To the Bahá'ís of the world
Dearly loved friends,
One of the greatest sources of consolation for the Universal House of Justice amid the tribulations of the past twelve years, has been the establishment and growth of the Continental Boards of Counsellors, and the assistance that this institution has been rendering, in ever-increasing measure, to the sound development of the world-wide Bahá'í community. We cannot pay too high a tribute to the indefatigable labours of the devoted souls who have been called upon to shoulder this onerous responsibility, and who have followed with such fidelity the path of self-sacrificing service that has been blazed for them by the beloved Hands of the Cause of God.
In June 1979 we were moved to announce that the duration of the terms of office of Continental Counsellors would be five years, to start on the Day of the Covenant of this year. As this date approaches, we have decided that the time is ripe for a further step in the development of the institution itself that will, at one and the same time, accord greater discretion and freedom of action to the Continental Boards of Counsellors in the carrying out of their duties, and widen the scope of each Board to embrace an entire continent. In accordance with this decision, the zones of the Continental Boards of Counsellors will, from the Day of the Covenant of the year 137 (26 November 1980), be as follows: