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from the Chronology

date event locations tags see also
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
    1928 Apr As part of a general anti-religious campaign launched under Stalin, the Soviet authorities abrogated the constitution of the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) and the Assembly was dissolved. [BW3:37-43; BW8p88; SETPE1p154; YS2]
  • 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 locked. As soon as the doors were sealed by the authorities the friends gathered in the surrounds gardens for prayers. They came in far greater numbers that had requested the Temple. Too it was expropriated and later leased back to the Bahá’ís. [BBD122; BBR473; BBRSM161; BW3:37]
  • The chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly, Jináb-i Gulpáygání, as representative for the community, was chosen to go to Moscow to appeal the case where the authorities agreed to remove the seals from the gates making the grounds accessible to the friends. [YS2]
  • For the history of the persecution of the Bahá’ís in the Soviet Union see BBR473 and BW3:34–43.
  • Note: PP364–5 says it was 1929.
  • See The Bahá'í Community of Ashkhabad; Its Social Basis and Importance in Bahá'í History by Moojan Momen.
  • Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Soviet Union; Russia Persecution, Russia; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Moojan Momen
    1938 5 Feb Bahá'ís in the Soviet Union were persecuted by the authorities. [BBR473, BW8p87-90, 179-81, BW14p479-481, SETPE1p155; YS6]
  • 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]
  • Shoghi Effendi included all these territories in his Ten Year Plan, unveiled in 1953, as follows:
    • The National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria was made responsible for opening Albania, Estonia, Finno—Karelia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (Moldova), Romania and White Russia (Belarus) and for consolidating Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (S.F.S.R.), and Yugoslavia.
    • The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of lran was made responsible for opening Kirgizia (later named Kyrgyzstan), Mongolia, Tajikistan (Tadzhikistan) and Uzbekistan, and for consolidating Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Turkmenistan.
    • The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States was responsible for opening Kazakhstan, Sakhalin, and the Ukraine. [BW20p196-197]
  • Soviet Union; Russia; Caucasus; Turkistan; Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Kazakhstan; Iran; Mashhad Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Persecution, Russia; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Bahai schools; Local Spiritual Assembly
    1953. 14 Aug In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria it was stated that:
      He is Particularly anxious to have some of the German Bahá'ís enter the western territories of the Soviet Union not yet open to the Faith, namely: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, White Russia and Moldavia, and every effort should be made to enable some of the Bahá'ís, German or of other nationality, to go to these countries. The young people in particular may be able to arrange their affairs in such a way as to procure employment in the Soviet Union. This would be a great service, and is part of the work allotted to the German Bahá'ís under the World Crusade. [14 August 1953]
    Germany; Austria; Soviet Union
    1957. 1 Jan In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian it was state that there were no Bahá'ís in the republics of the Soviet Union.
      Republics of Russia with no Bahá'ís: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Ukraine, and White Russia (Belarus)
      Satellite countries with no Bahá'ís: Albania Roumania (Romania) Mongolia, Sakhalin Island, and Hainan Island. [1 January 1957]
    Soviet Union Statistics
    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
    1987. Oct 1987 Lynda Godwin made her first journey to the Soviet Union, travelling under the auspices of a programme called Citizen Diplomacy, which encouraged individuals to design projects of cultural exchange between Americans and Soviets. She developed one project, called the Soviet/American Teachers Task Force, which brought American teachers to the Soviet Union to team teach in Soviet class rooms, and another called Birthday Friends for Peace, which made pen pals out of Soviet and American children with common birth dates. The projects were so successful that she was invited back numerous times, making more friends each visit as she worked with Soviet guides and translators and arranged for visitors to stay in Soviet homes. Between October 1987 and April 1992, Lynda Godwin made at least twenty trips into what became the former Soviet Union, each time introducing a new group to the region and finding different avenues for exchange. [BW20p199] Soviet Union Lynda Godwin
    1989 Ridván 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 Local Spiritual Assembly
    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 - 1992 The accelerating growth of the Bahá’í communities and the drastically changing conditions in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc impelled the Universal House of Justice to call for a subsidiary Two Year Teaching Plan to run from Riḍván 1990 to Riḍván 1992, with greatly increased goals for all these lands. [BW20p199] Soviet Union Two Year Teaching Plan; Plans of the Faith
    1990 - 1992 The launching of a subsidiary Two Year Subsidiary Plan for the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries. [Message 8 February 1990; Ridván Message 1992; BW20p195-224].

    Goals were:

    1. attraction of numerous supporters
    2. great increase in the translation, publication and dissemination of Bahá'í literature
    3. 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; Two Year Subsidiary Plan

    from the Chronology Canada

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Bahá'ís of the Caucasus, The, by Bayram Balci and Azer Jafarov, in Caucaz Europe News (2007). Three short articles: "Who are the Baha’is of the Caucasus?," "From Russian Tolerance to Soviet Repression," and "An Independent Azerbaijan." [about]
    2. Confessions of a Child of the Half-Light , by Jack McLean (2022). Philosophical essays; recollections of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Laura Dreyfus Barney, Curtis Kelsey, and other Europeans; recollections of Shoghi Effendi by ten individuals; dreams and visions; eulogies of the author's parents; travel teaching across Russia. [about]
    3. Europe, Eastern, and the Soviet Union, by Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 3.1 (1993). [about]
    4. Les Bahaïs du Caucase: b.a.-ba d'une communauté méconnue, by Azer Jafarov and Bayram Balci, in Religion et politique dans le Caucase post-soviétique (2007). Chapter on "the Bahá'ís of the Caucasus, the basics [lit. the ABCs] of an unknown community." [about]
    5. Seizure of the Ishqabad Temple: Horace Holley Interview with State Department Officials (1939-06-06). Brief report of an interview with the secretary of the US National Spiritual Assembly on whether and why the Soviet government had appropriated the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Ashkhabad. [about]
     
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