May 18, 2024

“The judgment of God…on those who took a leading or an active part in the crimes committed against the Báb and His followers”

What, in conclusion, we may well ask ourselves, has been the fate of that flagitious crew who, actuated by malice, by greed or fanaticism, sought to quench the light which the Báb and His followers had diffused over their country and its people? The rod of Divine chastisement, swiftly and with unyielding severity, spared neither the Chief Magistrate of the realm, nor his ministers and counselors, nor the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the religion with which his government was indissolubly connected, nor the governors who acted as his representatives, nor the chiefs of his armed forces who, in varying degrees, deliberately or through fear or neglect, contributed to the appalling trials to which an infant Faith was so undeservedly subjected.

  • Muhammad Sháh himself, a sovereign at once bigoted and irresolute who, refusing to heed the appeal of the Báb to receive Him in the capital and enable Him to demonstrate the truth of His Cause, yielded to the importunities of a malevolent minister, succumbed, at the early age of forty, after sustaining a sudden reverse of fortune, to a complication of maladies, and was condemned to that “hell-fire” which, “on the Day of Resurrection,” the Author of the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’ had sworn would inevitably devour him.
  • His evil genius, the omnipotent Hájí Mírzá Áqásí, the power behind the throne and the chief instigator of the outrages perpetrated against the Báb, including His imprisonment in the mountains of Ádhirbáyján, was, after the lapse of scarcely a year and six months from the time he interposed himself between the Sháh and his Captive, hurled from power, deprived of his ill-gotten riches, was disgraced by his sovereign, was driven to seek shelter from the rising wrath of his countrymen in the shrine of Sháh ‘Abdu’l-‘Azím, and was later ignominiously expelled to Karbilá, falling a prey to disease, poverty and gnawing sorrow—a piteous vindication of that denunciatory Tablet in which his Prisoner had foreshadowed his doom and denounced his infamy.

May 8, 2024

Examples of “the glaring ferocity of the atrocities perpetrated” against the Bábís during 1852

“My pen,” writes the chronicler of the bloody episodes associated with the birth and rise of our Faith, “shrinks in horror in attempting to describe what befell those valiant men and women.… What I have attempted to recount of the horrors of the siege of Zanján … pales before the glaring ferocity of the atrocities perpetrated a few years later in Nayríz and Shíráz.” 

  • The heads of no less than two hundred victims of these outbursts of ferocious fanaticism were impaled on bayonets, and carried triumphantly from Shíráz to Ábádih. 
  • Forty women and children were charred to a cinder by being placed in a cave, in which a vast quantity of firewood had been heaped up, soaked with naphtha and set alight. 
  • Three hundred women were forced to ride two by two on bare-backed horses all the way to Shíráz. Stripped almost naked they were led between rows of heads hewn from the lifeless bodies of their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers. Untold insults were heaped upon them, and the hardships they suffered were such that many among them perished. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 30, 2024

“most of the preeminent embodiments of power and of sovereignty in His day became, one by one, the object of Bahá’u’lláh’s special attention, and were made to sustain, in varying degrees, the weight of the force communicated by His appeals and warnings”

  • The Emperor of the French, the most powerful ruler of his day on the European continent, Napoleon III;
  • Pope Pius IX, the supreme head of the highest church in Christendom, and wielder of the scepter of both temporal and spiritual authority;
  • the omnipotent Czar of the vast Russian Empire, Alexander II;
  • the renowned Queen Victoria, whose sovereignty extended over the greatest political combination the world has witnessed;
  • William I, the conqueror of Napoleon III, King of Prussia and the newly acclaimed monarch of a unified Germany;
  • Francis Joseph, the autocratic king-emperor of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the heir of the far-famed Holy Roman Empire;
  • the tyrannical ‘Abdu’l-‘Azíz, the embodiment of the concentrated power vested in the Sultanate and the Caliphate;
  • the notorious Násiri’d-Dín Sháh, the despotic ruler of Persia and the mightiest potentate of Shí’ih Islám—

in a word, most of the preeminent embodiments of power and of sovereignty in His day became, one by one, the object of Bahá’u’lláh’s special attention, and were made to sustain, in varying degrees, the weight of the force communicated by His appeals and warnings. 

- Shoghi Effendi  (‘The Promised Day Is Come’)

April 25, 2024

Canada March 30, 2009: “members of Parliament, representing every one of the country’s political parties, rose in the House of Commons and spoke of the “plight” of the Iranian Bahá’ís “with eloquence and passion”

Recent action taken by the Canadian House of Commons provides a noteworthy example of the recognition accorded to all fair-minded people of your country, on the one hand, and the outspoken condemnation of the persecution you are forced to bear, on the other. For an hour and a half on the evening of 30 March 2009, members of Parliament, representing every one of the country’s political parties, rose in the House of Commons and spoke of your plight with eloquence and passion. While acknowledging the distinguished role your nation has played in the advance of civilization and expressing esteem for the people of Iran and admiration for the Bahá’ís, regarded as compassionate and conciliatory, they lamented the harm caused to your country by those who persecute you and your fellow citizens. By unanimous consent they adopted a motion which “condemns the ongoing persecution of the Bahá’í minority of Iran and calls upon the government of Iran to reconsider its charges against the members of the Friends in Iran, and release them immediately or failing this, that it proceed to trial without further delay, ensuring that the proceedings are open and fair and are conducted in the presence of international observers.” 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 14 May 2009 to the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

April 21, 2024

2023: Translations of the Baha’i Writings

The Sacred Writings of the Faith have been translated into more than eight hundred languages.

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 28 November 2023 to the Bahá’ís of the World; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

April 18, 2024

21 March 2009: The “centenary of...the interment by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá of the sacred remains of the Báb in their permanent resting place on God’s holy mountain”: - “one of the principal objectives of His Ministry”

This Naw-Rúz marks the centenary of one of the outstanding events in the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, the interment by ‘Abdu’lBahá of the sacred remains of the Báb in their permanent resting place on Gods holy mountain. In the words of AbdulBahá: The most joyful tidings is this, that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquillity has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel.”

In commemoration of that triumph of the Cause, the members of the Universal House of Justice, accompanied by the members of the International Teaching Centre, have today offered prayers of thanksgiving in the Shrine of the Báb on behalf of the worldwide Bahá’í community, expressing gratitude for the unfailing divine protection vouchsafed to the Cause of God. In their solemn contemplation, their hearts were stirred as they recalled the indelible image of the Master left to posterity when, on this day a hundred years ago, having with His own hands laid that peerless Trust in its final place of repose, He rested His head upon the edge of the blessed casket of the Báb, and “sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him”. They remembered, too, the manifold obstacles with which He had been confronted in constructing this sacred edifice and His unbounded relief at having accomplished one of the principal objectives of His Ministry. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 21 March 2009 to the Bahá’ís of the World; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

April 9, 2024

The incredibly amazing martyrdom of courageous Sulaymán Khán

Another victim of the frightful tortures inflicted by an unyielding enemy was the high-minded, the influential and courageous Hájí Sulaymán Khán. So greatly was he esteemed that the Amír-Nizám had felt, on a previous occasion, constrained to ignore his connection with the Faith he had embraced and to spare his life. The turmoil that convulsed Tihrán as a result of the attempt on the life of the sovereign, however, precipitated his arrest and brought about his martyrdom. The Sháh, having failed to induce him through the Hájibu’d-Dawlih to recant, commanded that he be put to death in any way he himself might choose. Nine holes, at his express wish, were made in his flesh, in each of which a lighted candle was placed. As the executioner shrank from performing this gruesome task, he attempted to snatch the knife from his hand that he might himself plunge it into his own body. Fearing lest he should attack him the executioner refused, and bade his men tie the victim’s hands behind his back, whereupon the intrepid sufferer pleaded with them to pierce two holes in his breast, two in his shoulders, one in the nape of his neck, and four others in his back—a wish they complied with. Standing erect as an arrow, his eyes glowing with stoic fortitude, unperturbed by the howling multitude or the sight of his own blood streaming from his wounds, and preceded by minstrels and drummers, he led the concourse that pressed round him to the final place of his martyrdom. Every few steps he would interrupt his march to address the bewildered bystanders in words in which he glorified the Báb and magnified the significance of his own death. As his eyes beheld the candles flickering in their bloody sockets, he would burst forth in exclamations of unrestrained delight. Whenever one of them fell from his body he would with his own hand pick it up, light it from the others, and replace it. “Why dost thou not dance?” asked the executioner mockingly, “since thou findest death so pleasant?” “Dance?” cried the sufferer, “In one hand the wine-cup, in one hand the tresses of the Friend. Such a dance in the midst of the market-place is my desire!” He was still in the bazaar when the flowing of a breeze, fanning the flames of the candles now burning deep in his flesh, caused it to sizzle, whereupon he burst forth addressing the flames that ate into his wounds: “You have long lost your sting, O flames, and have been robbed of your power to pain me. Make haste, for from your very tongues of fire I can hear the voice that calls me to my Beloved.” In a blaze of light he walked as a conqueror might have marched to the scene of his victory. At the foot of the gallows he once again raised his voice in a final appeal to the multitude of onlookers. He then prostrated himself in the direction of the shrine of the Imám-Zádih Hasan, murmuring some words in Arabic. “My work is now finished,” he cried to the executioner, “come and do yours.” Life still lingered in him as his body was sawn into two halves, with the praise of his Beloved still fluttering from his dying lips. The scorched and bloody remnants of his corpse were, as he himself had requested, suspended on either side of the Gate of Naw, mute witnesses to the unquenchable love which the Báb had kindled in the breasts of His disciples. 

- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

April 2, 2024

The Báb blessed the parents of Munirih Khanum, the future wife of ‘abdu’l-Baha, allowing them to conceive a child

Ere the Báb had transferred His residence to the house of the Mu’tamíd, Mírzá Ibráhím, father of the Sulánu’sh-Shuhudá’ and elder brother of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alíy-i-Nahrí, to whom we have already referred, invited the Báb to his home one night. Mírzá Ibráhím was a friend of the Imám-Jum’ih, was intimately associated with him, and controlled the management of all his affairs. The banquet which was spread for the Báb that night was one of unsurpassed magnificence. It was commonly observed that neither the officials nor the notables of the city had offered a feast of such magnitude and splendour. The Sultánu’sh-Shuhudá’ and his brother, the Mahbúbu’sh-Shuhadá’, who were lads of nine and eleven, respectively, served at that banquet and received special attention from the Báb. That night, during dinner, Mírzá Ibráhím turned to his Guest and said: “My brother, Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, has no child. I beg You to intercede in his behalf and to grant his heart’s desire.” The Báb took a portion of the food with which He had been served, placed it with His own hands on a platter, and handed it to His host, asking him to take it to Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí and his wife. “Let them both partake of this,” He said; “their wish will be fulfilled.” By virtue of that portion which the Báb had chosen to bestow upon her, the wife of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí conceived and in due time gave birth to a girl, who eventually was joined in wedlock with the Most Great Branch,  a union that came to be regarded as the consummation of the hopes entertained by her parents. 

- Nabil (‘The Dawn-Breakers’; translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

March 25, 2024

1921: Guardian of the Baha'i Faith

 
Shoghi Effendi at the time he became Guardian of the Baha'i Faith in 1921, taken in the Garden of 'Abdu'l-Baha's home in Haifa. 

('The Priceless Pearl', by Ruhiyyih Khanum)

March 18, 2024

1846: The Christian governor of Isfahan embraced Islam when witnessed the Báb reveal an exposition concerning Prophet Muhammad’s “Specific Mission” at his request

Manuchihr Khan the
Governor of Isfahan
The Mu’tamíd [governor of Isfahan] himself came one day to visit the Báb and, while seated in the midst of an assemblage of the most brilliant and accomplished divines of Isfáhán, requested Him to expound the nature and demonstrate the validity of the Nubuvvat-i-Khassih. [Muhammad’s “Specific Mission.”]  He had previously, in that same gathering, called upon those who were present to adduce such proofs and evidences in support of this fundamental article of their Faith as would constitute an unanswerable testimony for those who were inclined to repudiate its truth. No one, however, seemed capable of responding to his invitation. “Which do you prefer,” asked the Báb, “a verbal or a written answer to your question?” “A written reply,” he answered, “not only would please those who are present at this meeting, but would edify and instruct both the present and future generations.”

The Báb instantly took up His pen and began to write. In less than two hours, He had filled about fifty pages with a most refreshing and circumstantial enquiry into the origin, the character, and the pervasive influence of Islám. The originality of His dissertation, the vigour and vividness of its style, the accuracy of its minutest details, invested His treatment of that noble theme with an excellence which no one among those who were present on that occasion could have failed to perceive. With masterly insight, He linked the central idea in the concluding passages of this exposition with the advent of the promised Qá’im and the expected “Return” of the Imám Husayn. [1]  He argued with such force and courage that those who heard Him recite its verses were astounded by the magnitude of His revelation. No one dared to insinuate the slightest objection—much less, openly to challenge His statements. The Mu’tamíd could not help giving vent to his enthusiasm and joy. “Hear me!” he exclaimed. “Members of this revered assembly, I take you as my witnesses. Never until this day have I in my heart been firmly convinced of the truth of Islám. I can henceforth, thanks to this exposition penned by this Youth, declare myself a firm believer in the Faith proclaimed by the Apostle of God. I solemnly testify to my belief in the reality of the superhuman power with which this Youth is endowed, a power which no amount of learning can ever impart.” With these words he brought the meeting to an end. 

- Nabil  (‘The Dawn-Breakers’; translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

[1] Reference to His own Mission and to Bahá’u’lláh’s subsequent Revelation.

March 12, 2024

Ridvan 2008: A “panorama” of “the progress of the worldwide Bahá’í community”

Thousands upon thousands, embracing the diversity of the entire human family, are engaged in systematic study of the Creative Word in an environment that is at once serious and uplifting. As they strive to apply through a process of action, reflection and consultation the insights thus gained, they see their capacity to serve the Cause rise to new levels. Responding to the inmost longing of every heart to commune with its Maker, they carry out acts of collective worship in diverse settings, uniting with others in prayer, awakening spiritual susceptibilities, and shaping a pattern of life distinguished for its devotional character. As they call on one another in their homes and pay visits to families, friends and acquaintances, they enter into purposeful discussion on themes of spiritual import, deepen their knowledge of the Faith, share Bahá’u’lláh’s message, and welcome increasing numbers to join them in a mighty spiritual enterprise. Aware of the aspirations of the children of the world and their need for spiritual education, they extend their efforts widely to involve ever-growing contingents of participants in classes that become centres of attraction for the young and strengthen the roots of the Faith in society. They assist junior youth to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives and to become empowered to direct their energies toward the advancement of civilization. And with the advantage of a greater abundance of human resources, an increasing number of them are able to express their faith through a rising tide of endeavours that address the needs of humanity in both their spiritual and material dimensions. Such is the panorama before us as we pause this Ridván to observe the progress of the worldwide Bahá’í community. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From Ridván 2008 message to the Bahá’ís of the World; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

March 7, 2024

The Institution of the Hands of the Cause: “Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth”

We trace the origins of the Institution to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who designated four renowned promoters of His teachings as Hands of the Cause of God. In a period before the administrative system of the Faith was inaugurated, they became rallying points for the friends, as much because of the virtuous character of their personal lives as for their unceasing endeavours in proclaiming the Teachings and defending the Faith against its detractors. They remained resolute in such activities despite the severe persecution, including imprisonment in some instances, to which they were subjected by the authorities. These distinguished personages remained active during the ministry of ‘Abdu’lBahá, Who, in 1899, instructed them to take steps to form the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tihrán, on which they all served. The focus of these first Hands on propagation and protection of the Faith, as well as their efforts to edify believers as to the importance of the new Laws, intimated even then the pattern of functioning the Institution would adopt at a later stage in the advancement of the Bahá’í community.

The Master did not Himself appoint Hands of the Cause, but referred to four believers posthumously as such. However, His Will and Testament confirmed the Institution and extended it by authorizing the Guardian of the Faith to appoint consecrated souls to it. At first, over a period of three decades, Shoghi Effendi named ten such souls posthumously; all were distinguished for the constancy, vigour and impact of their efforts to propagate the Cause and promote its best interests. The Guardian’s designation in December 1951 of twelve living believers as Hands of the Cause introduced the Bahá’í world to a wholly new dynamic in the operation of the Order of Bahá’u’lláh; through it the Hands exerted an unusual vitality during the Ten Year Crusade, particularly after the sudden passing of the Sign of God. His subsequent appointment of seven more in February 1952 and replacement thereafter of five of those deceased kept the number of living Hands at nineteen until less than a month before his departure, when in his last message to the Bahá’í world he identified an additional eight, bringing the total to twenty-seven. Shoghi Effendi’s description of them as the “Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth” prefigured the world-shaking reality of the unexpected responsibilities that would be thrust upon them on the morrow of his passing. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 26 November 2007 to the Bahá’ís of the World; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center) 

February 28, 2024

1846 Isfahan: The argument that one of the invited clergy used to dissuade others from attending the meeting to face the Báb at the home of the governor

Hájí Siyyid Asadu’lláh refused the invitation and endeavoured to dissuade those who had been invited, from participating in that gathering. “I have sought to excuse myself,” he informed them, “and I would most certainly urge you to do the same. I regard it as most unwise of you to meet the Siyyid-i-Báb face to face. He will, no doubt, reassert his claim and will, in support of his argument, adduce whatever proof you may desire him to give, and, without the least hesitation, will reveal as a testimony to the truth he bears, verses of such a number as would equal half the Qur’án. In the end he will challenge you in these words: ‘Produce likewise, if ye are men of truth.’ We can in no wise successfully resist him. If we disdain to answer him, our impotence will have been exposed. If we, on the other hand, submit to his claim, we shall not only be forfeiting our own reputation, our own prerogatives and rights, but will have committed ourselves to acknowledge any further claims that he may feel inclined to make in the future.” 

- Nabil (‘The Dawn-Breakers’, translated and edited by Shoghi Effendi)

February 25, 2024

1973: Announcement of “the first reigning sovereign to enter beneath the shade of this Cause” - His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, the Head of State of the independent nation of Western Samoa

7 May 1973

To the Bahá’ís of the World

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

It is now possible to share with you all the news of an event which crowns the victories with which Bahá’u’lláh has blessed His followers during the Nine Year Plan, an event of which the true significance will be fully understood only in the course of centuries to come: a reigning monarch has accepted the Message of Bahá’u’lláh.

Among those to whom The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh was presented in 1967 was His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, the Head of State of the independent nation of Western Samoa in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. His Highness, who had already heard of the Faith, showed immediately that the sacred Words had touched his heart, and the Universal House of Justice thereupon asked the Hand of the Cause Dr. Ugo Giachery, who had presented the book to him, to return to Western Samoa for further audiences with His Highness. Following this visit the Malietoa conveyed his acceptance of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh to the Universal House of Justice and became the first reigning sovereign to enter beneath the shade of this Cause.

His Highness decided, with the full agreement of the Universal House of Justice, that it was not propitious to make his declaration public at that time. He has been visited from time to time by Hands of the Cause and other believers, and continual touch with His Highness has been maintained by the House of Justice through Mr. Suhayl ‘Alá’í, a member of the Continental Board of Counselors for Australasia. Gradually the Malietoa has let it be known to those around him that he has accepted Bahá’u’lláh. Now he has judged the time ripe to share this wondrous news with his fellow-believers in all parts of the world, by addressing to the International Bahá’í Convention the gracious and inspiring message of which a copy is enclosed with this letter.…

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice

(Online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

February 21, 2024

2007: “a recently disclosed communication by Central Security Office of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology, confidentially conveyed to the officials of eighty-one universities in Iran… called for the expulsion of any student discovered to be a Bahá’í”

The persistent position of the Iranian authorities in banning Bahá’í students from access to higher education is deeply saddening. The policy was clearly confirmed in a recently disclosed communication by the Central Security Office of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology, confidentially conveyed to the officials of eighty-one universities in Iran, which called for the expulsion of any student discovered to be a Bahá’í. It has now been reaffirmed by the action taken recently by the Education Evaluation Organization, which declared as “incomplete”—and therefore invalid—the applications of some 800 Bahá’ís who took the national exam for university entrance for the coming academic year (2007–2008). These official acts are disappointing and shameful.

Only a few months ago, reports carried by newspapers about the expulsion of Bahá’í students in Iran were denied by a spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, who said outright that no one in Iran is expelled from university because of religion. That same assurance was given by the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United Kingdom, in a written response to the concern a British Member of Parliament had expressed about the government’s treatment of Bahá’í students. A similar avowal by the Iranian embassy in Ethiopia appeared in a newspaper in that country following the publication of a story reporting Iran’s covert plan to identify Bahá’ís and secretly monitor their activities throughout the country.

For more than two decades Bahá’í students in Iran were unable to enter university because the only way open to them would have been to misrepresent their Faith. Then, consequent to a concerted worldwide effort—involving governments, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, and individuals—that raised questions about this situation, your government’s representatives responded by averring that the reference to religion on the forms was not to identify university applicants by belief but only to specify the religion on which they wished to be examined. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 09 September 2007, addressed to the Bahá’í students deprived of access to higher education in Iran; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)

February 16, 2024

“sufferings which, for no less than seventy years, were endured by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”

To the mounting tide of trials which laid low the Báb, to the long-drawn-out calamities which rained on Bahá’u’lláh, to the warnings sounded by both the Herald and the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation, must be added the sufferings which, for no less than seventy years, were endured by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as well as His pleas, and entreaties, uttered in the evening of His life, in connection with the dangers that increasingly threatened the whole of mankind.

  • Born in the very year that witnessed the inception of the Bábí Revelation;
  • baptized with the initial fires of persecution that raged around that nascent Cause;
  • an eyewitness, when a boy of eight, of the violent upheavals that rocked the Faith which His Father had espoused;
  • sharing with Him, the ignominy, the perils, and rigors consequent upon the successive banishments from His native-land to countries far beyond its confines;
  • arrested and forced to support, in a dark cell, the indignity of imprisonment soon after His arrival in Akká;
  • the object of repeated investigations and the target of continual assaults and insults under the despotic rule of Sultán ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd, and later under the ruthless military dictatorship of the suspicious and merciless Jamál Páshá—

He, too, the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s peerless Covenant and the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, was made to taste, at the hands of potentates, ecclesiastics, governments and peoples, the cup of woe which the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, as well as so many of their followers, had drained. 

- Shoghi Effendi  (‘The Promised Day Is Come’)

February 11, 2024

1976: “Bahá'ís form a majority or even the entire population of the village”: - “many villages in India, the Philippines, Africa, Latin America, etc.”

There are, at the present time, many villages in India, the Philippines, Africa, Latin America, etc., where the Bahá'ís form a majority or even the entire population of the village. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated 27 July 1976 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. III, Social and Economic Development)

February 6, 2024

2006: The “most significant developments in the process of integration… directly related to the Faith”: - “many of which were nurtured by the Guardian”

…for the followers of Bahá’u’lláh the most significant developments in the process of integration are those directly related to the Faith, many of which were nurtured by the Guardian himself and which have advanced tremendously since their modest beginnings.

  • From the small nucleus of believers to whom he imparted his first teaching plans has grown a worldwide community with a presence in thousands of localities, each following a well-established pattern of activity that embodies the Faith’s principles and aspirations.
  • Upon the foundation of the Administrative Order he so painstakingly laid during the early decades of his ministry has been raised a large, closely knit network of National and Local Spiritual Assemblies diligently administering the affairs of the Cause in more than one hundred and eighty countries.
  • From the first contingents of Auxiliary Board members for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith brought into being by him has arisen a legion of nearly one thousand stalwart workers serving in the field under the direction of eighty-one Counsellors ably guided by the International Teaching Centre.
  • The evolution of the World Administrative Center of the Faith, within the precincts of its World Spiritual Center, a process to which the Guardian consecrated so much energy, has crossed a crucial threshold with the occupation by the Universal House of Justice of its Seat on Mount Carmel and the subsequent completion of the International Teaching Centre Building and the Centre for the Study of the Texts.
  • The Institution of Huqúqu’lláh has steadily progressed under the stewardship of the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. ‘Alí-Muhammad Varqá, appointed Trustee by Shoghi Effendi fifty years ago, culminating in the establishment in 2005 of an international board designed to promote the continued widespread application of this mighty law, a source of inestimable blessings for all humanity.

February 1, 2024

2004: “the great majority of National Spiritual Assemblies have chosen to adopt the course materials devised by the Ruhi Institute”

As foreseen, the training institute is proving to be an engine of growth. On assessing the opportunities and needs of their respective communities, the great majority of National Spiritual Assemblies have chosen to adopt the course materials devised by the Ruhi Institute, finding them most responsive to the Plan’s needs. This has had the collateral benefit that the same materials have been translated into many languages and, wherever Bahá’ís travel, they find other friends following the same path and familiar with the same books and methods. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (Ridván 2004 message to the Bahá’ís of the World; online Baha’i Reference Library of the Baha’i World Center)