December 16, 2014

April 2003: The first time the International Baha'i Convention was cancelled and the election of the Universal House of Justice was conducted through mailed ballots

The Universal House of Justice

4 April 2003

To all National Spiritual Assemblies 

Dear Baha'i Friends,  

We have been following closely developments in the world as they affect the Middle East, in the hope that the passage of events would make it possible for the International Baha'i Convention to be held as planned. However, for the sake of all concerned we can wait no   longer. To our regret, current conditions are such that we feel compelled to cancel the holding of the International Convention, and we write to so inform you.  

This is the first time we have had to implement the provision of the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice that states: "If at the time of an election the Universal House of Justice shall consider that it is impracticable or unwise to hold the International Convention it shall determine how the election shall take place." The ballots of the members of all National   Spiritual Assemblies are arriving daily, and we are arranging for the nineteen delegates chosen to be tellers to come to the Holy Land to count the votes on the Ninth Day of Ridvan. Should circumstances make it impossible for these friends to come, we shall adopt another means for the discharge of this task.  

National Conventions should continue to be held in May, around the Anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, as currently planned.  

We are confident that the friends, surrounded by the confirmations of Baha'u'llah, will pursue the aim of the Five Year Plan with undimmed zeal.  

With loving Baha'i greetings,

The Universal House of Justice