Chronological messages to Baha'i institutions

28 March 1971

To the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá'í world

Dear Bahá'í friends,

Recognizing the need for a great increase in the provision of Bahá'í literature in all languages, we have reviewed the whole process of Bahá'í publishing including such matters as reviewing, standards of production, sales and distribution, relationships between National Spiritual Assemblies, the international needs of the teaching work and the position of Bahá'í authors. We are both to stimulate the supply of new works and to liberate the channels of publication and distribution. We wish to encourage Bahá'í authors as well as to promote production of the basic texts of the Faith.

We therefore ask you to study the attached memorandum yourselves, pass it on to your Publishing Trust and/or other agencies concerned, and make it available generally to the friends in whatever way you may find practicable.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,
The Universal House of Justice

Memorandum on Bahá'í publishing -- Ridvan 1971

The following principles and observations are called to the attention of National Spiritual Assemblies and all those concerned with the production of Bahá'í publications:

a. At this early stage of the Cause all works by Bahá'ís which deal with the Faith, whether in the form of books, pamphlets, translations, poems, songs, radio and television scripts, films, recordings, etc. must be approved before submission for publication, whether to a Bahá'í or non-Bahá'í publisher. In the case of material for purely local consumption the competent authority is the Local Spiritual Assembly, otherwise the National Spiritual Assembly (through its Reviewing Committee) is the approving authority.

23 February 1971

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Bahá'í friends,

The advent and liberal supply of tape and cassette recorders in the markets of the world have opened new doors and placed in almost every land at the disposal of the friends new methods for the dissemination of Bahá'í material. It is the hope of the Universal House of Justice that the recording of Bahá'í talks, and other audio features, and their wide use among Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike, will prove to be a powerful new instrument in the teaching and deepening work everywhere. There is one area, however, where great care must be exercised, and this is in the use of the record of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's voice.

The Guardian, when referring to this record, requested the friends "to exercise restraint and caution." "In my view," he added, "it should be used only on special occasions and be listened to with the utmost reverence. The dignity of the Cause, I am sure, would suffer from too wide and indiscriminate use of one of the most precious relics of our departed Master."

We request you to share the contents of this letter, in any manner you deem advisable, with the friends residing under your jurisdiction. We are confident that all the friends will strictly observe the Guardian's exhortation and will not overstep the bounds of courtesy and moderation in the use of a precious relic so lovingly left to us by the Centre of God's Covenant.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice
('Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986')

11 February 1971

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

REJOICE ANNOUNCE ALL FRIENDS FORMATION DURING RIDVAN 1972 NINE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES RAISING TOTAL NUMBER PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE TO ONE HUNDRED AND TEN. THREE IN AFRICA MALAGASY REPUBLIC REUNION SEYCHELLES THREE IN ASIA EAST PAKISTAN NEPAL SINGAPORE ONE IN AUSTRALASIA NORTHWEST PACIFIC OCEAN COMPRISING GUAM CAROLINES MARIANAS MARSHALLS TWO IN EUROPE ICELAND AND REPUBLIC IRELAND.

FOUR OF THESE SEYCHELLES EAST PAKISTAN SINGAPORE NORTHWEST PACIFIC CONSTITUTE SUPPLEMENTARY ACHIEVEMENTS NINE YEAR PLAN. URGE PIONEERS SCHEDULED ALL THESE AREAS SETTLE POSTS WITHOUT DELAY. CALL UPON RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES BRACE THEMSELVES EXERT SUPREME EFFORT FAST FLEETING WEEKS BEFORE COMING RIDVAN ESTABLISH AS MANY ASSEMBLIES AS POSSIBLE THEREBY BROADENING STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS PROJECTED NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. FERVENTLY PRAYING HOLY SHRINES FOLLOWERS MOST GREAT NAME MAY SEIZE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT HOUR AND SPARE NO EFFORT UNTIL GOALS PLAN ARE FULLY ACCOMPLISHED THEREBY ATTRACTING TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES INESTIMABLE BLESSINGS ANCIENT BEAUTY.


UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
(Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986')

1 February 1971

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

HAPPY ANNOUNCE FOLLOWING HANDS CAUSE WILL REPRESENT UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTIONS COMING RIDVAN AMATU'L-BAHA RUHIYYIH KHANUM IVORY COAST UPPER VOLTA MALI DHIKRU'LLAH KHADEM TRINIDAD TOBAGO ADELBERT MUEHLSCHLEGEL LESOTHO 'ALI-MUHAMMAD VARQA CONGO BRAZZAVILLE GABON ENOCH OLINGA BOTH SUDAN CHAD COLLIS FEATHERSTONE BOTH SOLOMON ISLANDS SOUTHWEST PACIFIC OCEAN. CONFIDENT PRESENCE PARTICIPATION THESE STANDARD-BEARERS NINE YEAR PLAN HISTORIC FIRST CONVENTIONS WILL ATTRACT DIVINE BLESSINGS ASSIST NEW NATIONAL COMMUNITIES BEFITTINGLY ASSUME SACRED RESPONSIBILITIES.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
('Messages from the Universal House of Justice')

4 January 1971

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

PROFOUNDLY GRIEVE PASSING ILLUMINED SOUL HAND CAUSE AGNES ALEXANDER LONG-STANDING PILLAR CAUSE FAR EAST FIRST BRING FAITH HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. HER LONG DEDICATED EXEMPLARY LIFE SERVICE DEVOTION CAUSE GOD ANTICIPATED BY CENTRE COVENANT SELECTING HER SHARE MAY MAXWELL IMPERISHABLE HONOUR MENTION TABLETS DIVINE PLAN. HER UNRESTRAINED UNCEASING PURSUIT TEACHING OBEDIENCE COMMAND BAHÁ'U'LLÁH EXHORTATIONS MASTER GUIDANCE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHINING EXAMPLE ALL FOLLOWERS FAITH. HER PASSING SEVERS ONE MORE LINK HEROIC AGE. ASSURE FAMILY FRIENDS ARDENT PRAYERS HOLIEST SHRINE PROGRESS RADIANT SOUL REQUEST ALL NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES HOLD MEMORIAL MEETINGS AND THOSE RESPONSIBLE HOLD SERVICES MOTHER TEMPLES.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
('Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986')

12 August 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Bahá'í friends,

The following cable has just been sent to Hands of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum and William Sears representing the Universal House of Justice at Conferences in Bolivia and Mauritius:

PLEASE ANNOUNCE TO PARTICIPANTS CONFERENCE JOYOUS NEWS DECISION CALL THREE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL CONVENTIONS NEXT RIDVAN NAMELY SUDAN CHAD AND CONGO BRAZZAVILLE GABON BRINGING TO SEVEN NEW NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES BEING FORMED AT CLOSE OF SEVENTH YEAR NINE YEAR PLAN. FERVENTLY PRAYING HOLY SHRINES BEHALF NATIONAL COMMUNITIES BAHÁ'Í WORLD REACHING ONE HUNDRED ONE BY NEXT RIDVAN SUPPLICATING REINFORCEMENT TIES UNITING THEM GREATER CONSECRATION CHALLENGING TASKS STILL AHEAD WIDER PARTICIPATION ALL RANKS FAITHFUL. COMMUNICATING TEXT CABLE ALL NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES.

Please share this news with the friends.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice
(Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986)

11 August 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies
Dear Baha'i friends,

As the Baha'i Administrative Order rapidly expands throughout the world it behoves everyone associated with it to familiarize himself with its principles, to understand its import and to put its precepts into practice. Only as individual members of Local Spiritual Assemblies deepen themselves in the fundamental verities of the Faith and in the proper application of the principles governing the operation of the Assembly will this institution grow and develop toward its full potential.

It is because the principles of Baha'i Administration are new to so many who are now being called upon to serve as members of Local Spiritual Assemblies that we felt the need to make available in brief form some of the texts and instructions which apply. No attempt has been made to put together a complete compilation of all texts from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, but it is hoped that the enclosed extracts will suffice as an introduction to a more profound study of the subject, and lead to a more efficient functioning of Local Spiritual Assemblies everywhere.

We call upon you to consider ways and means of sharing this material with the friends, and especially members of Local Spiritual Assemblies, as quickly as possible. In many instances, of course, the material will need to be translated; in other instances many of the quotations included in the compilation may already be available to the friends in their own language.

With loving Baha'i greetings,

The Universal House of Justice
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

2 August 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

All National Spiritual Assemblies have been aware of the urgency of our Ridvan 1969 message to the Baha'is of the world when the call was raised for pioneers to settle in territories in need of pioneer support or as yet unopened to the Faith, and have been cognizant of the emphasis which was placed on the need for the believers to arise quickly to ensure the success of the Nine Year Plan in the pioneer field.

Since that call was raised, no less than 330 of the pioneer posts in the 184 specified territories in the globe have been filled, and in a few of those territories additional pioneers have arrived to supplement the ranks of Baha'u'llah's followers at those posts.

As you will note from the attached list showing the current status of pioneer goals, some 417 pioneers must yet arise and settle in the posts previously assigned. After a recent review of pioneer needs we find it is necessary to call upon the valiant, constantly swelling community of believers throughout all continents to fill yet another 204 pioneer posts where manpower is desperately needed, in some territories in order to win the minimum number of Assemblies or localities called for in the Plan, and in others where vast new mass teaching areas have been opened to the Faith, thus necessitating additional reinforcements who must arrive soon if the precious gains are to be retained. These 204 new pioneer goals have been assigned to specific National Spiritual Assemblies.

Ridvan 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

BAHA'I WORLD COMMUNITY ENTERING SEVENTH YEAR NINE YEAR PLAN HAS AMPLY DEMONSTRATED ABILITY SCALE HEIGHTS DEVOTION SACRIFICE WIN ASTONISHING VICTORIES WORLD-REDEEMING WORLD-HEALING WORLD-UNITING FAITH. AT THIS RIDVAN EXTEND LOVING WELCOME ELEVEN NEW NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES NOW FORMING SEVEN IN AFRICA ONE IN AMERICAS ONE IN ASIA TWO IN AUSTRALASIA RAISING TO NINETY-FOUR NUMBER SUPPORTING PILLARS UNIVERSAL HOUSE JUSTICE.  MOVED PAY LOVING TRIBUTE HANDS CAUSE GOD THEIR BRILLIANT SERVICES BLAZING TEACHING TRAILS SURFACE PLANET UPLIFTING ADVISING ASSEMBLIES FRIENDS ALL CONTINENTS.  IN VIEW EFFECTIVE REINFORCEMENT THIS NOBLE WORK BY ABLE DEDICATED CONTINENTAL BOARDS COUNSELLORS THEIR AUXILIARY BOARDS TOGETHER WITH GROWING NEED AND EXPANSION WORLD COMMUNITY ANNOUNCE AUGMENTATION VITAL INSTITUTION THROUGH APPOINTMENT THREE ADDITIONAL COUNSELLORS IRAJ AYMAN WESTERN ASIA ANNELIESE BOPP BETTY REED EUROPE AND AUTHORIZATION APPOINTMENT FORTY-FIVE ADDITIONAL AUXILIARY BOARD MEMBERS NINE AFRICA SIXTEEN ASIA TWO AUSTRALASIA EIGHTEEN WESTERN HEMISPHERE.  CALLING FORMATION FOUR NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES RIDVAN 1971 LESOTHO SEAT MASERU IVORY COAST MALI AND UPPER VOLTA SEAT ABIDJAN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SEAT PORT OF SPAIN SOLOMON ISLANDS SEAT HONIARA. NINE YEAR PLAN ALREADY MARKED GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS PIONEERING PROCLAMATION RECOGNITION FAITH UPSURGE YOUTH ACQUISITION PROPERTIES COMMENCEMENT CONSTRUCTION PANAMA TEMPLE DEVELOPMENTS WORLD CENTRE. URGENT IMMEDIATE VITAL NEED CONCENTRATE ATTENTION INCREASE NUMBER LOCALITIES LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES BELIEVERS FILL REMAINING PIONEER POSTS. LAST RIDVAN CALL RAISED SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE PIONEERS MINIMUM REQUIREMENT. FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE SPECIFIC POSTS STILL UNFILLED. TOTAL VICTORY REQUIRES MORE PIONEERS MORE FUNDS MORE NEW BELIEVERS. HANDS CAUSE COUNSELLORS BOARD MEMBERS NATIONAL LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES EVERY SINGLE FOLLOWER BAHA'U'LLAH SUMMONED UTMOST EFFORT REMAINING YEARS NINE YEAR PLAN. ACHIEVEMENT THIS STEP MASTER'S DIVINE PLAN WILL ENDOW COMMUNITY CAPACITY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES UNDERTAKE NEXT STAGE IMPLEMENTATION SUPREME PURPOSE BAHA'U'LLAH'S REVELATION UNIFICATION MANKIND ESTABLISHMENT LONG PROMISED KINGDOM GOD THIS EARTH.  ASSURE ARDENT LOVING PRAYERS HOLY SHRINES.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

25 March 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

In commemoration of the centenary of the martyrdom of the Purest Branch, which falls on 23 June 1970, we call upon the Baha'is of the world to unite in prayer for "the regeneration of the world and the unification of its peoples."

During those days one hundred years ago Baha'u'llah was enduring His imprisonment in the Barracks of 'Akka. Upon the tribulations which weighed Him down was heaped the fatal accident which befell His young son, His companion and amanuensis, Mirza Mihdi, the Purest Branch, whose dying supplication to his Father was to accept his life "as a ransom for those of His loved ones who yearned for, but were unable to attain, His presence." In a Tablet revealed in that grievous hour Baha'u'llah sorrows that "This is the day whereon he that was created of the light of Baha has suffered martyrdom, at a time when he lay imprisoned at the hands of his enemies." Yet He makes clear that the youth passing has a far profounder meaning than His acceptance of the simple request, declaring that "Thou art, verily, the trust of God and His treasure in this land. Erelong will God reveal through thee that which He hath desired." In a prayer revealed for His son He proclaims the purpose underlying the tragedy: "I have, O my Lord, offered up that which Thou hast given Me, that Thy servants may be quickened, and all that dwell on earth be united."  Thus upon a youth of consummate devotion who demonstrated such beauty of spirit and total dedication was conferred a unique station in the Cause of God.

In your recalling the bereavement of Baha'u'llah upon the loss of His loved son, and honouring a highly significant event in the Faith, we leave it to the discretion of the Assemblies whether they choose to hold special gatherings of prayer. In the Holy Land at the World Centre on Mount Carmel there will be an observance at the grave of Mirza Mihdi, at which time his pure example and sacrifice for all mankind will be remembered through the words of his glorious Father.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
The Universal House of Justice
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

6 March 1970

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada

Dear Baha'i friends,

We have your letter of 14 January 1970 asking questions about the decision- making process of Spiritual Assemblies.

It is important to realize that the spirit of Baha'i consultation is very different from that current in the decision-making processes of non-Baha'i bodies.

The ideal of Baha'i consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. When this is not possible a vote must be taken. In the words of the beloved Guardian: "... when they are called upon to arrive at a certain decision, they should, after dispassionate, anxious, and cordial consultation, turn to God in prayer, and with earnestness and conviction and courage record their vote and abide by the voice of the majority, which we are told by our Master to be the voice of truth, never to be challenged, and always to be wholeheartedly enforced."

As soon as a decision is reached it becomes the decision of the whole Assembly, not merely of those members who happened to be among the majority.

18 February 1970

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

JOYFULLY ANNOUNCE BAHA'I WORLD ATTAINMENT CONSULTATIVE STATUS UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL THEREBY FULFILLING LONG CHERISHED HOPE BELOVED GUARDIAN AND WORLD CENTRE GOAL NINE YEAR PLAN.+F192  SUSTAINED PERSISTENT EFFORTS MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVES BAHA'I INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY UNITED NATIONS DEVOTED SUPPORT BAHA'I COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT WORLD FINALLY REWARDED.  SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT ADDS PRESTIGE INFLUENCE RECOGNITION EVER ADVANCING FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH.  OFFERING PRAYERS GRATITUDE HOLY SHRINES.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

8 February 1970

To National Spiritual Assemblies in Africa

Dear Baha'i friends,

For long centuries the African Continent, or rather that great part of it which lies south of the Sahara, remained relatively isolated from the rest of the world, untroubled and scarcely touched by the surging conflicts of the nations to the north and east. Now, rapidly emerging into the main stream of international interest, the African peoples, who were compared by Baha'u'llah to the black pupil of the eye through which "the light of the spirit shineth forth," are being swept by the heady enthusiasms of new-found independence, torn by the conflicting forces of divergent political interests, their vision obscured by the haze of materialism and the dust of nationalistic passions and age-old tribal rivalries.

In the midst of the storm and stress of the battles of selfish interests being waged about them, stand the followers of the Most Great Name, their sight attracted to the rising Sun of God's Holy Cause, their hearts welded together in a bond of true unity with all the children of men, and their voices raised in a universal song of praise to the Glory of God and the oneness of mankind, calling on their fellowmen to forget and forgo their differences and join them in obedience and service to God's Holy Command in this Day.

The Army of the Cause, advancing at the bidding of the Lord, to conquer the hearts of men, can never be defeated, but its rate of advance can be slowed down by acts of unwisdom and ignorance on the part of its supporters. We are writing you this letter to help in clarifying some of the issues that have, in the past, blurred the vision of some of the believers, and caused them to commit errors of judgement which have retarded the progress of the Faith in their countries.

1 January 1970

National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is of the world

Dear Baha'i friends,

In order to assist the friends everywhere in the proper appreciation of the importance and meaning of contributing to Baha'i Funds, and to remind them as well as all Assemblies of the underlying principles that must govern the offering and administration of these funds, we have made a compilation of extracts from the Guardian's letters on this subject which we are now sharing with you.

You may use these extracts in any manner you deem advisable, at conferences, in summer schools, in deepening classes, and in your newsletters and circular letters.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
The Universal House of Justice
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

18 November 1969

To National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

Enclosed please find our letter of 16 November 1969 addressed to the Baha'is of the World. Please share this letter with all believers in your jurisdiction as soon as possible.

After several years of protracted negotiations with agencies of the Israel Government both in Jerusalem and Haifa, an important property adjacent to Bahji and embracing the Master's teahouse has been acquired. On 17 November we cabled the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States as follows:

WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS ANNOUNCE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION FORMAL NEGOTIATIONS INITIATED NEARLY TWO DECADES AGO BY BELOVED GUARDIAN WITH AUTHORITIES STATE ISRAEL RESULTING OWNERSHIP VITALLY NEEDED PROPERTY SURROUNDING 'ABDU'L-BAHA'S TEAHOUSE IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURHOOD MOST HOLY TOMB FOUNDER FAITH. ACQUISITION MUCH DESIRED LAND EXTENDING GARDENS BAHJI FACILITATED THROUGH EXCHANGE PROPERTY DEDICATED SOME THIRTY-SIX YEARS AGO TO HOLY TOMB BAHA'U'LLAH BY DEVOTED SERVANT CAUSE HAJI 'ALI YAZDI.

UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

The successful conclusion of these negotiations initiated during the life-time of the beloved Guardian was made possible through the acceptance by the Government, as even exchange, of an endowment property given to the Faith in 1933 by the late Haji 'Ali Yazdi.  The significance of the specific piece of land donated by this venerable soul becomes apparent when reading the following quotation from the IN MEMORIAM article about him in The Baha'i World, Volume 9 [624-25]:

He will forever be remembered, amongst other things, as the establisher of Baha'i endowments in the vicinity of 'Akka through his gift of a tract of land dedicated to Baha'u'llah's Holy Tomb in Bahji. ...

It is a glowing tribute to the memory of this devoted servant of the Blessed Beauty that his gift should play such an important part in securing this valuable additional safeguard for the Most Holy Tomb.

Please also convey the news of this victory to the friends. With loving Baha'i greetings,

The Universal House of Justice
(‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

1 October 1969

To the Continental Boards of Counsellors and National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

A number of questions have been raised concerning the work of the Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members, and it has been suggested that Auxiliary Board members be permitted to work regularly with National Spiritual Assemblies and national committees. We have carefully considered again the various factors involved and have decided that we must uphold the principle that such direct consultations should be exceptional rather than the rule.

It is the responsibility of Spiritual Assemblies, assisted by their committees, to organize and direct the teaching work, and in doing so they must, naturally, also do all they can to stimulate and inspire the friends. It is, however, inevitable that the Assemblies and committees, being burdened with the administration of the teaching work as well as with all other aspects of Baha'i community life, will be unable to spend as much time as they would wish on stimulating the believers.

Authority and direction flow from the Assemblies, whereas the power to accomplish the tasks resides primarily in the entire body of the believers. It is the principal task of the Auxiliary Boards to assist in arousing and releasing this power. This is a vital activity, and if they are to be able to perform it adequately they must avoid becoming involved in the work of administration. For example, when Auxiliary Board members arouse believers to pioneer, any believer who expresses his desire to do so should be referred to the appropriate committee which will then organize the project. Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members should not, themselves, organize pioneering or travel teaching projects. Thus it is seen that the Auxiliary Boards should work closely with the grass roots of the community: the individual believers, groups and Local Spiritual Assemblies, advising, stimulating and assisting them. The Counsellors are responsible for stimulating, counselling and assisting National Spiritual Assemblies, and also work with individuals, groups and Local Assemblies.

11 August 1969

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

In the brief space of time following the announcement of the formation of six new National Spiritual Assemblies in Africa next Ridvan, the succession of victories, resulting from the prodigious efforts exerted by the devoted friends, impels us to announce that a seventh National Spiritual Assembly will be formed in Africa at Ridvan,

The new National Spiritual Assembly including Congo (Brazzaville), Chad, Central African Republic and Gabon, will have its seat in Bangui. This will leave Uganda with its own separate National Spiritual Assembly.

Please share this joyous news with the believers. We know the friends throughout the world join us in our supplications for the continued, uninterrupted prosecution and speedy fulfilment of the goals, terminating in the ultimate triumph of the Cause of Baha'u'llah.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
The Universal House of Justice
(Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

10 July 1969

To National Spiritual Assemblies

Dear Baha'i friends,

With great joy we announce that we have decided to increase the total number of members of the Continental Boards of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith to thirty-eight by adding John McHenry III to the Continental Board of Counsellors in North East Asia and Mas'ud Khamsi to the Continental Board of Counsellors in South America, raising the number of Counsellors on each Board to three and four, respectively.

We also rejoice to announce the appointment of Mrs Shirin Boman to the Continental Board of Counsellors of Western Asia to fill a vacancy on that Board.

The devoted efforts of all eleven Continental Boards of Counsellors during the first year of their service to the Faith of Baha'u'llah have been most exemplary and praiseworthy.  We are deeply grateful for the loyalty, steadfastness and devotion which have characterized the activities of all members in reinforcing the vitally important work of the Hands of the Cause of God.

Please share these glad tidings with the friends.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
The Universal House of Justice
(Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986’)

10 July 1969

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada

Dear Bahá'í friends,

We have reviewed your letter of 11 April, asking about the teachings of the Faith on self-defence and any guidance on individual conduct in the face of increasing civil disorder in North American cities.

From the texts you already have available it is clear that Bahá'u'lláh has stated that it is preferable to be killed in the path of God's good pleasure than to kill, and that organized religious attack against Bahá'ís should never turn into any kind of warfare, as this is strictly prohibited in our Writings.

A hitherto untranslated Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, however, points out that in the case of attack by robbers and highwaymen, a Bahá'í should not surrender himself, but should try, as far as circumstances permit, to defend himself, and later on lodge a complaint with the government authorities. In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian, he also indicates that in an emergency when there is no legal force at hand to appeal to, a Bahá'í is justified in defending his life. In another letter the Guardian has further pointed out that the assault of an irresponsible assailant upon a Bahá'í should be resisted by the Bahá'í, who would be justified, under such circumstances, in protecting his life.