|1804 - 1813
||Russo-Persian War resulted in a Russian victory. The Battle of Aslan Duz on 31 October 1812 was the turning point in the war, which led to the complete destruction of the Persian army, thus leaving Fath Ali Shah with no other option but to sign the Treaty of Gulistan on 24 October 1813. Numerically, Persian forces had a considerable advantage during the war, a ratio of 5 to 1 over their Russian adversaries, however, the Persian forces were technologically backwards and poorly trained - a problem that the Persian government failed to recognize.
With the Treaty of Gulistan Persia ceded what is now Georgia, Dagestan, parts of northern Armenia, and most of what now comprises modern Azerbaijan to Russia.
||Gulistan; Aslan Duz; Iran; Russia
||Russo-Persian War; Treaty of Gulistan; War (general); History (general); Iran, General history
|1845. 28 Jun
||Prince Dolgorukov was appointed Russian ambassador to Tihrán. He was previously first secretary of the Russian legation at Constantinople. He arrived in Tihrán in January 1846.
See Conspiracies and Forgeries: The Attack upon the Bahá'í Community in Iran by Moojan Momen where it says "Prince Dolgoruki....was Russian Minister in Tehran from 1845 to 1854".
||Istanbul; Turkey; Tihran; Iran; Russia
||Prince Dolgorukov; Ambassadors; History (general); Iran, General history
|1848. 9 Apr
||The Báb was removed from Máh-Kú. Prior to this He had communicated His higher claims to His followers.
Hájí Mírzá Áqásí was alarmed by the developments at Máh-Kú and ordered that the Báb be moved to Chihríq. [B131; DB259; GPB1920]
The Báb's presence in Máh-Kú, so close to the Russian frontier, was also a cause for concern for the Russian government. Prince Dolgorukov, the Russian Minister in Tihrán, asked that He be removed. It is likely that this request was made in 1847 but not carried out until this time. [B131; BBR72; TN13]
The Báb had been in Máh-Kú for nine months. [DB259]
||Mah-Ku; Chihriq; Tihran; Iran
||Bab, Life of; Haji Mirza Aqasi; Russia; Prince Dolgorukov; Bab, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
||Bahá'u'lláh was in Bandar-Jaz. An edict came from Muhammad Sháh ordering His arrest.
||Bahaullah, Life of; Muhammad Shah; Russian officials
|1850. 10 Jul
||The Russian Consul had an artist make a sketch of the body of the Báb. [B159; DB518; TN28]
See BBR43 for details of the drawing made by Consul Bakulin.
||Russian officials; Consuls; Bab, Sketches of; Martyrdom of the Bab; Bab, Life of
|1852. 16 Aug
||Bahá'u'lláh rode out towards the headquarters of the imperial army. At the time, He had been in ‘The Abode of the Birds’ (MurghMaḥallih), a garden which had been His summer residence. He stopped at Zargandih at the home of Mírzá Majíd Khán-i-Áhí, secretary to the Russian legation. [BKG77; DB603, AY235]
Bahá'u'lláh was invited to remain in this home. [DB603]
The Sháh was informed of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival and sent an officer to the legation to demand the delivery of Bahá'u'lláh into his hands. The Russian minister, Prince Dolgorukov, refused and suggested that Bahá'u'lláh be sent to the home of the Grand Vizier. [BKG77; DB603]
Bahá'u'lláh was arrested. [BKG77; DB603]
||Bahaullah, Life of; Mirza Majid Khan-i-Ahi; Russian officials; Shahs; Prince Dolgorukov; Grand Viziers; Nasirid-Din Shah, Attempt on; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
||Bahá'u'lláh was released from the Síyáh-Chál.
This was owing to: the efforts of the Russian Minister Prince Dolgorukov; the public confession of the would-be assassin; the testimony of competent tribunals; the efforts of Bahá'u'lláh's own kinsmen; and the sacrifices of those followers imprisoned with Him. [GPB104–5]
See CH43–4 for the role of the Russian Consul in securing His release. He invoked his full power as an envoy of Russia and called out the Sháh and his court for their barbaric behaviour.
See BKG101–2, CH44 and DB647–8 for the physical condition of Bahá'u'lláh upon release.
See BKG101, DB648–9 and GPB105 for the words of Bahá'u'lláh to Mírzá Áqá Khán upon His release.
The Russian minister invited Bahá'u'lláh to go to Russia but He chose instead to go to Iraq. It may be that He refused the offer because He knew that acceptance of such help would have been misrepresented as having political implications. [BBIC:8; DB650]
||Bahaullah, Life of; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Nasirid-Din Shah, Attempt on; Russia; Minister; Prince Dolgorukov; Mirza Aqa Khan; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1853. 12 Jan
||Bahá'u'lláh and His family departed for Baghdád after a one month respite in the home of his half-brother Mírzá Ridá-Qulí. During the three-month journey Bahá'u'lláh was accompanied by His wife Navváb, (Who was six weeks from giving birth upon departure.) His eldest son ‘Abdu'l-Bahá (9), Bahíyyih Khánum (7) and two of His brothers, Mírzá Músá and Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí. Mírzá Mihdí (2), was very delicate and so was left behind with the grandmother of Àsíyih Khánum. They were escorted by an officer of the Persian imperial bodyguard and an official representing the Russian legation. [BKG102–5; GPB108]
CH44–5 says the family had ten days after Bahá'u'lláh's release to prepare for the journey to Iraq.
‘Never had the fortunes of the Faith proclaimed by the Báb sunk to a lower ebb'. [DB651]
This exile compares to the migration of Muhammad, the exodus of Moses and the banishment of Abraham. [GPB107–8]
See BKG104 and GPB108–9 for conditions on the journey.
Bahá'u'lláh's black servant, Isfandíyár, who had managed to evade capture during this dark period, after he had paid all the debts to various merchants, went to Mazandaran where he was engaged by the Governor. Years later when his master made a pilgrimage to Iraq Isfandíyár met Bahá'u'lláh and stated his preference to return to His service. Bahá'u'lláh said that he owed his master a debt of gratitude and could not leave his employ without his permission. It was not granted and Isfandíyár returned to Mazandaran and stayed with the Governor until his passing. [PUP428; SoW IX 28 April, 1918 p38-39]
Also see A Gift of Love Offered to the Greatest Holy Leaf (compiled and edited by Gloria Faizi, 1982), by Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qasim Faizi, which includes a brief summary of the character of Isfandiyar and his services to the Holy Family on pages 14-16.
||Iran; Baghdad; Iraq
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mirza Rida-Quli; Navvab (Asiyih Khanum); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Mirza Musa; Mirza Mihdi; Mirza Muhammad-Quli; Isfandiyar; Russian officials; Bahaullah, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|1865 (In the year)
||Mírzá Kazem-Beg of St Petersburg University published Bab Babidy, the first Western book written entirely on the subject of the Bábí religion. [BBR26]
||St Petersburg; Russia
||Babi studies; Mirza Kazem-Beg; First publications
|1870 19 Jul – 1871 10 May
||Franco-Prussian War was a conflict between the Second French Empire of Napoleon III and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded.
See KA90 for Bahá'u'lláh's reference to this and KAN121 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's interpretation.
||Franco-Prussian War; War (general); History (general); Napoleon III
|1870 1 - 2 Sep
||Battle of Sedan. Napoleon III suffered defeat at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm I. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government. Napoleon went into exile in England, where he died in 1873.
Bahá'u'lláh referred to this in KA86.
||Sedan; France; Germany; England
||Franco-Prussian War; War (general); History (general); Napoleon III; Kaiser Wilhelm I; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book)
|1877 – 1878
||As a result of the war between Russia and Turkey some 11 million people were freed from the Turkish yoke. Adrianople was occupied. [BKG262; GPB225]
- See BKG460 for the Siege of Plevna.
|Edirne (Adrianople); Plevna; Turkey; Russia
||Wars; History (general)
|1902 15 Sep
||Mírzá `Azízu'lláh visited Count Leo Tolstoy, and spoke to him at length about the history and teachings of the Faith and of the station of Bahá'u'lláh. [EB185; RB3:172-3]
For Mírzá `Azízu'lláh's own account of the interview see EB186–9.
See BW10:569–70 for Tolstoy's response to the Faith.
||Mirza Azizullah; Leo Tolstoy
||Upheaval at Rasht. [BBRXXX, 373; BW18:385]
See BW18:385 for a chronicle of events.
Upheaval at Isfahán. [BW18:385]
See BW18:385 for a chronicle of events.
The Bahá'ís take sanctuary at the Russian Consulate. [BBR376]
For Western accounts of the episode see BBR377–385]
||Rasht; Isfahan; Iran
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution; Rasht upheaval; Isfahan upheaval; Upheavals; Russian consulate
||Russian poet Isabella Grinevskaya wrote the play "Báb" which was performed in St. Petersburg in 1904 and again in 1914 and once again in 1917. It was translated into French and Tatar (and later into German by Friedrich Fiedler) and lauded by Leo Tolstoy and other reviewers at the time. It is reported to have been Tolstoy's first knowledge of the Faith.
In 1910-11 she spent two weeks in Ramleh as a guest of `Abdu'l-Bahá and after she returned to Russia she had several letters and Tablets from Him.
Immediately upon her return from Egypt in January of 1911 she began work on the book "A Journey in the Countries of the Sun", an account of her visit with 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This work was not completed until 1914 because in the summer of 1912 she made a trip to Paris to work with the French translator of "Báb", Madame Halperin, and when she returned to Leningrad she began work on the drama entitled Bahá'u'lláh. It was published in Leningrad in 1912 but was never performed. "Journey", a book of some 550 pages did not get published because of the disruption cause by the advent of the war. See BW6p707-712 for the article "Russia's Cultural Contribution to the Bahá'i Faith" by Martha Root.
For a photo see BW6p709 or here.
Also see Notes on the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions in Russia and its territories by Graham Hassall.
Isabella Grinevskaya (the pen name of Beyle (Berta) Friedberg), born in Grodno in 1964, died in Istanbul in 1944. [Revolvy]
In His message to Isabella Grinevskaya, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá praised her efforts to stage theatrical performances about the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh but cautioned her that people’s attention at that moment was focused on “war and revolution.” However, He added, “the time for staging it will come” and it will “have a considerable impact” in Europe.
Ms. Grinevskaya’s play about the Báb was first staged in St. Petersburg in January 1904. Mr. Tolstoy read the play and wrote Ms. Grinevskaya to praise her and share his sympathy with the Baha'í teachings, according to an article by Martha Root in the 1934-1936 edition of The Bahá'í World.
|St Petersburg; Ramleh; Egypt; Istanbul; Turkey; Grodno; Russia
||Isabella Grinevskaya; Leo Tolstoy; Publications; Plays; Arts
|1903 28 May
||A large mob gathered outside the Russian Consulate in Isfahán and beat the Bahá'ís as they leave. One Bahá'í died as a result of the injuries. [BW18:385]
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Russian consulate; Persecution, Mobs; Russian consulate
|1907 31 Aug
||Anglo-Russian Convention relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet, was signed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The convention brought shaky British–Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries that identified respective control in the three countries. It delineated spheres of influence in Persia, stipulated that neither country would interfere in Tibet’s internal affairs, and recognized Britain’s influence over Afghanistan. [AY47-48]
||St Petersburg; Russia; Iran; Afghanistan; Tibet
||Iran, General history; History (general)
|1926 (In the year)
||Opposition to the Faith began in Russia. [BW3:35; BBR473]
For details see BW3:34–43.
||Russia; Soviet Union
||Persecution, Russia; Persecution
||The Soviet authorities abrogated the constitution of the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) and the assembly was dissolved. [BW3:37, BW8p88, SETPE1p154]
Bahá’í schools and libraries were closed. [BBRSM173]
Not long after, the government ordered that all religious buildings in the Soviet Union were the property of the government and the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár was expropriated and leased back to the Bahá’ís. [BBD122; BBR473; BBRSM161; BW3:37]
For the history of the persecution of the Bahá’ís in the Soviet Union see BBR473 and BW3:34–43.
PP364–5 says it was 1929.
||Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Soviet Union; Russia
||Persecution, Russia; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad
|1938 5 Feb
||Bahá'ís in the Soviet Union were persecuted by the authorities. [BBR473, BW8p87-90, 179-81, BW14p479-481, SETPE1p155]
Five hundred Bahá'í men were imprisoned in Turkistán. [Bw8p89]
Many Persian Bahá'ís living in various cities of the Soviet Union were arrested, some are sent to Siberia, others to Pavladar in northern Kazakhstan and yet others to Iran. [BW8p87, 179, 184]
Six hundred Bahá'í refugees-women, girls, children and a few old men, went to Iran, most to Mashhad. [BW8p89]
The Bahá'í Temple in Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) was confiscated and turned into an art gallery. [BDD122, BW8p89]
The Bahá'í schools were ordered closed. [BW8p89]
Spiritual Assemblies and all other administrative institutions in the Caucasus were ordered dissolved. [BW8p89]
||Soviet Union; Russia; Caucasus; Turkistan; Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Kazakhstan; Iran; Mashhad
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Persecution, Russia; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahai schools; LSA
||Elinore Putney arrived in the Aleutian Islands and was named a Knight of Bahá’u‘lláh. [BW13:449]
||Aleutian Islands; Alaska; United States; Russia
||Knights of Bahaullah
|1963 25 Aug
||The Universal House of Justice announceed the demolition of the House of Worship in ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) by the Soviet authorities owing to earthquake damage. [BBD122; BW14:479–81]
For a picture of the damaged Temple see BW14:481.
||Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Soviet Union; Russia
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Earthquakes; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
|1981 23 May
||Helmut Winkelbach, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Belarus, married Olga Grigorevna Dolganova, a Russian, their wedding ceremony was the first Bahá’í wedding in the Soviet Union.
||Soviet Union; Russia
||Helmut Winkelbach; Olga Grigorevna Dolganova; Knights of Bahaullah; Firsts, Other; Weddings
||The Local Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) was re-formed after a lapse of 61 years, the first local assembly to be formed in the Soviet Union. [AWH73; VV111]
||Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Soviet Union; Russia
||First Local Spiritual Assemblies
|1989 18 Dec - 1990 2 Jan
||During the Youth Winter School in Traben-Trarback participants from 12 countries including East Germany, Romania, Hungary and the Soviet Union gathered for the first time since the Second World War. [BINS215:2]
||Traben-Trarback; Germany; Eastern Europe; Soviet Union; Russia
||Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Youth; Conferences, International; Winter schools; First conferences
|1990 24 Jan – 5 Feb
||The first All-Union Bahá'í Conference was held in Moscow with 250 people gathered from all over the Soviet Union and from 17 other countries. This was the first national Bahá'í conference held in the USSR in about 60 years. [BINS224:8; VV112]
||Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, National; First conferences
|1990 24 Mar
||Mr. and Mrs. Abbas Katirai opened the Sakhalin Islands and became Knights of Bahá'u'lláh after 35 years of pioneering in Japan. This last goal was achieved 37 years after the Guardian had designated it as a goal of the Ten Year Crusade. [DM345; AWH73; VV112; Russia by Moojan Momen]
||Sakhalin Island; Russia; Japan
||Knights of Bahaullah
||The re-formation of the Spiritual Assembly of Moscow with Hand of the Cause 'Alí-Akbar Furútan in attendance. [VV111-2]
||Local Spiritual Assemblies; Re-formation
||The launching of a subsidiary Two Year Plan for the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries. [Ridván Message 1992]. Goals were:
- attraction of numerous supporters
- great increase in the translation, publication and dissemination of Bahá'í literature
- the extension of the administrative order in the region by the erection of local and national spiritual assemblies [AWH71]
|Eastern Europe; Soviet Union; Russia
||Teaching Plans, National
||Nicolai Gejnze, from Bishkek and a crew member in one of three boats in which Bahá'ís made a trip down the Volga River in June and July 1990, enrolied, the first person from Kirgizia known to have become a Bahá'í.
||Bishkek; Kirgizia; Kyrgyz; Central Asia; Volga River; Russia
|1990 8 Sep
||The first local spiritual assembly on Sakhalin Island was formed in Yuzhno. [BINS232:5]
||Yuzhno; Sakhalin Island; Russia
||Local Spiritual Assemblies
|1990 8 - 9 Dec
||The first All-Union Bahá'í Consultative Conference was held in Moscow attended by Bahá'ís from every part of the Soviet Union, members of three Continental Boards of Counsellors and representatives of all those National Spiritual Assemblies having responsibility for the work of the Faith in that area. [BINS 238:6] [CBN Mar91Vol3no8] [VV112]
||Conferences, Bahai; First conferences
||The former Spiritual Assembly of the USSR with its seat in Moscow became the Regional Spiritual Assembly of Russia, Georgia and Armenia. [CBN Jan92 p2, CBN Jan91 pg2, BW92–3:119; VV121]
||Russia; Georgia; Armenia
||NSA; Regional Spiritual Assemblies
|1992 23 – 26 Nov
||The Second World Congress was held in New York City to commemorate the centenary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh and the completion of the Six Year Plan. It was attended by some 28,000 Bahá'ís from some 180 countries. [BBD240] [VV136-141] [BW92-3p98-101, 136]
Nine auxiliary conferences were held in Buenos Aires, Sydney, New Delhi, Nairobi, Panama City, Bucharest, Moscow, Apia and Singapore. [BINS283:3-4]
For pictures see [BINS283:9-10], [BW92-3p100] and [VV136-141]
"New York will become a blessed spot from which the call to steadfastness in the Covenant and Testament of God will go forth to every part of the world." - 'Abdu'l-Bahá [AWH77-8 90-1 105-6]
On the 25th of November a concert was held in Carnegie Hall as a birthday tribute to Dizzy Gillespie called "Celebrating the Bahá'í Vision of World Peace". [VV141]
On the 26th of November Bahá'ís around the world were linked together by a live satellite broadcast serving the second Bahá'í World Congress, the nine auxiliary conferences and the Bahá'í World Centre and it was received by those with access to satellite dish antennas. [BINS283:1–5, 8; BINS286:10; BINS287:4]
For the message of the Universal House of Justice read on the satellite link see BW92–3:37–4.
For accounts of personal experiences by some of the attendees see In the Eyes of His Beloved Servants: The Second Bahá'í World Congress and Holy Year by J. Michael Kafes.
The film, 'Abdu'l-Bahá: Mission to America, made by Elizabeth Martin, was prepared for the World Congress program and also used in the Theme Pavilion. [HNWE45]
||New York; United States; Buenos Aires; Argentina; Sydney; Australia; New Delhi; India; Nairobi; Kenya; Panama; Bucharest; Romania; Moscow; Russia; Apia; Samoa; Singapore
||World Congresses; Carnegie Hall; Centenaries; Bahaullah, Ascension of; Dizzy Gillespie; - Basic timeline, Expanded; film; 'Abdu'l-Baha: Mission to America; Elizabeth Martin
|1993 29 - 31 Oct
||The founding conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies in Russia was held in St Petersburg. [BINS305:5]
||St Petersburg; Russia
||Bahai Studies, Associations for; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences
|1994 Jul 20 – 25
||The European Bahá'í Youth Council sponsored five regional ‘Shaping Europe' conferences, in Berlin, Bucharest, St Petersburg, Barcelona and Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. [BINS323:3–5; BW94–5:177–8, 189]
||Berlin; Germany; Bucharest; Romania; St Petersburg; Russia; Barcelona; Portugal; Wolverhampton; United Kingdom; Europe
||Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Conferences, International; Youth
|1999 19 Jan
||The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Russia formally received its re-registration documents under the new law on religious organizations that was passed by the Russian Parliament in the fall of 1997.
Formal recognition as a “centralized religious organization” entitled the community to full rights to teach and proclaim the Faith, publish and import literature, rent and own property, invite foreign nationals etc. [From “European Bulletin” Issue 60 February 1999]
||NSA; Russian Parliament