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Citadel of Faith

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 third printing
  • Pages:
  • 171
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Pages 96-98


In this supreme, this sacred and international undertaking in which the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, in all the continents of the globe, are summoned to show forth the noblest spirit of self-sacrifice, the members 97 of the American Bahá’í Community must by virtue of the abilities they have already demonstrated and of the primacy conferred upon them as the chosen trustees of a Divine Plan, play a preponderating role, and, together with their brethren residing in the cradle of their Faith, who are linked by such unique ties with its Herald, set an example of self-abnegation worthy to be emulated by their fellow-workers in every land.
Whilst the members of this privileged community, laboring so valiantly in the Western Hemisphere, are widening the range of their manifold activities, and thereby augmenting their responsibilities, in both the Holy Land and the African continent, the original tasks, associated with the prosecution of the Second Seven Year Plan, must, simultaneously with this added and meritorious effort which is being exerted, in memory of the beloved Báb, and for the spiritual emancipation of the downtrodden races of Africa, be carried to a triumphant conclusion. Though the present deficit in their National Fund may, in a sense, register a failure on their part to meet their pressing obligations, and may arouse in their hearts feelings of self-reproach and anxiety, I can confidently assert that the supplementary duties they have discharged, and the material support they have extended, and are now extending, for the conduct of activities, not falling within the original scope of their Plan, not only fully compensate for an apparent shortcoming, but constitute, instead of a stain on their record of service, additional embellishments to the scroll already inscribed with so many exploits for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.
Assured that no blot has marred so splendid a record of service; confident of their destiny; reliant on the unfailing guidance of the Founder of their Faith as well as on His sustaining power, let them address themselves, with unrelaxing vigilance and undiminished vigor, to the task of rounding off the several missions undertaken by them in Latin America, and in the North American and European continents.
The extension of the necessary material support and administrative guidance to the forthcoming national assemblies of Central and South America that will enable them to develop along sound lines and without any setback in the course of their unfoldment; the steady consolidation of the victories already won in the ten goal countries of Europe; the maintenance, at its present level and at whatever cost, of the status of the assemblies and groups so laboriously built up; the provision of 98 whatever is required to fully complete the interior of the Temple and beautify the grounds surrounding it, in preparation for its formal inauguration and its use for public worship—these should be regarded as the essential objectives of the American Bahá’í Community during the two-year interval separating us from the Centenary celebrations of the prophetic mission of the Founder of our Faith.
Time is running short. The effort required to discharge the manifold responsibilities now challenging the members of a lion-hearted community is truly colossal. The issues at stake, demanding every ounce of their energy, are incomparably glorious. An ominous international situation emphasizes this challenge and reinforces the urgency of these issues. In the Holy Land, amid the tribes of a dark continent, over the wide expanses stretching from Panama to the extremity of Chile, in the heart of its own homeland, as well as in the new European field, marking the projection of its world mission across the seas, the American Bahá’í Community must deploy its forces, hoist still higher its pennants, and erect still more glorious memorials to the heroism, the constancy and the devotion of its members. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Whose Plan they are executing in both hemispheres, and to Whose summons they are now responding in the African continent; the Báb, Whose Sepulcher they are helping to erect; above all Bahá’u’lláh, Whose embryonic World Order they are building in the Holy Land and in other continents of the globe, look down upon them from Their retreats of glory, applauding their acts, guiding their footsteps, vouchsafing Their blessings, and laying up, in the storehouses of the Abhá kingdom such treasures as only They can bestow.
May the members of this community prove themselves, as they forge ahead and approach yet another milestone on the broad highway of their mission, worthy of still greater prizes, and fit to launch still mightier enterprises, for the glory of the Name they bear, and in the service of the Faith they profess.

[March 29, 1951]