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More Books by Ridvan

Ridvan 121 1964
Ridvan 134 1977
Ridvan 137 1980
Ridvan 138 1981
Ridvan 139 1982
Ridvan 140 1983
Ridvan 141 1984
Ridvan 143 1986
Ridvan 144 1987
Ridvan 145 1988
Ridvan 146 1989
Ridvan 147 1990
Ridvan 148 1991
Ridvan 149 1992
Ridvan 150 1993
Ridvan 151 1994
Ridvan 152 1995
Ridvan 153 1996
Ridvan 153-I 1996
Ridvan 154 1997
Ridvan 155 1998
Ridvan 156 1999
Ridvan 157 2000
Ridvan 158 2001
Ridvan 159 2002
Ridvan 160 2003
Ridvan 161 2004
Ridvan 162 2005
Ridvan 163 2006
Ridvan 164 2007
Ridvan 165 2008
Ridvan 166 2009
Ridvan 167 2010
Ridvan 168 2011
Ridvan 169 2012
Ridvan 170 2013
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Ridvan : Ridvan 137 1980

The successful launching of the Seven Year Plan and the advances made in

the first year of its opening phase mitigate, in some degree, the disasters and

calamities which, in the past year, have assailed the struggling Faith of God.

The newest wave of persecution unleashed against us in the Cradle of our Faith

has been compounded by Divine decree afflicting the entire Bahá'í world

community. In the full tide of their brilliant services to the Faith of God, and

within the short span of twenty weeks three Chief Stewards of Bahá'u'lláh's

embryonic World Order, the Hands of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga, Rahmatu'llah

Muhajir and Hasan Balyuzi were summoned to the Abha Kingdom, leaving the rest of

us bereft and shocked by the enormity of our loss and the tragic brutality of

the circumstances attending the murder of beloved Enoch Olinga and members of

his family.

In Iran, the confusion which has seized the whole country opened the way

for the fierce and inveterate enemies of the Faith, unrestrained by any

effective authority, to indulge their fanatical hatred. The Holy House of the

Báb has been demolished and proposals have been made to erase its very site. The

Siyah-Chal and Bahá'u'lláh's Home in Tihran have been seized, together with all

other Holy Places and properties. One member of the National Spiritual Assembly

and two of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tihran have been kidnapped and the

whereabouts of two of them is still unknown, while the third is still in prison.

Also, a Counsellor and some friends who are associated with the National Office

or are members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tihran have been imprisoned.

Bahá'ís have been heavily pressed to recant their faith and in one case a

believer, who refused to do so, followed the glorious path of the martyrs and

was executed. Beyond all this a campaign of vilification and false charges has

been conducted against the friends in an effort to make them the scapegoat of

unrestrained mobs.

And yet, as ever in the Cause of God, the beneficent operation of the

dialectic of disaster and triumph is clearly apparent. The unwavering faith of

the dearly-loved, severely-tested, ever-steadfast Persian Bahá'í community,

guided by the heroic stand and example of its National Spiritual Assembly,

supported and inspired by the Counsellors and their Auxiliary Board members, has

effected a spiritual revitalization of the beloved friends. They have united as

one man to present a front of refulgent spirituality and assurance and appear,

as one observer reports, like a dazzling community of eager, uplifted, radiant

new believers.

Nor is the influence of their response to the sufferings engulfing them

confined to their homeland. From farthest east to farthest west, from pole to

pole, wherever the Standard of Bahá'u'lláh has been implanted, the friends have

felt the impulse of sacrifice and risen to assume that enormous share of the

work of the Faith in the fields of teaching, pioneering and financial

contribution which the Persian friends, for the time being, are no longer able

to shoulder.

The wonderful love aroused in Bahá'í hearts everywhere by the sudden,

untimely passing of the beloved Hands of the Cause has moved the believers to

dedicate themselves anew with increased ardour and self-sacrifice to the

promotion of the work to which all the Hands of the Cause of God have dedicated

their lives.

The world-wide response of the friends to these tragedies is the more

heartening in view of the clear warnings voiced by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the beloved

Guardian of the fierce and widespread opposition which the increasing growth of

the Cause of God will arouse. There is no doubt of this. Shoghi Effendi called

attention to "the extent and character of the forces that are destined to

contest with God's holy Faith", and supported his argument with "these prophetic

and ominous words" from 'Abdu'l-Bahá:

"HOW GREAT, HOW VERY GREAT IS THE CAUSE! HOW VERY FIERCE THE ONSLAUGHT OF ALL

THE PEOPLES AND KINDREDS OF THE EARTH! ERE LONG SHALL THE CLAMOUR OF THE

MULTITUDE THROUGHOUT AFRICA, THROUGHOUT AMERICA, THE CRY OF THE EUROPEAN AND

OF THE TURK, THE GROANING OF INDIA AND CHINA, BE HEARD FROM FAR AND NEAR. ONE

AND ALL THEY SHALL ARISE WITH ALL THEIR POWER TO RESIST HIS CAUSE. THEN SHALL

THE KNIGHTS OF THE LORD, ASSISTED BY HIS GRACE FROM ON HIGH, STRENGTHENED BY

FAITH, AIDED BY THE POWER OF UNDERSTANDING, AND REINFORCED BY THE LEGIONS OF

THE COVENANT, ARISE AND MAKE MANIFEST THE TRUTH OF THE VERSE: 'BEHOLD THE

CONFUSION THAT HATH BEFALLEN THE TRIBES OF THE DEFEATED!'"

The beloved Guardian expatiated at length upon this theme and its

inevitable outcome: "Stupendous as is the struggle which His words foreshadow,

they also testify to the complete victory which the upholders of the Greatest

Name are destined eventually to achieve."

Now, therefore, it is our sacred duty to make the utmost use of our

freedom, wherever it exists, to promote the Cause of God while we may. The

surest way to do this and to win the good-pleasure of Bahá'u'lláh is to pursue,

with dedication and unrelenting vigour, the goals of whatever Plan is in force,

for Bahá'u'lláh has stated: "To assist Me is to teach My Cause."

A good start has been made with the Seven Year Plan. At the World Centre

of the Faith the uninterrupted progress in raising the Seat of the House of

Justice, repairing and refurbishing the House of 'Abdu'llah Pasha, further

extension of the gardens surrounding the Haram-i-Aqdas at Bahji, and the

initiation of a general reorganization of the work of the World Centre to

accommodate its ever-growing needs and make use of the most up-to-date

technological developments, have taken place.

In the international sphere the enthusiasm with which the friends

everywhere greeted the launching of the Seven Year Plan and girded themselves to

achieve the goals of the first two-year phase, their generous and sacrificial

outpouring of funds, the confident and sustained efforts exerted to carry

forward the two sacred enterprises initiated in the Indian subcontinent and at

the heart of the vast Pacific Ocean, the constant activity of the Bahá'í

International Community in fostering its relations with the United Nations, the

great increase in the number of children's Bahá'í classes and the innumerable

victories won in the teaching field, recorded by the establishment of the

world-wide community of the Most Great Name in over 106,000 localities, all

testify to the unassailable, and indeed ever-increasing vigour of the Cause of

God.

The number of pioneers and travelling teachers who have entered the field

during the first year of the Seven Year Plan, and the increase in the number of

national communities which have sent them out are highly encouraging. This

stream of pioneers and travelling teachers must be increased and more widely

diffused, and we fervently hope that, at the very least, all those pioneers

filling the assigned goals of the first phase of the Seven Year Plan will be at

their posts by Ridvan 1981.

In the field of proclamation unprecedented publicity has been accorded the

Cause of God, chiefly as a result of the persecutions in Iran. In addition

significant gains have been made in the Bahá'í radio operation in South America,

where short wave transmission has greatly extended the range of Radio Bahá'í in

Otavalo, Ecuador, and where a new station is being established in Puno, in Peru,

on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Both these achievements offer immeasurable new

opportunities for the teaching, proclamation and consolidation of the Cause in

that area.

In 88 languages of the world the supply of Bahá'í literature has been

enriched, while three new languages have been added to bring to 660 the number

of those in which Bahá'í material is available.

The National Spiritual Assembly of Transkei with its seat in Umtata will

be formed at Ridvan 1980. At Ridvan 1981 six new National Spiritual Assemblies

will be formed; two in Africa, Namibia with its seat in Windhoek, and

Bophuthatswana with its seat in Mmabatho; three in the Americas, the Leeward

Islands with its seat in St. John's, Antigua, the Windward Islands with its seat

in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and Bermuda with its seat in Hamilton; one in

Australasia, Tuvalu with its seat in Funafuti. With great joy we announce the

re-formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda, to take place at

Ridvan 1981.

In the course of the coming year, the Universal House of Justice, in

consultation with the International Teaching Centre, will review the

accomplishments of the initial phase and will then announce to all National

Spiritual Assemblies the goals towards which they should strive in the next

stage of the Seven Year Plan.

During this final year of the initial phase National Spiritual Assemblies

are urged to continue their wise and dignified approaches to people prominent in

all areas of human endeavour in order to acquaint them with the nature and

spirit of the Faith and to win their esteem and friendship. At the same time

vigorous campaigns must be continually mounted to proclaim more and more

directly and to as large audiences as possible the existence and basic

principles of the Faith of God. Now is the time, as all human endeavours to

repair the old order only result in deeper and deeper confusion, to proclaim

constantly and openly the claims of the Faith and the redemptive power of

Bahá'u'lláh.

The marvellous momentum generated at the beginning of the Plan and now

propelling the Bahá'í world community forward to the achievement of the

immediate objectives of the initial phase must be maintained and indeed

accelerated, so that firm foundations in the spiritual life of the community may

be laid and its forces gathered for the winning of the specific tasks with which

it will be challenged in the major part of the Plan.

Our hearts go out in love and admiration to the friends in Iran and in

gratitude to the believers throughout the world for their spontaneous defence of

their persecuted brethren and their shouldering of the load which must, at all

costs, be borne.
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