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from the Chronology

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1951 2 or 3 Aug The establishment of the Faith in Uganda with the arrival of Mr. Músá Banání, his wife Samí'ih Banání, their daughter, Mrs. Violette and her husband, Mr. Ali Nakhjavani, of Iran, with their baby daughter Bahiyyih, and Mr. Philip Hainsworth who arrived in Kampala from England. [Wiki Bahá'í Uganda]
  • See BWNS135 for an account of the celebration of 50 years of the Faith in Uganda and the accomplishments.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Africa Musa Banani; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; Bahiyyih Nakhjavani; Philip Hainsworth; Samiih Banani
    1952 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of Uganda was established in Kampala.
  • Enoch Olinga was a member.
  • Kampala Local Spiritual Assembly
    1952 8 Oct Holy Year, "The Great Jubilee", October 1952 to October 1953, was inaugurated. [MBW16-18; BW12:116; DG84; PP409–10; SBR170–1]
  • Centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's mission were initiated. [MBW16–18]
  • "Shoghi Effendi began the Holy Year to commemorate the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's experience in the Siyáh Chál in October 1952 and closed the Holy Year in October 1953 (which corresponds to the centenary of the "Year Nine", the Islamic year 1269)". [Two Episodes from the Life of Bahá'u'lláh in Iran p21 by Moojan Momen]
  • Four international conferences were scheduled in Kampala, Wilmette (dedication of the Temple), Stockholm and New Delhi. [SETPE2p31-43]
  • For a brief description of the Kampala Conference see CG20-21.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Wilmette; United States; Stockholm; Sweden; New Delhi; India Great Jubilee; Holy Years; Centenaries; Bahaullah, Birth of Revelation of; Siyah Chal (Black Pit)
    1953 12–18 Feb The first Intercontinental Teaching Conference was convened by the British National Spiritual Assembly in Kampala, Uganda. [BW12:121, MBW135-140; BN No 267 May 1953 p5-7]
  • For Shoghi Effendi's message to the conference see BW12:121–4.
  • For a report of the conference see BW12:124–30.
  • It was attended by ten Hands of the Cause, Bahá'ís from 19 countries and representatives of over 30 tribes. [PP413]
  • Over a hundred new African believers attended as personal guests of the Guardian. [PP413]
  • With this conference the Ten Year World Crusade was launched. [BBRSM158–9; BW12:253; MBW41]
  • Picture. [BW12p118]
  • See some candid video footage taken by Ted Cardell.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Africa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Guardianship; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching; First conferences
    1955 23 Aug Shoghi Effendi announced plans to begin construction on the House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda in light of the fact that the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár that had been planned for Tehran during the Ten Year Crusade had to be postponed due to circumstances in Iran. [MBW90; PP312; BW13p713; CG42-43; Bahá'í Faith, The: 1844-1963: Information Statistical and Comparative, Including the Achievements of the Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching & Consolidation Plan 1953-1963 compiled by Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land] Kampala; Uganda; Iran; Tihran Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Tihran
    1956 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa was formed with its seat in Kampala, Uganda. [BW13:284; MBW71-72]
  • Its area of jurisdiction was Uganda, Tanganyika, Kenya, Belgian Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, French Equatorial Africa, Zanzibar, Comoro Islands and Seychelles Islands. See the Guardian's message to this Assembly. [That Promising Continent 30]
  • Ali Nakhjavani, Hassan Sabri, Philip Hainsworth, Oloro Epyeruj, Jalal Nakhjavani, Aziz Yazdi, Tito Wanantsusit, Max Kenyerezi, and Sylvester Okurut were members of the first regional national assembly. [History of the Bahá'í Faith in Tanzania]
  • This regional assembly was dissolved at Ridván 1964. [BW14p96]
  • Kampala; Uganda National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1957 Oct Shoghi Effendi called for the convocation of a series of Intercontinental Conferences to be held successively in Kampala, Uganda (Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Central and East Africa); Sydney, Australia (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Australia); Chicago, United States (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States of America,; Frankfurt, Germany (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and: Austria); and Djakarta, Indonesia (Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of South-East Asia). [BW13:311–12; MBW125]

    The five-fold purpose of the International Conferences was:

    1. offering humble thanksgiving to the Divine Author of our Faith, Who has graciously enabled His followers, during a period of deepening anxiety and amidst the confusion and uncertainties of a critical phase in the fortunes of mankind,
    2. to prosecute uninterruptedly the Ten-Year Plan formulated for the execution of the Grand Design conceived by 'Abdu'l-Bahá,
    3. of reviewing and celebrating the series of signal victories won so rapidly in the course of each of the campaigns of this world-encircling Crusade,
    4. of deliberating on ways and means that will insure its triumphant consummation,
    5. and of lending simultaneously a powerful impetus, the world over, to the vital process of individual conversion -the preeminent purpose underlying the Plan in all its ramifications - and to the construction and completion of the three Mother Temples to be built in the European, the African, and Australian continents. [CBN No 94 Nov 1957 p1]
    BWC; Kampala; Uganda; Sydney; Australia; Chicago; United States; Frankfurt; Germany; Djakarta; Indonesia Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade
    1958 23–28 Jan The first Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convened in Kampala, Uganda. [BW13:317]
  • Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attended, accompanied by Dr Lutfu'lláh Hakím.
  • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC56–60.
  • For a report of the conference see BW13:317.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Africa Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Lutfullah Hakim; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; First conferences
    1958 26 Jan The foundation stone of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of Africa was laid by Hands of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and Músá Banání. [BW13:317]
  • The Guardian had sent special gifts to be presented during the laying of the foundation stone. These included a Persian carpet from the Holy Shrine at Bahji, some plaster from the prison of Máh-Kú and a silver box containing the earth from Bahá'u'lláh's Shrine. These last two items were placed beneath the foundation stone by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and Hand of the Cause Músá Banání. [CG44]
  • Kampala; Uganda Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Foundation stones and groundbreaking; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Musa Banani
    1961 14 Jan The House of Worship in Kampala, the Mother Temple of Africa, was dedicated by Hand of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum in a service for Bahá'ís only. [BW13:713–14; CG45]
  • For details of the service and a picture see BW13:714. [TG159]
  • Enoch Olinga was not present because of the unrest in British Cameroons. [TG160]
  • Kampala; Uganda Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1961 15 Jan The House of Worship in Kampala, the Mother Temple of Africa, is officially opened by Hand of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum in a public service attended by 1,500 people. [BW13:715–18; MoC15]
  • For message of the Custodians to the dedication service see MoC2503.
  • For cable of the Custodians to the Bahá'ís of the world see MoC253.


      Location:Northern Kampala, on Dikaaya Hill in Kawempe Division.
      Foundation Stone: 26 Jan 1958 (Beneath the stone is a silver box containing the sacred earth from the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh and a wooden box containing a piece of the plaster from the Prison Fortress of Máh-Kú where the Báb had been incarcerated.)
      Construction Period: Land purchased: 20 April 1954, January 1958 – 14 January 1961
      Site Dedication: 14 January 1961 (Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum brought a gift from the Guardian- a carpet from the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh was hung on the inside of the door facing the Qiblih.)
      Architect: Charles Mason Remey
      Seating:Over 400 (800 for Dedication ceremony)
      Dimensions: Dome at its base-44ft. Diameter of inner floor-84ft. Circumference: 265ft yielding 5,550 sq ft of floor space. Height of the building-124ft.
      Cost: $ ? (initial budget was 42,00 Pounds Sterling)
      References: BW13p704-719, CEBF241, CG45
  • Kampala; Uganda Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Mason Remey, architect; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Dedications; Architects; Gifts; Boxes containing dust, earth or plaster; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Mah-Ku; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1964. (Unsure of date) Rex and Mary Collision, Knights of Bahá'u'lláh for Ruanda-Urandi (now the independent countries of Rwanda and Burundi), returned to the United States after three year's service at the Temple in Kampala.
  • Photo.
  • Kampala; Uganda Rex Collison; Mary Collison
    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 5 – 10 Oct Six Intercontinental Conferences were held simultaneously in Panama City, Wilmette, Sydney, Kampala, Frankfurt and New Delhi to celebrate the centenary of the proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh to the kings and rulers of the world in September/October of 1867. [BW 14:221]
  • For the message of the Universal House of Justice to the conferences see BW14:221–2.
  • For descriptions of each conference see BW14:223–58.
  • See CG68-69 for a brief description of the Intercontinental Conference in Kampala.
  • The six Hands of the Cause representing the Universal House of Justice at the conferences travelled to Adrianople to visit the House of Bahá'u'lláh before dispersing to the conferences. [BW14:236, 458; VV2]
  • Panama; Wilmette; Sydney; Australia; Kampala; Uganda; Frankfurt; Germany; New Delhi; India Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Intercontinental; Tablets to Kings and rulers; Centenaries
    1969. 4 Aug Hand of the Cause Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and her companion, Violette Nakhjavání, arrived in Kampala, Uganda, at the start of the ‘Great African Safari'. [BN No 468 March 1970 p2-12]

      On August 5, 1969, the wheels of our plane touched down at Entebbe airport, Kampala, Uganda—at last the long-promised visit of Amatu'l-Bahá to the believers of Africa was commencing. In 1961, at the time when she dedicated the Mother Temple of Africa for public worship, Rúḥíyyih Khánum promised the friends to come back and really visit them, touring as many Centres as possible. After nine years, this has now been fulfilled. [BW15p594]

    It was the start of a four-leg journey that took the Hand of the Cause to 34 African countries, travelling 36,000 miles, addressing 40,000 people including 19 heads of state in some 400 gatherings. Beginning her Safari in East Africa, she crossed the whole breadth of the continent to the Gambia, turned back to the center of the Congo, and went down to the tip of South Africa in Cape Town before returning to East Africa. She met nineteen Heads of State among them Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, President Hamani Diori of Niger, President Dr. William V.S Tubman of Liberia, King Motlotletlehi Sobhuza II of Swaziland, President Gregoire Kayibanda of Rwanda, and President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.

  • For a map and details of the safari as well as pictures see BW15:593–607.
  • See The Great African Safari: The travels of Rúhíyyih Khánum in Africa, 1969-73 by Violette Nakhjavani published by George Ronald in 2003.
  • A diary of Rúhíyyih Khánum's travels through Africa was serialized in Bahá'í News in 26 issues (468-513) from 1970 through 1973. These travels lead to significant exposure of the Faith in the public domain, from governments to civil leaders to mass media, propelling the development of national institutions across the continent in a new dimension of work. One can say these events greatly contributed to the emergence of the Faith from obscurity in Africa. [A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p9]
  • Kampala; Uganda Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Journeys of; Violette Nakhjavani; Great African Safari; George Ronald
    1970 Jan Claire Gung opened Auntie Claire's Kindergarten in new facilities in Kampala with an enrollment of 146 children. [CG81] Kampala; Uganda School; Auntie Claires Kindergarten
    1970 (Summer) The first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Uganda was elected for the first time. Those elected were: Mr. Enos Epyeru, Assistant Treasurer; Mr. Javan Gutosi, Treasurer; Mr. S. M. Isimai, Secretary; Mr. Moses Senoga, Vice-Chairman and Assistant Secretary, Mr. Julias Nambafu, Augustin Massati, Augustin Naku, and Albert Ocamodek. [Bahá'í News No 479 February 1971 pg15; Wikipedia] Kampala; Uganda National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1971 Ridván Although the first National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda was elected in the summer of 1970 it has been listed the following Ridván. [BW15p295] Kampala; Uganda National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1971 4 Sep Músá Banání, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Kampala, Uganda. (b.1886) [BW15:42; VV7]
  • For a brief biography see Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • For his obituary see BW15:421–423.
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the second contingent on the 29th of February, 1952. [MoCxxiii]
  • A Bahá'í Winter and Summer School was established in the southern part of Ethiopia and named "Banání House" in honour of Hand of the Cause Músá Banání, their "spiritual father". [BW15p187]
  • Kampala; Uganda Musa Banani; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Second Contingent
    1979 Apr The ban against the Bahá'í Faith in Uganda was lifted and the House of Worship in Kampala was re-opened for worship. [BW17:141] Kampala; Uganda Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kampala; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Persecution, Uganda; Persecution, Bans; Persecution
    1979 16 Sep Enoch Olinga—Hand of the Cause of God and Knight of Bahá'u'lláh—his wife and three of his children were murdered in Kampala, Uganda. (b.24 June 1926) [BBD 172; BW18:633; LoF471-472]
  • He was buried near the grave of Hand of the Cause Mr Banání with the graves of his wife and children nearby. [CG132]
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the third contingent on the 2nd of October, 1957. [MoCxxiii]
  • For his obituary see BW18:618–35.
  • See Bahá'í Blog for a tribute to his life.
  • Early in May soldiers had invaded his home and thoroughly sacked it. The president of Uganda was a Nilotic and a native of northern Uganda as were a majority of his army. After taking control of the country they began to take reprisals from rival tribes and those who they thought had supported Idi Amin. [CG127]
  • On the morning of the murders Mr. Olinga and his family had participated in a work detail at the Temple grounds. After the evening meal, a group of soldiers entered their compound and murdered him as well as his wife Elizabeth the children Táhirih and Lennie. [CG130-132]
  • Claire Gung, the "Mother of Africa", had had an extraordinarily accurate dream and had warned Mr. Olinga of his danger. [CG163]
  • See Enoch Olinga, Knight of Baha'u'llah, Father of Victories and Hand of the Cause of God, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4
  • See as well Glimpse of the life of Enoch Olinga as told by 'Ali Nakhjavani.
  • Kampala; Uganda Enoch Olinga; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Knights of Bahaullah; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Third Contingent; Persecution, Uganda; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Dreams and visions
    1981 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda was re-formed after a period of 19 months during which the Faith was banned. [BW18:107, 163; Ridván Message 1981] Kampala; Uganda National Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1987 Dec The first Children's Conference of Uganda was held in Kikaaya, Kampala. [BINS173:7] Kikaaya; Kampala; Uganda Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Children; First conferences

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