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from the Chronology

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1944 22 May Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb.

  • For a survey of the growth and development of the Bahá’í Faith in the hundred years since its inception see BW10:142–9.
  • Celebrations were held in many parts of the world:
  • Britain [BW10:188–201]
      Sir Ronald Storrs delivered an address at the opening of the Bahá'í Centenary Exhibition in London. These are extracts from that speech: “My first glimpse of ‘Abbás Effendi was in the summer of 1909, when I drove round the Bay of Acre in an Arab cab, visited him in the barracks and marveled at his serenity and cheerfulness after 42 years of exile and imprisonment. I kept touch with him through my confidential agent, Husayn Bey Ruhi, son of a Tabriz martyr. [BW10p189-195]
  • India [BW10:202–8]
  • Egypt [BW10:208–17]
  • Iraq [BW10:217–22]
  • Australia [BW 10:222–8]
  • Latin America [BW10:228–33]
  • The end of the celebrations marking this occasion signal the end of the First Epoch of the Formative Age. [BBD79; CF5; PP390]
  • See the publication The Bahá’í Centenary 1844-1944.
  • Worldwide Centenaries; Bab, Declaration of; Formative Age; Ages and Epochs
    1945 (In the year) See BBRSM166–7 for a chart showing the distribution of the Bahá’í Assemblies and localities in this year. Worldwide Statistics
    1950 9 Jul The Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb was commemorated.
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the Bahá’ís on this occasion see BW12:191–3.
  • For accounts of commemorations around the world see BW12:205–8.
  • A small group of Bahá’í pilgrims visited the site of the Báb’s martyrdom and other places associated with His life. [BW12:217–26]
  • The columned arcade and parapet of the Shrine of the Báb were completed. [ZK284–5]
  • Haifa; Mount Carmel; Iran; Worldwide Centenaries; Bab, Martyrdom of; Bab, Shrine of; Pilgrimage; Pilgrims
    1951 25 Apr Shoghi Effendi cabled the Bahá’í world with list of the successes of the Bahá’í work in the past year. [MBW11–13] Worldwide Statistics; Growth Statistics; Translation; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1953 Ridván The Ten Year Crusade (1953-1963) was launched. See MBW151-156, MBW151.

    The four primary goals of the plan were outlined as follows:
      -the development of institutions at the World Centre
      -consolidation of the twelve countries where the Faith was well established
      -consolidation of all other territories already open
      -the opening of the remaining "chief virgin territories" around the globe (131)

    For the objectives of the Crusade see BW12:256–14. Among the goals to be achieved was the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives building. [BBD22; DH168; MBW43] "the first of the major edifices destined to constitute the seat of the World Bahá'í Administrative Centre to be established on Mount Carmel". [PP264]

    To those Bahá’ís who arose to open new territories to the Faith during the Ten Year Crusade, the title 'Knight of Bahá’u’lláh' was given. On 27 May 1992, the Roll of Honour containing the names of all the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh was deposited beneath the entrance door to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.

    “…Sometimes people strive all their lives to render outstanding service. Here is the time and opportunity to render historic services; in fact, the most unique in history, aiding in the fulfillment of Daniel’s Prophecies of the Last Day, and the 1335 days, when men are to be blessed by the Glory of the Lord, covering the entire globe—which is the real goal of the Ten Year Crusade. [DG54-55]

    A map of goals for the Ten Year World Crusade by Shoghi Effendi can be found in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954). Electronic versions, in both medium and large format can be found here.

    The achievements of the Ten Year Crusade were celebrated at the Most Great Jubilee in April and May 1963, which commemorated the Centenary of the Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission. Two historic events transpired during that time: the International Convention, convened in Haifa, Israel, to elect the first Universal House of Justice; and the World Congress held in London, England.

  • See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol 14, no. 3-4, 2004 for the essay The Ten Year Crusade by Ali Nakhjavani.
  • See CBN No 66 July 1956 in a message dated the 13 of May 1956 Leroy Ioas, (unsure if it was sent on behalf of the Guardian or from the International Bahá'í Council, probably the former), Mr Ioas outlined the three phases of the Crusade; First Phase: open virgin territories, Second Phase: 1. widespread dispersal, 2. settlement in new areas, 3. formation of Local Assemblies and National Assemblies, 4. incorporate Local Assemblies. Third Phase: (open on 21 April 1956, the formation of National Assemblies, with their own Haziratu'l-Quds, have their own endowments and to be incorporated.
  • See The Bahá’í Faith 1844-1952 Information Statistical and Comparative (PDF) compiled by Shoghi Effendi.
  • For a graphic representation of the goals of the Ten Year Crusade see Objectives and Tasks of Ten-Year Spiritual Global Crusade of the Bahá'í World Faith by Shoghi Effendi compiled by Beatrice Ashton published in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-19540).
  • Map of Goals for the Ten Year World Crusade by Shoghi Effendi published in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954) Wilmette, IL: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1956.
  • Progress Bahá'í World Crusade 1953-1958 was the map that Shoghi Effendi finished on the night of his passing.
  • At the start of the Ten Year Crusade the only sovereign countries in Africa were Egypt and Ethiopia, the remainder were still under the yoke of colonialism.
  • Many who arose as pioneers to the African continent came from Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. In Southern Africa alone, 27 pioneers arrived in the first year of the Crusade. Among them were Melvin and Helen Hope in Angola; Fred and Beth Laws in Lesotho; Enayat Sohaili and ‘Izzat Zahrai in Mozambique; Mehranguiz Munsiff in Madagascar; Ottilie Rhein in Mauritius; Lowell and Edith Johnson, William, Marguerite and Michael Sears and Harry and Bahíyyih Ford in South Africa; Claire Gung in Southern Rhodesia; and Ted Cardell in South West Africa. In the whole of Africa, 58 of the international pioneers opened new territories and were named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh [A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p3]
  • BWC; Worldwide Statistics; Ten Year Crusade; Teaching Plans; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Roll of Honour; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Works of; Endowments
    1953 14 Oct Shoghi Effendi announced the settling of 13 further Knights of Bahá’u’lláh, with 178 territories now open to the Faith. [MBW173] Worldwide Knights of Bahaullah; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1953 11 Nov Shoghi Effendi announced the settling of a further contingent of Knights of Bahá’u’lláh in 21 virgin areas, bringing the number of territories open to the Faith to 200. [MBW52–3] Worldwide Knights of Bahaullah; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1954 1 Oct Shoghi Effendi announced that there were Bahá’ís in 235 countries and territories and over 3000 centres around the world. [MBW69–70] Worldwide Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1955 20 Mar Shoghi Effendi announced the acquisition of 36,000 square metres of land for the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Holy Land. [DH175; MBW78–9]
  • The entire sum of $180,000 for the purchase was donated by Amelia Collins. [MBW79]
  • In April Shoghi Effendi reported that $50,000 had been contributed by the Hand of the Cause, Amelia Collins for the purpose of establishing Bahá'í national endowments in no less than fifty countries, situated in all five continents of the globe. [MBW81-82]
  • See the letter from the Guardian dated the 1st of October 1954 for a list of other properties/ buildings that were acquired due to the generosity of Millie Collins. [CBN No58 Nov 1954 p1; BN No 285 November 1954 p1]
  • BWC; Haifa; Worldwide Mashriqul-Adhkar, Haifa; Purchases and exchanges; Amelia Collins; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; World Centre; Endowments; Donations
    1955 Apr Shoghi Effendi announced that the Bahá’í Faith was represented in 236 countries, in 3,200 locations, by over 40 ethnic groups. Bahá’í literature was translated into 176 languages. [MBW76–8] Worldwide Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1959 Ridván The Custodians announced that the number of national and regional spiritual assemblies had risen to 31, the Faith was established in 255 countries, Bahá’ís lived in over 5,200 localities and had formed nearly 1,275 local spiritual assemblies, and Bahá’í literature had been translated into 261 languages. [MC137–8] Worldwide Custodians; Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1960 Ridván The Custodians announced that the Bahá’í Faith was represented in over 256 territories and was established in over 5,800 localities; there were 31 national spiritual assemblies and nearly 1,500 local spiritual assemblies; and Bahá’í literature is in 268 languages. [Mc183–96] Worldwide Custodians; Growth; Statistics; Ten Year Crusade
    1962 27 Dec The Custodians asked national and local spiritual assemblies to write to the Moroccan ambassador in their respective countries pleading for justice and religious freedom. [MoC398–9] Morocco; Worldwide Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; NSA; LSA
    1963 1 Jan The Custodians ask all national and local spiritual assemblies to cable the King of Morocco appealing for justice for the Bahá’ís under sentence of death and imprisoned for life in his country. [BW14:97; MoC19] Morocco; Worldwide Persecution, Morocco; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Custodians; National Spiritual Assembly; Local Spiritual Assembly
    1963 20 Apr The Ten Year Crusade was successfully completed. The achievements of the Ten Year Crusade were celebrated at the Most Great Jubilee in April and May 1963, which commemorated the Centenary of the Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission. Two historic events transpired during that time: the International Convention, convened in Haifa, Israel, to elect the first Universal House of Justice; and the World Congress held in London, England.
  • For a summary of achievements during the Crusade see BW13:459–60.
  • For countries, islands and dependencies opened to the Faith during the Crusade see BW13:461–2. (259)
    • During the Ten Year Crusade the Faith had expanded to 93 more countries and major territories. bringing the total to 259. [Patheos website]
  • For number of localities in which Bahá’ís reside in different parts of the world see BW13:462. (from 2,000 to more than 11,000)
  • For languages into which Bahá’í literature has been translated see BW13:462–4.
  • For races represented in the Bahá’í world community see BW13:464.
  • For national spiritual assemblies at the end of the plan see BW13:468–9. (from 12 to 56)
  • See The Bahá'í Faith: 1844-1963: Information Statistical and Comparative, Including the Achievements of the Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching & Consolidation Plan 1953-1963 compiled by the Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land.
  • See also Addenda to Statistical Information Published by the Hands of the Cause of God Residing in the Holy Land in Ridván 1963. This publication shows the countries and territories opened by the Faith as well as "supplementary accomplishments".
  • Worldwide; BWC; London; United Kingdom Ten Year Crusade; Most Great Jubilee; Conventions, International; Growth; Statistics; Teaching Plans; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Basic timeline; Shoghi Effendi, Works of
    1964 Ridván The Universal House of Justice released statistics on the growth and spread of the Bahá’í Faith at Ridván. [BW14:124–35]
  • Localities: 15,186
  • Local Assemblies: 4,566
  • National Assemblies: 69
  • Worldwide Statistics; Growth; Ten Year Crusade
    1967 Oct A special edition of The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh was published by the Universal House of Justice for presentation to 140 heads of state. [BW14:204–6; CB406]
  • For a picture of the book see BW14:194.
  • For pictures and descriptions of some of the rulers addressed by Bahá’u’lláh see BW14:196–203.
  • For responses from present-day leaders to the book, and pictures, see BW14:207–10.
  • BWC; Worldwide Universal House of Justice; Universal House of Justice, Basic timeline; Proclamation of Bahaullah (book); Tablets to kings and rulers; Bahaullah, Writings of; Publications; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1970 15 June Worldwide Bahá'í Statistics [CBN248,February1971p11]
         Countries opened to the Faith:
              Independent countries                134
              Significant territories and islands  179
                                      Total        373
    
         Number of localities where Bahá'ís reside   43,341
    
         Number of local spiritual assemblies        10,318
    Worldwide Statistics; Growth
    1974 21 Mar In its Naw-Rúz Message the Universal House of Justice announced that there would be eight International Teaching Conferences will be held during the middle part of the Five Year Plan; two for the Arctic, one in Anchorage and one in Helsinki during July 1976, one in Paris in August 1976, one in Nairobi in October 1976, one in Hong Kong in November 1976, one in Auckland and one in Bahia, Brazil in January 1977 and one in Mérida, Mexico in February 1977. The theme of these conferences was the urgent need for the Bahá'ís to ARISE to teach the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. (Arise-Reach-Individual-Souls-Everywhere). 14,500 Bahá'ís attended. [Naw-Rúz 1974.] Worldwide Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; Arising; UHJ
    1985 (In the year) To support the United Nations International Youth Year Bahá’í communities undertook a variety of activities. [BW19:301–10] Worldwide United Nations; International Youth Year
    1985 23 Jan The plans of the Universal House of Justice for the International Year of Peace were outlined to national spiritual assemblies. [AHW31–4; VV86; Messs63-86p420] Worldwide International Year of Peace; Universal House of Justice; Peace
    1985 24 Oct On the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations and in anticipation of the United Nations International Year of Peace, the Universal House of Justice addressed a message "To the Peoples of the World" inviting them to consider that a new social order can be fostered by all peoples’ seeing themselves as members of one universal family. This message, The Promise of World Peace was presented to world leaders and countless others during the United Nations International Year of Peace. [BBD174, 187–8; BW19:139, 155; VV59, 86–8, The Promise of World Peace]
  • See BW20p131 for the logistics involved in distributing it throughout the world.
  • Within six months national spiritual assemblies present copies to 167 world leaders, including 140 to leaders of independent countries. [BW19:139, 334–6]
  • For pictures see BW19:337–44.
  • For text see BW19:324–33.
  • BWC; Worldwide United Nations; Universal House of Justice; Universal House of Justice, Basic timeline; Promise of World Peace (statement); Statements; Publications; Peace; World peace (general); - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; Bahai International Community
    1989 Apr Nearly one half million new believers were enrolled since last Ridván. [AWH60] Worldwide Statistics; Growth
    1990 Ridván In its Ridván message the Universal House of Justice announced that in the previous two years almost two million people have become Bahá'ís. [AWH79] Worldwide Statistics; Growth
    1991 Ridván Number of National Assemblies - 155

    Number of Local Assemblies - more than 17,000

    Number of nationalities and tribes represented is estimated at 2,112 [B'91pg54 note 2]

    Number of localities - over 108,000. [CoB375]

    Number of languages - over 800 [B'91pg3]

    Worldwide Statistics; Growth
    1991 Ridván The Universal House of Justice announced that the law of Huqúqu'lláh would become universally applicable at Ridván 1992. [AWH91–2, 174, Ridván 1991] Worldwide Huququllah; Gradual implementation of laws
    1992 Ridván The announcement by the Universal House of Justice that the Law of Ḥuqúqu’lláh was to be in effect for the members of the entire world community. Prior to this time, it was only binding on the Eastern believers, regardless of where they lived. [Ridván Message, AWH106, 175, BW92–3:28, CBN Jan91 p2] BWC; Worldwide; Haifa Huququllah, Basic timeline; Huququllah; Gradual implementation of laws; Laws; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book); - Basic timeline, Expanded
    1997 Ridván The Universal House of Justice restricted the formation of Local Spiritual Assemblies to the first day of Riḍván. This measure had the effect anticipated; there was a decrease in the number of these institutions but the fall was not drastic. [Message from the Universal House of Justice Ridván 2000]

    Worldwide Ridvan; Elections; Administration; Local Spiritual Assemblies; LSA; Growth; Statistics; Bahai Faith, Evolutionary nature of; Maturity
    2006 16 Jun The Bahá'í International Community's Office of Public Information announced the launch of a new website called "Bahá'í Media Bank,". The site contained more than 2,500 high-quality photographs on Bahá'í-related themes and the plan was to eventually include video and audio material. [BWNS455]
  • In September 2017, after nearly 11 years, the site was given an upgrade in time for the historic 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh. [BWNS1200]
  • BWC; Worldwide Bahai.org; Bahai Media Bank; Websites; Visuals; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens; All subjects; Bahai International Community
    2009 1 Mar The purpose of the Regional Conferences was to celebrate achievements during the first half of the Five Year Plan and to deliberate on the next phase. An estimated total of 77,700 people participated in the series, which began 1 November and continued for 18 consecutive weeks, spanning the globe and attracting Baha’is from the largest Western cities to the smallest villages in South Sea islands. Reports from the 41 Regional Conferences can be found at Conference Reports. Worldwide Regional Conferences; BWNS
    2013 14 May The Bahá'í International Community launched the Five Years Too Many campaign to protest the 20-year prison sentences given to the Bahá'í leaders in Iran, the longest sentence given to prisoners of conscience under the current regime. The harshness of the sentences reflected the Government’s resolve to completely oppress the Iranian Bahá'í community, which faced a systematic, “cradle-to-grave” persecution that was among the most serious examples of state-sponsored religious persecution in the world. [Five Years Too Many, BWNS954] Tihran; Iran; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community; BWNS; BIC statements
    2013 Jul – Oct The holding of 114 Youth Conferences around the world at the request of the Universal House of Justice. The purpose of the gatherings were to explore such themes as the characteristics inherent to the period of youth, the historical contribution of young people to the transformation of society, the responsibilities of the present generation of youth, the society-building power of the Bahá'í Teachings, and the importance of faith and tenacity to a life of service. [List of places and dates for Youth Conferences]
  • See The Five Year Plan 2011-2016: Summary of Achievements and Learning pg46-43.
  • Worldwide Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Conferences, International; Youth; BWNS
    2015 14 May A global campaign called "Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years in Prison for the Seven Bahá'í Leaders" to call attention to the long and unjust imprisonment of seven Iranian Bahá'í leaders was launched on the seventh anniversary of their arrest. Each day of the week-long campaign, starting 14 May 2015, was dedicated to one member of the seven: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm. [7 Days] Tihran; Iran; New York; United States; Worldwide Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Bahai International Community
    2017 20 - 22 Oct Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh

    From the time of the setting of the sun on October 21st in Kiribati, an island republic in the Central Pacific just west of the International Date Line, until sunset in Hawaii on the 22nd of October, 72 hours later, celebrations were held in thousands of localities throughout the world commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh.

    Coverage on the bicentenary website began soon after 8:00 GMT on 20 October and concluded at 4:00 GMT on 23 October documenting some of the thousands of celebrations. [BWNS1201, BWNS1203, BWNS1205, BWNS1206, BWNS1207, BWNS1208, BWNS1209, BWNS1210, BWNS1211, BWNS1221, BWNS1213, BWNS1214, BWNS1216, BWNS1218]

  • A number of countries issue commemorative stamps to mark the occasion of the bicentenary of Bahá'u'lláh's birth.
  • Worldwide Bahaullah, Birth of; Twin Holy days; Holy days; Centenaries; Websites; Internet; Publications; Stamps; BWNS; - Basic timeline, Expanded
    2018 18 Feb In an open letter, twenty-five prominent international lawyers and human right activists appealed to Mohammad Javad Larijani, the Secretary-General of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran, to take steps to end the persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran. In the letter they made reference to the new website, "Archives of the Bahá'í Persecution in Iran", stating that it “vividly demonstrates the depth and breadth of unjust, relentless, and systematic oppression against a religious minority”. [BICNews10Feb2018] Iran; Worldwide Human Rights; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Open letters; Websites; Internet; Publications

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Computers in the Bahá'í Community through Ridván 1992, by Bryn Deamer and Steven Kolins, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 20 (1986-1992) (1992). Historical overview of the use of computers in the Bahá'í Faith. [about]
    2. For the Betterment of the World: The Worldwide Bahá'í Community's Approach to Social and Economic Development, by Office of Social and Economic Development (2018). Essays, photographs, and overviews of local projects around the world, illustrating how Bahá'í principles are being carried out in practice, prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development of the Bahá'í International Community. [about]
    3. List and Map of 114 Youth Conferences in 2013, by Bahá'í World News Service (2013). List of pages at bahai.org (offsite) with reports, descriptions, and videos of youth events across the globe. The accompanying map gives an impression of the spread of the worldwide Bahá'í community. [about]
    4. Localities where Bahá'ís live (world, 1956): simplified map, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954) (1956). [about]
    5. Localities where Bahá'ís live (world, 1963): The Bahá'í World Community, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 13 (1954-1963) (1970). [about]
     
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