USBN #306 August 1956 pp1-2
At this historic hour, marking the opening of the third phase of the global Spiritual Crusade so courageously undertaken by the followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, I hail the convocation of the four epoch-making Baha'i Conventions now being held in the African Continent.
My heart brims with joy and my soul is uplifted with thankfulness as I contemplate on this auspicious occasion, the magnificent feats which have been accomplished in recent years over the entire length and breadth of a rapidly quickening continent, feats which, in their range , number, quality and swiftness , have eclipsed the signal victories which have distinguished the campaigns successively launched in the Continent of Europe and in Latin America.
Continent Boasts Many Supporters
This vast, highly receptive, spiritually famished and long down-trodden continent-the nest of the Negro race. constituting so large a proportion of the world's population- which was first opened, in an hour of trial and adversity, in the lifetime of Baha'u'llah; whose southern fringes were, during the last epoch of the Heroic Age of the Faith, illuminated by the rays of a divinely established Covenant ; on whose northern shores the standard of Baha'i emancipation has been hoisted and the struggle for the recognition of the independent character of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah has commenced-such a continent now boasts, by virtue of the dynamic influence exerted by a rising divinely conceived Order, and the propelling forces generated by a world-embracing, three-year-old Spiritual Crusade, over three thousand avowed supporters, five-sixths of whom belong to the Negro race , scattered throughout more than fifty territories and islands , and residing in over four hundred localities. Representatives of no less than one hundred and forty of its tribes have, moreover, enlisted under the banner of the Faith. Over a hundred and twenty Baha'i local assemblies are already functioning throughout its territories . Into more than fifty of its indigenous languages Baha'i literature has been and is being translated. The process of incorporating the newly formed local assemblies has furthermore been inaugurated. A National Administrative Headquarters has been established in each one of its four pivotal center s, while three Temple sites situated within its confines have been recently purchased, on one of which the Mother Temple of Africa is soon to be erected.
The Concourse on high cannot but laud such remarkable, soul-stirring exploits. The Captain, guiding from His throne of glory in the Abha Kingdom the march of the army of Baha'u'llah's Crusaders, undoubtedly applauds the fidelity , the valour , the zeal and the perseverance of the executors of His Design, while the Founder of the Faith Himself, the wellspring of the energizing influences nourishing the lives, and sustaining the activities , of these Crusaders, confers His benediction upon, and lays up treasures for , those who have so conspicuously contributed to the glory and honor of His Name.
I feel impelled, on so memorable an occasion, to pay a warm and heartfelt tribute to the Hand of the Cause appointed for the African Continent; to the members of the British, the American, the Persian. the Indian, the Egyptian and the Iraqi National Spiritual Assemblies; to the members of the African Auxiliary Board ; to the numerous assemblies , committees and pioneers who have, singly and collectively, contributed in such a large measure to the expansion of so colossal an enterprise, and who have had so decisive a share in directing its course, in stimulating its unfoldment, and in consolidating its foundations.
Assemblies Will Lend Impetus
I cannot but feel confident that the emergence of four regional National Spiritual Assemblies, as a result of the deliberations of the delegates attending these four Baha'i Conventions-Assemblies designed to pave the way for the erection of the pillars which must support the future Universal House of Justice - will, by enabling the activities of the Faith to be directed and coordinated from within the Continent itself, lend a tremendous impetus to the progress and eventual fruition of the stupendous undertaking launched from coast to coast through the concerted and systematic efforts of the followers of the Faith of Baha'u'llah.
I call upon these Regional National Spiritual Assemblies to celebrate their birth, and signalize the opening of the third phase of this World Spiritual Crusade, through the formulation of four subsidiary SevenYear Plans, designed to multiply the number of the avowed supporters of the Faith and of the isolated centers , groups and local Assemblies; to consolidate the work already achieved in the newly opened virgin territories within the confines of that Continent and in its neighboring islands ; to initiate the institution of the National Baha'i Fund; to stimulate the twin processes of establishing Baha'i endowments and of incorporating local spiritual assemblies ; to hasten the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the African Continent ; to ensure the establishment of the Baha'i Publishing Trust in Egypt ; and to speed up the translation of Baha'i literature into the remaining African languages listed in the Ten Year Plan, as well as the incorporation of the newly formed Regional National Spiritual Assemblies.
Lend Continued Support
I appeal to the British, the American, the Persian, the Indian, the Egyptian and the Iraqi National Spiritual Assemblies, who have set in motion these vast undertakings , not to abandon these fledgling African Baha'i communities to their fate , but to lend their support and assistance to the newly emerged Regional National Spiritual Assemblies, enriching thereby the record of the superb and historic services rendered by them, throughout that continent, to its diversified peoples, tribes and races .
May the manifold blessings of Baha'u 'llah, glorifying in His Kingdom the African victories won in His Name in such rapid succession. rest upon the deliberations of all the delegates attending these four history-making Conventions . May the combined efforts of the faithful , laboring now and in the days that lie ahead, yield , in the years to come, a harvest which will infinitely enable the record of unforgettable achievements associated with the rise of the Faith of Baha'u'llah and the establishment of His World Order in the African Continent.
To The Four Africa Conventions, April 1956