[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

27 August 2013

To the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The news of the murder of ‘Aṭá’u’lláh Riḍvání has brought us profound grief. This heinous act fills every heart with sadness and revulsion, and the perpetrators of this outrageous crime and those who ordered it stand condemned by all human standards. Those who, in the name of religion and for personal gain and ambition, seek to sow the seeds of hatred and division and who, with words and actions aimed at incitement, make such a crime possible also bear responsibility and carry a heavy burden for this dreadful deed. We know, of course, that the majority of the Iranian people condemn this inhumane act, abhor injustice, and express their rejection of every attempt to divide the people of their country.

‘Aṭá’u’lláh Riḍvání’s highest desire was to serve his native land and the world of humanity. His life was dedicated to love and friendship towards all, and in his daily interactions he strove to reflect every human virtue. He faced threats and cruelties with bravery and dignity, and was well known among the people for his kindliness and compassion. He was the exponent of amity and concord, and transcended prejudice and estrangement. And for treading this path, he gave up his life and quaffed the cup of martyrdom. Thus he attained the presence of His Beloved in the realms above, drank from the chalice of God’s good pleasure, and inscribed his name upon the Guarded Tablet.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to ‘Aṭá’u’lláh Riḍvání’s dear wife, his children, and his other bereaved relatives, and assure them of our ardent prayers at the Sacred Threshold for the progress of his luminous soul, and for the descent of the confirmations of God upon every member of that distinguished family. The illustrious life of that departed soul again bears testimony to the clarity of the exalted vision of the Bahá’ís of Iran, to their valour in the face of cruelty and persecution as they pursue their noble goals, to their readiness to bear an oppression born of ignorance and prejudice with a spirit of constructive resilience, and to their determination to seek justice with patience and fortitude. For divine bestowals to be showered upon you all, we supplicate the Lord of bounty, the Sovereign of the kingdom of eternity.

[signed: The Universal House of Justice]