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Bahá’í Administration

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1974 edition
  • Pages:
  • 196
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Pages 165-166

Letter of February 12, 1929.

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.
Fellow-laborers in the Divine Vineyard:
I feel impelled by the force of various circumstances to share with you the news of recent happenings in those countries of the Near and Middle East which, by the ruling of Providence, are in these days undergoing a transformation which is as startling in its features as it is significant in its bearings upon the interests of our beloved Faith.
I have already in my previous communication briefly referred to the nature and effects of that momentous Revolution which has, with surprising swiftness, substituted a westernized and rejuvenated 166 Turkey for the primitive and decrepit Ottoman Empire. I have also attempted to describe the first stages of that recent and moving episode which has served in a manner that is truly providential to thrust the Bahá’í community in Turkey out of the obscurity of oppressive neglect into the broad daylight of official and public attention.
Recently, however, from the reports that have been received from the elected representatives of the believers in different parts of Turkey, it appears that the investigations conducted by the Police authorities in the capital and provinces of that land have proved but a preliminary to a more official and detailed inquiry into the Bahá’í position with respect to the laws recently promulgated by the Republican government. For no sooner were the followers of Bahá’u’lláh released from detention at the Police headquarters and given the assurance that their Faith was in no way associated with any political design or motive, than an official communication was delivered to their representatives summoning them to appear before the State’s criminal Tribunal on the charge of infraction of the law of the Republic requiring the registration and authorization of all public gatherings and associations within the jurisdiction of the State. To this summons our brethren yielded immediate and implicit obedience. They indeed welcomed this further opportunity to assert not only the innocence of their Faith but to vindicate as well the sublimity of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Realizing that with this fresh development their case has assumed a solemn and juridical character, the undaunted champions of the Cause resolved to seek the assistance of an expert and sympathetic advocate, who would reinforce from a purely legal standpoint the spiritual argument which they reserved for themselves to propound. For a period ranging from a week to eighteen days the attention of the officers of the Court, of the elected representatives of the believers, of their officially appointed advocates, and of the visiting public was focused upon the deliberations of a Court that closely scrutinized not only the conduct and motives of the Bahá’í followers but the laws and principles, the past history and the present position of the Faith itself.