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1953 Ridván The Ten Year Crusade (1953-1963) was launched. See MBW151-156, MBW151.

The four primary goals of the plan were outlined as follows:
  -the development of institutions at the World Centre
  -consolidation of the twelve countries where the Faith was well established
  -consolidation of all other territories already open
  -the opening of the remaining "chief virgin territories" around the globe (131)

For the objectives of the Crusade see BW12:256–14. Among the goals to be achieved was the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives building. [BBD22; DH168; MBW43] "the first of the major edifices destined to constitute the seat of the World Bahá'í Administrative Centre to be established on Mount Carmel". [PP264]

To those Bahá’ís who arose to open new territories to the Faith during the Ten Year Crusade, the title 'Knight of Bahá’u’lláh' was given. On 27 May 1992, the Roll of Honour containing the names of all the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh was deposited beneath the entrance door to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.

“…Sometimes people strive all their lives to render outstanding service. Here is the time and opportunity to render historic services; in fact, the most unique in history, aiding in the fulfillment of Daniel’s Prophecies of the Last Day, and the 1335 days, when men are to be blessed by the Glory of the Lord, covering the entire globe—which is the real goal of the Ten Year Crusade. [DG54-55]

A map of goals for the Ten Year World Crusade by Shoghi Effendi can be found in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954). Electronic versions, in both medium and large format can be found here.

The achievements of the Ten Year Crusade were celebrated at the Most Great Jubilee in April and May 1963, which commemorated the Centenary of the Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission. Two historic events transpired during that time: the International Convention, convened in Haifa, Israel, to elect the first Universal House of Justice; and the World Congress held in London, England.

  • See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol 14, no. 3-4, 2004 for the essay The Ten Year Crusade by Ali Nakhjavani.
  • See CBN No 66 July 1956 in a message dated the 13 of May 1956 Leroy Ioas, (unsure if it was sent on behalf of the Guardian or from the International Bahá'í Council, probably the former), Mr Ioas outlined the three phases of the Crusade; First Phase: open virgin territories, Second Phase: 1. widespread dispersal, 2. settlement in new areas, 3. formation of Local Assemblies and National Assemblies, 4. incorporate Local Assemblies. Third Phase: (open on 21 April 1956, the formation of National Assemblies, with their own Haziratu'l-Quds, have their own endowments and to be incorporated.
  • See The Bahá’í Faith 1844-1952 Information Statistical and Comparative (PDF) compiled by Shoghi Effendi.
  • For a graphic representation of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade see Objectives and Tasks of Ten-Year Spiritual Global Crusade of the Bahá'í World Faith by Shoghi Effendi compiled by Beatrice Ashton published in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-19540).
  • Map of Goals for the Ten Year World Crusade by Shoghi Effendi published in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954) Wilmette, IL: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1956.
  • Progress Bahá'í World Crusade 1953-1958 was the map that Shoghi Effendi finished on the night of his passing.
  • At the start of the Ten Year Crusade the only sovereign countries in Africa were Egypt and Ethiopia, the remainder were still under the yoke of colonialism.
  • Many who arose as pioneers to the African continent came from Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. In Southern Africa alone, 27 pioneers arrived in the first year of the Crusade. Among them were Melvin and Helen Hope in Angola; Fred and Beth Laws in Lesotho; Enayat Sohaili and ‘Izzat Zahrai in Mozambique; Mehranguiz Munsiff in Madagascar; Ottilie Rhein in Mauritius; Lowell and Edith Johnson, William, Marguerite and Michael Sears and Harry and Bahíyyih Ford in South Africa; Claire Gung in Southern Rhodesia; and Ted Cardell in South West Africa. In the whole of Africa, 58 of the international pioneers opened new territories and were named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh [A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p3]
  • BWC; Worldwide Statistics; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching Plans; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Roll of Honour; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Works of; Endowments
    1953. 28 May In a message addressed on the eve of the 61st anniversary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, at the opening of the Ten Year Crusade, Shoghi Effendi encouraged 70 pioneers to arise to fill the goals promising that a Roll of Honour with their names would be deposited at the entrance door of the inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh. [MBW48-49]
  • He further elaborated in a message addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada. See the message of the 8 June 1953. [MtC177]
  • See 1992 28 May.
  • Haifa; BWC Pioneers; Knights of Bahaullah; Roll of Honour; Bahaullah, Shrine of
    1954 4 May Shoghi Effendi closed the Roll of Honour, except for those pioneers who have already left for their posts and those first arriving in the remaining virgin territories inside and outside the Soviet Republics and satellites. [MBW69] Haifa; BWC Roll of Honour; Knights of Bahaullah
    1992 27 – 30 May Three thousand Bahá'ís representing approximately 200 countries and territories, gathered at the Bahá'í World Centre to mark the Centenary of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. [BINS271:1–2; BW92–3, 96–8, 121]

    On the 27th (or 28th) of May...the gathering of one hundred thirteen Knights of Bahá'u'lláh along with 19 representatives of every National Spiritual Assembly (165) and 9 representatives of every territory without a National Spiritual Assembly (40-50) at Bahjí in commemoration of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh (some 3,000 persons). The original scroll bearing the Roll of Honour of the Knights of Bahá'u'lláh was placed by Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum in a chamber at the entrance door of the inner sanctuary of the Most Holy Shrine. [AWH90, 105; VV128; BW92-3p98; BINS271:1; Message 7 June 1992]

  • See the Roll of Honour online at Knights of Bahá'u'lláh.
  • For pictures see VV127-8, BINS271:9-10, BW92–3:97.
  • BWC; Haifa Bahaullah, Ascension of; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Roll of Honour; Knights of Bahaullah; Holy days; Centenaries; - Basic timeline, Expanded
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