECTION OF THE 21 INDEPENDENT LATIN AMERICAN
NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES
RIDVAN 1961

To the Hands of the Cause, Auxiliary Board Members, Representatives of National Assemblies, Delegates and Believers Gathered During Ridvan 118, at the Historic Conventions for the Election of Independent National Spiritual Assemblies in the Following Countries:

ArgentinaDominican RepublicMexico
BoliviaEcuadorNicaragua
BrazilEl SalvadorPanama
ChileGuatemalaParaguay
ColombiaHaitiPeru
Costa RicaHondurasUruguay
CubaJamaicaVenezuela

Beloved Friends:
On the glorious and historic occasion of the formation of no less than 21 independent National Spiritual Assemblies throughout Latin America let us lift up our hearts in praise to Bahá'u'lláh for the blessings He has poured forth so abundantly on the labours of His servants and for the fruition of yet another cherished plan of our beloved Guardian.
It is now almost ninety years since Bahá'u'lláh in the Mother Book of His Revelation, raised His "clarion call", addressed collectively to the rulers of the Republics of the Western Hemisphere, and summoned them to take "advantage of the Day of God". From the moment when the Supreme Manifestation poured forth His bounties upon the Western Hemisphere until this auspicious day when no less than 24 independent national Bahá'í bodies, stretching from Alaska to Chile, have been constituted, the New World has received a never-ending stream of blessings from on High.
Before we look to the future of the work in Latin America we would do well to cast a glance over die past and remember the exploits that have



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led up to this present hour of consummation. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, planted the seed of victory when He called upon the believers to make every effort "so that those Republics may become so Illumined with the splendours and the effulgences of the Sun of Reality that they may become the objects of the praise and commendation of all other countries". Already, during His Own lifetime, a few consecrated souls, among them she whom the Guardian characterized as "that star servant of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, the incomparable Martha Root" had visited some of the Latin American republics and begun to teach there. However, it was not until the inauguration by the beloved Guardian in 1937 of the first "Seven Year Plan", the object of which, as he wrote, was "the establishment of a minimum of one Bahá'í centre in each of the Republics of Middle and South America". . . "for whose entry into the fellowship of Bahá'u'lláh the Plan was primarily formulated", that the few isolated Bahá'ís scattered throughout that vast area were reinforced in their labours by an official and systematic campaign conducted by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada under the direct guidance of Shoghi Effendi himself. In 1938 he called upon the friends to "launch an offensive against the powers of darkness, of corruption, and of ignorance, an offensive that must extend to the uttermost end of the Southern continent, and embrace within its scope each of the twenty nations that compose it". By 1944, the end of the first Seven Year Plan, which coincided with the glorious first centenary of the inception of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, the devoted band of North American pioneers now reinforced by many new native Bahá'ís had succeeded in establishing no less than fifteen Spiritual Assemblies in the Republics of Central and South America, and in forming groups in the remaining five.
These early victories so stiffed the heart of the beloved Guardian that he said the opening of Latin America would "come to be regarded as one of the most glorious chapters in the international history of their Faith". By 1947, soon after the second Seven Year Plan was launched at his instruction, the Centres in Latin America had grown to over a hundred and the Assemblies had reached thirty-seven, an increase of twenty-two in a three-year period. One of the most "vital objectives", to use his own words, of this second Seven Year Plan, was the formation of two Latin American National Assemblies, one to be representative of the believers of Central and the other of South America. Fourteen years ago the beloved Guardian heralded those two bodies as "precursors of the institutions which must participate in the election, and contribute to the support, of the Universal House of Justice", and stated their function was to lead to the constitution of a "properly elected, fully representative National



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Assembly" in each republic of Central and South America. This, he said, would constitute the last stage in the administrative evolution of the Faith in Latin America.
The victories achieved during the first Seven Year Plan, the remarkable progress made during the interim before the second Seven Year Plan was launched, so rejoiced the heart of the beloved Guardian that he lifted up his voice and testified-in words that must forever be a crown upon the heads of the Bahá'ís of all Latin America-to the greatness of their achievements. "No Community", he wrote, "since the inception of the hundred-year-old Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not even the community of the Most Great Name in the North American continent, can boast of an evolution as rapid, a consolidation as sound, a multiplication of centres as swift, as those that have marked the birth and rise of the community of His followers in Latin America", a Community he called "this privileged, this youngest, this dynamic and highly promising member of the organic Bahá'í World Community". His love flowed out to them in a mighty wave, in glowing words he welcomed that Community into full partnership in the affairs of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and asserted that ". . . the eager, the warm-hearted, the spiritually minded and staunch members of these Latin American Bahá'í communities . . ." were now "launched on their crusade for the spiritual conquest of the whole planet. . ."
With the release of the stupendous program of the World Crusade in Ridvan 1953, the destiny of the Latin American Republics became clear. Magnificent, staggering-a youthful Community gazed in awe at the tasks allotted it! Fourteen virgin territories became its responsibility to open to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in a ten-year period, territories most of the Bahá'ís of the world had never heard of and whose location was a mystery to them! Twenty national Bahá'í headquarters were to be established in the twenty capital cities of Latin America and two sites for future Bahá'í Temples were to be purchased. The two recently formed National Assemblies responsible for the work in these twenty countries must have asked themselves how such feats could ever be accomplished by the new Assemblies, the struggling groups, the scattered isolated believers under their jurisdiction. Other projects were added to these, either in the original Crusade Plan or at a later date. The worthiness of the new Latin American Community, which had now taken its rightful place in the Bahá'í world, was soon demonstrated. With the never-failing help of its devoted and loving Mother Community in North America, it shouldered its sacred burdens, clung tenaciously to the precious work entrusted to it by its Guardian, and forged ahead from victory to victory. He had called upon it in 1947 to "rise to the heights of the glorious opportunity which destiny is unfolding before its members". It arose, and so nobly did the Latin American



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Bahá'ís fulfil their trust that in 1955 the Guardian announced to the Bahá'í world that in 1957 he would increase the number of National Assemblies responsible for the work throughout that area to four, dividing Central and South America, respectively, into two Regions, thus facilitating the administration of the rapidly expanding work in each area. Fresh bounties and new evidences of the high regard in which the Guardian held these believers in the Latin countries of the New World were steadily forthcoming up until the very end of his life. He urged them, as supplementary goals, to secure a Bahá'í endowment in each Republic and a Bahá'í Temple site in the eighteen countries without one. He indicated that Jamaica would form a National Assembly of its own by including her in the roll call of delegates to one of the last Conventions held before his passing. In numerous Messages to the Bahá'í world, to Assemblies and individuals, he praised the devotion of the believers, extolled their services, listed their victories, and painted a glowing picture of their future.
In less than a quarter of a century the seeds so widely sown have yielded the harvest being reaped today in the name of Shoghi Effendi according to the provisions of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and through the mighty spiritual impetus imparted by Bahá'u'lláh. The event the entire Bahá'í world, in this blessed Ridvan period, is celebrating, is of a nature unequalled in the annals of our Faith. Twenty-one countries are at one and the same time reaching the last stage of their administrative evolution through the election of their independent National Assemblies. That vast area, "an area", as Shoghi Effendi was wont to say, "extending from the southern confines of the Great Republic of the West to the extremity of Chile", has now come of age in the conduct of its affairs. The pillars which must assist in bearing the weight of the Universal House of Justice so soon to be constituted, have been safely erected.
At this breath-taking moment of fulfilment, before plunging into the great work that lies ahead of them, it is essential that these Communities, and above all the members of their newly-elected National Assemblies, take stock of their present position and survey the tasks still to be accomplished, tasks clearly set forth by the Guardian himself. As these new national Bahá'í communities face the future they should, we feel, above all else, remember, cherish and foster the unity of purpose and spirit which has consistently characterized their growth and which was so carefully inculcated in them by Shoghi Effendi himself. We cannot urge upon the believers too strongly the necessity of maintaining this supranational quality of Bahá'í life regardless of the new-found independence of their national communities. The close and loving cooperation which has existed between different Latin American Communities in the field of teaching and publications should continue in order to consolidate the work already



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initiated and economize the very limited funds of the Faith available for Bahá'í literature, as well as to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and ensure a uniform and high standard in the matter of translations.
Our beloved Guardian, on various occasions, set many specific goals for Latin America, particularly in the subsidiary Six Year Plans given to the four Regional Assemblies formed in 1957. The believers and their newly elected national representatives must now keep these goals constantly before them, and exert the utmost effort to assure their accomplishment.
The Local Spiritual Assemblies, groups and isolated centres which have, at the cost of so much self-sacrifice and devotion on the part of both native and foreign pioneers, been raised to, and in some cases have even surpassed, the number specified by the beloved Guardian, must be safeguarded at any price during the coming years and, indeed, multiplied. The consolidation of the home fronts, and the preservation of the precious goals so laboriously won, must be regarded as a paramount duty at this critical period which inevitably follows the birth of any new national community. Each National Assembly must bear in mind that the foundation of Local Assemblies upon which it rests constitutes, however indirectly, the foundation of the Universal House of Justice itself, and that the pillars of this mighty institution must under no circumstances be weakened at the very moment when the dome is about to be placed upon them.
The separate incorporation of each new National Assembly, as well as all firmly grounded Local Assemblies, is likewise an important phase of the work to be undertaken in each of the Republics, and in Jamaica, and constitutes one of the most fundamental ways of consolidating the tasks already carried forward during twenty-four years in such a remarkable manner. Likewise, every effort should be made to win recognition for the Bahá'í Holy Days on which work is suspended and to secure permission to perform Bahá'í marriages legally.
The beloved Guardian, in a momentous communication addressed jointly to the National Assemblies of Central and South America in 1951, listed "the consolidation of the recently inaugurated national and local Funds" as one of the foremost responsibilities of these newly-formed regional administrative bodies. During the remaining months of the World Crusade when the financial requirements for attaining total victory are so great, the friends must be made aware of the need for a steady and continuous flow of contributions to their National Funds, an outpouring which the beloved Guardian characterized as "the life-blood of those nascent institutions" The spiritual significance and blessing of voluntary giving in support of Bahá'í activities should be strongly emphasized by the new National Assemblies as they acquaint the members of their communities with the obligations which they must now discharge.



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The emphasis placed by Shoghi Effendi on the importance of ensuring the wide dissemination of properly translated books on the Faith, as well as on the holding of an increasing number of regular summer schools and regional conferences, must never be forgotten and every effort should be made to implement his instructions given as long ago as 1947. "Other agencies," he wrote, "such as publicity and advertising in the press, the multiplication of accurate and improved radio scripts, the extension of teaching projects through regional teaching committees, visual education and the organization of public meetings, should be fully utilized to capture the attention, win the sympathy, and secure the active and unreserved support of a steadily increasing proportion of the population of the various Latin American republics".
Of the precious new territories given at the beginning of the Ten Year Plan to the two National Spiritual Assemblies of Central and South America, two of which were subdivided by the Guardian himself at a later date, those still assigned to the Latin American regional bodies, as well as the consolidation areas allotted to these same Assemblies, must continue to be the responsibility of the believers and their elected representatives, at least until the globe-encircling Crusade ends in 1963. After carefully considering the geographical relationship of these territories, now numbering twenty, as well as other factors, we have reapportioned them among the new national bodies as follows:
To Chile, the three goals of chiloe, Juan Fernandez, and Easter Islands; to Brazil, the six goals of British and French Guiana, Surinam, and the Islands of Trinidad, Barbados and Grenada; whilst Venezuela has been allocated the two goals of Curacao and Margarita. Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic have each been apportioned one goal, respectively, as follows: Tuamotu Archipelago, British Honduras, Galapagos, Martinique, and the Virgin Islands. Jamaica, the only territory outside the twenty Latin American countries to achieve the status of an independent national community at this time, will be responsible for the four goals of the Bahamas, Bermuda, Antigua and St. Lucia.
Last but not least of the great responsibilities now laid squarely upon the shoulders of not only the elected representatives of these new national Bahá'í communities but upon the rank and file of the believers of all twenty-one countries, is the teaching work in that area, where as the Guardian wrote, "the first fruits of the Divine Plan ... have already been garnered in such abundance", and which he characterized as "the vital process of individual conversion". Bahá'u'lláh has, in numerous Tablets, made teaching the paramount spiritual obligation of every single believer. The whole purpose of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan is to teach the Faith of His Father to all the peoples of the world. As long ago as the time when



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the first Seven Year Plan was given to the Bahá'ís of North America by the beloved Guardian, he pointed out to them that the purpose for which they had so laboriously erected the administrative machinery of their Faith was to teach, and that now they must arise and use this instrument for this supreme purpose-the propagation of their Faith. On the occasion of the hAli-way point of the World Crusade, in the last Message the Bahá'í world was ever to receive from him, he associated the coming five years with mass conversion.
Now is the auspicious moment for the members of these new national communities "whose motherlands have been chosen", as Shoghi Effendi wrote, "as the scene of the earliest victories won by the prosecutors of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Divine Plan" --to arise and teach as never before. Let them recall the wonderful appeal the Guardian addressed to them: "Theirs is the opportunity, if they but seize it, to adorn the opening pages of the annals of the second Bahá'í century with a tale of deeds approaching in valour those with which their Persian brethren have illuminated the opening years of the first, and comparable with the exploits more recently achieved by their North American fellow-believers, and which have shed such lustre on the closing decade of that same century." These communities have now entered the period of "strenuous and organized labours" the Guardian spoke of, "by which future generations of believers in the Latin countries must distinguish themselves" in that period when, as he said, "native Latin American travelling teachers" will arise "who, as the mighty task progresses, must increasingly bear the brunt of responsibility for the propagation of the Faith in their homelands."
A bright picture stretches before the eyes of the believers in the New World and the harvest, in many places, stands ready for the garner's hand. The greatest possibilities for mass conversion at the present time are undoubtedly amongst the Indian tribes. As long ago as 1947 the Guardian wrote that particular attention should be directed to the "various Indian tribes, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Latin republics, whom the Author of the Tablets of the Divine Plan has compared to the 'ancient inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula"'. He then quoted the wonderful words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá regarding them: "Attach great importance to the indigenous population of America. For these souls may be likened unto the ancient inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula, who, prior to the Mission of Muhammad, were like unto savages. When the light of Muhammad shone forth in their midst, however, they became so radiant as to illumine the world. Likewise, these Indians, should they be educated and guided, there can be no doubt that they will become so Illumined as to enlighten the whole world."
How grateful all those believers must be who were in any way responsible



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for the beginning of this process of mass conversion among the Indians, which had already started during the lifetime of the beloved Guardian. What joy it brought him, with what enthusiasm he hailed the formation of the first all-Indian Local Assembly, how dear to his heart was the first Indian Institute at Chichicastenango, how frequently he spoke to pilgrims from East and West of the importance of this work and the progress it was making, and how carefully he noted in his records the names of the tribes enrolled in the Faith and the native languages into which Bahá'í literature had been translated. In his own words he clearly indicated for the believers of Latin America the manner in which he wished them to proceed in this all-important teaching field and clearly set forth the role he wished the new Indian Bahá'ís to play in both the administrative and teaching work of the Faith. "A special effort should be exerted to secure the unqualified adherence of members of some of these tribes to the Faith, their subsequent election to its councils, and their unreserved support of the organized attempts that will have to be made in the future by the projected National Assemblies for the large-scale conversion of Indian races to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh."
The duties devolving upon the newly elected National Assemblies and the communities they represent are manifold and arduous. The possibilities which lie before them are infinitely promising. Within this area, which has now come of age in the administration of its own affairs, there are black republics and white republics. Within at least one of these the majority of the believers are descended from the original inhabitants of the Americas. What a glorious demonstration of the oneness of mankind! What an opportunity these favoured new national communities have of exemplifying the reality of that brotherhood of man Bahá'u'lláh has asserted as the cardinal principle of His Faith!
No words could breathe more hope and confidence into the hearts of the believers in that favoured portion of the globe than those addressed to them by the beloved Guardian himself during the last year of his life: "May these communities, now standing on the threshold of unprecedented achievements, which have already, through their collective endeavours, ennobled the record of Bahá'í accomplishments during the last twenty years of the Formative Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation, who are so notably contributing, through their divers national characteristics, to the enrichment of the life of the International Bahá'í Community, be vouchsafed a still fuller measure of celestial strength, that will enable them to fulfil their high destiny in the years to come, and play their part in hastening the world-wide triumph of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and the firm establishment of its embryonic World Order."
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND



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Form Letter to All National Spiritual Assemblies
[Various dates, following receipt of ballots, 1961]

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
This will inform you that the nine sealed ballots for the election of the International Bahá'í Council, forwarded to Haifa by the Secretary of your Assembly, have been received.
These ballots will be opened and tabulated on the first day of Ridvan and the result of the election announced to the Bahá'í world during the Ridvan period.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


BAHA'I WILMETTE
APRIL 25,1961

DEEPEST GRATITUDE BAHA'U'LLAH'S UNFAILING BLESSINGS ENABLING BAHA'I WORLD EIGHTH YEAR CRUSADE ELECT INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL SUCCEEDING FIRST HISTORIC BODY APPOINTED BY GUARDIAN JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE MEMBERSHIP JESSIE REVELL ALI NAKHJAVANI LOTFULLAH HAKIM ETHEL REVELL CHARLES WOLCOTT SYLVIA Ioas, MILDRED MOTTAHEDEH IAN SEMPLE BORRAH KAVELIN STOP INVITE BELIEVERS JOIN US ARDENT PRAYERS HISTORIC STEP MAY RELEASE SPIRITUAL IMPETUS ASSIST ATTAINMENT GOALS SACRED PLAN SO DEAR HEART BELOVED GUARDIAN.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

BAHA'I WILMETTE
APRIL 26,1961

SHARE MESSAGE COUNCIL ELECTION ALL HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

CONVENTION CARE BAHAI WILMETTE
MAY 1, 1961

DEEPLY TOUCHED DETERMINATION AMERICAN BELIEVERS LOYALLY PROSECUTE BELOVED GUARDIAN'S CRUSADE ALL FIELDS UNTIL EVERY GOAL


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WON HIS NAME SUPPLICATING HOLY SHRINES STILL GREATER VICTORIES HOMEFRONT OVERSEAS MAY VINDICATE TRUST LOVE HONOUR HE SHOW ERED UPON MUCH LOVED COMMUNITY
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of...
[Sent to newly elected National Spiritual Assemblies]
May 23, 1961

Dearly beloved Friends:
With the passing of the beloved Guardian and the assumption of the direction of the affairs of the Cause by the Hands as Chief Stewards of the Faith, the bonds of unity amongst the friends and particularly the institutions of the Faith were greatly strengthened by action taken by the National Assemblies throughout the world in accepting the action of the Chief Stewards, and particularly their appointment of the body of nine Hands in the Holy Land, known legally as the "Custodians" of the Faith.
Resolutions were passed by all National Spiritual Assemblies expressing their approval of this action, their recognition of the Custodians as the supreme body of the Bahá'í world, and pledging full support to the Custodians.
All National Assemblies formed since that time have passed similar resolutions, and sent us signed copies.
We attach herewith a copy of a Resolution made by one of the National Assemblies which is a good example. Will you kindly arrange for the passing of such a resolution by your body, sending us a copy for our records signed in a form that makes it legally valid in your own country.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

Enclosure

Whereas this National Spiritual Assembly was duly elected and constituted as instructed by the Guardian of the Bahá'í World Faith, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, and in accordance with the administrative principles thereof, on the ( ) day of ( ) of ( ), and

Whereas by these same principles this National Spiritual Assembly constitutes the supreme administrative body of the Baha's of ( and in consequence thereof is empowered to act for and on behalf of all of the Bahá'ís of ( ), and



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Whereas all nine of the duly elected members of this National Spiritual Assembly have been consulted and their approval of that which is set forth herein below obtained, therefore

BE IT KNOWN BY ALL MEN PRESENT

That the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of does hereby approve and endorse the election by the Hands of the Cause of nine of their members to constitute the body of the Custodians of the Bahá'í World Faith, and that

We recognize this body of the Custodians of the Bahá'í World Faith to be the supreme body in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, and that

We pledge our full support, faith and allegiance to the body of the Custodians of the Bahá'í World Faith elected by the Hands of the Cause.


BAHA'I WILMETTE
MAY 28,1961

IMPELLED SHARE RECENT EVIDENCE VITALITY RAPID EXPANSION CONSOLIDATION BELOVED FAITH STOP TWENTY-ONE LATIN AMERICAN NATIONAL BODIES SUCCESSFULLY FORMED RAISING TOTAL NUMBER FORTY-EIGHT THROUGHOUT BAHA'I WORLD STOP FORMATION ALL EUROPEAN GOAL ASSEMBLIES INCLUDING ONE EXTRA HOLLAND DENMARK SPAIN EIGHT NEW ASSEMBLIES CEYLON NOW CONSTITUTES FIRM FOUNDATION ELECTION NEXT RIDVAN TWELVE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL BODIES FUTURE PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE STOP MASS CONVERSION STIPULATED LAST MESSAGE BELOVED GUARDIAN ESSENTIAL FEATURE SECOND HALF CRUSADE STEADILY GAINING MOMENTUM AFRICA INDIA SOUTH AMERICA STOP CENTRAL EAST AFRICA MEMBERSHIP INCREASED THREE THOUSAND SINCE MARCH STOP PAST FOUR MONTHS SEVENTEEN HUNDRED NEW BELIEVERS ENROLLED UJAIN DISTRICT INDIA STOP BOLIVIAN COMMUNITY NOW BOASTS FIFTEEN HUNDRED INDIAN BAHAIS TWENTY-FIVE LOCAL ASSEMBLIES LARGELY INDIAN MEMBERSHIP STOP CHAD RECENTLY OPENED FAITH RAISING COUNTRIES Illumined REVELATION Bahá'u'lláh, TWO HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT STOP CONSTANT EVIDENCES GRACE BLESSED PERFECTION REALIZATION DIVINE PLAN CENTRE COVENANT SUSTAINING INSPIRATION BELOVED GUARDIAN UPLIFT ALL HEARTS INSPIRE EVERY BELIEVER RENEWED EFFORT DETERMINATION WIN ALL GOALS STOP INVITE FRIENDS JOIN PRAYERS THANKSGIVING SUPPLICATION STILL GREATER VICTORIES STOP AIRMAIL COPY HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH



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To the Members of the International Bahá'í Council
June 25, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
We extend to you a most loving welcome on the auspicious occasion of your entering upon your historic services to the Cause of God at the World Centre of the Faith. We hope it will be richly rewarding to you and a source of joy to our beloved Guardian.
The evolution of the appointed International Council into one elected by the members of the National Assemblies of the Bahá'í world marks yet another step in the efflorescence of the Council into the Universal House of Justice. That you have been chosen by the friends at large to shoulder this responsibility of great importance makes your task indeed a grave one. We will be happy to assist you in every way in our power in the prosecution of your arduous duties.
Preliminary plans for our joint gatherings, and the meetings of your body have been arranged, as outlined in the attached memorandum.
With deepest love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

Program
THE INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL

June 25 -26, 1961

June 25th:
10:00 A.M.Hands and Council Members will meet in the Home of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Proceed to the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh for prayers.

Joint meeting in the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh.
Luncheon at Bahji

Continue meetings in the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh.
June 26th:
9:00 A.M.Meet in the Home of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Proceed to the Shrine of the Bab. and 'Abdu'l-Bahá for prayers.



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The Council will convene in the sitting room placed at their disposal for this purpose at No. 10 Persian Street. (This room was the one in which the beloved Guardian had his meals with the pilgrims, and the members of the appointed International Bahá'í Council.)
Meetings of the International Council will be held in the sitting room of No. 10 Persian Street.

The office of the International Bahá'í Council adjoins this room.

Further joint meetings of the Hands and International Bahá'í Council can be arranged as desired.


Assignments of the International Bahá'í Council

June 25, 1961
1 . Forge link with authorities of newly emerged State.
2. Conduct negotiations related to matters of personal status with civil authorities.
3. Legal protection of the international endowments of the Faith at the World Centre and completion, circumstances permitting, of plans made by the beloved Guardian for their extension.
4. Supervision of income-producing properties at the World Centre.
5. Assist the Hands in preparing for the World Congress to be held in Baghdad in 1963.
6. Assist the Hands in arrangements for the election of the Universal House of Justice.
7. Issue News Letter from the World Centre of the Faith.
8. Financial responsibility for work at the World Centre exclusive of affairs of the Hands of the Faith.
9. Handle guiding at Shrines.


BAHA'I WILMETTE
JUNE 25, 1961

REJOICE ANNOUNCE FIRST MOMENTOUS MEETING HANDS HOLY LAND ALL MEMBERS NEWLY ELECTED INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL HELD PRECINCTS HOLY


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SHRINE BAHA'U'LLAH CONSULTED MEASURES NECESSARY DISCHARGE HISTORIC DUTIES DESTINED FULFIL HIGH HOPES BELOVED GUARDIAN PAVE WAY ELECTION SUPREME HOUSE JUSTICE OCCASION MOST GREAT JUBILEE STOP SHARE MESSAGE HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL

EXCERPTS FROM MINUTES OF FIRST FULL MEETING.

25th June -5th July 1961

Present:Miss Jessie Revell, Mr. 'Ali Nakhjavani, Dr. Lutfu'llah Hakim, Miss Ethel Revell, Mr. Charles Wolcott, Mrs. Sylvia Ioas Mrs. Mildred Mottahedeh, Mr. Ian Semple, Mr. Borrah Kavelin.
June 25th:
1. The Council assembled in the House of 'Abdu'l-Bahá at 10 a.m. and drove with the Hands of the Cause of God to Bahji where a joint meeting was held following prayers in the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. The Hands explained the functions to be assigned to the Council and expressed their wish for all members of the Council to reside in Haifa. The problems this raised for members of the Council were discussed at some length, and details of the Terms of Reference were discussed. After prayers in the Room of Bahá'u'lláh the entire company returned to Haifa at about 6 p.m.
3. In the evening the Council met in the room assigned to it on the lower floor of the Western Pilgrim House. Jessie Revell was asked to act as temporary chairman and Ethel Revell as temporary secretary. The personal situation of each of the members not at present resident in Haifa was discussed and the following points were decided:
a) Ian Semple can remain in Haifa without more ado.
b) 'Ali Nakhjavani can come to reside in Haifa at a time subject to the solution of problems concerning the work of the African Hands and his own family.
c) Charles Wolcott can come to reside in Haifa at a time dependent upon the handing over of the work of the United States National Spiritual Assembly secretariat, and the working out of his own removal.
d) Mildred Mottahedeh can reside for alternating periods of two months in Haifa and two elsewhere.



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e) H. B. Kavelin cannot come to Haifa again during this Gregorian year but would come for 30 days early in 1962 and could then say what further time would be possible. He is eager to help with any work of the Council which can be assigned to him in the U.S.A.
f) Charles Wolcott, 'Ali Nakhjavani and Ian Semple would all J require financial support if resident in Haifa.
g) Mr. Kavelin's offer to resign if this would help the work of the Council was not accepted, and it was resolved that no member of the Council should resign at this time.
h) It was decided to convey the gist of the above points to the Hands of the Cause for their comment and decision.
June 26th:
4. The Council assembled at the Master's House at 9 a.m. and proceeded in company with the Hands to the Shrines of the Bab and 'Abdu'l-Bahá for prayers. A joint meeting was then held in the Master's House for the elucidation of a number of the points conveyed to the Hands from the previous night's meeting.
5. The Council then adjourned to its meeting room in the Western Pilgrim House and had a preliminary discussion of the Terms of Reference given to them by the Hands, which are as follows:
1) Forge links with authorities of newly emerged State.
2) Conduct negotiations related to matters of personal status with civil authorities.
3) Legal protection of the international endowments of the Faith at the World Centre and completion, circumstances permit-ting, of plans made by the beloved Guardian for their extension.
4) Supervision of income-producing properties at the World Centre.
5) Assist the Hands in preparing for the World Congress to be held in Baghdad in 1963.
6) Assist the Hands in arrangements for the election of the Universal House of Justice.
7) Issue News Letter from the World Centre of the Faith.
8) Financial responsibility for work at the World Centre exclusive of affairs of the Hands of the Faith.
9) Handle guiding at the Shrines.
6. The following daily timetable of meetings was accepted: 9 a.m. -12 noon, 4 -7 p.m., 8:30 -10:30 p.m.
7. Just before lunch the Council was called again to the Master's House to be informed by the Hands of their acceptance of the Council's recommendations on the service of their members in the


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Holy Land. The Hands further specified that the officers of the Council should be elected from among the members resident in the Holy Land, and that the Council was free to designate one of its members "Member at Large".
9. Upon assembling for its afternoon session the Council elected its officers, who are:
President:Mr. 'Ali Nakhjavani
Vice-President:Mrs. Sylvia Ioas
Secretary-general:Mr. Charles Wolcott
Treasurer:Miss Jessie Revell
Assistant Secretary:Mr. Ian Semple
10. Mr. H. B. Kavelin was designated Member at Large.
11. The Council then considered further the Terms of Reference and asked:
a) The Treasurer and Mr. Kavelin to prepare an estimated budget for the operating expenses of the Council.
b) The President, Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary to prepare an agenda on the basis of the Terms of Reference and the suggestions proposed during the preliminary consultations.
12. In place of the evening session the Council dined in the Master's House in the company of the Hands and other friends at the invitation of Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum.

June 27th:
13. The Council, with the exception of Dr. Lutfu'llah Hakim, spent the morning viewing the income-producing properties.
15. The Secretariat was instructed to acknowledge the messages of greeting received by the Council.
16. The Council considered the steps to be taken to acquaint the Israeli Authorities and the world at large with the election and officers of the new Council, and the following steps were recommended:
a) That we send messages of greeting to the President and Prime Minister of Israel and the Minister of Religions; these messages to be drafted by the Secretary-General and Mr. Kavelin.
b) That we seek audience with the President and/or the Minister of Religions to present two of the above messages. We shall ask the Hands if all the members of the Council should go, or only representatives.
c) It was noted that the above messages must be delivered before any publicity is released.
d) We shall suggest to the Hands that they call a Press Conference during the current meeting of the Council to announce its



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election and its officers. We would prepare a press release to be handed out at this conference.
e) Mr. Kavelin was asked to convey these recommendations to the Hands.
17. The Council also decided to ask the Hands through Mr. Kavelin if they would request certain of their number to consult with us on matters affecting approaches to the Authorities, matters of personal status, protection of endowments and care of properties.

June 28th:
33. The Council considered the problems raised by the question of including the World Congress, the election of the Universal House of Justice and the election of National Spiritual Assemblies all within the twelve days of Ridvan, 1963. It was decided to recommend to the Hands that, in accordance with the precedent set by the beloved Guardian in 1944, the elections of the National Spiritual Assemblies in 1963 be held on 23rd May, or some suitable subsequent date, leaving to the decision of each National Spiritual Assembly whether this election should be by postal ballot or at a Convention.
34, For the World Congress itself the Council decided to make the following recommendations to the Hands:
a) In his cablegram of 24th December 1951 the beloved Guardian spoke of "summoning assemblage representative communities all sovereign states, chief dependencies, islands, entire planet." In view of this the Council recommends that the attendance of at least one representative from each territory and ethnic group be ensured at the Congress, and that funds be made available to cover the expenses of any such representative who may be unable to afford to come.
b) The Council feels that about six days at the end of the Ridvan period would be a suitable duration for the Congress.
c) It is felt that there should be an actual moment of thanksgiving for the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh, and that this could appropriately fall on the ninth day of Ridvan, which would come about hAli-way through the Congress. This could also be a suitable day for the election of the Universal House of Justice.
d) The Council considered the pro's and con's of holding a public meeting during or at the end of the Congress, and concluded that it would be valuable from a prestige and publicity point of view; it was therefore decided to recommend to the Hands that they consider the desirability of holding such a public meeting.



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e) For the general publicity of the Congress it is recommended that the use of Bahá'í experts in this field be considered, both to prepare the way and to promote the publicity itself.
37. In preparation for the election of the Universal House of Justice the Council decided to recommend to the Hands that they send a letter to all the believers explaining and stressing the importance of these elections; also that they circulate to National Spiritual Assembly members a compilation of quotations from the Scriptures and the writings of Shoghi Effendi on the functions of the Universal House of Justice.


BAHA'I WILMETTE
JUNE 29, 1961

HEARTS GREATLY ENCOURAGED BY ENTHUSIASM ENERGY DETERMINATION ELECTED INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL DISCHARGE VITAL EVER INCREASing RESPONSIBILITIES STOP DELIGHTED SHARE NEWS ELECTION FOLLOWING OFFICERS ALI NAKHJAVANI SYLVIA IOAS CHARLES WOLCOTT IAN SEMPLE JESSIE REVELL PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT SECRETARY GENERAL ASSISTANT SECRETARY TREASURER RESPECTIVELY STOP OTHER MEMBERS ETHEL REVELL LOTFULLAH HAKIM MILDRED MOTTAHEDEH AND BORRAH KAVELIN MEMBER AT LARGE STOP SHARE MESSAGE HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To the 21 National Spiritual Assemblies in Latin America
July 7, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
Over two months have passed since that historic day when 21 new pillars of the Universal House of Justice were brought into being in your important and productive part of the Bahá'í world. The time remaining before us until the completion of our beloved Guardian's Ten Year Plan is vanishing with alarming rapidity. These precious days must be utilized to the fullest extent in assuring an overwhelming triumph in every land.
The vigour and enthusiasm with which each of your new National Assemblies has faced its work has pleased us very much, and together we may win many new victories in the year ahead.
One of the most important things for all of us to keep before us is the need for the most rigid economy in all that we do. With the astonishing and deeply rewarding progress of the Faith in all parts of the planet, with the formation of 21 new Assemblies this past year, and 12 more to be



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formed next Ridvan, the limited resources of the Faith must be carefully husbanded and used in the manner that will assure winning the most important goals. Therefore, we urge your body to practice the most strict economy possible, and to encourage the dear friends to make every sacrifice both individually and collectively of their time and resources so that this fourth phase of the World Crusade truly may be characterized by the great increase in believers envisioned by our beloved Guardian for these days. Only the most vital purchases needed to carry on your day-to-day work should be made. The great bulk of your resources should go directly into the teaching work. The efforts of the entire country must be focused more and more on this all-important task. This cardinal responsibility of each National Assembly cannot be over-emphasized. Our beloved Guardian wrote less than three months before his passing: "The purpose of the new National Assemblies ... and the purpose of any administrative body, is to carry the Message to the people and enlist the sincere under the banner of this Faith. Your Assembly must never lose sight of this for a moment, and must go on courageously expanding the membership of the communities under your jurisdiction. . ."
In his last Message to the Bahá'í world, he urged us to realize that "The fourth phase (of the World Crusade) ... must be immortalized ... by an unprecedented increase in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, and from every stratum of present-day society, coupled with a corresponding increase in the number of Bahá'í centres . . ." This is the very charter of our teaching work for this fourth and final phase of his glorious global Crusade. Its success depends upon each individual believer in the country arising to become a teacher, and under the loving, inspiring leadership of the National Assembly, to launch a concentrated teaching plan of such intensity and determination that it will, in the words of our beloved Guardian in his last loving Message to us all, cause "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."
We are confident that this spirit of sacrifice and dedication, coupled with the energetic and courageous actions you have already taken, will bring about a year of just such "unprecedented victories" as would rejoice the heart of our beloved Guardian and bring great numbers under the shadow of the Blessed Beauty.
We shall pray at the holy Shrines that your every effort will be blessed and will bring productive fruit.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND



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To the Hands of the Cause of God
July 8, 1961
Beloved Co-workers:
Now that the thrilling days of Ridvan have passed, we would like to share with you the news of some of the victories won for our beloved Guardian, victories which the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh alone have made possible.
As you know, all 21 Latin American National Assemblies were successfully elected, including Ecuador and Cuba. Shortly before the Convention was held in Ecuador, we received very disturbing news indicating a number of the friends had been influenced by Mason Remey; immediate action was taken through the Western Hemisphere Hands, their Board members and the Regional Assembly for that area, and we were fortunate enough to avert the impending defection of these people. The National Assembly was elected, and we are watching the situation carefully to be sure the attitude of these believers is now sincere. In Cuba, in spite of the revolution there, the difficulty of travel and absence of communication, dear Enoch was able to attend the Convention and assist the friends to successfully elect their new National Spiritual Assembly.
All Local Assembly goals were won in Europe, assuring the foundation for the election next year of 11 independent pillars of the Universal House of Justice. To our surprise and joy, 8 new Assemblies were established in Ceylon, thus laying a firm foundation for the election next Ridvan of the National Assembly.
The process of mass conversion-so longed for by our beloved Guardian-is moving forward at an ever-accelerated pace: Approximately 2,000 new believers in India during the last few months; the first steps of mass conversion have begun also in Ceylon; 3,000 new believers in Central and East Africa, which now has over 17,000 Bahá'ís, 1,140 centres and 470 Local Assemblies. Many of the now believers in this area came from the trouble and strife-torn Congo border. In Bolivia, they now have over 1,500 Indian Bahá'ís in over 153 centres with 25 Local Assemblies. For the first time in the history of North America, Indians in Canada are beginning to enter the Faith; 3 Spiritual Assemblies were formed on Indian reserves there, and the chairmen of two of these Assemblies at-tended the Canadian Convention and fired the friends with enthusiasm for bringing the Message to their people.
Liechtenstein and Loyalty Islands have been reopened. There are now 10 islands in the Gilbert and Ellice group having Bahá'ís, a new one recently having been added. A new Local Assembly has been created in American Samoa. Morocco had 3 new Assemblies this year, and the



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Yemen, one new one. In the heart of the Anglican stronghold in England, the Cathedral city of Canterbury, a Local Assembly has been established.
How many times our beloved Guardian assured us the Supreme Concourse was waiting to assist us. We see ever increasingly the fulfilment of this promise. The Hands must, we feel strongly, seize this great opportunity, when there is such an upsurge of enthusiasm on the part of the believers, and labour as never before, in close collaboration with their Board members, to promote the mass teaching work now opening up before us.
We know you are eager to have news of what is going on in the Holy Land, and what your co-workers are doing here and elsewhere: Ruhiyyih Khanum will be going to dedicate the Australian Temple in September, and hopes to be able to visit some of the Centres en route. Our dear Milly was obliged to return in May to the United States in order to take care of her health, which had been poor of late. She is doing everything in her power to return to her home here well before the beginning of the Conclave. Paul, after attending the Mexican and American Conventions and making an extended visit to different Centres in the United States, to encourage the friends, has returned with many valuable suggestions, which will help us to assist the American National Spiritual Assembly to win the goals on the home front. Furutan and Bill have recently arrived from Latin America, bringing us most encouraging reports of the spirit of the believers and the success of the Conventions they attended. Bill will now remain with us as one of the Hands in the Holy Land, sharing with us the experience he has gained in the Western Hemisphere. Leroy leaves in a few days for Europe, where he plans to attend a number of summer schools, visiting the friends in as many places as possible, including a month's stay in Great Britain. Jalál will be leaving in August for India, to visit the new areas of mass conversion there and discuss with the Indian National Assembly some of the problems facing it in connection with this great work. He will also visit as many Indian Centres as possible.
Enoch has recently returned to Africa after a very successful tour in Central America and the Greater Antilles. Muhajir is on his way to the Philippines to assist them in intensive teaching work in those islands, following a period of great activity amongst the Indians in Bolivia and the Central American area. Collis, after attending two Latin American Conventions, has visited Hawaii and the South Sea Islands on his way home to Australia; Ugo has returned to Europe after rendering similar services in Haiti, Venezuela and Central America; 'Ala'i, after attending the Colombia and Jamaica Conventions, has been visiting France and other countries in Europe; Ijasan made an extensive tour of Canada on his return from the two Latin American Conventions he attended. Hermann is



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still actively travelling throughout South America, visiting each country and new National Assembly and keeping a watchful eye upon possible activities of Remey's supporters. His knowledge of the language and the people is of inestimable help to the Faith in that part of the world. ahikru'lhih is now back in the United States after attending the Latin American Conventions allotted to him, and we have recently heard he was able to visit the believers in Alaska and attend their summer school. Dear Agnes, Adelbert and Varqa have been continuing their services in their respective spheres, services which have been so vitally needed, while other Hands were away travelling for so many months in the Western Hemisphere. Banani and John (Robarts) have suffered setbacks in their health this year, but in spite of their difficulties, they have been carrying on with the work in Africa.
It will interest you to know that five of the supporters of Mason Remey in Pakistan have returned to the Faith. This of course does not mean that his efforts and those of his supporters have ceased to be active. We must all be very vigilant and encourage the friends as much as possible.
We spent ten wonderful days with the International Bahá'í Council. You have already received the news of the election of their officers, and we were delighted with the energetic enthusiasm and plans of this body.
It is evident to us, and perhaps even more so to you, what a great influence the Hands can exert in the teaching field. We know you will be happy to share with the friends the news of these victories. Surely this is the hour for all of them to arise as never before and lend a new momentum to the work during these precious remaining months of our beloved Guardian's Crusade. Total victory is now within our grasp. His words written toward the end of the first Seven Year Plan might well be our watchword now: "One final surge of that indomitable spirit", he told us, . is all that is required ... to release the flow of those blessings . . ."
With warmest Bahá'í love to you all,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


To All National Spiritual Assemblies
July 16,1961

Beloved Friends:
As you know, the beloved Guardian for a number of years before his ascension permitted the various National Assemblies to apply the extreme punishment of deprivation of voting rights in cases where believers continued to disobey an important decision of a National Assembly, or in cases where the conduct of an individual continuously and flagrantly



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violated Bahá'í standards to a point where the good name of the Faith was placed in jeopardy.
At various times the beloved Guardian sent communications to National Assemblies instructing them and guiding them in the application of this authority, which he felt should be invoked only as a last resort, and after repeated warnings to the individual concerned.
In the belief that they will be helpful to all National Assemblies in carrying out the spirit as well as the letter of the beloved Guardian's instructions on this important subject, and because they contain such a clear exposition of the status of Bahá'ís deprived of their voting rights, we are sharing with you the following paragraphs from a communication sent by him to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States on May 18, 1948:
The Guardian considers there are three conditions, so to speak, in regard to Bahá'í status or lack of it: a member of the Bahá'í Faith, in good standing, possessed of all his administrative rights; a member of the Faith who is being severely punished-either because of flagrant disobedience of some very important injunction of the National Assembly, or because of conduct extremely detrimental to the good name of the Faith, which he has not rectified-through having his voting and administrative rights suspended; and a person who is excommunicated by the Guardian because of disloyalty and enmity to the Faith. "Deprivation of voting rights" and "deprivation of membership in the Bahá'í Community" are really the same thing.
No contribution should be accepted from a person deprived of his voting rights. He is not eligible for election to Bahá'í bodies, cannot attend the administrative gatherings such as elections or Nineteen Day Feasts. However he can attend Bahá'í meetings as he is not excommunicated.
In connection with the above two paragraphs the Guardian does not want them published in Bahá'í News or any statement whatsoever issued in connection with this matter. Your Assembly can take action as occasion demands. As he has already stated, he considers that National Assemblies must strongly guard against this marked tendency of laying down new rules and regulations all the time, which he considers unnecessary and injurious. In the end it will dampen the zeal and quench the spontaneity of the believers, and give the impression that the Bahá'í Faith is crystallizing into set forms. Principles there must be, but they must be applied with wisdom to each case that arises, not every case covered, before it arises, by a codified set of rules. This is the whole spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's system: rigid conformity to great essential laws, elasticity, and even a certain necessary element of diversity, in secondary matters.



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The deprivation of a person's voting rights should only be re-sorted to when absolutely necessary, and a National Spiritual Assembly should always feel reluctant to impose this very heavy sanction which is a severe punishment. Of course sometimes, to protect the Cause, it must be done, but he feels that if the believer so deprived makes an effort to mend his ways, rectifies his mistake, or sincerely seeks forgiveness, every effort should be made to help him and enable him to re-establish himself in the Community as a member in good standing.
Please note carefully the Guardian's words indicating that he did not wish to have this material published in Bahá'í News, and his further instruction that no statement whatsoever should be made by the National Assembly in connection with this question. In other words, his wish was that each case be considered individually in the light of the general principles which he gave to the National Assembly for its guidance.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To the Hands of the Cause of God
July 17, 1961

Beloved Co-workers:
In accordance with the responsibility placed upon the Hands in the Holy Land of calling and setting the dates for the annual Conclave, and pursuant to the suggestions made at our last meeting in Bahji, we are scheduling this year's gathering for a nineteen-day period beginning Sun-day, October 15, 1961.
A somewhat longer period than usual has been set aside for this forth-coming meeting in order to carry out the suggestion that the Conclave might wish to hold a recess once or twice during the period, and also in view of the fact that we have such a heavy agenda.
We have drawn up the attached tentative list of subjects, and are sending it to you for study and for your suggestions well in advance of the meeting. If you have any thoughts as to any other major items which you think should be included in this outline, please let us have your suggestions as soon as possible.
With warmest and deepest love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND



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AGENDA -1961 CONCLAVE

SUBJECTS PRESENTED BY THE HANDS
COMPLETION OF THE WORLD CRUSADE
Mass Conversion
European Temple
National Assemblies to be Formed and Status of Existing National Assemblies
Home Front Goals
Other Unfinished Tasks
THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
Election
Membership
Relationship of Hands
Convention
Funds for House of Justice
THE WORLD CONGRESS
Location
Representation and Financing
Program and Organization
ACTIVITIES OF HANDS
Hands in the Holy Land
Assignment of Hands
Travel of Hands
Attendance at Formation of National Spiritual Assemblies in 1962
Attendance at World Congress and Convention for Election of House of Justice Auxiliary Boards
FINANCIAL SITUATION
World Centre Report
Crusade Requirements
INTERNATIONAL BAHA'I COUNCIL


Commentary by Hands in the Holy Land
July 31, 1961

This is the first News Letter from the Holy Land issued by the recently elected International Bahá'í Council. The issuance of the News Letter



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from the World Centre is one of the functions assigned to the Council, which plans to send such a letter to the National Assemblies approximately every two months.
We are confident that this publication will be a source of inspiration to the friends, giving them news of the progress of the Faith, and bringing them close to the Holy Land, referred to by our beloved Guardian as "the heart and the nerve centre" of the Bahá'í World Community.
Please share this bulletin with the believers in your area through your own News Letter, or in any other way you deem advisable.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

[The News Letter is not included here.]

To All 21 Latin American National Spiritual Assemblies
August 3, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
We have been delighted to hear the news of the increasing success of the work among the dear Indian believers in so many parts of Latin America, and in other areas where beginning efforts are being made toward mass conversion.
This fourth and final phase of our beloved Guardian's great global Crusade should indeed be "immortalized . . . by an unprecedented in-crease in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, and from every stratum of present-day society, coupled with a corresponding increase in the number of Bahá'í centres . . ." These are the words of our beloved Guardian in his last Message to the Bahá'í world. This final phase of the Crusade, he told us, must "witness . . . 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."
This concentrated teaching effort should be the focus of every National Spiritual Assembly. However, with the election of the Universal House of Justice less than two years away, we feel confident that your National Assembly will recognize the vital and absolute need for maintaining the existing Local Spiritual Assemblies with a strong nucleus, and not jeopardize these prizes which have been won at such cost by removing the pioneers who were sent there to assure the winning of these goals, even to conquer the new Indian areas or other areas of mass conversion.



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Expansion and consolidation go hand in hand, and the preservation of strong, vigorously functioning Local Assemblies is one of our most vital obligations at this time; for upon this solid foundation, firm national pillars must rest-those pillars which will support that Supreme Administrative Body of the Bahá'í world, the Universal House of Justice.
In a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa on August 8th, 1957, our beloved Guardian wrote: "The purpose of the new National Assemblies in Africa, and the purpose of any administrative body, is to carry the Message to the people and enlist the sincere under the banner of this Faith. Your Assembly must never lose sight of this for a moment, and must go on courageously expanding the member-ship of the communities under your jurisdiction, and gradually educating the friends in both the Teachings and the Administration. Nothing could be more tragic than if the establishment of these great administrative bodies should stifle or bog down the teaching work." The beloved Guardian, in that same letter in which he urged the dear friends on to greater effort in mass conversion, also wrote: "Nor must the pressing obligation to consolidate the firmly grounded local institutions of the Faith through their incorporation be, for a moment, neglected. The historic work, so laboriously initiated in the newly opened territories, and particularly in those where the Faith has not yet driven deep its roots, must, likewise, be rapidly and systematically reinforced."
Our beloved Guardian's Convention Message of that same year said: "The pre-eminent task of teaching the Faith to the multitudes who consciously or unconsciously thirst after the healing Word of God in this day ... must, in the course of this year, be accorded priority over every other Bahá'í activity." In that same Message, our beloved Guardian also said: "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."
Thus the twin processes of rapidly expanding and firmly consolidating go hand in hand. With this basic principle in mind, and with the spirit of enthusiasm and devotion which are reflected in your letters, we feel confident that you will maintain vital, strong Local Assemblies and still continue the wonderful work that has been launched, and will be launched, in the areas of mass conversion.
We shall pray at the holy Shrines for your success in the field of mass teaching, so highly prized by our beloved Guardian, a task which he said challenged every single individual believer, a task which was "so dear to



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the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá", a task which was "so sacred, so fundamental, and so urgent".
With warmest Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To All National Spiritual Assemblies
August 8, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends,
You have received a communication from the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia (dated May 19, 1961) announcing that the dedication of the Mashriqu'l-Adkar in Sydney will take place during the period September 14-17, this year.
In view of the great spiritual significance of this event, constituting one of the most important victories of the beloved Guardian's Ten Year Plan, we suggest that each National and Regional Assembly send an appropriate greeting to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia on this historic occasion. These messages should be sent to the address of the National Secretariat, 2 Lang Road, Paddington, New South Wales, Australia, in time to reach the Secretary if possible not later than the tenth of next month.
With warm Bahá'í greetings and the assurance of our ardent prayers for the attainment of all your goals.
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To the Hands of the Cause of God
August 12, 1961

Beloved Colleagues:
This is another letter to keep you abreast of events that are taking place as this year approaches the hAli-way mark. We have had the sad news of the illness of dear Mr. Samandari who is in Teheran where he has been in the hospital. His reply to our cable indicates that his health is now improving and we hope that we shall have the joy of seeing him here with us at the Annual Gathering. His services throughout the year have been a great example to us all, as he has travelled constantly, visiting the friends and encouraging them to greater efforts. The news of his improved health is a great blessing for which we are all deeply grateful.



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Milly is still feeling far from well herself, but her work continues, and she has recently helped to make possible the purchase of a future Haziratu'l-Quds in Jamaica and the launching of a greater teaching effort in South Africa.
Hasan has arrived from London to serve for a time as one of the Hands in the Holy Land. He is helping Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum with the work of the Archives, as are many of the other friends here. We have every hope that the new Archives building, with all of the precious relics and treasures, may be ready for the pilgrims who come to visit this coming year.
Soon additional members of the International Council will be coming to make their residence in the Holy Land. 'Ali Nakhjavani, the President of the Council, is expected in a few weeks, and the Secretary-General, Charles Wolcott, arrives on the 21st of September. In addition to the elected members who have resided here in the past, Ian Semple, the Assistant Secretary, has already transferred his residence to Haifa and has remained here since the first meeting.
Because of their activities which were undermining the Faith, the following have been declared Covenant-breakers: (1) Guillermo Soto-mayor of Quito, Ecuador, who visited Cuba and attacked the Institutions of the Faith; (2) Eduardo Gonzalez of Guayaquil, Ecuador, who has been in close touch with Mason Remey and supports his baseless claim; (3) Mr. and Mrs. Chester Davison of Monrovia, California, who have accepted Mason Remey; and (4) Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Davison of Monterrey, Mexico, who likewise have supported this false claim.
We have heard that Mason Remey is in Italy, but this has not as yet been verified.
However, the general news that reaches us from the various parts of the world is most encouraging. The letters of the new National Spiritual Assemblies show their eagerness and determination to win unprecedented victories for our beloved Guardian.
One of the Peruvian friends plans to carry the Faith to the primitive people of Peru in the jungle area beyond the Andes.
The National Spiritual Assembly of Nicaragua has informed us of the acceptance of the Faith by three villages in the Indian area of that country. We are awaiting more details.
Bolivia reports 350 new believers since Ridvan, bringing their total to 2,000.
India sends a further report of their growing teaching activities, saying that there are now 3,200 new believers in the primitive areas where they have been working so devotedly. Classes are being held to train teachers to carry the work forward on an even increased scale. The beginning



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stages of mass conversion (or mass teaching as they ask that we refer to it in all letters to India) are apparent in several areas, and we must do everything we can to hasten the process.
It is now only two months until we shall be meeting for the Annual Gathering, and once again we urge you all to take every step necessary to assure your being present at this all-important meeting. The problems that lie before us, and the golden opportunities that depend upon their resolution, require the presence of every single Hand of the Cause. If there are any obstacles in your way which we might help remove, please call upon us for any help you may need.
With warmest and deepest Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


To All National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies
August 30, 1961

Beloved Friends:
The enclosed message was sent to the Hands of the Cause and the Regional Spiritual Assemblies in Europe. We felt that it could be of use to you, and therefore we are sending you a copy.
With warmest loving greetings,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

Enclosure

To the Hands of the Cause in Europe and the Regional National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'ís of the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Switzerland, the Benelux Countries, Scandinavia and Finland.
August 22, 1961

Beloved Friends:
By the unfailing grace of Bahá'u'lláh, this year the necessary foundation was laid in the goal countries of Europe for the erection of indepen-dent National Assemblies, and the requisite number of Local Spiritual Assemblies were formed. A dedicated army of pioneers came forth to occupy their posts. The services of these valiant souls are truly unforget-table and historic. The debt that we owe them is great.
The beloved Guardian encouraged the pioneers whenever possible to throw down deep roots into the soil of the country of their adoption. He



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told them to learn the language of the people amongst whom they laboured to propagate the Cause of God. They were to stay at their posts, persevere at all costs, and not consider their work completed until there were a sufficient number of avowed supporters of the Faith drawn from the peoples of these countries themselves to take up the torch and carry on the task. He, the beloved Guardian, stressed the supreme importance of teaching in the goal countries, and underlined the fact that the end is not the maintenance of Assemblies chiefly composed of pioneers, but the emergence of Assemblies formed in the main or in totality by native believers.
We feel that it is essential that the pioneers who gave us such a resounding victory last Ridvan should at this juncture be lovingly and kindly reminded of the standard set by our beloved Guardian. We ask you to bring these matters to their notice in the way you consider best, and impress upon them that unless there is a great influx of native believers before next Ridvan, their task will not be completed with the formation of independent National Assemblies, and that they should stay at their posts even beyond Ridvin, 1963.
Assuring you of our ardent prayers on your behalf at the sacred Thresholds, and with warmest loving greetings,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To the Hands of the Cause of God
September 5, 1961

Beloved Co-workers:
In just a few weeks we shall be together for our Annual Gathering, and once again we shall share the news of the victories of our Faith in person. Therefore, this will be our last general letter until after this all-important event.
Amatu'l-Baha Rúhíyyih Khanum is now in Australia to attend the epoch-making dedication of the Mother Temple of the Antipodes, having already visited the friends in Bangkok, Rangoon and Singapore. She will also visit many centres in Australia and New Zealand prior to her return.
Dear Milly has suffered from an accident in which she injured her arm, but is progressing well and hopes to be with us soon. Dear TarAzu'llAh Samandarf, although greatly improved, has not yet quite recovered from his recent illness. We know you will remember these wonderful servants of Bahá'u'lláh in your prayers.



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Dear Agnes has just completed an exciting and fruitful teaching trip to Korea. There in Seoul, the capital-city, on July 9th, the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab (according to the solar calendar), she addressed a meeting. Her translator was Mr. Oh San Sun, the same faithful soul who translated for her when she made her historic first pioneering visit to Korea's capital in 1921.
News of soul-stirring victories continues to pour in as the valiant army of Bahá'u'lláh forges ahead on all fronts, and assiduously builds upon the wide and the firm foundation which our beloved Guardian has laid down over the entire planet. One hundred Pygmies have entered the fellowship of our Faith in Bukavu in the Congo region. The first native believers have been enrolled in the Mare Island of the Loyalty group, a husband and wife who accepted the Faith in Noumea, New Caledonia, but whose home is in Mare Island. South-East Asia continues to "vie" with Africa as urged by our beloved Guardian, and the Regional Spiritual Assembly reports that there are now 9,000 believers in Indonesia including Mentawai, and over 11,000 in the National Assembly region. Twenty souls from the Carib tribe have embraced the Faith in Honduras.
Ecuador has risen above the threat of the enemies of the Faith and presents a "new face" of victory. The National Assembly reports loving, dedicated meetings of their body directed to the primary task of the spiritual conquest of the country. In Carabuela we have four new Indian believers. This is the third Indian village with new believers, and the second village to be conquered for our Faith since the Convention. Al-ready they have surpassed the total number who accepted the Faith in Ecuador during the whole of the past year.
Kenya increased its Local Assemblies by 23 this year, to 134, and now has approximately 4,000 believers. The Honolulu Community in the Pa-cific Ocean has doubled its numbers in a single year. Cuba not only held a triumphant National Convention and raised up a dedicated National Assembly, but has now organized its first historic summer school.
A notable event in Canada, in addition to the remarkable increase in the number of her believers, has been the acceptance of the Faith by a minister of the United Cburch, Mr. Ronald Parsons. This courageous soul has written an eloquent and moving testimony of his faith addressed to the church from the ministry of which he has resigned. In that letter he says: "To many of my brethren it may seem that I am turning away from Jesus by such an action, whereas for me it comes as the only way in which I can maintain my obedience to Him. Because I believe BahA-'u'llah to be what He claims to be, the Return of Christ, the Promised Spirit of Truth, not to become His follower would be a betrayal of Jesus's teaching and a denial of God's Will in this Age".



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The Bahá'ís of the British Isles are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved Master's momentous visit to their country, when He chose London as the scene of His first appearance before a Western audience. Apart from special meetings held in all the centres on September 4th, the actual day of the Master's arrival at the shores of Britain, a large, well-advertised public meeting is arranged for September 8th in London. Le-roy and Hasan are to be present at this meeting and speak from the platform. Lutfu'llffi Hakim has gone to London for a vacation, but prima-rily to fulfil his long-desired wish to visit the resting-place of our beloved Guardian. His journey to London happily coincides with the celebrations, and is particularly thrilling for the believers in Britain, because Luffu'llah was there when the Master arrived in London fifty years ago. He will be the only Bahá'í present at the celebrations who has witnessed that great day in the history of the West.
There is still more news to gladden every faithful heart. Mass conver-sion continues in India, goes steadily on in Africa, leaps forward in Bolivia, and each day brings fresh numbers of North and South American Indians into the advancing ranks of our blessed Faith.
It is the cherished hope of each one of us, we know, that in the wake of this vital Annual Gathering of ours which has far-reaching implications and consequences, there will come flooding into every corner of the planet, over continents and islands of the seas, a magnetic, all-sufficing power that shall bring into the realm of fulfilment the highest and bright-est hopes of our most beloved Guardian for reaching in numbers ever-increasing the masses "who consciously or unconsciously thirst" for the healing water of our Faith.
We eagerly await your arrival. With warmest and deepest love to each one of you,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


To the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'ís of the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Germany, Italy and Switzerland
September 14, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
As you know, for the last two years the Faith has been under attack in Turkey, starting with the arrest of a number of believers in Ankara during Naw-R& of 1959, when the police imprisoned members of the Local Spiritual Assembly. This incident received wide publicity in the press. Subsequently the friends were released from prison, but a court case was



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brought against the Bahá'ís by the public prosecutor, who claimed that the Faith was a "Tarighat", one of those sects of Isldrn whose rituals, practices and forms of worship are forbidden by the law of the country.
Since then this matter has been the subject of lengthy litigation, with the Bahá'ís endeavouring to prove and establish the status of the Faith as an independent world religion, and the prosecuting authorities endeavouring to classify it as a forbidden sect of lslám.
The case is now to go to the high court on appeal, and the National Spiritual Assembly of Turkey has informed us that they believe that representations to the Turkish Ambassador in your respective countries' would be helpful, as these diplomatic representatives will then inform their government of these visits and the proofs which representatives of your Assembly will present showing the completely independent charac-ter of the Faith, as well as its world-wide acceptance as a universal religion completely dissociated from Islám or any other revealed religion.
In order that you may thoroughly understand the background of this situation, we share with you the following summary of the development of the case against the Faith in Turkey.
Following the Turkish revolution in the 1920's, church and state were separated, but the major world religions, including the four recognized schools of thought of Sunni lsldm-Malcki, Hanbali, Shafei and Hanafi-were left free to follow their beliefs and practices. However, according to Article 163 of the Turkish Criminal Code, the practice of every form of "Tarighat" was forbidden, and those who indulged in the forbidden rituals and practices of these Muslim sects were subject to severe punishment. Among these "Tarighat" are included the Naghsh-bandi, Molvai, Jalali and Refai sects. The Government of modem Turkey felt that the rituals and practices of these sects of Islam were out of place in modern life and harmful to the people; therefore they were forbidden.
It is clear that identification of the Faith with these forbidden sects would be a very bad blow for the Cause and conversely, if a high court of appeal in a Muslim country were to recognize the independent character of the Faith, it would be a very significant victory for the Cause, not only in Turkey, but throughout the East.
The original arrest of the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly in Ankara and the court case which followed resulted in wide publicity for the Cause, and most of the leading newspapers in the country opposed the

1 It is specifically requested that in the case of the Italo-Swiss National Assembly, the contact be made with the Turkish Ambassador in Switzerland. We do not believe that a visit to the Ambassador in Italy would be advisable at this time.


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action of the public prosecutor, and declared that the Faith was an inde-pendent religion. At that time many documents were sent to Turkey from the World Centre and from various National Assemblies to establish and prove the independent character of the Cause. The court requested three experts in comparative religion to study the matter and give their opinion. Two of the three experts appointed expressed the view that the Bahá'í Faith was an independent religion, and one claimed that it was a sect of Islam. After receiving this report, the court then appointed three outstanding religious scholars to review all aspects of the question and advise the court of their views. All three of these scholars agreed in a finding that the Faith was an independent religion, and sent a documented statement containing authenticated proofs to the court on January 17, 1961. In this historic document the panel of experts proved that the Cause has nothing to do with "Tarighat" or forbidden sects of Islam, and that it is an inde-pendent religion comparable to Islam and Christianity.
After this document was submitted to the court, everyone was certain that the Court would issue its decree in accordance with the findings of these experts. However, the judges chose to disregard these findings entirely, and suddenly on July 15, 1961, declared that the Bahá'í Faith was a "Tarighat". Following this unexpected decision, the Bahá'ís of Ankara were forgiven, on the grounds that their gathering constituted a criminal case and under the general amnesty provisions of the law they could be released, that is, the case against them dropped. The court did say, however, that its decision could be appealed.
The National Spiritual Assembly of Turkey has decided to make a strong appeal to the higher court, and as indicated previously, this National Assembly believes that proper representations by your bodies to the Turkish Ambassadors in your respective countries will be helpful.
Therefore we request that you appoint without delay a well-qualified delegation composed of Western friends (the effect will be greater if the delegations do not include any of the Persian believers who may be residing in your respective countries) to call upon the Turkish Ambassa-dor, explain your position as national representatives of the Bahá'í Community in your respective countries, indicate your great interest in a proper and just outcome of the pending case in Turkey, and give explanations and appropriate proofs of the independent character of the Faith and its world-wide scope as a separate revealed religion. In view of the highly nationalistic feelings of the Turkish people, particularly Turkish officials, we suggest that the representations to be made by your representatives do not in any way take the form of a protest. In other words, the approach should be a mild and friendly one, emphasizing the great interest which the Bahá'ís in your countries have in this matter.



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We shall be very much interested in receiving in due course a report on the steps taken to carry out this request from the National Assembly of Turkey. We shall offer ardent prayers in the holy Shrines that all of these efforts will be divinely guided and assisted and that another great victory for the Faith may be won.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


DEDICATION OF THE MOTHER TEMPLE OF THE ANTIPODES

Sydney, Australia
September 15, 1961

To the Hands of the Cause, Members of the National Assemblies, Auxiliary Board Members, and believers attending the Teaching Conference on the historic occasion of the Dedication of the Mother Temple of the Antipodes.

Beloved Friends:
On this unique occasion in the life of the Antipodes, this joyous, soul-stirring occasion, the crowning glory of four decades of devoted labour in that great area of the globe, when the doors of the Mother Temple will open to pour in abundance the light of God's nascent Faith upon the expanse of the Pacific, our thoughts and our hearts turn to the architect of our world-redeeming victories. We turn to him, our most beloved Guard-ian, in humble gratitude, in wonderment, in eager anticipation of yet mightier things to come.
The harvest is mounting high. Goal after goal of the Beloved's Plan is reached all the world over. What faithful Bahá'í heart can fail to be thrilled and to rejoice at this latest evidence of Bahá'u'lláh's all-pervading power and sustaining grace. And the more will the faithful rejoice when the goal attained is the completion and the dedication of the Mother Temple of the Antipodes. But even yet more shall the faithful heart rejoice when the import of the majestic utterance of Bahá'u'lláh is seen in its full glory. He, the Supreme Manifestation of God, wrote that should He be eclipsed on the land, His light would break upon the world from the midmost heart of the ocean.
Our edifice of light was denied to our brethren in the Cradle of our Faith. The beloved redressed the wrong and decreed the erection of the Mother Temples of Africa and the Antipodes. The voice of our Faith was



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muted in the land of its birth. Its silent teacher arose clad in splendour in the heart of Africa and in the midst of the Pacific Ocean.
From the World Centre of our Faith, we greet you one and all in utmost joy on this wonderful day. And our prayers offered at the sacred Thresh-olds are with you.
To each one of you comes also the deepest love of the Hands of the Faith who wish to express their profound and grateful thanks to every believer who has helped to win the victories which during the past years have fulfilled so many of the cherished hopes of our beloved Guardian.
The holding of the Teaching Conference in conjunction with the dedi-cation of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkdr affords a timely opportunity for consul-tation between Amatu'l-Baha RAVyyih Khanum, representing the Hands at the World Centre, the Hand of the Cause in Australia, members of Auxiliary Boards and National Spiritual Assemblies, pioneers, teachers and believers in the Antipodes.
The words which we wish to share with you during this vital teaching session upon which such a bright future depends, are the words of our beloved Guardian. If his blessed instructions become our watchword, every obstacle will be overcome, and every goal will be accomplished.
This challenge of teaching, he told us, "so severe and insistent, and yet so glorious, faces ... primarily the individual believer, on whom, in the last resort, depends the fate of the entire community. . . . Without his support, at once whole-hearted, continuous and generous, every measure adopted, and every plan formulated ... is foredoomed to failure.... The unseen legions, standing rank upon rank, and eager to pour forth from the Kingdom on High the full measure of their celestial strength on the individual participants of this incomparably glorious Crusade, are power-less unless and until each potential crusader decides for himself ... to rush into the arena of service ready to sacrifice his all for the Cause he is called upon to champion."
The beloved Guardian wrote in that same year, emphasizing the vital importance of the home fronts to the destiny of the entire Crusade. He said, "The Ten Year Plan, if the friends will study it, comprises not only glamourous goals far afield, but extremely important ones near at hand. If these (home-front goals) are not achieved, the Plan will have failed."
Upon the success of the home-front campaigns, he warned us, would depend the mildness or the fierceness of the "contest that must be waged, sooner or later.... between the rising institutions of Bahá'u'lláh's em-bryonic divinely appointed Order, and the exponents of obsolescent doc-trines and the defenders, both secular and religious, of a corrupt and fast-declining society."



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The words in his final, loving, fate-laden Message to America, are surely directed to each one of the vital home fronts: "Once again and this time more fervently than ever before-I direct my plea to every single member of this strenuously labouring, clear-visioned, stout-hearted, spiritually endowed community, every man and woman, on whose individual efforts, resolutions, self-sacrifice and perseverance the immediate destinies of the Faith of God . . . primarily depend, not to allow, through apathy, timidity or complacency, this one remaining opportunity to be irretrievably lost. I would rather entreat each and every one of them to immortalize this approaching, fateful hour in the evolution of a World Spiritual Crusade, by a fresh consecration to their God-given mission, coupled with an instantaneous plan of action, at once so dynamic and decisive, as to wipe out ... with one stroke, the deficiencies which have ... bogged down the operations of the Crusade on the home front. . This, he assured them, was "the need of the present hour".
'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Tablets of the Divine Plan appealed to us: "Let your exertions henceforth increase a thousandfold." Then He promised us: "The wider its range, the more striking will be the evidence of Divine assistance." "Exert yourselves;" He called to us, "your mission is un-speakably glorious."
"No reader of these words, so vibrant with promises", our beloved Guardian assured us, will be content to "rest upon" his "laurels". It would, he said, "be tantamount to a betrayal of the trust placed" upon the followers of Baha'u'llAh. "To cut short the chain of victories that must lead it on to that supreme triumph when 'the whole earth may be stirred and shaken' by the results of its achievements would shatter His (the Master's) hopes.
Therefore, beloved friends, we urge each one of you to follow our beloved Guardian's counsel and "act, and act promptly and decisively". From this very moment on, let each individual believer arise, and, with a measure of devotion and sacrifice never before attained, volunteer to pioneer to the goal cities established by your National Assembly. Those who are unable to go themselves, let them, as Bahá'u'lláh Himself suggested, deputize with their resources another to go in their place. Those who are unable to pioneer, let them arise and volunteer through the proper administrative body to become travelling teachers for a week-end, a week, a month, six months or whatever time they have available from now until the end of the Crusade. Those who cannot travel and teach, let them open their homes so that every single believer in this richly blessed land may become a teacher. Lot no Bahá'í month pass without the bare minimum of at least one fireside devoted to reaching the multitudes. This was our beloved Guardian's own instruction. Let every single believer,



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however humble his circumstances, pour out his resources on an unprecedented scale of sacrifice so that the means to properly sustain and courageously expand the work on the Australian home front may be provided for, and the efforts of the National Assembly vigorously increased. Let every isolated believer strive to become a group. 1,et every group concentrate on becoming an Assembly. Let every Assembly consolidate its strength and numbers so that it can become legally incorporated; then let all of the believers over the number of fifteen, in these strong communities, who can possibly do so, disperse and open new centres, thus setting in motion that process so highly prized by our beloved Guardian, by which every isolated believer becomes a group, every group an Assembly, every Assembly a thriving Community, which again in turn disperses until we have generated a momentum which will lead to that mass conversion everywhere, and the land is filled with movement like the tributaries of a mighty river carrying the water of life to every comer of Australia.
Such a plan of action is clearly envisioned by our beloved Guardian in his final Message to the Bahá'í world. The fourth phase of this glorious Crusade, he said, "must be immortalized ... by an unprecedented increase in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, and from every stratum of present-day society, coupled with a corresponding increase in the number of B ahd'i centres . . ." This final phase of the Crusade, he told us, must "witness ... 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."
We have less than two years remaining of the beloved Guardian's Crusade. During every one of the hours remaining, let us keep before us, as our guide, these words of the one who sacrificed his life that we might have such "golden" victories:
The opportunity that presents itself at this crucial hour is precious beyond expression. The blessings destined to flow from a victory so near at hand are rich beyond example. One final surge of that indomitable spirit ... is all that is required ... to release the flow of those blessings.
May Bahá'u'lláh watch over us, sustain us, guide us and make us worthy of so priceless and so great a privilege.
With warmest Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND



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BAHA'I WILMETTE
SEPTEMBER 18,1961

SHARE JOYOUS NEWS DEDICATION MOTHER TEMPLE ANTIPODES PRESENCE AMATU'L-BAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM REPRESENTATIVES TWENTY COUNTRIES BAHAI WORLD COMMUNITY STOP HISTORIC OCCASION MARKS ATTAINMENT SECOND STAGE BELOVED GUARDIAN'S THREEFOLD ENTERPRISE DESIGNED ESTABLISH FIRST SACRED HOUSES WORSHIP AFRICAN CONTINENT AUSTRALAsia EUROPE STOP CALL UPON FRIENDS EVERYWHERE JOIN PRAYERS PRAISE THANKSGIVING BAHA'U'LLAH HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT VICTORY STOP AIRMAIL MESSAGE HANDS NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To All National Spiritual Assemblies
November 5,1961

Beloved Friends:
Enclosed is a copy of the Message to the Bahá'ís of East and West issued by the Hands of the Cause following their fifth Annual Gathering in the Holy Land.
We ask that you place this communication in the hands of the friends as quickly as possible, through your News Letter, or by some other means.
We send you loving best wishes and our ardent prayers for the success of your devoted efforts to carry forward the Holy Crusade of our beloved Guardian to complete and final victory in the coming eighteen months.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND


CONCLAVE MESSAGE
1961

From the Hands of the Cause to the Bahá'ís of East and West
Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh
Bahji, 'Akka, Israel
November 5, 1961

Dearly beloved Friends:
The Community of the Most Great Name, East and West, North and South, can look back over the remarkable achievements of the past twelve months with profound thankfulness and from them draw fresh



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courage and determination to arise unitedly for one last supreme effort which will enable us to crown with victory the mighty Global Plan to be consummated in Ridvan, 1963 by the celebration of the Most Great Jubilee of our Faith-the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh. The hearts and thoughts of all His followers now turn to the last eighteen months of our dearly beloved Guardian's World Crusade. What treasures will we proudly lay at his feet on that occasion. What rejoicing will be ours when we can say to him: See, we were faithful to our trust, as much as lay within our power, this did we perform according to the sacred Plan you gave us!
After the passage of the most fruitful and stirring decade the Formative Age of our Faith has as yet witnessed, the International Bahá'í Council has passed into the final stage of its evolution and efflorescence into the Universal House of Justice through its election by all the members of the National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í world; the Council is now regularly meeting in the Holy Land and discharging those duties laid down for it by Shoghi Effendi himself. The vast process of mass conversion, specified by him as one of the major objectives of the second half of the World Crusade, is beginning to take place on a large scale in Asia, South America, and the Pacific area, and is rapidly increasing in momentum in Africa. Last Ridvan, on the number of Local Assemblies specified by him as Crusade goals, no less than twenty-one independent National Spiritual Assemblies were successfully founded, an historic act which will be followed next Ridvan by the establishment on an equally firm foundation of eleven European national bodies and the first National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ceylon. The Mother Temples of both Africa and the Antipodes have been formally opened for public worship and are already redounding to the fame of the Cause of God throughout the entire world. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Europe is slowly rising in the heart of thatcontinent so sorely in need of the regenerating grace of Bahá'u'lláh. The divine assistance, so repeatedly promised to us in the teachings, has been vouchsafed to us in a truly miraculous manner, plain for all to see, since the Bahá'í world was shaken by the loss of its beloved Guardian.
It is therefore with hopeful hearts that the Hands of the Cause can point out to their fellow-believers those remaining milestones we must race to pass ere our great and unique opportunity for service in the Guardian's own Crusade is lost to us forever. In the course of our lengthy consultations during this fifth gathering of the Hands of the Cause held in Bahjf, in the shadow of the Shrine of the Supreme Manifestation of God Himself, it has been abundantly clear what our major duties still are, where we must, one and all, concentrate our efforts and resources, which are the battle fronts



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we must deploy our forces upon, if victory is to be won -- that victory must and shall be ours no loyal Bahá'í heart can doubt for a single instant.
Though multifarious tasks still remain to be accomplished in various fields of Bahá'í activity, three supremely important duties face us during the last eighteen months of the World Crusade, duties which, should we fail in any one of them, may well have repercussions on the evolution of not only the present national Bahá'í communities, but indeed the spiritual and material welfare of mankind itself for generations to come.
The first of these is to bring the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh to the waiting masses at this critical time, this unique juncture in human history, when the hearts of so many of the less privileged peoples of the world are ready to receive His Message, and to be enrolled under His banner "in troops" as foretold by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The second is to win the remaining home-front goals in five of those original twelve stalwart, long-established, much-loved national communities which, at the inception of the Ten Year Plan, received the unique and priceless honour of having the spiritual conquest of no less than an entire planet entrusted to their care. Wherever the army of Bahá'u'lláh was free to march, in their totality, and with the greatest distinction, these global goals have been won. It is inconceivable that the home-front goals, given to them at the same time and forming an integral part of the World Crusade, should not also be triumphantly achieved. The third is undoubtedly the pivotal one at this point of the Crusade and comprises the heavy, pressing, inescapable duty of every single believer to assist in providing an uninterrupted and greatly amplified flow of that "life blood" of material resources without which construction of the Mother Temple of Europe and other vast undertakings now gaining momentum all over the world, in old and new Bahá'í communities alike, will either cease to go forward, come to a standstill or, in important areas of mass conversion, stand in danger of losing the precious ground won through so much heroic effort and sacrifice. There can be no doubt that the discharge of these three paramount duties at this time can alone provide a suitably strong and unshakeable foundation for the future activities of that glorious and august Institution, so soon to be elected, Bahá'u'lláh's long-anticipated Universal House of Justice.
Last year the Hands of the Faith called upon the believers to observe a year of austerity in order to concentrate the resources of the followers of this infant but infinitely strong and dynamic Faith upon attaining the remaining objectives of the Ten Year Plan. It has become apparent that a far greater effort must be made during the next eighteen months, and that the austerity and self-sacrifice we voluntarily imposed upon ourselves must continue and be intensified until every goal is won, every prize



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protected, every achievement maintained. In the words of the beloved Guardian, "a pouring out of substance, not only by those of limited means, but by the richest and wealthiest, in a degree involving the truest sacrifice," is needed.
The financial requirements of the. Cause at this critical hour call, not only for the offering of a greater proportion of the income of every loyal believer, but also for the sacrifice of capital in such a manner that no Bahá'í will have cause for regret that he or she failed to respond to the Guardian's plea "unhesitatingly, to place, each according to his circumstances, his share on the altar of Bahá'í sacrifice, lest, on a sudden, unforeseen calamities rob them of a considerable portion of the earthly things they have amassed."
The attention of the friends should be called at this time to the words of Shoghi Effendi concerning the purpose and significance of the International Fund, direct contributions to which he indicated were a spiritual obligation of every Local and National Assembly and every believer. Participation of individuals through "contributions directly transmitted to the Holy Land" was, he said, "imperative and beyond the scope of the jurisdiction of National and Local Assemblies." Bearing in mind the increasing scale of the world-wide activities which must be sustained from the International Fund, we ask the friends to ponder these words and each, in his own way, respond to this plea. Undoubtedly one penny, freely and lovingly laid on the altar of sacrifice now, for the successful conclusion of this divinely-conceived Plan, will be equal to thousands in the future.
The paramount task of the present hour is to teach the Cause of God. "In these days," wrote the incomparable Master in His Will and Testament, "the most important of all things is the guidance of the nations and peoples of the world. Teaching the Cause is of utmost importancefor it is the head corner-stone of the foundation itself." "O, that I could travel," He wrote, "even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of Yá Baha'u'lAbhá 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."
The wings of time are beating at our door as one of the most momentous epochs in the entire range of Bahá'í history swiftly moves to its close. The impelling call of our beloved Guardian, resounding in the very last message of his life, is but partially answered. "An unprecedented increase in the number of avowed supporters of the Faith, in all the continents of the globe, of every race, clime, creed and colour, and from every stratum of present-day society" is the goal inscribed by his unerring pen.



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The effort now required of us is imperative and inescapable, and must indeed be prodigious. Nothing less than complete, total dedication will suffice. In this mighty, life-offering task every Bahá'í, no matter who he is or where he dwells, has a share and a worthy part to play. Now is the moment for all the administrative agencies of our Faith to order their work in such fashion as to put teaching at the forefront of all their activities, and to exclude any plan which is not relevant to the purposes of our Crusade.
If the world situation has so far prevented us from planting the banner of Bahá'u'lláh in certain virgin territories, there can be no possible excuse for failure on such vital home fronts as those of the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain and Germany. These five tried and tested national communities, each to a greater or lesser degree, are still faced by the urgent necessity of increasing the number of their Assemblies to that total set for them by Shoghi Effendi, himself. Let every single believer, in those countries where at present the status of these internal goals is a cause of grave concern to the entire BahV world, recall the words of the Guardian in one of his last letters to the American Bahá'ís, dated September 21, 1957, words applicable not only to them but to all other Bahá'ís whose home fronts constitute a threat to the total success of the Crusade: "The fourth phase of the Ten Year Plan", he wrote, ". . . must witness ... on every home front, and particularly within the confines of the American homeland, this same spiritual re-invigoration, administrative expansion, and material replenishment, constituting the triple facets of a task which can brook no further delay . . ." He urged the friends to rescue "while there is yet time, their home front from the precarious position in which it now finds itself ... not to allow, through apathy, timidity or complacency, this one remaining opportunity to be irretrievably lost." He said, "I would rather entreat each and every one of them" through fresh consecration and "dynamic and decisive" action "to wipe out.... with one stroke, the deficiencies which have, to no small extent, bogged down the operations of the Crusade on the home front. . ." In that same message he warned that the Plan was suffering from these vital deficiencies "which, if not speedily and fundamentally remedied, will not only mutilate the Plan itself, but jeopardize the prizes won so laboriously since its inauguration."
There can be no doubt that if each individual believer in these national communities, where the goals are not yet won, will place his whole trust in God, if he will deeply search his heart and question whether he may not be the one privileged, indeed needed, to make the sacrifice of moving to one of those centres where a Local Assembly must be established, if he will call to mind the admonition of Bahá'u'lláh to deputize one in his stead if he is not himself able to go forth and teach, if he will rise to



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higher levels of sacrifice in this hour of great need on the home fronts, the victory will be assured.
Not alone in the arena of teaching, but also in the pioneering field, the opportunities and high rewards that now beckon every Bahá'í are indeed priceless. They who have gone forth in His Name to the goal towns on the home fronts, or to distant lands where the banner of Bahá'u'lláh had to be implanted or to be kept waving, have given such victories to the Cause of God which down the corridors of time will reverberate to His glory, and which succeeding generations shall remember with pride and gratitude. They are now painstakingly and diligently buttressing the pillars on which shall soon be laid the splendrous dome of God's Universal House of Justice.
No consideration of needs in the teaching field at the present time can leave out that majestic theme of mass conversion which the Guardian introduced into his Global Crusade upon the eve of his departure from this world, and which he stated must immortalize the second half of this Plan, which itself is but a stage in the unfoldment of that Divine Plan which he characterized as'Abdu'l-Bahá's "Mandate", His "world-encircling Plan", "the Master Plan of the appointed Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant."
The pre-eminent task of teaching the Faith to the multitudes is "a task", the Guardian wrote, "so dear to the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá; at once so sacred, so fundamental, and so urgent; primarily involving and challenging every single individual"; it is, he said, "the bedrock on which the solidity and the stability of the multiplying institutions of a rising Order must rest."
In the last months of Shoghi Effendi's precious life he encouraged the National Assemblies, and all those engaged in the teaching work, to make a far greater effort to bring about this portent ' ous process of converting the masses. He urged them to simplify their methods of teaching and enrolling new believers, to remove obstacles from the path of those hun-gering for the Word of God. He said the fundamental thing was to plant in the heart of the seeker the knowledge that the Promised One had come, that Bahá'u'lláh was God's Divine Messenger for this Day, and to en-courage him to accept His station and embrace His Faith. "The essential thing", he wrote, "is that the candidate for enrolment should believe in his heart in the truth of Bahá'u'lláh. Whether he is literate or illiterate, informed of all the Teachings or not, is beside the point entirely. When the spark of faith exists the essential Message is there, and gradually everything else can be added unto it." He pointed out that "those responsible for accepting new enrolments must just be sure of one thing-that the heart of the applicant has been touched with the spirit of the Faith. Everything else can be built on this foundation gradually."



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He promised us that once this spirit of mass conversion is released in the world, its momentum will increase mysteriously in every part of the planet. "As the Cause spreads all over the world", he assured us, "its rate of acceleration increases too, and new centres in Africa, in some mysterious way, have spiritual repercussions which aid in forming new centres every-where." May not Africa have ignited Indonesia which fired Bolivia which in turn set ablaze India? That the beloved Guardian's words have already found fulfilment is evident in the astounding flood of teaching victories achieved this year, particularly in India, where more than eight thousand have entered the tabernacle of Bahá'u'lláh in the past eight months.
If every National Assembly, every Local Assembly and every individ-ual believer will arise at this hour, and seize with both hands this God-given opportunity, we can hasten that joyous day foretold in the words of our beloved Guardian when he launched this glorious Global Crusade, a day when "the light of God's triumphant Faith, shining in all its power and glory, will have suffused and enveloped the entire planet."
"The purpose of the new National Assemblies in Africa, and the pur-pose of any administrative body," he wrote to one of these African Assemblies on August 8, 1957, "is to carry the Message to the people and enlist the sincere under the banner of this Faith. Your Assembly must never lose sight of this for a moment, and must go on courageously expanding the membership of the communities under your jurisdiction, and gradually educating the friends in both the Teachings and the Admin-istration. Nothing could be more tragic than if the establishment of these great administrative bodies should stifle or bog down the teaching work. The early believers in both the East and the West, we must always remember, knew practically nothing compared to what the average Bahá'í knows about his Faith nowadays, yet they were the ones who shed their blood, the ones who arose and said: 'I believe', requiring no proof, and often never having read a single word of the Teachings."
Shoghi Effendi made it unmistakably clear that his words did not apply to Africa alone, for in another letter, written at his behest by an assistant secretary, we find it clearly stated that "What has been achieved in Africa sets an example to be followed by Bahá'ís everywhere.... The Guardian sees no reason why similar victories should not be achieved in all parts of the world." As early as 1938, in a letter to the American National Assem-bly, in which he stressed the "high privilege of Local Assemblies" in facilitating the admission of new believers, he wrote: "To them I wish particularly to appeal ... to desist from insisting too rigidly on the minor observances and beliefs, which might prove a stumbling-block in the way of any sincere applicant, whose eager desire is to enlist under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh." He was still making this same appeal towards the end of



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his life: the friends should be very careful not to place hindrances in the way of those who wish to accept the Faith. If we make the requirements too rigorous, we will cool off the initial enthusiasm, rebuff the hearts and cease to expand rapidly."
Keenly aware of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's words that: "The Hands of the Cause of God must spend all their time in teaching. Erelong will the assistance of the Heavenly Kingdom be manifest beyond all expectations and the words 'you will see people enter the Religion of God troop upon troop' be realized', we have decided that all the Hands, including those resident in the Holy Land, will devote as much of their time as possible to accelerating the process of mass conversion on the one hand, and on the other, in fulfilment of the Guardian's instructions, to meeting frequently with vari-ous National Assemblies in order to deliberate with them on ways and means of winning the goals of the Crusade.
The tasks facing the institution of the Hands and the members of its Teaching and Protection Boards grow in weight as the Ten Year Plan advances. Once again we appeal to the members of these Boards to be more mindful of the duties given them by their beloved Guardian and to devote their hearts, their energies and their time to the work he outlined for them. To the degree to which each Hand and each Board member concentrates on his own specific task will the work of our glorious Faith speedily attain those victories which alone can bring the World Crusade to a triumphal end.
On the occasion of the election of the eleven new European National Spiritual Assemblies next Ridvan six of the Hands of the Faith will be present as follows: Italy and Switzerland, Ugo Giachery; Belgium and Luxembourg, Dr. 'Ali-Muhammad Varqd; Holland and Denmark, Hasan Balyuzi; Sweden and Finland, Adelbert Miihlschlegel; Spain and Portu-gal, Paul Haney; Norway, John Ferr aby, who will also attend the British Bahá'í Convention. The election of the new National Spiritual Assembly of Ceylon will be attended by Shu'á'u'lláh 'Alá'í.
In addition to these activities, and after careful consideration of the over-all needs of the teaching work at this time in various continents, it has been decided that in view of the delicate state of health of Músá Banání which prevents him from moving about, John Robarts will remain a Hand of the Cause in Africa. William Sears will devote as much time as possible to the work in the Western Hemisphere, to which he will proceed in the near future. Rahmatu'llah Muhdjir, in view of the presence of both John Robarts and Enoch Olinga in Africa, will devote his time to the Asian and Pacific teaching fields, proceeding shortly on a lengthy tour which will take him as far as the islands of the South Pacific, later returning to the South East Asian field which is now being swept by a



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mighty wave of enthusiasm for the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh and where die indigenous peoples are entering the Faith in great numbers.
Abu'l-Qásim Faizí will leave next spring to spend several months in the most promising mass conversion areas of Latin America, whilst Jaldl KhAzeh plans shortly a prolonged and extensive trip to the new centres in India where the people are truly entering the Faith in troops. 'Ali-Akbar Furdtan and Leroy loas will both spend time assisting the European home fronts, the former in the near future, the latter during the summer months. All the Continental Hands have pledged themselves to travel as extensively as possible to promote the teaching and consolidation work in their areas.
With the erection in 1962 of twelve more future pillars of that supreme legislative Body of the Bahá'í world, a firm foundation will have been laid for the election of "that Universal House of Justice which," Shoghi Effendi stated, "as its title implies, is to be the exponent and guardian of that Divine Justice which can alone ensure the security of, and establish the reign of law and order in, a strangely disordered world."
We are now able to envisage the steps that must still be taken before that "Ark" referred to in Bahá'u'lláh's prophetic Tablet of Carmel shall come into being, an ark whose dwellers, the Guardian told us, "are the men of the Supreme House of Justice, which, in conformity with the exact provisions of the Will and Testament of the Centre of the Mighty Cov-enant, is the Body which should legislate on laws not explicitly revealed in the Text. In this Dispensation, these laws are destined to flow from this Holy Mountain, even as in the Mosaic Dispensation the law of God was promulgated from Zion."
The Chief Stewards of the Faith are therefore calling a Convention in the Holy Land for the election of the Universal House of Justice on the first, second and third days of Ridvan, 1963. The members of all National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies elected by the Bahá'ís in Ridvan, 1962 will, in conformity with the teachings, constitute the electoral body em-powered to vote for this crowning unit of the embryonic World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, upon whose deliberations the unique bounty of receiving divine inspiration has been bestowed, and whose decisions are infallibly guided by both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.
After long and conscientious consideration of the needs of the present hour and the writings of our dearly-loved Guardian, the following deci-sion has been reached: All male voting members throughout the Bahá'í world are eligible for election to the Universal House of Justice. The Hands of the Cause do not limit the freedom of the electors. However, as they have been given the explicit duties of guarding over the security and ensuring the propagation of the Faith, they ask the electors to leave them free at this time to discharge their duties. When that supreme and infallible



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Body has been elected it will decide on all matters concerning its own membership.
At a later date, and in ample time for each qualified elector of the Universal House of Justice to cast his or her vote, a detailed election call, as well as ballots for those unable to attend the International Convention in the Holy Land will be issued from the World Centre.
Owing to conditions affecting the Cause which still prevail in the Middle East, it has become evident that it is not possible to hold the World Congress in BaZhddd in 1963, on the occasion of the world-wide celebrations of the "Most Great Jubilee", the Centenary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in the Garden of Ridvan. Prolonged investigations have shown us that to make plans at this time for it to take place there is out of the question. We have therefore decided that this first World Congress, the last of the great gatherings of the Bahá'ís to be summoned by Shoghi Effendi, which constitutes the joyous consummation of ten years of unprecedented work and achievement, shall be held in London, the city which enshrines his infinitely precious remains, on the 28th, 29th and 30th of April and the lst and 2nd of May, 1963, a period which includes the 9th and 12th days of Ridvan. In taking this decision we have been comforted by the knowledge that he himself, in view of the situation in this part of the world, expressed towards the end of his life, serious doubts as to whether it would be possible to hold the Congress in Baghdád. It must be a consolation to every believer who plans to be present on this unique occasion to know that he will be able to visit the grave of Shoghi Effendi and offer his prayers there as the last, majestic, glorious, globe-conquering Plan of his Guardian draws to its close.
Because of the dates set for the election of the Universal House of Justice and the World Congress-both events of unique historic importance in this century, and which must perforce take place during the Ridvan period-it has been decided to hold the elections of all National Spiritual Assemblies for the Bahá'í year 120 on the week-end beginning May 23rd, 1963. In making this decision we have been guided by the fact that the beloved Guardian himself permitted, in special rare circum-stances, the Annual Conventions to be held outside the Ridvan period.
The challenge confronting the standard-bearers of Bahá'u'lláh in ev-ery continent of the globe, in every field of Bahá'í activity, in these swiftly passing hours is unprecedented; the opportunities lying within their reach are of such magnitude that only future generations can comprehend their glory and their significance in the majestic unfoldment of Bahá'u'lláh's World-Redeeming Order.
Not many years have passed since the beloved Guardian addressed to the Bahá'í world the following pregnant words, full of hope, full of



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longing, full of love and full of warning. We do well to recall them now when we face our last possible chance to consummate his Plan and to consolidate the foundations of the Universal House of Justice: "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 Bahá'u'lláh, 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 enrolled. . . "
He who was the Sign of God on earth has assured us that "The invisible hosts of the abha Kingdom are arrayed and ready to rush forth and ensure the triumph of every stout-hearted and persevering herald of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh", and that "God's Own Plan has been set in motion. It is gathering momentum with every passing day. The powers of heaven and earth mysteriously assist in its execution. Such an opportunity is irreplaceable. Let the doubter arise and himself verify the truth of such assertions. To try, to persevere, is to ensure ultimate and complete victory."
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
[Signed as follows]
RuhiyyihEnoch Olinga
Amelia CollinsHasan M. Balyuzi
Tardzu'llah SamandaríPaul E. Haney
Leroy loasUgo Giachery
A. Q. FaiziWilliam Sears
Hermann GrossmannAdelbert Mühlschlegel
Agnes B. AlexanderJohn Robarts
Zikrullah KhademMohajer
H. Collis FeatherstoneJohn Ferraby
Sh. AlaiJalal Khazeh
A. Furutan
BAHA'I WILMETTE
NOVEMBER 6,1961

MINDFUL BELOVED GUARDIAN'S EMPHASIS PREEMINENT SACRED TASK TEACHING FAITH MULTITUDES AND RECENT EVIDENCE MOUNTING WORLDWIDE


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FLOOD ENROLMENTS URGE BELIEVERS OCCASION FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY ASCENSION MASTER JOIN US ARDENT PRAYERS ACCELERATION PROCESS MASS CONVERSION RESOLVE DEDICATE INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS ASSURE RESOUNDING VICTORIES REMAINING MONTHS HOLY CRUSADE AIRMAIL MESSAGE ALL NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
[CABLE]HANDSFAITH

To All National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies
December 10, 1961

Beloved Friends:
The season of pilgrimage to the holy Shrines at the World Centre is once again under way, and believers from many parts of the Bahá'í world are being welcomed for the usual nine days of pilgrimage.
We have noted that some of the friends were not aware of the policy of the beloved Guardian with respect to visits to other Holy Places and points of interest in Israel. Shoghi Effendi permitted such visits after completion of the nine-day pilgrimage to the holiest Shrines of our Faith. The friends can remain in the Holy Land for several days after their pilgrimage for this purpose.
Although no general announcement should be made, and no quotation from this letter should be published in your News Letters, we feel that each National and Regional Assembly should have this information in order to answer any inquiries which may be made by the friends who contemplate making the pilgrimage.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To All National Spiritual Assemblies
December 10, 1961

Beloved Friends:
You have been informed, through the Message from the recent Annual Gathering of the Hands of the Cause, that the World Congress called by our beloved Guardian is to be held in the city of London, beginning April 28, 1963. We now wish to inform all the National and Regional Assem-blies of the action which has been taken to coordinate the tremendous task of planning for this unique and historic event.



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A Congress Arrangements Committee has been appointed to handle the detailed arrangements for the Congress. The members and officers are: Mildred Mottahedeh, Chairman; John Long, Vice-Chairman; Dor-othy Ferr aby, Secretary; John Wade, Assistant Secretary; David Hofman; Habib Nahai; and Edna True. This Committee will function from London. The work of this Committee will be under the general supervision of the Hands in the Holy Land, but the Committee will report directly to the International Bahá'í Council. Correspondence with National Assemblies concerning policy matters connected with the Congress will be carried on by the Council from the Holy Land, but correspondence about detailed arrangements will be with the Congress Arrangements Committee. The Council will shortly be in touch with the National and Regional Assemblies and will inform you of the procedures to be followed and the information needed.
In these fast-fleeting final months of the World Crusade every be-liever, and particularly the members of the National and Regional Assem-blies who carry such heavy burdens of responsibility, surely will exert a supreme effort to ensure that the Most Great Jubilee can be befittingly celebrated by the attainment of all of the remaining goals of the beloved Guardian's Plan.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To National Spiritual Assemblies of Latin America
December 24, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
The establishment of 21 National Assemblies in Latin America, the greater number having jurisdiction over people speaking Spanish, has raised problems regarding the publication of Bahá'í literature in that language. These problems provide the National Assemblies concerned with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are worthy of the status ordained for them in the Tablets of the Divine Plan by developing a system of inter-Assembly cooperation in publications in Spanish that will act as an example and an inspiration to National Assemblies faced with similar problems regarding publications in other languages.
The beloved Guardian has indicated the proper basis for such co-operation by calling for the formation in Buenos Aires of a Bahá'í Pub-lishing Trust, which works under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Argentina. Although each National Assembly



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is free to publish minor literature (including vernacular literature) for its own use, the bulk of the publishing in Spanish, and particularly the publishing of important books, must be by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of Buenos Aires. The National Assemblies of Latin America using Spanish literature should regard it as part of their responsibility under the Divine Plan to ensure the successful development of this Publishing Trust by facilitating the concentration in it of the publishing of Bahá'í literature in Spanish.
Any cooperative publishing ventures undertaken by interested National Assemblies should be executed through this Publishing Trust. Since the Argentinian National Assembly and its Publishing Trust must act as the pivot for such cooperation, other National Assemblies should refrain for the present from circulating each other about matters relating to pub-lishing in Spanish. The Argentinian National Assembly, on the other hand, should pay due regard itself, and see that the Publishing Trust pays due regard, to the facilities available in other countries and do its utmost to ensure that publications fulfil the need of the other countries both in regard to content and production.
The adoption of the above scheme can be a milestone in the development of proper relations between National Assemblies in Latin America, and not only provide an instrument of great importance for the spread of the Faith in that area, but demonstrate to the whole world the force for unity that lies within the Bahá'í Administrative Order. We appeal to the National Assemblies concerned to exert every effort to make publishing of Bahá'í literature in Spanish a cooperative venture that will redound to the credit of the Cause.
With warm Bahá'í love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To All National Spiritual Assemblies
December 25, 1961

Dear Bahá'í Friends:
We feel moved to bring to your attention something which is not of major importance but nevertheless should be mentioned.
In correspondence received here in the Holy Land, we notice that the Hands are being increasingly referred to as the "Revered" Hands. We know that it is the love of the Bahá'ís and their respect for the members of this august institution that leads the friends to so designate us. However, as our beloved Guardian in referring to the Hands never used the adjective



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"revered", we would like the friends to please not use it. Whatever he called us is more than sufficient honour and bounty. He only mentioned us as Hands of the Cause of God. We feel that it is highly inappropriate that any adjective should be used in the way that "revered" is now being commonly used in referring to the Hands, and ask you to please share this request with the believers.
With loving greetings,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

To the Hands of the Cause of God
December 27, 1961

Dearly-loved Co-workers:
Seven weeks have passed since the time we were all together at Bahjf. Here in this first general letter since our Annual Gathering we share with you recent news of the Faith. Dear Milly's health is still the cause of much concern. She is confined to her room in the Master's house, has day and night nurses, and has not been able to attend any of our meetings. That is why her signature does not appear on any letter. Tarazu'llah Samandarf is in the Holy Land, engaged with the valuable work on original Tablets which he began two years ago. Bill left for the United States early in November, Khddem is back there after a short visit to Persia, and Hermann plans to leave for South America early in February. Jalál is now in India. Before proceeding there he travelled in the northern parts of Persia and met the believers in many centres. Muhdjir, after a visit to Pakistan where he travelled in the interior of the country, is now also in India. He and Jalál will be present at the large teaching conference planned for the end of December in the mass conversion area. Collis visited many Assemblies and centres en route to Australia, was present at the inauguration of the Teaching Institute in Madhya Pradesh in India, and also at the re-institution of the Colombo Spiritual Assembly in Ceylon. Agnes visited Hong Kong and the Philippines where she reported a remarkable expansion in teaching activity and many declarations. It is obvious that this area is now at the portals of mass conversion. Fur6tan left for Italy at the beginning of December, visited Cyprus en route, and is now in Switzerland. Hasan has been in the Holy Land working with Amatu'l-Baha Rúhíyyih Khanum on the Archives, but is leaving this week for London. He will be back here in the weeks immediately preceding Ridvan. John Robarts has been visiting communities in North Africa, and is attending a conference in Nairobi toward the end of December. We



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have had our dear Músá Banání much in mind, as the state of his health is still precluding him from actual participation in the affairs of the Cause. Both Ugo and Adelbert have suffered from ill health, but in spite of that they have been travelling in various parts of Europe.
The response to the financial appeal in our message has been very encouraging. Donations by individuals and Assemblies have increased, and the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States reports that substantial contributions intended for the International Fund have reached it. A Local Assembly in Panama (Canal Zone) has sent a contribution of five hundred dollars, which is remarkable in relation to the size and the circumstances of that community. However the need remains urgent to constantly encourage the believers to keep up a continuous and generous flow of funds, in the way envisaged by the beloved Guardian.
Recently in Panama City nine declarations were accepted at the same time, an event unprecedented there. The National Spiritual Assembly of Panama reports further exciting victories. It writes: "Due to the efforts of Alan and Ruth Pringle we now have eighty adult Bahá'ís on the Island of Ustupo. This does not even count the youth and children. The first Cuna has arisen to go to another island to give the Message. His name is Henrique Alfare. The Indian believers are now erecting a local Haziratu'l-Quds on the land donated by one Bahá'í on Ustupo."
France has celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Master's visit, has held a very successful, well-attended Teaching Conference in Lyons at which Ugo was present, and reports good press and radio publicity, and general improvement in both teaching and consolidation. A Conference of the European Hands, Board members and National Spiritual Assem-blies will be held in Paris in mid-January.
In the British Isles goal towns are being steadily filled, mostly by new declarations. A report by Marion Hofman reads as follows: "We have just returned from a week-end School in South Wales, fully arranged by the new Pontypridd Spiritual Assembly. Nearly fifty attended, and they were predominantly Welsh-real Welsh-both Bahá'ís and contacts. One couple who only heard of the Faith last March, and declared in time to make the Assembly, already have one spiritual child, and the second should declare any moment. The Mayor of Pontypridd opened the School, wearing his official chain of office, read two Bahá'í prayers and stayed for two lectures and high tea. He had intended rushing off after fifteen minutes. Another councillor from Pontypfidd and his wife attended the whole school."
Governors of four States of the United States issued proclamations to make Sunday, September 17th, 1961 "World Peace Day", because of the fact that Bahá'ís were observing the occasion.



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Ecuador reports a very successful teaching conference with the partici-pation of newly-declared Indian believers. Numbers have steadily in-creased there. In Canada the acceleration in teaching which began last year encouragingly continues. Centres and groups have been established on more Indian reservations. The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada writes that Bahá'í marriage is now recognized by the Province of Ontario. It further writes that, "Our new enrolments now number 192 on the home front and thirty-five in the Yukon. Many of these are Indians coming mainly from Alberta and Saskatchewan."
The Muslim Sharí'ah Court in Kuwait has officially recognized and endorsed a Bahá'í marriage performed in Qatar by its Local Spiritual Assembly. This is indeed a remarkable triumph for the Faith.
The South-East Asian Regional Assembly reports that the military government in Indonesia has issued instructions to local authorities to ban all Bahá'í activity and confiscate all Bahá'í property. No developments are as yet reported.
Because of the increasing use on the part of the believers of the adjective "Revered" whilst referring to the Hands of the Cause, we have asked the National Assemblies to request the friends to refrain from its use.
The season of pilgrimage is with us now. This year not many of the Persian friends whose turn is reached can come due to travel restrictions enforced in Iran. The presence of Tardzu'llah Samandarf here during the pilgrimage season is a great boon and tremendously appreciated. His experiences in the Faith which he shares with the pilgrims are truly inspiring.
We have appointed the following Committee to take over the arrangements in London for the World Congress: Mildred Mottahedeh (Chair-man), John Long (Vice-Chairman), Dorothy Ferraby (Secretary), John Wade (Assistant Secretary), David Hofman, Habib Nahai, Edna True. This Committee will explore possibilities for contracts with air lines, attend to hotel reservations, and carry out the policies decided here at the World Centre. The International Council is in correspondence with National Spiritual Assemblies to obtain all the information required.
With deepest love,
In the service of the beloved Guardian,
HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND



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