How foolish are the people of the East to have incarcerated for well nigh fifty years the like of this glorious Personage! But for His chains and prison, Bahá'u'lláh by this time would have gained absolute ascendancy over the minds and thoughts of the peoples of Europe, would have made of Persia the Garden of Paradise, would have raised its sons in the esteem of mankind, nay He would have made it such that all peoples and governments would seek enlightenment from its people.
Consider and reflect upon the result of My few days stay in London and the profound effect it has had here and in the surrounding regions. Ponder then in your heart, what the coming of Bahá'u'lláh would have achieved! Had He appeared in Europe, its people would have seized their opportunity and His Cause, by virtue of the freedom of thought, would by this time have encompassed the earth. But alas! This Cause, though it first appeared in Persia, yet eventually it shall be seen how the peoples of Europe have wrested it from its hands! Take note of this and remember it in future. Ultimately you shall see how it has come to pass. And yet behold! how the Bahá'ís are still persecuted by the people of Persia! (‘Abdu’l-Baha, enclosed with a letter dated 12 January 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada; Compilation on ‘Europe’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, published in Baha'i Studies Review, 1.1, Association for Baha'i Studies of English-Speaking Europe, 1991)