The launching of the Six Year Plan at Riḍván 1986 coincided with the opening of a new epoch—the fourth—in the organic unfoldment of the Formative Age of our Faith. The Administrative institutions of this growing Cause of God had already begun to show signs of an increasing maturity, while at the same time emerging from the protective obscurity of their early days into the larger arena of public notice. These twin processes were signalized by a development of far-reaching consequence to the internal life of the Bahá’í community and by an outward activity of a magnitude unprecedented in its entire history.
The former was a devolution of responsibility whereby all national communities, through their National Spiritual Assemblies, in consultation with Counselors, Local Spiritual Assemblies and the generality of believers, were requested to formulate, for the first time, their own objectives for achievement during the new Plan. This expectation of maturity challenging the national communities was matched by their formulation of national plans submitted to the World Center for coordination into the world-embracing Six Year Plan.
The latter was a united uprising of the entire Bahá’í world community to distribute the statement, The Promise of World Peace, issued in October 1985, to the peoples of the world. Heads of State, large numbers of the members of national governments, diplomats, teachers, trade unionists, leaders of religion, eminent members of the judiciary, the police, legal, medical and other professions, members of local authorities, clubs and associations, and thousands of individuals have been presented with the statement. It is estimated that more than a million copies, in some seventy languages, have so far been distributed. These two activities alone have heavily reinforced the growing strength and maturity of the Bahá’í world community and given it a more clearly defined and readily recognizable public image. 1
- Universal House of Justice. “Riḍván 1987 – To the Bahá’ís of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19870421001/1#994262512. ↩