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Search for location "Congo"

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from the Chronology

date event locations tags see also
1940 (in the decade) The first Bahá’ís to reside in the Belgian Congo (Zaire) were Mr Rajah Ali Vahdat and Mme Marthe Molitor. Belgian Congo First travel teachers and pioneers
1940 28 Jul Shoghi Effendi, Rúhíyyih Khánum and Sutherland Maxwell left England for South Africa aboard the SS Capetown Castle. It was Mr Maxwell's close friendship with the Canadian High Commissioner in London, Vincent Massey, that helped them secure the sea passage. [PP180]
  • They departed Southhampton just three days before the German High Command issued an order to the Luftwaffe to establish air superiority along the British Channel coast in preparation for the invasion of England. This resulted in the bombing and strafing of all civilian shipping out of British Channel ports.
  • Risking U-Boat attacks the ship took them to Durban where they found that all flights to Khartoum had been booked by the military.
  • They left Mr. Maxwell in Durban to await a flight to Khartoum while Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum tried to make their way to Khartoum overland. The trip across Africa took them to Stanleyville, Congo; Juba in the Sudan; down the Nile to Khartoum and back to Palestine through Cairo. [PP180–1, TG159]
      They arrived in Kisangani then Stanleyville a few weeks later (July 28, 1940), stayed for a week at the Stanley Hotel and made an excursion in the virgin forest. On the way to Juba, the Guardian also stayed in the village of Nia-Nia. [bahai.org]
  • United Kingdom; Africa; South Africa; Congo; Sudan; Egypt Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Travels of; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Journeys of; Sutherland Maxwell; World War II; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1951 Oct Marthe Jeanne Molitor, the first Belgian Bahá’í to settle in another country, left for the Belgian Congo (Zaire) one day after becoming a Bahá’í. Belgian Congo Marthe Jeanne Molitor
    1953 (Late August) Soon after becoming a Bahá'í in Kampala, Enoch Olinga, together with fellow new believers Max Kanyerezi and Samson Mungono, responded to the Guardian’s call and left his home in Uganda, to fulfill pioneering goals accompanied by Persian pioneers Ali and Violette Nakhjavání. Leaving in late August 1953 they traveled for almost 3 months, covering a distance of over 5000 kilometers.

    The first leg took them to Samson Mungono’s post in Kamina, in the Katanga region of the Belgian Congo. They then took a grueling route to Brazzaville, where Max was dropped off and continued through the thick forests of French Congo and Gabon, hoping to pass through French Cameroons and finally reach the British Cameroons. The car broke down in the tropical forest of Gabon leaving the three remaining friends unable to continue. Enoch volunteered to walk to a town 50 miles ahead through the forbidding jungle to get help. Upon arrival Enoch was so ill he was hospitalized for two days and could not travel for a week. He told of a dream he had in which Shoghi Effendi took him in his arms to comfort and reassure him in his desperation. In mid-October they reached the British Cameroons on the very evening of the conclusion of the Holy Year.

    Confirmations of the monumental efforts these first African pioneers made soon followed: Enoch, Max and Samson all successfully brought many local people under the banner of the Greatest Name. [A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p4]

    Belgian Congo; Brazzaville; Cameroon Pioneering; Max Kanyerezi; Samson Mungono; Ali Nakhjavani; Violette Nakhjavani
    1953 20 Sep The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Mr. Max Kanyerezi in Middle Congo (now called Republic of Congo). At this time the country was, together with the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, and Gabon, part of a much larger French territory called the Federation of French Equatorial Africa which was dissolved in 1958. [BWNS246; A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p8]
  • Max and his wife Florence later moved back to Uganda where he had been raised. [CG106-107]
  • The website of the Bahá'ís of the Republic of the Congo gives a different date for the arrival of Max Kanyerezi...
      "Le premier bahá’í au Congo était Max Kanyerezi. Il fut déposé par Violette et Ali Nakhjavani en 1955." (Translation) "The first Bahá'í in Congo was Max Kanyerezi. He was dropped off by Violette and Ali Nakhjavani in 1955." [Reference]
  • Republic of Congo; Africa Knights of Bahaullah; BWNS
    1955 (In the year) Twenty–two African Bahá’ís were expelled from the Belgian Congo. Belgian Congo Persecution, Belgian Congo; Persecution, Other; Persecution
    1963. 20 Apr The number of believers in East and Central Africa numbered well over 40.000 with half of these in the Congo. Similar growth could be seen in countries like British Cameroons, Ethiopia, and Northern Rhodesia. Bahá'ís now resided in well over 30 countries and territories, and consisted largely of tribal peoples that had entered the Faith through the combined efforts of international and native pioneers. The end of the Ten Year Crusade left Africa spiritually and politically transformed. Devoted individuals, operating in daunting conditions, had succeeded in establishing the Faith on the continent while preparing for the next phase in its advancement—continued large-scale expansion would be accompanied by the formation and strengthening of the foundational institutions of the Faith. [A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p6-7] Africa; Congo; British Cameroon; Ethiopia; Northern Rhodesia Statistics; Shoghi Effendi, Works of
    1964 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda and Central Africa was formed with its seat in Kampala. [BW14p96]
  • This Assembly had jurisdiction over the following countries: Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo Republic, (Leopoldville), Congo Republic, (Brazzaville), Gabon, Central African Republic, and Chad.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Burundi; Rwanda; Leopoldville; Congo Republic; Brazzaville; Gabon; Central African Republic; Chad National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1967. Ridván The formation of the first Spiritual Assembly in Kinshasa, DRC. [A Remarkable Response Film 31:20] Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Local Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1970 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Zaire was formed with its seat in Kinshasa. (Formerly Belgian Congo until 1960; then Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) until the name changed to Zaire in 1971. (Kinshasa was formerly called Leopoldville.) [BW15:205]

    At this time there was a large concentration of believers in South Kivu, there were Bahá’ís in Western Kasai, in Kinshasa and in Lubumbashi. The election took place in the home of Belgian pioneers Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie Laperches. Hand of the Cause Mr Faizi was in attendance to represent the Universal House of Justice. [A Remarkable Response Film 26:55

  • For picture see BW15:147.
  • It has been reported that President Mobutu's personal physician was a Baháí, a Dr Jazab, and it was he who had Mobutu sign a document giving the Bahá'ís permission to practice their faith in the country. [Servants of the Glory page 60]
  • Zaire; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) National Spiritual Assembly, Formation
    1971 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Congo and Gabon was formed with its seat in Brazzaville, the Congo. [BW15:206]
  • For picture see BW15:148 and Congo National website. In this picture are Dr. Taï and his wife as well as M Azemikah, all long-time pioneers in the Congo.
  • Brazzaville; Congo National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1972 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Republic of the Congo was formed with its seat in Brazzaville. [BW15p206] Brazzaville; Congo National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1972. 9 Jun A National Spiritual Assembly had been formed in Zaire at Ridván 1970 but the Faith did not receive the required official recognition to function in the country. Dr Navidi spent one year in Kinshasa preparing the file for presentation to the government but in March 1972 when the names of the officially recognized religions were announced, the Bahá’í Faith was not among them. Through the intervention of Dr Amin’u’lláh Jazab, President Mobutu’s personal physician, official recognition of the Faith was approved. [A Remarkable Response Film 33:50-35:50] Kinshasa; Congo,Democratic Republic of (DRC)
    1978 Feb The government of the Congo banned the majority of smaller religious groups, including the Bahá’í Faith. [BW17:141]
  • The national Hazíratu’l-Quds was confiscated and the assemblies dissolved.
  • Congo Persecution, Congo; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Haziratul-Quds
    1981 (In the year) The National Assembly of Zaire was dissolved temporarily and three administrative committees were appointed in its place. [BW19:62, 147] Zaire; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) National Spiritual Assembly, Formation
    1983 Ridván The number of Local Spiritual Assemblies in Africa rose to some 7,200 and localities where Bahá'ís resided to over 35,000. In Algeria, the Congo, Egypt, Libya and Niger the Faith remained banned. [BW19p147] Algeria; Congo; Egypt; Libya; Niger Statistics; Persecution; National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1987 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Zaire was re-formed. [AWH48; BW20p249] Zaire; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) National Spiritual Assembly, Formation
    1991 (In the year) The administration of the Bahá'í Faith in Zaire was devolved to a system of subordinate regional councils. Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Regional Bahai Councils Find ref
    1991 Dec The first Music Festival for Youth of Zaire was held. [BINS288:8] Zaire; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Festivals, Music; Music; Arts
    1992 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Congo Republic was reformed after 14 years suspension of the Bahá'í Faith. [CBN Jan92 p2, BINS270:5; BW92–3:119; VV121; BW86-92p169]
  • For picture see BINS275:7.
  • Congo Republic National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    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 the Congo".
  • 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; Congo Max Kanyerezi; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; BWNS
    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) Jubilee; BWNS
    2004 2 Apr The passing of Ola Pawlowska (b. Ola Clemens 14 February, 1910 in Lakta, outside Cacow, Poland) in Newfoundland, Canada. Knight of Bahá'u'lláh for St. Pierre and Miquelon, translator of the Writings (into Polish), pioneer to Poland, Luxembourg and Congo (30 years), Auxiliary Board Member. [BW'03-‘04pg236, BWNS248]
  • For her biography see Legacy of Courage: The Life of Ola Pawlowska, Knight of Bahá'u'lláh" by Suzanne Schuurman, published by George Ronald in 2008.
  • Lakta; Cacow; Newfoundland; Canada; St Pierre and Miquelon; Poland; Luxembourg; Congo Knights of Bahaullah; Ola Pawlowska; Births and deaths; BWNS; Auxiliary Board Members
    2016 (End of the Five Year Plan) The Preparation for Social Action programme that was implemented at the beginning of the Five Year Plan was expanded to seven additional countries: Cambodia, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Panama, the Philippines and Vanuatu.
  • Over 10,000 had participated in the programme with about 1,800 among these who had studied all of the texts available.
  • In addition some 1,700 individuals serving institutions and agencies of the Fatih in 25 countries had studied a selection the the materials in a seminar setting. [5YPSumPage94-95]
  • Preparation for Social Action was implemented as a course of study at the New Era High School and Senior Secondary in Panchgani.
  • Cambodia; Central African Republic; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC); Ecuador; Panama; Philippines; Vanuatu Five Year Plan (2011-2016); Teaching Plans; Preparation for Social Action
    2008 15 – 16 Nov Regional Conferences were held in Bangui, Central African Republic, Bangalore, India and Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo, [BWNS669] Bangui; Central African Republic; Bangalore; India; Uvira; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Conferences, Regional; BWNS
    2008 22 – 23 Nov Regional Conferences were held in Quito, Ecuador, New Delhi, India, Kolkata, India, and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. [BWNS673] Quito; Ecuador; New Delhi; India; Kolkata (Calcutta); Lubumbashi; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Conferences, Regional; BWNS
    2012 21 Apr Plans were announced for the building of the first two national Mashriqul-Adhkárs that were to be raised up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea. [Riḍván 2012 To the Bahá’ís of the World; BWNS906] BWC; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC); Papua New Guinea Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2018. 18 Jan The publication of A Vision of Peace: Stories from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a brief history of the struggles and successes of the Bahá'í community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • The podcast associated with this Bahá’í World News Service story, can be found here.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Community building
    2020. 12 Jun In Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the temple site was being prepared for the construction phase while they waited in anticipation of the unveiling of the design. [BWNS1434] Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2020. 2 Jul The design for the national Bahá'í House of Worship to be built in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was unveiled through an online announcement by the National Spiritual Assembly.

    The design, created by Wolff Architects in Cape Town, South Africa, was inspired by traditional artworks, structures and natural features of the DRC, as well as by the Bahá'í sacred teachings, particularly by the spiritual concept that God’s bounty is unceasingly flowing over all people. The patterns that will adorn the outside of the dome of the central edifice will express this idea in a style reminiscent of the artwork of various Congolese peoples.

    Commenting on the design, the architects stated: “We were inspired by an image of 19th century Congolese architecture which showed the most beautiful structures that appear to have finely woven bamboo facades with a parabolic roof made of palm leaves. These houses were located amongst giant baobab trees. ... The undulating roof of the temple makes reference to this history.” [BWNS1438; BWNS1649]

    A section drawing showing the temple’s interior (top) and an elevation drawing of the temple’s exterior (bottom).

    Some team members of the firm Wolff Architects Nokubekezela Mchunu, Alexandra Böhmer, Bayo Windapo, Takalani Mbadi, Paul Munting, Temba Jauch, Matthew Eberhard, and Alex Coetzee.

    Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Congo DR; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2020. 18 Oct The groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future national Mashriqul-Adhkar was held at the temple site near Kinshasa. The event, which coincided with the celebration of the Birth of Báb, was broadcast on national television and was host to government officials, representatives of religious communities and traditional chiefs. [BWNS1460]
  • Photos of the event. [BWNS]
  • The design of the national Bahá'í House of Worship of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[BWNS1438]
  • Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2021. 28 Feb The Bahá'í World News Service provided an update on the construction of the National Temple in Kinshasa. [BWNS1493]
  • The reinforced concrete slab that will form the floor of the central edifice has been finished and the moisture barrier has been laid.
  • Work on additional buildings on the site was steadily advancing.
  • Earthworks were being prepared for the grounds outside the central area.
  • A visitors’ center was being built near the entrance to the site.
  • Elsewhere on the site, several existing buildings were being renovated. One building was being used as a construction office. In the future, these buildings will be used as educational facilities and as offices for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2021. 29 Jul A report on the progress of the construction of the National Mashriqul-Adhkar was provided.
  • The concrete structural elements that make up the lower portion of the edifice and will support the steel superstructure of the dome and surrounding canopies was being completed. Work on the upper gallery was progressing.
  • The two ring beams that support the dome had been completed.
  • More than 90% of the concrete for the building had been poured.
  • Work on the grounds and on the auxiliary structures was continuing. The walls and the roof of the visitor's centre had been completed.
  • The secretary of the country’s Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly, Lavoisier Mutombo Tshiongo, reported that, “At the same time, we are seeing an intensification of action inspired by what the temple represents. Everything is increasing, from devotional gatherings, educational efforts, and other initiatives taken by families and youth, such as cleaning rivers and water sources, to formal activities in the areas of food security and agriculture, education, health and empowerment of women.” He attributed the increasing pace of activity to a growing appreciation of the relationship between worship of God and service to humanity that is being cultivated through conversations about the national House of Worship. [BWNS1521]
  • Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
    2021. 31 Aug A four-day gathering, attended by some 2,000 participants was held in Baraka, DRC in honour of the forthcoming centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing. Attendees included officials, a traditional chief of the region, religious leaders, and people of diverse faiths. The conference explored the insights about the advancement of women gained through decades-long efforts of the Bahá’ís of the region aimed at social progress, and planned for an intensification of such activities of social action. [BWNS1529] Baraka; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Conference; Women
    2022. 1 Nov The Universal House of Justice addressed the Followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a message dated 1 November 2022, relating to the Nine Year Plan (2022-2031), ethnic and cultural diversity, the human family's crisis of identity, prejudice, Africa, and economic injustice.

    The letter starts with the statement, "Your country is blessed with remarkable ethnic and cultural diversity." (para 2). Indeed, there are about 250 ethnic groups in the DRC and 240 identified languages, four of which have been chosen as official regional languages with French being the common language of Instruction, business, national administration and external relations. More than half the population live in a rural setting and just less than half of the population is under the age of 15 years. [Britannica]

    More information about the Faith in the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be found in Bahaipedia and Bahá'í Media.

    Congo, Democratic Republic of Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages

    from the Chronology Canada

    date event locations tags see also
    2004 2 Apr The passing of Ola Pawlowska (b. Ola Clemens 14 February, 1910 in Lakta, outside Cacow, Poland) in Newfoundland, Canada. Knight of Bahá'u'lláh for St. Pierre and Miquelon, translator of the Writings (into Polish), pioneer to Poland, Luxembourg and Congo (30 years), Auxiliary Board Member. She had fled her native Poland iduring World War II and settled in Canada where she became a Bahá'í. [BW'03-‘04pg236, BWNS248]
  • For her biography see Legacy of Courage: The Life of Ola Pawlowska, Knight of Bahá'u'lláh" by by Suzanne Schuurman, published by George Ronald in 2008.
  • Lakta; Cacow; NL; St Pierre and Miquelon; Poland; Luxembourg; Congo Knights of Bahaullah; Ola Pawlowska; Births and deaths; Suzanne Schuurman; Auxiliary Board Members

    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Bahá'í Communities by Country: Research Notes, by Graham Hassall (2000). Brief notes on the history of Bahá'í activities and the dates of NSA formation in Africa, China, Australia, and elsewhere. [about]
    2. Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Nine Year Plan, by Universal House of Justice (2022-11-01). Matters relating to the Nine Year Plan (2022-2031), ethnic and cultural diversity, the human family's crisis of identity, prejudice, Africa, and economic injustice. [about]
    3. Namibia, Pacific Islands, Queen Marie, and Emeric Sala (2005-02). [about]
    4. Paying Special Regard to Agriculture: Collective Action-Research in Africa, by Sanem Kavrul, in Bahá'í World (2021-05-07). On Bahá’í-inspired agricultural social action initiatives in Africa. Includes photo gallery of development and agricultural projects. [about]
     
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