Dear Bahá'í Brother:
The beloved Guardian has received your letters of January 29, February 13, April 7 and April 14 (2), and May 1, 1952, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was very pleased to hear of the progress the German Bahá'ís are making, not only in their teaching work, as witnessed by the formation of new assemblies and the establishment of new groups, but also in the administrative field.
The reports he received about the success of your Convention this year, the free consultation and the unity which prevailed amongst the friends, encouraged him greatly. He feels that this indicates a new maturity on the part of the German believers. They must come to realize that the Administration is a system both living and dynamic, and that, through obedience to its principles and regulations, they will gain greater strength in teaching the Faith, and be able to direct their energies as a united force into the different channels of service that lie open to them. One of the main reasons why the Faith does not advance more rapidly is because the friends have not learned to live with, and work within the framework of the Administrative Order. Either they crystallize it into too set a form, or they rebel against what they feel to be a System, and do not give it sufficient support. Both of these extremes impede the progress of the Faith, and the efficiency of the believers.
In this connection I should like to mention that the Guardian states that the Hands of the Cause are eligible to administrative offices except those permanently residing in Haifa and helping the Guardian in the administrative work. Whenever the time comes when the Hands should give up their administrative offices in order to be more free to serve under his direction, he will inform the friends.
The convention--all Bahá'í Conventions--must be held within the Ridván period; and he was very pleased to see that you had been able to advance the date of your Convention without affecting its success.
As regards the question you asked, the Bahá'í marriage certificate has been accepted by the Israel Authorities. All the Bahá'í properties and imports are exempt from taxation and customs, and the status of the Faith as a religion, recognized. At present, we are planning to clarify our legal position with the Government, and get it on a more concrete footing. We are not incorporated here, but there are the Palestine Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of both the United States and India incorporated here, and holding title to property.
He was very pleased to see that the Secretary is now residing at the Hazira, as he considers this both the proper procedure, and important for the national work.
He was very sorry to learn that you are still having so many financial difficulties in connection with the Headquarters, and hopes that, through the self-sacrifice of the believers, the debts can be gradually wiped out, and funds be made available for other important forms of Bahá'í activity.
He thanks you all for the expression of your loving sympathy on the occasion of the passing of dear Mr. Maxwell. His services will long be remembered, and he has had a very great bounty in being permitted to design the Holy Tomb of the Báb.
He assures you all that, in his visits to the Holy Shrines, he remembers you lovingly in his prayers, and supplicates for your guidance and the advancement of your work....
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-workers:
From the reports and communications received, in the course of recent months, from your assembly I have derived considerable satisfaction, as I have noted the spirit of wholehearted dedication which has animated its members in the discharge of the manifold duties and sacred responsibilities which have faced them in the execution of their Plan. It is indeed highly gratifying, and a source of great pride, to contemplate the progress that has been made, the consolidation that has been achieved, the great sacrifices that have been willingly undertaken, the enthusiasm, the fidelity, and the perseverance that have been so abundantly demonstrated, the publicity that has been accorded the Faith, the plans that have been devised, the marked stimulus that has been given to the activities of the Youth, the harmony that has characterized the collaboration of the oriental and occidental believers, the progress made in connexion with the National Haziratu'l-Quds, the steady expansion of Publishing activities, and above all, the notable improvement in the spiritual life of the community, as witnessed by the greater unity, cooperation and understanding prevailing among its members.
As the last year of the Plan, formulated by the German Bahá'í community inexorably draws to its close, a concerted, a redoubled effort should be made to ensure that all its provisions, without any exception, will be fully carried out, that the members of this community may thus acquire the spiritual potentiality regarded as indispensable for the launching of a still greater enterprise, on the morrow of the celebrations of the approaching Bahá'í Holy year-- an enterprise that will bring the much-admired, greatly loved, highly promising community of the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, in both Germany and Austria, into direct association with its sister communities throughout the Bahá'í world for the conduct of the world Crusade destined to immortalize the decade separating the two greatest Jubilees of the second Bahá'í century.
Whilst every ounce of energy will be exerted for the consummation of their present task, special attention should be directed towards the consolidation of the ties, both spiritual and administrative, that must continue to bind the believers in the Western Zone of Germany to their brethren in the Eastern Zone, as well as to those living in the Republic of Austria. A special effort must, moreover, be exerted to improve and consolidate the relationship existing between the German Bahá'í community and the civil authorities, both local and central, in order to give greater publicity to the Faith, and facilitate the expansion of its administrative institutions in the crucial years ahead. No less energetic efforts must be made to stimulate the process of the incorporation of the local assemblies, and to obtain a better legal status for the German Bahá'í National Assembly, raising thereby the status of the Faith and consolidating the foundations of its highest administrative agency in the heart of the European continent.
The total success of the Plan, now demanding the concentrated attention of the entire German Bahá'í community, is indeed indispensable for the adequate discharge of the still greater tasks that lie ahead of its members, and which, in themselves, will constitute the prelude to the unfoldment of the glorious Mission awaiting them, as soon as the present obstacles are removed, in both Eastern Europe and the heart of the Asiatic continent. The extent of their future undertakings in both continents; their contribution to the Global Crusade to be launched throughout the whole planet; their particular and, in many ways, unique, reinforcement of the work, connected with future Bahá'í research and scholarship, in view of the characteristic qualities of painstaking thoroughness, scientific exactitude and dispassionate criticism distinguishing the race to which they belong,--these are too vast and complex to be assessed at the present time.
They, no doubt, stand, emerging as they have done, from two successive world ordeals that have served to purify, vitalize, and weld them together, on the threshold of an era of glorious achievements, both at home and abroad. Their present Plan is but the initial chapter in the history of their collective achievements in the service of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh--a service, anticipated in such glowing terms, by the One, through Whose creative power, this community was brought into being, Who nursed it in its infancy, and Who, through His personal visit communicated to it, in a direct and effective manner, the impulse destined to sustain its growth, guide its steps and lead it to ultimate victory.
The participation of the Bahá'í community, in both Germany and Austria, individually as well as officially, in the forthcoming Stockholm inter-continental Conference, to which I trust its members will contribute a notable share, in view of the part they are destined to play in the future awakening of the European Continent--will no doubt, launch them upon the initial stage of their glorious Mission beyond the confines of their respective countries. Theirs will be the two-fold and highly challenging task of consolidating, steadily and rapidly, the administrative foundations of the Structure which is being painstakingly established by them in the heart of the European continent, and of implanting the banner of the rising order of their Faith in the neighbouring sovereign states and dependencies of that continent and even beyond its borders, as far as the heart of Asia.
Time is running out. The work they have to accomplish is immense, exacting, thrilling and inescapable. The hosts of the Concourse on high will surely lead them onward and assure them a resounding victory, if they but keep their vision undimmed, if they refuse to faint or falter, if they persevere and remain faithful to both the spiritual and the administrative principles inculcated by their Faith.
That they may discharge nobly their trust, that they may emerge triumphant from the first stage of their collective and historic undertaking, that they may set an undying example to their brethren in East and West, of Bahá'í solidarity, of tenacity of purpose, of single-minded devotion, of unrelaxing vigilance, of assiduous labour, of harmonious cooperation, of audacity, and of absolute dedication to the aims and purposes of their Faith, is the object of my special, my loving and constant prayers at the threshold of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh.
Your true brother,