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Search for tag "First Bahais by country or area"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1862 – 1868 Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, a cousin of the Báb, lives in Shanghai during this period. This is the first record of a Bábí or Bahá'í living in China. [PH24]

  • From 1870 he lived in Hong Kong dealing as a merchant and was joined by his brother, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad Husayn. [PH24]
Shanghai; Hong Kong; China Haji Mirza Muhammad-Ali (Afnan); Afnan; Bab, Family of; Haji Mirza Muhammad Husayn (Afnan); First Bahais by country or area
1868. 5 Sep Mírzá Yahyá arrives with his entire family but without a single disciple or even a servant. [BBR306]
  • Also exiled to Cyprus were four loyal Bahá'ís and they were:
      Mishkín-Qalam (Áqá Hussain Isfahání)
      Mirzá ‘Alíy-i-Sayyáh-i-Maraghih'í (Mullá Ádí-Guzal)
      Áqá ‘Abdu’l-Ghaffár
      Áqá Muḥammad-Báqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallátí) (coffee-maker)
  • With their arrival Cyprus becomes the first island in the Mediterranean to receive the Faith.
  • See also GPB 182 and AB285, 523.
Famagusta; Cyprus Mishkin-Qalam; Mirza Aliy-i-Sayyah-i-Maraghihi (Mulla Adi-Guzal); Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Aqa Muhammad-Baqir (Qahvih-chiy-i Mahallati); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Exile; Cyprus exiles; First Bahais by country or area; Islands
1873. 12 Apr Birth of Hippolyte Dreyfus, the first French Bahá'í, in Paris. Named by Shoghi Effendi a Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; First Bahais by country or area; Births and deaths
1894. 5 Jun Thornton Chase becomes a Bahá'í in Chicago. [BBD53; BFA1:35–6]
  • He is designated by `Abdu'l-Bahá the first American believer. [BBD53; GPB257]
  • See BFA1:35 for his own account of how he became a Bahá'í.
  • See BFA1:33–7 for other Americans who became Bahá'ís around the same time.
  • He was given the name Thábit (Steadfast) by `Abdu'l-Bahá. [BBD53; GPB257]
Chicago; United States Thornton Chase; First Bahais by country or area Thornton Chase in the newspapers (series of mentions especially 1893-7)
1897 In the year Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-`Alí, the first Bahá'í to have settled China, dies in Bombay on his way back to Shíráz. [PH24]

The Hands of the Cause appointed by Bahá'u'lláh are instructed by `Abdu'l-Bahá to gather to begin the consultations regarding the future organization of the Bahá'í community in Tihrán.

  • This gathering leads to the formation of the Central Spiritual Assembly of Tihrán in 1899. [BBD98, 114, 115; EB268]
Fifteen Bahá'ís are arrested in Saysán, Ádharbáyján. They are taken to Tabríz, imprisoned and fined. [BW18:384]

Three Bahá'ís are arrested in Nayríz on the orders of Áqá Najafí, the `Son of the Wolf'. [BW18:384]

The homes of several Bahá'ís in Hamadán are looted and ransacked after complaints by Jews of the town against Bahá'ís of Jewish background. [BW18:384]

China; Mumbai; India Tihran; Saysan; Adharbayjan; Tabriz; Nayriz; Hamadan; Iran Haji Mirza Muhammad-Ali (Afnan); Afnan; Spiritual Assemblies; Aqa Najafi; Persecution; First Bahais by country or area
1899 Summer Ethel Jenner Rosenberg accepts the Bahá'í Faith, the first English woman to become a Bahá'í in her native land. [AB73–4; ER39; GPB260; SBR20, 33; SEBW55-64, SCU17]
  • For her biography see Rob Weinberg's, Ethel Jenner Rosenberg.
  • She visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá several times in the first decade of the century. [SCU17]
United Kingdom Ethel Rosenberg; First Bahais by country or area
1916 Apr or May The first Chinese Bahá'í in China, Chen Hai An (Harold A. Chen), becomes a Bahá'í in Chicago through the efforts of Dr Zia Baghdádí. [PH29-30]
  • PH30 says this was 1919 but this is clearly a typographical error.
  • He returns to China in December 1916.
China; Chicago; United States First Bahais by country or area; Zia Baghdadi
1919 20 Sep Martha Root arrives in Argentina, the first recorded visit of a Bahá'í to this country. [MR101]
  • She remains in Buenos Aires until 4 October. [MR101]
  • See MR101-2 and MRHK61-5 for her teaching work in Argentina.
  • See MR103-6 and MRHK66-9 for her journey over the Andes on a mule.
Buenos Aires; Argentina Martha Root; Andes; First Bahais by country or area
1920 Hyde and Clara Dunn arrive in Samoa enroute to Australia, the first Bahá'ís to visit the islands. Samoa Hyde Dunn; Clara Dunn; Islands; First Bahais by country or area
1920 After Jul The first Argentineans to become Bahá'ís, Hermann Grossman and his sister Elsa Grossman, accept the Faith in Leipzig in 1920.
  • They were born in Argentina and emigrated to Germany in 1909.
  • Dr Grossman hears of the Faith at a public meeting given by Harlan and Grace Ober at the Theosophical Society. [BW13:869]
Leipzig; Germany Herman Grossmann; Elsa Grossman; Harlan and Grace Ober; Theosophical Society; First Bahais by country or area
1922 (in the year) Oswald Whitaker, a Sydney optometrist, and Euphemia Eleanor `Effie' Baker, a photographer, become Bahá'ís, the first Australians to accept the Faith. [BW14:320; SBR160-1, BW2p129]
  • In the 1930s Effie Baker travelled to Persia to take photographs of historical sites. [BW14:320]
  • See SETPE1p105-107 for her contribution while serving in Haifa.
  • For Effie Baker's obituary see BW14:320-1.
Australia; Iran Oswald Whitaker; Effie Baker; Photography; First Bahais by country or area
1926 Jan Orcella Rexford and her husband Dr Gayne Gregory (the first to accept the Faith in Alaska) come to Haifa on pilgrimage and are technically the first from Alaska to do so. They are in the process of moving from Alaska to the Continental USA. [SETPE1p112-112]
  • See BW11p495-498 for for details of the life of Orella Rexford
Haifa; Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area
1936 Mr E. R. and Mrs Loulie Mathews arrive in Guatemala, the first Bahá’í teachers to visit the country. Guatemala E. R. Mathews; Loulie Mathews; Travel teaching; First Bahais by country or area
1936 Nov Renée Szanto-Felbermann becomes a Bahá’í, the first to accept the Faith in Hungary. She is considered the first person to accept the Faith by some notwithstanding the events of 1913. [BW19:633]
  • See also Renée Szanto-Felbermann, Rebirth: The Memoirs of Szanto-Felbermann p104.
  • This document prepared by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í Community of Hungary says that Mr. Arminius Vámbéry is the first believer in Hungary. See www.bahai.hu
  • See BW5p329 for the testament written by Professor Vámbéry and published in the Egyptian Gazette September 24th, 1913.
Hungary; Budapest First Bahais by country or area; Arminius Vambéry
1938 William DeForge becomes the first Bahá’í to visit the Dominican Republic. He has made a one-day trip from Puerto Rico. Dominican Republic; Central America First Bahais by country or area find reference
1938 The first Bahá’í to be resident in Finland, Aminda Josephine Kruka, an American nurse, arrives in the country. Finland First Bahais by country or area find reference
1940 13 Jan María Teressa Martín de López (Irizarry), from Puerto Rico, becomes a Bahá’í in the Dominican Republic while on a visit. She is the first Puerto Rican Bahá’í and the first person to become a Bahá’í in the Dominican Republic.
  • For the story of her life see BW8:631–42.
Dominican Republic First Bahais by country or area
1940 1 Aug The first four people to become Bahá’ís in Costa Rica accept the Faith after Gayle Woolson and Amelia Ford from the United States arrive in Puerto Limón on 29 March 1940.
  • The first to enrol is Raul Contreras, followed by his cousin Guido Contreras, and by José Joaquin Ulloa and Felipe Madrigal.
Costa Rica; Central America First Bahais by country or area
1940 Dec Gerald and Vivian MacBeans, a Jamaican couple, and their niece, Miss May Johnson, become the first people to accept the Faith in Haiti. Haiti First Bahais by country or area
1941 18 May Yvonne Cuellar, a French woman, becomes a Bahá’í in Bolivia.
  • Although Marina del Prado was the first to become a Bahá’í, on 2 February 1941, she did not remain active, so Yvonne Cuellar is recognized as the first Bahá’í in Bolivia. She was called by Shoghi Effendi ‘Mother of Bolivia’.
  • For the story of her life see BW19:619–22.
Bolivia First Bahais by country or area
1942 Dr Malcolm King, a Jamaican who become a Bahá'í in the United States, introduces the Faith to his homeland. [SDSCp425 note 2]
  • He held meetings at 190 Orange Street in Kingston. By 1943, the people he had taught founded a spiritual assembly in Kingston. [The Gleaner]
Jamaica First Bahais by country or area
1947 Sep Léa Nys becomes a Bahá’í in Belgium, the first Belgian to accept the Faith after World War Two.
  • She is considered the first Belgian Bahá’í.
Belgium First Bahais by country or area
1947 12 Dec The first pioneer to Portugal, Valeria Lamb Nicols, arrives from a pioneer post in Denmark. Portugal First Bahais by country or area
1948 Dec Amjad Ali arrives in East Pakistan, from Chapra in Bihar, northern India, the first pioneer to the country. Bangladesh; Asia First Bahais by country or area
1949 Agnes Harrison (née Parent), an Athabascan, becomes a Bahá’í in Alaska, the first Native Alaskan to accept the Faith in the country. Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area
1951 23 May Jamshed and Parvati Fozdar arrive in Kuching with their son, Vijay, the first Bahá’ís to settle in Sarawak. Kuching; Sarawak; Malaysia Jamshed Fozdar; First Bahais by country or area
1951 2 Aug Músá and Samí‘ih Banání; their daughter, Violette and her husband, ‘Alí Nakhjavání; their baby daughter, Bahíyyih; and Philip Hainsworth from England arrive in Kampala, the first pioneers to Uganda. Kampala; Uganda Musa Banani; Samiih Banani; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; Philip Hainsworth; First Bahais by country or area
1952 Walli Khan, a Fiji Indian, becomes a Bahá’í, the first person in Fiji to accept the Faith. Fiji First Bahais by country or area
1952 Mar Mariette Bolton of Australia visits New Caledonia, the first Bahá’í to visit the islands.
  • During her visit Mlle Françoise Feminier becomes a Bahá’í, the first person in New Caledonia to accept the Faith.
New Caledonia First Bahais by country or area; Islands
1952 Jun or Jul Mr C. C. Cheng, a newspaper reporter; Professor L. S. Tso, a professor of engineering; and Miss Rosie Du (Ruthy Tu) become Bahá’ís in Taiwan, the first people to accept the Faith in the country. Taiwan; Asia First Bahais by country or area
1952 Jun Aaron (‘Arthur’) B. Wellesley Cole, a Sierra Leonean barrister, returns to Sierra Leone from England, the first Bahá’í to enter the country. Sierra Leone First Bahais by country or area
1953 Ridván Mrs Meherangiz Munsiff, the wife of an Indian diplomat in London, arrives in Madagascar and is acknowledged as the first Bahá’í in the country. [news.bahai.org/story/288]
  • There was one other Bahá’í in Madagascar before Mrs Munsiff but he was not a Bahá’í in good standing.
  • Suffering ill health, Mrs. Munsiff left in January 1954 a day after Danile Randrianarivo, 29, accepted the Faith, becoming the first Malagasy Baha'i.
Madagascar Meherangiz Munsiff; Danile Randrianarivo; First Bahais by country or area
1953 Oct Albert Nyarko Buapiah becomes a Bahá’í in Ghana, the first Ghanaian to become a Bahá’í in the country. Ghana First Bahais by country or area find reference
1953 Oct Enoch Olinga arrives in Victoria (Limbé) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the British Cameroons. [BW13:449]
  • The first Cameroonian to become a Bahá’í in British Cameroon is a youth, Jacob Tabot Awo.
  • The first Cameroonian adult to become a Bahá’í is Enoch Ngompek of the Bassa tribe.
  • The first Cameroonian woman to become a Bahá’í is Esther Obeu, the wife of David Tanyi.
Victoria (Limbé); British Cameroons; Cameroon; Nigeria Enoch Olinga; Knights of Bahaullah; First Bahais by country or area
1953 Late in the year ‘Abdu’l-Karím Amín Khawja becomes a Bahá’í in Algeria, the first person to accept the Faith in that country. Algeria; Africa First Bahais by country or area find reference
1954 The first Tlinget from Alaska to become a Bahá’í, Eugene King, enrols. Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area find reference
1954 4 Mar The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Elena (Marsella) and Roy Fernie in Kiribati. [BWNS301, BW13:452]

They had left their home in Panama and their service on the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama to pioneer. They arrived on the island of Abaiang (aka Charlotte Island, of the Gilbert Islands), on March 4, 1954 and for this service they were named Knights of Baha'u'llah. About the first of June 1954, former Catholic seminarian and mission teacher Peter Kanere Koru became the first convert on the island.

Their teaching work brought opposition from the Roman Catholic priest who told his congregation not to attend the Bahá'í meetings. He began to criticize them in the Roman Catholic newsletter and actually contributed to the knowledge of the Faith because the newsletter had a wide distribution.

The priest persisted in his opposition by informing his bishop who asked the government to send the Fernies away and to send Peter Kanere back to his native island of Tabiteuea. At the time, to be a registered religious organization required a membership of at least 100 believers so the government approved sending the Fernies away however, in a single night some 300 people registered. A certificate of registration was issued on the 24th of September, 1955, but not before they managed to send Roy Fernie away. Elena continued the teaching work on her own and was responsible for firmly establishing the Faith on Abaiang.

Meanwhile, Peter Kanere, back on his home island, managed to teach a Protestant minister who was under discipline of his church at the time. Together they spread the Faith on Tabiteuea. [Island Churches: Challenge and Change by Makisi Finau page 101]

Tabiteuea; Kiribati; Oceania; Gilbert Islands Knights of Bahaullah; First Bahais by country or area cro ssreference URLs; title; title
1954 Jul Reginald Stone and Allan Delph become Bahá’ís in British Guiana, the first two people to accept the Faith in that country. British Guiana; Latin America First Bahais by country or area
1954 Second half of the year The first Somali to become a Bahá’í in Djibouti, ‘Alí ‘Abdu’lláh, a 21-year old employee of a commercial firm, enrols. Djibouti; Somalia; Africa First Bahais by country or area find reference
1954 Oct The first person to become a Bahá’í in Nassau, Bahamas, Winfield Small, a young police officer from Barbados, enrols.
  • Mr Small opened Barbados to the Faith.
Nassau; Bahamas; Barbasos First Bahais by country or area
1954 20 Nov The first person to become a Bahá’í in Tonga, Harry Terepo, born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, enrols.
  • He is a teacher, interpreter and guide living in Ohonua on the island of Eua.
Tonga First Bahais by country or area
1955 Labíb Isfahání arrives in Abidjan, French West Africa, from Dakar, the first Bahá’í to settle in what is now the Ivory Coast. Abidjan; French West Africa Habib Isfahani; First Bahais by country or area
1955 The first person to become a Bahá’í in Spanish Sahara, ‘Abdu’l-Salam Salím Al-Sbintí, enrols. Spanish Sahara; Africa First Bahais by country or area
1955 Feb The first local person to become a Bahá’í in Mauritius, Mr Yam-Lim, a Chinese Catholic, enrols. Mauritius First Bahais by country or area
1955 8–15 Feb The first people to become Bahá’ís in Réunion, Paul and Françoise Tayllamin (8 Feb) and Jean Donat and Julien Araye (15 Feb), enrol. Reunion Island; France First Bahais by country or area
1955 Mar The first person to become a Bahá’í in the Solomon Islands, William Gina, a 43-year-old Solomon Islander from the Western Solomon Islands, enrols. Solomon Islands; Oceania First Bahais by country or area
1956 The first Tlinget to become a Bahá’í in Alaska, Joyce Anderson Combs, enrols. Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area
1956 c. The first person in Tibet to become a Bahá’í, Chiten Tashi, a young businessman from the village of Chombethan, enrols. Tibet First Bahais by country or area
1956 12 Feb The first four people to become Bahá’ís in Hong Kong, Nari Sherwani, Ng Ying Kay, Chan Lie Kun and Chan Lie Fun, enrol. [PH75] Hong Kong First Bahais by country or area
1957 Charles Winfield Small, a native of Barbados and the first to become a Bahá’í in the Bahamas, returns to Barbados, the first Bahá’í to settle in the country. Barbados; Central America First Bahais by country or area
1958 The first Aleut to become a Bahá’í, Vassa Lekanoff, enrols in Unalaska. Unalaska; Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area
1959 The first Eskimo in Alaska to become a Bahá’í, William Wiloya, enrols in Nome. Nome; Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area; Eskimos
1961 Knud Jensen (of mixed Danish, St Thomanian parentage), the first local person to become a Bahá’í in the Virgin Islands, enrols. Virgin Islands; United States First Bahais by country or area
1962 Mar Aboubacar Kâ, a school teacher and the first Senegalese known to become a Bahá’í, enrols. Senegal; Africa First Bahais by country or area
1962 22 May The first Athabascan Indian north of the Arctic Circle to become a Bahá’í, Charley Roberts, enrols. [BW15:455] Canada First Bahais by country or area; Native Americans
1965 19 Sep Walter Garland and Miss Annie Lourie Williams, the first to become Bahá’ís on Grand Turk Island, enrol. Grand Turk Island; Central America First Bahais by country or area
1966 17 April Ivor Ellard, a British resident of the United States, arrives Dominica, the first pioneer to the island.
  • Two days later William Nedden settles on the island.
Dominica First Bahais by country or area
1970 25 Jan Valde Nyman, the first full Gypsy in Finland to become a Bahá’í, enrols in Helsinki. Finland First Bahais by country or area; Gypsies
1980 Yee Wah Sing, the first Fiji-born person to become a Bahá’í in Fiji, enrols. [BN596:14] Fiji First Bahais by country or area
1984 4 Jun Vladimir Malai, the first Moldovan to become a Bahá’í in Moldova, enrols. [Candle 9] Moldova First Bahais by country or area
1989 3 Aug The first Latvian resident in Latvia to become a Bahá’í, Lilita Postaza, a renowned tapestry artist, enrols after visiting the Bahá’í temple in India. Latvia Lilita Postaza; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; First Bahais by country or area
1999 21 Jun The passing of Meherangiz Munsiff in London (b. 23 November, 1923 Bombay, India) Born into a Bahá'í family she travelled in India with Martha Root at the age of 14 years. She was appointed Knight of Bahá'u'lláh for the French Cameroons. In addition she visited more than 150 countries to teach and assist in the development of Bahá'í communities and was know as a lecturer and an activist among the international humanitarian community. [The Bahá'í World99-00p308-309] London; United Kingdom Meherangiz Munsiff; First Bahais by country or area

from the main catalogue

  1. Cyprus Exiles, The, by Moojan Momen, in Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, 5:3-6:1 (1991). History of Mirza Yahya's family and the four followers of Baha'u'llah exiled with them in Cyprus. Includes genealogies. [about]
  2. Religious Chic, by Zuo Xuan, in Global Times (2010). A portrait of the Baha'is in contemporary China. [about]
 
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