February 7, 2011

July 13, 1968: Legal Recognition Granted to NSA of Spain

It was with hearts overflowing with joy that the Baha'is of Spain received official notification on July 13, 1968 that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Spain had been legally recognized and given registry number 2 in the Register of Non-Catholic Religious Associations in the Ministry of Justice. This recognition of the National Assembly carries with it the automatic legal recognition of all Local Spiritual Assemblies duly formed in accordance with the Statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly.

This represents the fulfillment of one of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade of our beloved Guardian which, in spite of continuous efforts and great expense beginning in 1954 had proved impossible of accomplishment. From 1954 through 1963, legalization proceedings went through various government levels and to the Supreme Court with continuous denials. This goal was then included in the Nine Year Plan.

In December, 1966 a new basic law of the land was approved by national referendum, and one provision of the new law provided for government protection of all religions. To implement this new concept, a Law on Religious Liberty was passed by the national Parliament on June 28, 1967.

On March 16, 1967, the National Assembly of Spain designated the National Proclamation Committee to handle all matters involved in processing the legal recognition of the Faith in accordance with the foregoing law. This committee, with the close collaboration of Auxiliary Board member Charles M. Ioas, prepared all of the necessary documentation, including the translations of the By-Laws prepared by the Universal House of Justice, lists of all believers in Spain, statement of accounts and properties, etc. All documentation was presented to the Ministry of Justice in November of 1967, all at a total cost of three pesetas (less than five cents) for a stamp tax.

Writes the Bbaha’i News correspondent from Spain: "At the same time that we share the above magnificent news with the Baha'i friends throughout the world, we should also like to share the news that a Baha'i Editorial has also been officially registered in the Ministry of Information and Tourism. This now permits the publication of Baha'i books and literature in Spain, as well as the importation and distribution of Baha'i books from outside the country.

"We know that all friends everywhere will share our elation at these marvelous and undreamt of advances for the Faith of Baha'u'llah in Spain, and will also share in our appreciation to the Spanish authorities who have made these advances possible." 
(Baha’i News, October 1968)