School founded at Pine Valley, Colorado Springs, dedicated to the training of Bahá'í teachers wishing to serve in other lands and especially in Latin America, these three embryonic Bahá'í educational institutions have, through a steady expansion of their programs, set an example worthy of emulation by other Bahá'í communities in both the East and the West. Through the intensive study of Bahá'í Scriptures and of the early history of the Faith; through the organization of courses on the teachings and history of Islám; through conferences for the promotion of inter-racial amity; through laboratory courses designed to familiarize the participants with the processes of the Bahá'í Administrative Order; through special sessions devoted to Youth and child training; through classes in public speaking; through lectures on Comparative Religion; through group discussion on the manifold aspects of the Faith; through the establishment of libraries; through teaching classes; through courses on Bahá'í ethics and on Latin America; through the introduction of winter school sessions; through forums and devotional gatherings; through plays and pageants; through picnics and other recreational activities, these schools, open to Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike, have set so noble an example as to inspire other Bahá'í communities in Persia, in the British Isles, in Germany, in Australia, in New Zealand, in India, in Iraq and in Egypt to undertake the initial measures designed to enable them to build along the same lines institutions that bid fair to evolve into the Bahá'í universities of the future.
Among other factors contributing to the expansion and establishment of the Administrative Order may be mentioned the organized activities of the Bahá'í Youth, already much advanced in Persia and in the United States of America, and launched more recently in India, in the British Isles, in Germany, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Australia, in Bulgaria, in the Hawaiian Islands, in Hungary and in Havana. These activities comprise annual world-wide Bahá'í Youth Symposiums, Youth sessions at Bahá'í summer schools, youth bulletins and magazines, an international correspondence Bureau, facilities for the registration of young people desiring to join the Faith, the publication of outlines and references for the study of the teachings and the organization of a Bahá'í study group as an official university activity in a leading American university. They include, moreover, "study days" held in Bahá'í homes and centers, classes for the study of Esperanto and other languages, the organization of Bahá'í libraries, the opening of reading rooms, the production of Bahá'í plays and pageants, the holding of oratorical contests, the education of orphans, the organization of
classes in public speaking, the holding of gatherings to perpetuate the memory of historical Bahá'í personalities, inter-group regional conferences and youth sessions held in connection with Bahá'í annual conventions.
Still other factors promoting the development of that Order and contributing to its consolidation have been the systematic institution of the Nineteen Day Feast, functioning in most Bahá'í communities in East and West, with its threefold emphasis on the devotional, the administrative and the social aspects of Bahá'í community life; the initiation of activities designed to prepare a census of Bahá'í children, and provide for them laboratory courses, prayer books and elementary literature, and the formulation and publication of a body of authoritative statements on the non-political character of the Faith, on membership in non-Baha'i religious organizations, on methods of teaching, on the Bahá'í attitude towards war, on the institutions of the Annual Convention, of the Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly, of the Nineteen Day Feast and of the National Fund. Reference should, moreover, be made to the establishment of National Archives for the authentication, the collection, the translation, the cataloguing and the preservation of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh and of `Abdu'l-Bahá and for the preservation of sacred relics and historical documents; to the verification and transcription of the original Tablets of the Báb, of Bahá'u'lláh and of `Abdu'l-Bahá in the possession of Oriental believers; to the compilation of a detailed history of the Faith since its inception until the present day; to the opening of a Bahá'í International Bureau in Geneva; to the holding of Bahá'í district conventions; to the purchase of historic sites; to the establishment of Bahá'í memorial libraries, and to the initiation of a flourishing children's Savings Bank in Persia.
Nor should mention be omitted of the participation, whether official or non-official, of representatives of these newly founded national Bahá'í communities in the activities and proceedings of a great variety of congresses, associations, conventions and conferences, held in various countries of Europe, Asia and America for the promotion of religious unity, peace, education, international cooperation, inter-racial amity and other humanitarian purposes. With organizations such as the Conference of some Living Religions within the British Empire, held in London in 1924 and the World Fellowship of Faiths held in that same city in 1936; with the Universal Esperanto Congresses held annually in various capitals of Europe; with the Institute of Intellectual Cooperation; with the Century of Progress Exhibition held in Chicago in 1933; with the World's Fair held in New
York in 1938 and 1939; with the Golden Gate International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1939; with the First Convention of the Religious Congress held in Calcutta; with the Second All-India Cultural Conference convened in that same city; with the All-Faiths' League Convention in Indore; with the Arya Samaj and the Brahmo Samaj Conferences as well as those of the Theosophical Society and the All-Asian Women's Conference, held in various cities of India; with the World Council of Youth; with the Eastern Women's Congress in Tihrán; with the Pan-Pacific Women's Conference in Honolulu; with the Women's International League for Peace and with the Peoples Conference at Buenos Aires in Argentina--with these and others, relationships have, in one form or another, been cultivated which have served the twofold purpose of demonstrating the universality and comprehensiveness of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and of forging vital and enduring links between them and the far-flung agencies of its Administrative Order.
Nor should we ignore or underestimate the contacts established between these same agencies and some of the highest governmental authorities, in both the East and the West, as well as with the heads of Islám in Persia, and with the League of Nations, and with even royalty itself for the purpose of defending the rights, or of presenting the literature, or of setting forth the aims and purposes of the followers of the Faith in their unremitting efforts to champion the cause of an infant Administrative Order. The communications addressed by the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada--the champion builders of that Order-- to the Palestine High Commissioner for the restitution of the keys of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh to its custodian; to the Sháh of Persia, on four occasions, pleading for justice on behalf of their persecuted brethren within his domains; to the Persian Prime Minister on that same subject; to Queen Marie of Rumania, expressing gratitude for her historic tributes to the Bahá'í Faith; to the Heads of Islám in Persia, appealing for harmony and peace among religions; to King Feisal of Iraq for the purpose of insuring the security of the Most Great House in Baghdád; to the Soviet Authorities on behalf of the Bahá'í communities in Russia; to the German authorities regarding the disabilities suffered by their German brethren; to the Egyptian Government concerning the emancipation of their co-religionists from the yoke of Islámic orthodoxy; to the Persian Cabinet in connection with the closing of Persian Bahá'í educational institutions; to the State Department of the United States Government and the Turkish Ambassador in Washington and
the Turkish Cabinet in Ankara, in defense of the interests of the Faith in Turkey; to that same State Department in order to facilitate the transfer of the remains of Lua Getsinger from the Protestant Cemetery in Cairo to the first Bahá'í burial-ground established in Egypt; to the Persian Minister in Washington regarding the mission of Keith Ransom-Kehler; to the King of Egypt with accompanying Bahá'í literature; to the Government of the United States and the Canadian Government, setting forth the Bahá'í teachings on Universal Peace; to the Rumanian Minister in Washington on behalf of the American Bahá'ís, on the occasion of the death of Queen Marie of Rumania; and to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, acquainting him with Bahá'u'lláh's summons issued in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas to the Presidents of the American Republics and with certain prayers revealed by `Abdu'l-Bahá--such communications constitute in themselves a notable and illuminating chapter in the history of the unfoldment of the Bahá'í Administrative Order.
To these must be added the communications addressed from the world center of the Faith as well as by Bahá'í national and local assemblies, whether telegraphically or in writing, to the Palestine High Commissioner, pleading for the delivery of the keys of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh to its original keeper; the appeals made by Bahá'í centers in East and West to the Iráqí authorities for the restoration of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád; the subsequent appeal made to the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, following the verdict of the Baghdád Court of Appeals in that connection; the messages despatched to the League of Nations on behalf of Bahá'í communities in the East and in the West, in appreciation of the official pronouncement of the Council of the League in favor of the claims presented by the Bahá'í petitioners, as well as several letters exchanged between the International Center of the Faith, on the one hand, and that archetype of Bahá'í teachers, Martha Root, on the other, with Queen Marie of Rumania, following the publication of her historic appreciations of the Faith, and the messages of sympathy addressed to Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, on behalf of the world-wide Bahá'í Community, on the occasion of the passing of her mother, and to the Duchess of Kent following the tragic death of her husband.
Nor should we fail to make special mention of the petition forwarded by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iraq to the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations, as a result of the seizure of Bahá'u'lláh's house in Baghdád, or of the written messages sent to King Ghází I of Iraq by that same Assembly, after the death
of his father and on the occasion of his marriage, or of its condolences conveyed in writing to the present Regent of Iraq at the time of the sudden death of that King, or of the communications of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Egypt submitted to the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior, and the Minister of Justice, following the verdict of the Muslim ecclesiastical court in Egypt, or of the letters addressed by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Persia to the Sháh and to the Persian Cabinet in connection with the closing of Bahá'í schools and the ban imposed on Bahá'í literature in that country. Mention should, moreover, be made of the written messages despatched by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Persia to the King of Rumania and the Royal Family on the occasion of the death of his mother, Queen Marie, as well as to the Turkish Ambassador in Tihrán enclosing the contribution of the Persian believers for the sufferers of the earthquake in Turkey; of Martha Root's letters to the late President Von Hindenburg and to Dr. Streseman, the German Foreign Minister, accompanying the presentation to them of Bahá'í literature; of Keith Ransom-Kehler's seven successive petitions addressed to the Sháh of Persia, and of her numerous communications to various ministers and high dignitaries of the realm, during her memorable visit to that land.
Collateral with these first stirrings of the Bahá'í Administrative Order, and synchronizing with the emergence of National Bahá'í communities and with the institution of their administrative, educational, and teaching agencies, the mighty process set in motion in the Holy Land, the heart and nerve-center of that Administrative Order, on the memorable occasions when Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Tablet of Carmel and visited the future site of the Báb's sepulcher, was irresistibly unfolding. That process had received a tremendous impetus through the purchase of that site, shortly after Bahá'u'lláh's ascension, through the subsequent transfer of the Báb's remains from Tihrán to Akká, through the construction of that sepulcher during the most distressful years of `Abdu'l-Bahá's incarceration, and lastly through the permanent interment of those remains in the heart of Mt. Carmel, through the establishment of a pilgrim house in the immediate vicinity of that sepulcher, and the selection of the future site of the first Bahá'í educational institution on that mountain.
Profiting from the freedom accorded the world center of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, ever since the ignominious defeat of the decrepit Ottoman empire during the war of 1914-18, the forces released through the inception of the stupendous Plan conceived by Him could now flow
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