[FIRST MESSAGE TO 1948 CONVENTION]
I am moved to share with assembled delegates of the fortieth American Bahá'í Convention the following facts and figures testifying to the present status of the World Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and disclosing the marvelous acceleration in the double process of the extension of its range and the consolidation of the institutions of its Administrative Order in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres in the course of the first four years of the second Bahá'í century.
The number of countries opened to the Faith total ninety-one. Bahá'í literature is translated and printed in fifty-one languages. Representatives of thirty-one races are enrolled in the Bahá'í World Community. Eighty-eight assemblies, national and local, are incorporated. The number of localities where Bahá'ís have established residence has been raised to over thirty in Australasia, to over forty in Germany and Austria, over sixty in the Dominion of Canada, over eighty in the Indian subcontinent and Burma, over one hundred in Latin America, over seven hundred in Persia and to over twelve hundred in the United States of America.
The value of international Bahá'í endowments in the Holy Land and the Jordan Valley is estimated at over six hundred thousand pounds. National Bahá'í endowments on the North American continent are valued at over two million dollars. The area of land dedicated to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Persia is approximately four million square meters. The value of the national Haziratu'l-Quds in the capitals of India and Persia respectively is six hundred thousand rupees and fifty thousand pounds. The area of land dedicated to the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in South America is ninety thousand square meters. The number of pieces of Bahá'í literature sold and distributed in the course of one year in North America is over eighty thousand pieces. The record of the number of visitors to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in America in one year is over seventeen thousand and the total number of visitors since its erection is over one quarter of a million. The number of states in the American Union formally recognizing Bahá'í marriage certificates is now eight. The number of national assemblies functioning in the Bahá'í world is raised to nine through the formation of the first Canadian National Assembly, to be shortly reinforced through the constitution of two additional assemblies in South and Central America and the West Indies.
The second seven-year, the six-year, the four and one-half year, the six-year, the three-year, the five-year and forty-five month plans respectively launched by the American, British, Indian, Australasian, Iraqi, Canadian, and Persian National Spiritual Assemblies, some culminating at the first Centennial of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's mission, others the Hundredth Anniversary of the Báb's Martyrdom, are aiming at the establishment of three national assemblies in Canada and Latin America, the completion of the interior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West, the formation of spiritual assemblies in ten sovereign states of the European continent, the constitution of nineteen assemblies in the British Isles, doubling the number of assemblies in India, Pakistan and Burma, the reconstitution of the dissolved assemblies and the establishment of ninety-five new centers in Persia, the conversion of groups in Bahrein, the Hijaz and Afghanistan into assemblies, the formation of administrative nuclei in the Arabian territories of Yemen, Oman, Hasa and Kuweit; the formation of thirty-one groups and seven assemblies in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania; the multiplication of centers in the provinces of Iraq, including the district of Shattu'l-Arab; the incorporation of the Canadian National Assembly; doubling the number of assemblies and raising to one hundred the centers in the Dominion of Canada; the constitution of nuclei in Newfoundland and Greenland and the participation of Eskimos and Red Indians in the local institutions of the Administrative Order.
Plans and specifications have been prepared, and preliminary measures taken, to place contracts for the arcade of the Báb's Sepulcher. Historic International Bahá'í Congresses held in South and Central America and an inter-European Teaching Conference projected for Geneva paving the way for future World Bahá'í Congress. Recognition extended to the Faith by United Nations as international non-governmental body, enabling appointment of accredited representatives to United Nations conferences, is heralding world recognition for a universal proclamation of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.
[April 16, 1948]