11 June 2009

To the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith

Dearly loved Friends,

Reports reaching the Bahá’í World Centre provide evidence of the radiant spirit with which you are managing the affairs of your community and discharging your spiritual obligations. To sustain and encourage one another, you are consulting in small groups on your individual and collective endeavours, and have called on a few among you to lend assistance to their fellow believers in various matters. We find it fitting indeed that, under the present circumstances, the friends would arise with eagerness in support of one another, giving expression to the words of Bahá’u’lláh: “It ill-beseemeth men to centre all their efforts on their own selves; rather must they ceaselessly strive for the betterment of the lives of one another.” Those who are requested from time to time to render some particular form of service know well that they are not intended to replace the Khádimín. Nor do they see themselves as bearing any responsibility for the personal or collective affairs of the friends. Rather do they consider it their duty as Bahá’ís to sustain their fellow believers and confer with them. They recognize that the effectiveness of their contribution in this regard will depend entirely on the degree of humility they evince. Far from imposing their views on others, they adopt consultation as a mode of operation and assist others in their decision making by encouraging them to do the same.

In your efforts to address community concerns, you would do well to remember, in these days of transition, that it behoves the people of Bahá to place, at all times, their entire trust in the power of Divine assistance and to remain staunchly united, pressing onward, step by step, with enthusiasm and patience. With every stride thus taken, the path forward will become increasingly clear, enabling you to proceed resolutely in the conduct of your affairs. In this way, each of you will find it possible, even in these times, to persevere in your efforts to foster individual spiritual growth, to strengthen the community, and to serve your country and your compatriots.

In our letter dated 19 May 2009, we made reference to the many tasks that face the members of your community, both individually and collectively, and alluded to the importance of offering assistance to friends in need. Unemployment and poverty afflict, of course, a great number of people in your nation today. Yet, in view of the economic pressures that have been so unjustly imposed on the Bahá’ís of Iran by some authorities in recent years, it has become more vital than ever that attention be given to caring for those who, despite valiant effort, are unable to provide for themselves. You should do all in your power to ensure that the basic needs of families and individuals are met, carrying out this sacred task with patience and kindness, mindful of the spiritual and moral principles involved and conscious of the dignity of those who require help. Widespread poverty poses a significant challenge to humanity as a whole; if its eradication is not addressed in an equitable manner, no one will escape the consequences of this great injustice. One of the duties, then, of the people of Bahá, is to extend this assistance beyond your immediate community, to the extent possible, and to reach out to your fellow citizens so that you might work together toward a common solution. May purity of heart distinguish all such efforts.

You remain ever present in our prayers at the Sacred Threshold.

[signed: The Universal House of Justice]

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