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from the Chronology

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1953. Aug The Congo-Belgian colony had its first believers, identified under the term “The Spiritual Sowers”. The story begins with Louis Selemani Bin Kimbulu (the first person to accept the Faith) and Sébastien Ilunga Ngoy Buanga Tumba, two Congolese bank officials who were living and working in neighbouring Burundi, where they received, from a servant working for a Western expatriate, a book of Bahá'í prayers which they did not hesitate to liken to a grimoire. Finding it interesting, they sent a letter for further clarification regarding the nature of the prayers to the Bahá'í Publishing House which published the book.

In response to their correspondence, an American Bahá'í living in Usumbura, present-day Bujumbura, went to meet these two men. Some time after they met, and after conducting the independent search for Truth, they decided to become Bahá'ís. This is how they began to spread the “new message” to their other colleagues at the Bank, all Congolese living in eastern DRC.

Very quickly, these two young bankers succeeded in finding souls receptive to the message of the Bahá'í teachings. They were 19 in all and constituted the nucleus called “Spiritual Sowers”, the founders of the Faith in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [bahai.org; bahai.org; A Remarkable Response Film 4:18]

Bujumbura,Burundi; DRC Louis Selemani Bin Kimbulu; Sébastien Ilunga Ngoy Buanga Tumba
1954 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly was formed in in Usumbura (later Bujumbura, Burundi) and it composed entirely of Congolese. At that time the area was called Ruanda-Urundi. In 1962 Ruanda-Urundi became the two independent states of Rwanda and Burundi. [A Remarkable Response Film 26:55] Bujumbura; Burundi Local Spiritual Assembly
1972 Ridván The counties of Rwanda and Burundi were known as Ruanda-Urundi up until 1962 when the area was divided into two separate countries. From 1956 until 1964 they were administered by the Regional Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa and from 1964 to 1969 came under the Uganda and Central Africa regional assembly. The National Spiritual Assembly of Rwanda and Burundi was formed in 1969 and in 1972 the National Spiritual Assembly of Burundi with its seat in Bujumbura and the National Spiritual Assembly of Rwanda with its seat in Kilgali. [BW15:205]
  • Because of disturbances in the country; the Bahá'i administration in Burundi was dissolved in the same year and the affairs of the Faith placed under an administrative committee. It re-formed in 1978. [BW15:205; BW17:141]
  • Bujumbura; Burundi; Kilgali; Rwanda National Spiritual Assembly, formation

    from the Chronology Canada

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