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Very good and thank you John.  Have notated my file accordingly.

By the time I became a Baha’i, this statement had long disappeared, having been 
replaced by the 1947 statement subsequently published as a stand alone piece.  
This we know about.  On 9 July 47, he received a letter from the chairman of 
United Nations Special Committee on Palestine requesting a statement on the 
relationship which the Bahá'í Faith had to Palestine and the Bahá'í attitude 
towards any future changes in the status of the country.  His reply was dated 
15 July 47, and a portion of the cover letter were published in BW and not made 
part of the statement published as a pamphlet.  

That letter is as follows as published in Ruhiyyih Khanum’s 1988 book, “The 
Guardian of the Baha’i Faith” [which is similar but not identical to “The 
Priceless Pearl.]

What is interesting about this letter is how he distances the Faith from any 
political involvement or activity, a position echoed during the 1948 war when 
he was the only Haifa area non-Jewish religious leader to not leave the 

Don C

Mr. Justice Emil Sandstrom, Chairman, 
United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.


Your kind letter of July 9th reached me and I wish to thank you for affording 
me the opportunity of presenting to you and your esteemed colleagues a 
statement of the relationship which the Baha' Faith has to Palestine and our 
attitude towards any future changes in the status of this sacred and much 
disputed land.

I am enclosing with this letter, for your information, a brief sketch of the 
history, aims and significance of the Bahá'í Faith, as well as a small pamphlet 
setting forth its views towards the present state of the world and the lines on 
which we hope and believe it must and will develop.

The position of the Bahá'ís in this country is in a certain measure unique: 
whereas Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Christendom it is not the 
administrative center of either the Church of Rome or any other Christian 
denomination. Likewise although it is regarded by Moslems as the spot where one 
of its most sacred shrines is situated, the Holy Sites of the Muhammadan Faith, 
and the center of its pilgrimages, are to be found in Arabia, not in Palestine. 
The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Bahá'ís 
have for this country inasmuch as Jerusalem holds the remains of their Holy 
Temple and was the seat of both the religious and political institutions 
associated with their past history. But even their case differs in one respect 
from that of the Bahá'ís, for it is in the soil of Palestine that the three 
central Figures of our religion are buried, and it is not only the center of 
Bahá'í pilgrimages from all over the world but also the permanent seat of our 
Administrative Order, of which I have the honor to be the Head.

The Bahá'í Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the 
present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its 
peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the 
nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the 
establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice 
prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As 
many of the adherents of our Faith are of Jewish and Moslem extraction we have 
no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile 
them for their mutual benefit and for the good of the country.

What does concern us, however, in any decisions made affecting the future of 
Palestine, is that the fact be recognized by whoever exercises sovereignty over 
Haifa and Acre, that within this area exists the spiritual and administrative 
center of a world Faith, and that the independence of that Faith, its right to 
manage its international affairs from this source, the right of Bahá'ís from 
any and every country of the globe to visit it as pilgrims (enjoying the same 
privilege in this respect as Jews, Moslems and Christians do in regard to 
visiting Jerusalem), be acknowledged and permanently safeguarded.

The Sepulchre of the Bab on Mt. Carmel, the Tomb of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in that same 
spot, the Pilgrim Hostel for oriental Bahá'ís in its vicinity, the large 
gardens and terraces which surround these places (all of which are open to 
visits by the public of all denominations), the Pilgrim Hostel for western 
Baha's at the foot of Mt Carmel, the residence of the Head of the Community 
various houses and gardens in Acre and its vicinity associated with 
Bahá'u'lláh's incarceration in that city, His Holy Tomb at Bahji, near Acre, 
with His Mansion which is now preserved as a historic site and a museum (both 
likewise accessible to the public of all denominations), as well as holdings in 
the plain of Acre — all these comprise the bulk of Baha' properties in the Holy 
Land. It should also be noted that practically all of these properties have 
been exempted from both Government and Municipal taxes owing to their religious 
nature. Some of these extensive holdings are the property of the Palestine 
Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, 
incorporated as a religious society according to the laws of the country. In 
future various other Baha' National Assemblies will hold, through their 
Palestine Branches, part of the International Endowments of the Faith in the 
Holy Land.

In view of the above information I would request you and the members of your 
Committee to take into consideration the safeguarding of Baha' rights in any 
recommendation which you may make to the United Nations concerning the future 
of Palestine. May I take this opportunity of assuring you of my deep 
appreciation of the spirit in which you and your colleagues have conducted your 
investigations into the troubled conditions of this Sacred Land. I trust and 
pray that the outcome of your deliberations will produce an equitable and 
speedy solution of the very thorny problems which have arisen in Palestine.

Yours faithfully,

Shoghi Rabbani

Haifa, Palestine, July 14, 1947

On Jan 25, 2014, at 6:40 31PM, John Bromberek <> wrote:

> The Baha'i Studies Listserv
> At 04:30 PM 1/25/2014, Don C wrote:

It doesn't matter whether the sun shines if you never go outside.

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