Teaching Among Aboriginal and Indigenous People
‘Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi
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Teaching Among Aboriginal and Indigenous People

Teaching Among Aboriginal and Indigenous People

Extracts From the Writings of Shoghi Effendi or From Letters Written on His Behalf

— 1 —

Let anyone who feels the urge among the participators in this crusade, which embraces all the races, all the republics, classes and denominations of the entire Western Hemisphere, arise, and, circumstances permitting, direct in particular the attention, and win eventually the unqualified adherence, of the Negro, the Indian, the Eskimo, and Jewish races to his Faith. No more laudable and meritorious service can be rendered the Cause of God, at the present hour, than a successful effort to enhance the diversity of the members of the American Bahá’í community by swelling the ranks of the Faith through the enrollment of the members of these races. A blending of these highly differentiated elements of the human race, harmoniously interwoven into the fabric of an all-embracing Bahá’í fraternity, and assimilated through the dynamic processes of a divinely appointed Administrative Order, and contributing each its share to the enrichment and glory of Bahá’í community life, is surely an achievement the contemplation of which must warm and thrill every Bahá’í heart.

From a letter 25 December 1938 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada,
“The Advent of Divine Justice”, p. 54

— 2 —

Smallness of numbers, lack of skilled teachers, and modesty of means should not discourage or deter them. They must remember the glorious history of the Cause, which, both in East and West, was established by dedicated souls who, for the most part, were neither rich, famous, nor well educated, but whose devotion, zeal and self-sacrifice overcame every obstacle and won miraculous victories for the Faith of God. Such spiritual victories can now be won for India and Burma by the friends. Let them dedicate themselves — young and old, men and women alike — and go forth and settle in new districts, travel, and teach in spite of lack of experience, and be assured that Bahá’u’lláh has promised to aid all those who arise in His Name. His strength will sustain them; their own weakness is unimportant.

From a letter 29 June 1941 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma

— 3 —

Many are the souls who, in this Holy Cause, without either worldly means or knowledge, have set ablaze the hearts of others with the divine love and rendered the Faith imperishable services. The Guardian hopes that you will be able to do likewise.

From a letter 5 October 1941 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

— 4 —

There is no doubt that the poorer classes should be taught the Cause and given every opportunity to embrace it. More especially in order to demonstrate to people our cardinal lack of prejudice — class prejudice as much as any other kind of prejudice. However, he feels that the great point is to confirm people of true capacity and ability — from whatever social stratum they may be — because the Cause needs now, and will ever increasingly need, souls of great ability who can bring it before the public at large, administer its ever-growing affairs, and contribute to its advancement in every field.

From a letter 30 October 1941 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

— 5 —

That is perhaps what is most glorious about our present activities all over the world, that we, a band not large in numbers, not possessing financial backing or the prestige of great names, should, in the name of our beloved Faith, be forging ahead at such a pace, and demonstrating to future and present generations that it is the God-given qualities of our religion that are raising it up and not the transient support of worldly fame and power. All that will come later, when it has been made clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that what raised aloft the banner of Bahá’u’lláh was the love, sacrifice and devotion of His humble followers and the change that His teachings wrought in their hearts and lives.

From a letter 20 June 1942 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Aisles
“Unfolding Destiny”, p. 152