[MESSAGE TO 1949 CONVENTION]
Desire to share with attendants at Forty-first American Bahá'í Convention feelings of joyous gratitude evoked by the steady acceleration of the dual process of expansion and consolidation of the Bahá'í World Community as well as the perspicuous evidences of divine protection vouchsafed the World Center of the Faith during the course of the third year of the Second Seven Year Plan. The number of countries included within the pale of the Faith is ninety-four. Languages into which Bahá'í literature is translated, and assemblies, local and national, incorporated, now total fifty-six and one hundred five, respectively. Bahá'í literature now being translated into fourteen additional languages. The number of centers in Latin America is one hundred and nine. The fourth objective of the present Plan has been achieved four years ahead of schedule through the formation of a spiritual assembly in each of the ten goal countries on the European continent. Centers established in these countries total thirty-one, newly enrolled native believers, one hundred fifty-four. Nearly a million dollar drive to complete the Mother Temple of the West has been auspiciously launched and construction of interior sections of the ornamentation initiated. Number of settlements in Greenland provided with Bahá'í scriptures raised to forty-eight, including Thule beyond the Arctic Circle and Etah near eightieth latitude. Number of American states, territories and federal districts recognizing Bahá'í marriage raised to eighteen. Restoration of the newly acquired German national Haziratu'l-Quds at Frankfurt has been commenced. Formulation of five year plans for German and Egyptian National Assemblies, culminating at the Centenary of the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh's prophetic Mission, completes the number of national assemblies pledged to achieve within appointed time specified goals in five continents. The European Teaching Conference convened at Geneva inaugurating series of annual gatherings designed to consolidate the tremendously significant transatlantic project. Bahá'í observers accredited by United Nations participated in Conference on Human Rights, Geneva; United Nations General Assembly, Paris. Bahá'í representative attended Luxembourg general conference of world movement for world federation. First all red Indian Assembly consolidated at Macy, Nebraska. Building operations on arcade of Báb's Sepulcher commenced forty years after official interment of His remains by `Abdu'l-Bahá. Prolonged hostilities ravaging Holy Land providentially terminated. Bahá'í holy places, unlike those belonging to other faiths, miraculously safeguarded. Perils no less grave than those which threatened the World Center of the Faith under `Abdu'l-Hamid and Jamál Páshá and through Hitler's intended capture of the Near East, averted. Independent sovereign state within confines of Holy Land established and recognized, marking termination of twenty-century-long provincial status. Formal assurance of the protection of Bahá'í holy sites and continuation of Bahá'í pilgrimage given by Prime Minister of newly emerged state. Official invitation extended by its government on the historic occasion of the opening of the state's first parliament. Official record of Bahá'í marriage endorsed, Bahá'í endowments exempted by responsible authorities of the same state. Best wishes for the future welfare of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh conveyed in writing by the newly elected head of the state in reply to congratulatory message addressed him upon assumption of his office. Appeal to entire community, through assembled delegates, in thankful recognition of the manifold blessings vouchsafed the Faith and in response to the alert sounded for the present emergency, to arise and demonstrate more conspicuously than ever before, through greater austerity at home and increasing audacity in foreign fields, both in Latin America and Europe, their grim determination at whatever cost, no matter how crucial the test, however long the period, however herculean the labor, to carry forward unremittingly their task to its triumphant conclusion.
[April 25, 1949]