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|2003 6 - 7 Sep
||The celebration of the Jubilee of the opening of the Faith in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was commemorated in Kinshasa by some 600 participants.
Among those at the celebrations in the capital were three of the first Congolese Bahá'ís: Louis Selemani, 81, Remy Kalonji, 83, and Valerien Mukendi, 83. One invited guest who could not make it was Ola Pawlowska, 93, though she participated in the celebrations by sending a message of congratulations and love to a community to which she devoted three decades of her life from her home in Canada.
Guests of honour at the jubilee included Mr. Nakhjavani, former member of the Universal House of Justice, and Mrs. Nakhjavani, as well as Joan Lincoln, counsellor member of the International Teaching Centre, and Albert Lincoln, secretary-general of the Bahá'í International Community. All four had spent many years as pioneers in Africa.
Active teaching in the area began in 1953. Before that time, colonial authorities did not permit the promotion of the Faith and that is when Ali Nakhjavani and his wife, Violette, driving across Africa from Uganda, took Ugandan Baha'i Samson Mungongo to the city of Kamina.
The first local assembly was formed in 1957 and the National Assembly was inaugurated in 1970. This event also marked the first time the National Spiritual Assembly had been able to meet in Kinshasa since 1998 because of the war. [BWNS248]
For further details on the development of the Faith in the DRC see Legacy of Courage: The Life of Ola Pawlowska, Knight of Bahá'u'lláh by Suzanne Schuurman.
||Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC)
||Bahai history by country; BWNS
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