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from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1899. 19 Nov Birth of Yan Kee Leong, the first believer in Malaya, in Selangor, Malaysia. Selangor; Malaysia Yan Kee Leong
1909 21 Mar `Abdu'l-Bahá lays the sacred remains of the Báb in their final resting place at the Shrine in Haifa. [AB126; BBD210; DH138; GBF103; GPB276]
  • See AB126–30, CT84 and GPB273–8 for details of the occasion and its history.
  • The Shrine is a simple rectangular structure of six rooms. [DH71, ZK284]
  • The marble sarcophagus used for the remains of the Báb is a gift from the Bahá'ís of Rangoon. [AB129; MC155]
  • For details of the sarcophagus see RB3:431.
Mount Carmel; Rangoon; Chicago Shrine of the Bab; marble sarcophagus; Baha'i Convention; Corinne True; Baha'i Temple Unity; Temple
1926 24 Jun Enoch Olinga, future Hand of the Cause of God, is born in Abaango, Uganda. Abaango; Uganda Enoch Olinga; Hand of the Cause
1940 (in the decade) The first Bahá’ís reside in the Belgian Congo (Zaire), Mr Rajah Ali Vahdat and Mme Marthe Molitor. Belgian Congo Rajah Ali Vahdat; Marthe Molitor
1942 In the village of Daidanaw eleven Bahá'ís were slain. Records, books and documents that had been transferred to Daidanaw from the headquarters in Mandalay and Rangoon were lost when the headquarters building was destroyed by file. [BW11]p33] Daidanaw; Mandalay; Rangoon; Burma persecution
1945 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in the Dominican Republic is established in Santo Domingo.
  • There are nine indigenous believers in the city.
Santo Domingo LSA
1947 spring The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada is accredited by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization. [BW12:597; PP303] America NSA United States and Canada; United Nations; NGO
1948 Mar The name ‘Bahá’í International Community’ is first used to refer to the eight existing National Spiritual Assemblies recognized collectively as a non-governmental organization. [BBRSM149; BW11:43; BW12:597]
  • The Bahá’í International Community evolved to become an international non-governmental organization with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories, which together represent over 5-6 million members of the Bahá’í Faith. As an international NGO, the Office interacts and cooperates with the United Nations, its specialized agencies, with governments, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The BIC seeks to promote and apply principles — derived from the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith — which contribute to the resolution of current day challenges facing humanity and the development of a united, peaceful, just, and sustainable civilization. The work of the BIC focuses on the promotion of a universal standard for human rights, the advancement of women, and the promotion of just and equitable means of global prosperity.
  • Mildred Mottahedeh is appointed to serve as the accredited Bahá’í International Observer, a post she holds as a volunteer for almost 20 years. [BW12:601]
  • The following is a list of UN agencies with whom the BIC has representation: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO).
New York BIC; National Spiritual Assembly; NGO; Mildred Mottahedeh; UNICEF; UNIFEM; ECOSOC; UNEP; WHO
1951 Portuguese Bahá’ís Mr António and Mrs Ema Rocha, Mrs Guedes DeMelo Rocha and Mrs D. Laura Rodriquez, the first pioneers to Angola, take up residence in Luanda. Luanda; Angola António Rocha; Ema Rocha; Guedes DeMelo Rocha; D. Laura Rodriquez; pioneer
1951 Oct Marthe Jeanne Molitor, the first Belgian Bahá’í to settle in another country, leaves for the Belgian Congo (Zaire) one day after becoming a Bahá’í. Belgian Congo Marthe Jeanne Molitor
1953 20 Sep The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Mr. Max Kanyerezi in Middle Congo (now called Republic of Congo) [BWNS246] Congo; Africa Knight Baha'u'llah; Max Kanyerezi
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 Enoch Olinga; Knight of Baha’u’llah; Jacob Tabot Awo; Enoch Ngompek; Esther Obeu
1954 José Mingorance Fernandez and his wife, Carmen Tost, a Spanish couple, accept the Bahá’í Faith, the first to enrol in Andorra. Andorra José Mingorance Fernandez; Carmen Tost
1955 Twenty–two African Bahá’ís are expelled from the Belgian Congo. Belgian Congo religious persecution
1955 Ridván The first native Mozambican Bahá’í, Festas Chambeni, takes the Bahá’í Faith to Angola. [BW13:290] Angola Festas Chambeni
1960 Bahá’ís in Angola are detained and questioned by officials.
  • Joaquim Sampaio is carried off in the middle of the night and is never seen again. It is presumed that he was executed or died in a prison camp.
  • One family is forced to leave the country.
Angola religious persecution; Joaquim Sampaio
1963 In Angola, Antonio Francesco Ebo and seven other Bahá’ís are arrested and imprisoned in a penal colony off the coast of southern Angola.
  • They remain in confinement for eight years.
Angola Antonio Francesco Ebo; religious persecution
1971 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Congo and Gabon is formed with its seat in Brazzaville, the Congo. [BW15:206]
  • For picture see BW15:148.
Congo NSA
1978 Feb The government of the Congo bans the majority of smaller religious groups, including the Bahá’í Faith. [BW17:141]
  • The national hazíratu’l-quds is confiscated and the assemblies dissolved.
Congo religious persecution; haziratu’l-quds
1988 28 Dec Sean Hinton, a British Bahá’í youth of 22 years, arrives in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia, as an official research scholar in ethnomusicology from the University of Cambridge, the first Bahá’í to reside in Mongolia. [VV101]
  • Seven months later he is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh by the Universal House of Justice.
  • See VV101 for a picture.
Ulaan Baator; Mongolia Sean Hinton
1989 Jul Sean Hinton, the first Bahá’í to reside in Mongolia, is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh by the Universal House of Justice. Mongolia Sean Hinton; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1990 The Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace was held in Mongolia.
  • A representative of the International Bahá'í Community was the only non-Buddhist speaker invited to address a public meeting held in conjunction with the conference. [AWH88] [VV101]
Mongolia Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace; International Baha'i Community
1991 12 Nov The first Bahá'í meeting to be held in a public location in Mongolia takes place in the theatre of the former Lenin Museum. Mongolia Find ref
1992 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Congo Republic is reformed after 14 years suspension of the Bahá'í Faith. [CBN Jan92 p2, BINS270:5; BW92–3:119; VV121]
  • For picture see BINS275:7.
Congo NSA
1992 Ridván The re-formation of the National Assembly of Angola. [CBN Jan92 p2, BINS270:4; BW92–3:119, VV120-1] Angola NSA
1992 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Mongolia is formed in Ulaan Baatar. [BINS269:4]
  • The local assembly was understood to have been formed in the spring of 1991 but this was found to have been a mistake.
Ulaan Baatar; Mongolia
1993 24 – 26 Dec The first summer school of Angola is held in Luanda, attended by more than 20 Bahá'ís. [BINS309:1] Luanda; Angola Summer School in Angola
1994 Jan The first winter school of Mongolia is held in Songino, near Ulaan Baatar. [BINS310:6] Songino; Mongolia
1994 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Mongolia is formed with its seat in Ulaan Baatar. [BINS317:1–2; BW93–4:82; BW94–5:25, 31–2] Ulaan Baatar; Mongolia
1994 Jun The first National Youth School of Mongolia is held in Darkhan, attended by 34 youth. [BINS321:4] Darkhan; Mongolia
1996 30 May - 14 Jun The Bahá'í International Community and 150 Bahá'ís from many countries participate in the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the parallel Non-Governmental Organization Forum in Istanbul. [BINS365:5] Constantinople; Istanbul; Turkey BIC; UN; NGO
2000 29 - 31 Aug The celebration of the Jubilee of the opening of the Faith in the Republic of the Congo was commemorated in Brazzaville by 200 attendees. It was in 1953 that Ali and Violette Nakhjavani dropped off pioneer Max Kanyerezi in Brazzaville in the Middle Congo as it was then called, subsequently the "French Congo" and now "The Republic of...".

All Bahá'í activities were suspended by law from 1978 until 1992 when a democratically elected government replaced the Communist regime. The new government granted legal recognition of the Faith. During the years 1992 to 2003 the country endured two civil wars which further disrupted activity. There are now 20 local spiritual assemblies. [BWNS246]

Brazzaville; Republic of the Congo Max Kanyerezi; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani
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 Baha'is: Louis Selemani, 81, Remy Kalonji, 83, and Valerien Mukendi, 83. One guest who could not make it was Ola Pawlowska, 93, though she participated in the celebrations by sending from her home in Canada a message of congratulations and love to a community to which she devoted three decades of her life. 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 Baha'i 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; The Democratic Republic of the Congo; DRC Louis Selemani; Remy Kalonji; Valerien Mukendi; Joan Lincoln; Albert Lincoln; Ola Pawlowska; Suzanne Schuurman
2008 15 – 16 Nov Regional Conferences held in Bangui, Central African Republic, Bangalore, India and Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo, [BWNS669] Bangui; Central African Republic; Bangalore; India; Uvira; Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Conferences
2008 22 – 23 Nov Regional Conferences held in Quito, Ecuador, New Delhi, India, Kolkata, India, and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. [BWNS673] Quito; Ecuador; New Delhi; India; Kolkata; India; Lubumbashi; Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Conferences
2009 24 – 25 Jan Regional Conferences held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Sydney, Australia and Madrid, Spain. [BWNS690] Ulaanbaatar; Mongolia; Sydney; Australia; Madrid; Spain Regional Conferences
2012 21 Apr Plans are announced for the building of the first two national Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs that are to be raised up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea. [Riḍván 2012 To the Bahá’ís of the World] Haifa; Israel; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Papua New Guinea; national Baha'i Temples; national Mashriqu’l-Adhkars; Mashriqul-Adhkar

from the main catalogue

  1. References to the Bahá'í Faith in the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, by United States Department of State (1991). Excerpts from the State Department's annual compilation of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on discrimination against the Baha'i Faith and persecution of its adherents in twenty countries. [about]
  2. Self-Defense, the Ungodly, Infallibility, and Sexual Violence and Abuse, by Universal House of Justice (2004). Answers to a number of questions, with extracts from four letters of the House, on self-defense, the ungodly, infallibility, sexual violence, and abuse. [about]
 
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