March 18, 2021

1952: Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of South America

Standing, left to right: Bolivar Plaza of Ecuador; Rangvald Taetz of Montevideo, Uruguay; Edmund Miessler of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Manuel Vera of Lima, Peru; Guillermo Aguilar of Lima, Peru. Seated, left to right: Gayle Woolson of Bucaramanga, Colombia; Eve Nicklin of Lima, Peru; Mercedes Sanchez of Lima, Peru; and Margot Worley of Bahia, Brazil. 

(Baha’i News, August 1952)


March 10, 2021

The First American “distinguished martyr”: - Keith Ransom-Kehler (1876-1933)

Keith’s precious life offered up in sacrifice to beloved Cause in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land. On Persian soil, for Persia’s sake, she encountered, challenged and fought the forces of darkness with high distinction, indomitable will, unswerving, exemplary loyalty. The mass of her helpless Persian brethren mourns the sudden loss of their valiant emancipator. American believers grateful and proud of the memory of their first and distinguished martyr. Sorrow stricken, I lament my earthly separation from an invaluable collaborator, an unfailing counselor, an esteemed and faithful friend. I urge the Local Assemblies befittingly to organize memorial gatherings in memory of one whose international services entitled her to an eminent rank among the Hands of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. 

- Shoghi Effendi  (Cablegram October 30, 1933; ‘Messages to America’)

March 2, 2021

1979-1986: Emergence of the Faith from obscurity and the Statement on Peace by the Universal House of Justice in 1985

The opening of that Plan coincided with the recrudescence of savage persecution of the Baha'i community in Iran, a deliberate effort to eliminate the Cause of God from the land of its birth.  The heroic steadfastness of the Persian friends has been the mainspring of tremendous international attention focused on the Cause, eventually bringing it to the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and, together with world-wide publicity in all the media, accomplishing its emergence from the obscurity which characterized and sheltered the first period of its life.  This dramatic process impelled the Universal House of Justice to address a Statement on Peace to the Peoples of the World and arrange for its delivery to Heads of State and the generality of the rulers. 

- The Universal House of Justice  (Ridvan 1986 message to the Baha’is of the World; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)