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A full year has yet to pass since the Bahá’í world marked the completion of the last of the continental Houses of Worship, and already a new dawn is breaking in the development of the institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. You are gathered at the very dawning-place itself—the site of the first local House of Worship to rise above the horizon in the stage that has now opened. The dedication of this unique edifice is a historic occasion, prefiguring the appearance of many more local as well as national Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, in obedience to Bahá’u’lláh’s commandment revealed in His Most Holy Book: “Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions.”

The emergence of a House of Worship in Battambang … is a testament to how brightly the light of faith shines in the hearts of the friends there. Its design, the work of an accomplished Cambodian architect, reflects the grace and beauty of that nation’s culture; it uses innovative techniques but blends them with forms traditional to the region; it unquestionably belongs to the land from which it has risen. Even before its dedication, the Temple has succeeded in elevating the consciousness of those who reside in its shadow about a theme that is integral to the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár—the inseparability of worship and service in the life of a community. It has fostered a greater appreciation of the importance of unity, now reinforced through the collective worship that will occur within its walls. Its emergence is a spur to the efforts being made to nurture communities of spiritual distinction. It is an edifice of noble purpose, erected by a people of noble spirit.

The Universal House of Justice, Letter dated 1 September 2017 to the Friends Gathered in Battambang, Cambodia, for the Dedication of the House of Worship