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Messages to the Bahá’í World: 1950–1957

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1971 edition
  • Pages:
  • 175
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Pages 133-134

Achievements of Heroic Pioneers in Africa

Rejoice to share with Bahá’í communities East and West thrilling reports of feats achieved by the heroic band of Bahá’í pioneers laboring in divers widely scattered African territories, particularly in Uganda, in the heart of the continent, reminiscent alike of episodes related in the Book of Acts and the rapid, dramatic propagation of the Faith through the instrumentality of the dawn-breakers in the Heroic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation. The marvelous accomplishments signalizing the rise and establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith in Latin America have been eclipsed. The exploits immortalizing the recently launched crusade in the European continent have been surpassed. The goal of the seven-month plan, initiated by the Kampala Assembly, aiming at doubling the twelve 134 enrolled believers, has been outstripped. The number of Africans converted in the course of the last fifteen months, residing in Kampala and outlying districts, with Protestant, Catholic and pagan backgrounds, lettered and unlettered, of both sexes, representative of no less than sixteen tribes, has passed the two hundred mark.
The effulgent rays of God’s triumphant Cause, radiating from the focal center, are fast awakening the continent and penetrating at an accelerating rate isolated regions unfrequented by white men and enveloping with their radiance souls hitherto indifferent to the persistent humanitarian activities of the Christian missions and the civilizing influence of the civil authorities. No less than nine localities will be qualified to attain, by this coming Riḍván, assembly status within a single territory of the long-slumbering continent.
Zanzibar, Madagascar, French Morocco, South Rhodesia, Italian Somaliland are already or soon will be opened to the Faith.
Desire to pay special tribute to the strenuous efforts exerted by ‘Alí Nakhjavání, setting an example of dedication and freedom from prejudice to fellow pioneers laboring in inhospitable surroundings and confronted by manifold and formidable obstacles.
Planning to entrust to the special representative delegated to attend the approaching Kampala Conference a portrait of the holy Báb, a replica of the one deposited beneath the dome of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Wilmette, to be exhibited to the assembled attendants on the historic occasion. Confident unveiling may draw newly recruited vanguard of the ever-swelling host of Bahá’u’lláh, as well as all participating visitors, itinerant teachers and settlers, closer to the spirit of the Martyr-Prophet of the Faith and bestow everlasting benediction on all gathered at the memorable sessions of the epoch-making Intercontinental Conference dedicated to the prosecution of the latest, most glorious crusade launched in the course of eleven decades of Bahá’í history.

[January 5, 1953]