In the section titled Circumstance. Events that matter
Baha'is Report Increased Assemblies Doubling of Membership in the U.S.THE BAHA'I FAITH has more than doubled its membership in the United States and has increased its local assemblies during the past year, according to a report on the 62nd Annual National Baha'i Convention held in Wilmette, Illinois, April 29-May 2. Membership statistics show that over 20,000 new believers, mostly blacks, have been recruited in the south, in addition to hundreds of Spanish- speaking people and scores of American Indians. The number of local Baha'i assemblies is also reported to have increased - from 517 last year to 839 this year - and Baha'i clubs are now active at 230 colleges. The Baha'i faith, which has no clergy, was founded in Persia in 1844 by Mirzá 'Ali Muhammad, called the Báb. His successor, the prophet Bahá'u'lláh, proclaimed himself the Bearer of God's Word and preached the oneness of God, the oneness of mankind and the fundamental unity of all religions. Since the death in 1921 of Abdu'lBaha - son of and successor to Bahá'u'lláh - the faith has grown from a few hundred centres in 35 countries to more than 46,000 centres in 317 countries, territories and islands.