Citadel of Faith

Letters to the American Bahá'í Community

Forty-Fifth Annual Convention: U.S. Tasks in World Crusade

My soul is uplifted in joy and thanksgiving at the triumphant conclusion of the Second Seven Year Plan immortalized by the brilliant victories simultaneously won by the vanguard of the hosts of Bahá'u'lláh in Latin America, in Europe and in Africa--victories befittingly crowned through the consummation of a fifty year old enterprise, the completion of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the western world. The signal success that has attended the second collective enterprise undertaken in the course of American Bahá'í history climaxes a term of stewardship to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, of almost three score years' duration--a period which has enriched the annals of the concluding epoch of the Heroic, and shed luster on the first thirty years of the Formative Age of the Bahá'í Dispensation. So fecund a period has been marked by teaching activities unexcelled throughout the western world and has been distinguished by administrative exploits unparalleled in the annals of any Bahá'í national community whether in the East or in the West. I am impelled, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Most Great Festival, coinciding with a triple celebration--the dedication of the Mother Temple of the West, the launching of a World Spiritual Crusade and the commemoration of the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission--to pay warmest tribute to the preeminent share which the American Bahá'í Community has had in the course of over half a century in proclaiming His Revelation, in shielding His Cause, in championing His Covenant, in erecting the administrative machinery of His embryonic World Order, in expounding His teachings, in translating and disseminating His Holy Word, in dispatching the messengers of His Glad Tidings, in awakening royalty to His Call, in succoring His oppressed followers, in routing His enemies, in upholding His Law, in asserting the independence of His Faith, in multiplying the financial resources of its nascent institutions and, last but not least, in rearing its greatest House of Worship--the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the western world.

The hour is now ripe for this greatly gifted, richly blessed community to arise and reaffirm, through the launching of yet another enterprise, its primacy, enhance its spiritual heritage, plumb greater depths of consecration and capture loftier heights in the course of its strenuous and ceaseless labors for the exaltation of God's Cause.

The Ten Year Plan, constituting the third and final stage of the initial epoch in the evolution of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Master Plan, which, God willing, will raise to greater heights the fame of the stalwart American Bahá'í Community, and seat it upon "the throne of an everlasting dominion," envisaged by the Author of the Tablets of this same Plan, involves:

First, the opening of the following virgin territories, eleven in Africa: Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, French Somaliland, French Togoland, Mauritius, Northern Territories Protectorate, Portuguese Guinea, Reunion Island, Spanish Guinea, St. Helena and St. Thomas Island; eight in Asia: Caroline Islands, Dutch New Guinea, Hainan Island, Kazakhstan, Macao Island, Sakhalin Island, Tibet and Tonga Islands; six in Europe: Andorra, Azores, Balearic Islands, Lofoten Islands, Spitzbergen and Ukraine; and four in America: Aleutian Islands, Falkland Islands, Key West and Kodiak Island.

Second, the consolidation of the Faith in the following territories, six in Asia: China, Formosa, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Philippine Islands; two in Africa: Liberia and South Africa; twelve in Europe: the ten goal countries, Finland and France; three in America: the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Third, the extension of assistance to the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'ís of Central and South America, as well as to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Italy and Switzerland in forming twenty national spiritual assemblies in the republics of Latin America and two in Europe, namely in Italy and Switzerland; the extension of assistance for the establishment of a national Haziratu'l-Quds in the capital of each of the aforementioned countries as well as of national Bahá'í endowments in these same countries.

Fourth, the establishment of ten national spiritual assemblies in the following European countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, France and Finland.

Fifth, the establishment of a national spiritual assembly in Japan and one in the South Pacific Islands.

Sixth, the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Alaska.

Seventh, the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South and West Africa.

Eighth, the incorporation of each of the fourteen above-mentioned national spiritual assemblies.

Ninth, the establishment of national Bahá'í endowments by these same national spiritual assemblies.

Tenth, the establishment of a national Haziratu'l-Quds in the capital city of each of the eleven of the aforementioned countries, as well as one in Anchorage, one in Suva, and one in Johannesburg.

Eleventh, the erection of the first dependency of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the western world.

Twelfth, the extension of assistance for the purchase of land for four future Temples, two in Europe: in Stockholm and Rome; one in Central America, in Panama City; and one in Africa, in Johannesburg.

Thirteenth, the completion of the landscaping of the grounds of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette.

Fourteenth, the raising to one hundred of the number of incorporated local assemblies within the American Union.

Fifteenth, the raising to three hundred of the number of local spiritual assemblies in that same country.

Sixteenth, the incorporation of spiritual assemblies in the leading cities of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal, as well as of the Spiritual Assemblies of Paris, of Helsingfors, of Tokyo, of Suva and of Johannesburg.

Seventeenth, the quadrupling of the number of local spiritual assemblies and the trebling of the number of localities in the aforementioned countries.

Eighteenth, the translation of Bahá'í literature into ten languages in Europe, (Basque, Estonian, Flemish, Lapp, Maltese, Piedmontese, Romani, Romansch, Yiddish and Ziryen; ten in America: Aguaruna, Arawak, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Iroquois, Lengua, Mataco, Maya, Mexican and Yahgan.

Nineteenth, the conversion to the Faith of members of the leading Indian tribes.

Twentieth, the conversion to the Faith of representatives of the Basque and Gypsy races.

Twenty-first, the establishment of summer schools in each of the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, as well as those of the Iberian Peninsula.

Twenty-second, the proclamation of the Faith through the press and radio throughout the United States of America.

Twenty-third, the establishment of a Bahá'í Publishing Trust in Wilmette, Illinois.

Twenty-fourth, the formation of an Asian teaching committee designed to stimulate and coordinate the teaching activities initiated by the Plan.

May this community--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 Center 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--arise, in the course of the momentous decade separating the Great from the Most Great Jubilee to secure, as befits its rank, the lion's share in the prosecution of a global crusade designed to diffuse the light of God's revelation over the surface of the entire planet.

[April 29, 1953]

Citadel of Faith
Letters to the American Bahá'í Community
pages 106-109

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