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Search for tag "Recognition (legal)"

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1907 19 Jul The Chicago `Bahai Assembly' filed an affidavit of incorporation, the first Bahá'í community to acquire legal status. [BFA2:278]
  • The incorporation is in the name of the community rather than the governing body. [BFA2:278–9]
  • Chicago; United States Spiritual Assemblies; Local Spiritual Assembly; Incorporation; Recognition (legal); Firsts, Other
    1925 10 May A Muslim Court in Egypt pronounced the Faith to be an independent religion. [BBRSM173; BW2:31;BW3:49]
  • For text of the judgement see BW3:48–50.
  • This was ‘the first charter of liberty emancipating the Bahá’í Faith from the fetters of orthodox Islam’. [BA100-1, 120-123; BW3:110–11; GPBXII, 302, 365; CB306; PP319–20; UD65 WOB99, LoF57, SETPE1p102-104]

    "an attack which, viewed in the perspective of history, will be acclaimed by future generations as a landmark not only in the Formative Period of the Faith but in the history of the first Bahá'í century. Indeed, the sequel to this assault may be said to have opened a new chapter in the evolution of the Faith itself, an evolution which, carrying it through the successive stages of repression, of emancipation, of recognition as an independent Revelation, and as a state religion, must lead to the establishment of the Bahá'í state and culminate in the emergence of the Bahá'í World Commonwealth. [GPB364]

  • Subsequent to the court's decision...

    "the presentation of a petition addressed by the national elected representatives of that community to the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice (supported by a similar communication addressed by the American National Spiritual Assembly to the Egyptian Government, see BW4p166), enclosing a copy of the judgment of the Court, and of their national Bahá'í constitution and by-laws, requesting them to recognize their Assembly as a body qualified to exercise the functions of an independent court and empowered to apply, in all matters affecting their personal status, the laws and ordinances revealed by the Author of their Faith--these stand out as the initial consequences of a historic pronouncement that must eventually lead to the establishment of that Faith on a basis of absolute equality with its sister religions in that land." [GPB367]

    "it became a lever which the Egyptian Bahá'í community, followed later by its sister-communities, readily utilized for the purpose of asserting the independence of its Faith and of seeking for it the recognition of its government. Translated into several languages, circulated among Bahá'í communities in East and West, it gradually paved the way for the initiation of negotiations between the elected representatives of these communities and the civil authorities in Egypt, in the Holy Land, in Persia and even in the United States of America, for the purpose of securing the official recognition by these authorities of the Faith as an independent religion. " [GPB366]

    Background Information

    "It was in the village of Kawmu's-Sa`áyidih, in the district of Beba, of the province of Beni Suef in Upper Egypt, that, as a result of the religious fanaticism which the formation of a Bahá'í assembly had kindled in the breast of the headman of that village, and of the grave accusations made by him to both the District Police Officer and the Governor of the province--accusations which aroused the Muhammadans to such a pitch of excitement as to cause them to perpetrate shameful acts against their victims--that action was initiated by the notary of the village, in his capacity as a religious plaintiff authorized by the Ministry of Justice, against three Bahá'í residents of that village, demanding that their Muslim wives be divorced from them on the grounds that their husbands had abandoned Islám after their legal marriage as Muslims." [GPB364-365]

  • See message from the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá'ís of Egypt dated 21 December 2006.
  • Kawmus-Saayidih; Beba; Beni Suef; Egypt Recognition (legal); Islam; Interfaith dialogue; Persecution, Egypt; Persecution, Other; Persecution
    1927 May The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada drew up and published a ‘Declaration of Trust’ and ‘By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly’. [BW2:89, BW10:180]
  • For text see BW2:90–8.
  • The Guardian described it as the Bahá’í ‘national constitution’ heralding ‘the formation of the constitution of the future Bahá’í World Community’. [GPB335; PP302–3]
  • The drafting was largely the work of Horace Holley with assistance from the lawyer Mountfort Mills. [SBR234]
  • In subsequent years the National Assemblies of India and Burma, of Egypt, Iraq, Persian and the British Isles all adopted this example almost verbatim. [UD101, BA134-5, SETPE1p145-6]
  • United States; Canada National Spiritual Assembly; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions (Bahai); By-laws; Recognition (legal); Firsts, Other
    1929 4 May When the British Mandate in Palestine had been set up, an Order-in-Council had been enacted that allowed each of the recognized religious communities to be administered in all affairs of personal status according to their own religious laws and courts. The Bahá'í community had not, however, been accorded this "recognized" status and was thus compelled to submit to the Muslim Courts. In 1929 Shoghi Effendi asked Mountfort Mills to raise the matter with the authorities and the Bahá’í Community of Haifa formally petitioned the government that the Bahá’í laws on personal status be recognized in Palestine. [BBR459; PP284]
  • Recognition was granted later in the year. [BBR459; DH116; PP284]
  • Haifa; Palestine Recognition (legal)
    1932 17 Feb The Chicago Bahá’í Assembly incorporated, the first local spiritual assembly in the world to do so. This set the pattern for other Assemblies. [GPB336, Century of LIght p57] Chicago; United States Local Spiritual Assembly; Incorporation; Recognition (legal); Firsts, Other
    1933 Jan The National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma incorporated in Lahore, in the state of Punjab under the provisions of the Societies Registration Act of 1960. [GPB336] India; Lahore; Punjab; Pakistan; Myanmar (Burma) Recognition (legal)
    1934 10 May Bahá’í properties on Mount Carmel were granted tax exemption. [GBF122; PP269, 285-286; BN No 84 June 1934 p14]
  • Shoghi Effendi stated that this was tantamount to securing indirect recognition of the Faith. [GBF122; PP269]
  • BWC; Mount Carmel; Haifa; Israel Tax exemption; Recognition (legal); Mount Carmel; - Bahai World Centre buildings, monuments and gardens
    1938 Jan The National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand incorporated. [GPB336] Australia; New Zealand National Spiritual Assembly of Australia; National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand; National Spiritual Assembly, incorporation; Incorporation; Recognition (legal)
    1939 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the British Isles incorporated after a long and difficult struggle. [BW8:161–2; UD127] United Kingdom National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom; National Spiritual Assembly, incorporation; Recognition (legal)
    1939 Aug The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles incorporated as an unlimited non-profit company under the Companies Act of 1929. GPB336 United Kingdom National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom; Incorporation; National Spiritual Assembly, recognition; Recognition (legal)
    1939 22 Sep The State of Illinois issued the first Bahá’í marriage licence, authorizing the Spiritual Assembly of Chicago to solemnize Bahá’í marriages and issue Bahá’í marriage certificates. [GPB373] Illinois; United States Marriage; Weddings; Recognition (legal); Firsts, Other
    1940 (In the year) The Canadian Department of National Defence exempted Bahá’ís from combatant military duty. Canada Exemption; Recognition (legal); Armed forces; Military
    1946 5 Aug The Bahá’í Faith was registered as a cultural, religious and social organization in Haiti. Haiti Recognition (legal)
    1948 20 Mar The marriage of Gladys Andersen to Ben Weeden took place in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Spiritual Assembly of Amman. They made efforts to have their marriage recognized at the American Consulate and at the offices of the British Mandate but were unable to do so considering the shifting situation. After the end of the British Mandate they took the matter up with the new state of Israel and it was handled expeditiously thus obtaining full recognition of the Faith and its right to perform marriages. [SETPE1p341] Israel; Amman; Jordan Weddings; Recognition (legal)
    1949 30 Apr An Act to incorporate the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada was passed. The act established the name, named the officers as directors, stated the location of the headquarters, defined the objectives, gave it the right to manage the affairs of the Bahá'ís, to make by-laws and to hold property. It was used as a model for registration/incorporation in other states.

  • The pdf for the Act can be found here.
  • The National Spiritual Assembly members at that time were John Aldham Robarts, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, manager; Emeric Sala, of the city of St. Lambert, province of Quebec, manufacturer; Dame Laura Romney Davis, wife of Victor Davis of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario; Siegfried Schopflocher, of the city of Montreal, province of Quebec, manufacturer; Rowland Ardouin Estall, of the city of Montreal, province of Quebec, insurance broker; Ross Greig Woodman, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, lecturer; Lloyd George Gardner, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario, wholesaler; and Dame Doris Cecilia Richardson, wife of J. P. Richardson, of the city of Toronto, province of Ontario; and Dame Rosemary Scott Sala, wife of the said Emeric Sala, of the city of St. Lambert, province Corporate of Quebec.
  • See Shoghi Effendi's letter of 19 June, 1949 for his comments.
  • Canada National Spiritual Assembly, Incorporation; National Spiritual Assembly; Firsts, Other; Recognition (legal)
    1950 (In the year) The Court of the First Instance in Karkúk, Iraq, registered a Bahá’í marriage certificate. [MBW4; UD248]
  • This was the first time in the East, outside Israel, that a Bahá’í marriage was recognized as being legal, an important precedent for other Oriental countries. [MBW4; UD248]
  • Karkuk; Iraq Firsts, Other; Marriage; Weddings; Recognition (legal)
    1953 13 Dec A separate department for the Bahá’í Faith was established by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs. [GBF137; PP 291; PP320] Israel; BWC Recognition (legal)
    1958. 21 Jun The South Australian Government Gazette announced that Mr. Harold Collis Featherstone had been registered as an officiating registrar under the Marriage Act, 1936-1937. This meant that local spiritual assemblies in South Australia could now conduct marriages in conjunction with the Officiating Registrar. [BN No 333 November 1958 p8] Australia Recognition (legal)
    1960 1 Jul Ben and Louise Whitecow (early Peigan believers) married in Calgary, Alberta, were the first Bahá’ís in Canada to have a legally recognized Bahá’í marriage. [BW13:687] Calgary; Alberta; Canada Weddings; Marriage; Recognition (legal); Firsts, Other
    1963 18 Jan First Bahá'í marriage in Taiwan was between Miss Yeh Chan-ching and Mr Yang Su-thou. Official government recognition of the Bahá'í marriage was obtained in 1973. [The Taiwan Bahá'í Chronicle by Barbara R. Sims p37] Taiwan Weddings; Firsts, Other; Recognition (legal) find reference
    1964 19 Sep Prince Sihanouk Norodom, Head of State, and Prince Kantol Norodom, Prime Minister, signed a decree authorizing the exercise of the Bahá’í Faith in Cambodia and recognizing the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa. Cambodia Recognition (legal)
    1966 19 May The first legally recognized Bahá’í wedding in Europe took place in Finland. [BW14:154] Finland; Europe Weddings; Firsts, Other; Recognition (legal)
    1966. 29 Sep The Bahá'í Faith was officially recognized as a religious organization by the Icelandic government which gave it the right to legally perform marriages and other ceremonies as well as entitled it to a share of the church tax in proportion to its number of adult members. [Wikipedia]
  • The first marriage ceremony was performed in Árbæjarkirkja in a church belonging to the Lutheran Church of Iceland. The choice of the location for the marriage caused some controversy among church leaders. [Wikipedia]
  • Iceland Recognition (legal); Weddings
    1969 Aug The Bahá’í Faith was legally recognized in Lebanon when the Local Spiritual Assembly of Beirut was incorporated. [BW15:173]
  • This was the first time any Arab government has granted the Faith recognition. [BW15:173]
  • Beirut; Lebanon Local Spiritual Assembly; Recognition (legal)
    1970. 8 Dec The government of Taiwan granted Certificate of Registration to register the Bahá'í Faith as a religion. Taiwan Recognition (legal) find reference
    1971 11 Feb The Montreal Municipality issued a permit recognizing the Maxwell home as a Bahá'í Shrine after nine years of negotiations and delays. With this struggle came a hidden blessing. For years the Shrine had been used as a Bahá'í Centre by the Montreal community, open also to friends of the area as a place to hold public meetings, open Feasts, and certain activities not always suited to it as a Shrine. The realization was made that it was a National Bahá'í Shrine and as such should not be used as a centre. [CBNApril1971p10]

    Bahai.ca: Bahá’í Shrine in Montréal

    Montreal; Quebec; Canada Montreal Shrine; Recognition (legal)
    1971 13 Feb Following the ban imposed by the government of the Central African Republic on Bahá’í activities in November 1970 and subsequent representations made by the international Bahá’í lawyer Dr Aziz Navidi, the ban was lifted and the Bahá’í Faith officially recognized.
  • This was broadcast in every news bulletin on government radio for the next 24 hours, the first public proclamation of the Bahá’í Faith in the country.
  • See also A Brief Account of the Progress of the Bahá'í Faith in Africa Since 1953 by Nancy Oloro-Robarts and Selam Ahderom p8].
  • Central African Republic Persecution, Central African Republic; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Firsts, Other; Recognition (legal)
    1973 Jan The Bahá’ís of The Gambia were granted freedom of worship by the Secretary-General of the Gambian government. [BW15:193] Gambia, The Recognition (legal)
    1973 7 Apr Following the return to stability in Burundi, the Bahá’í Faith was granted formal recognition by the government. [BW16:137] Burundi Recognition (legal)
    1975 31 Oct The Secretary of Religious Affairs in the President’s Office of Uganda informed the Bahá’ís that the Bahá’í Faith was not among those religions prohibited to practise in the country. [BW16:147] Uganda Recognition (legal)
    1978 23 May The House of Worship in Wilmette was included in the register of historic places in the United States. [BW17:166, 375]
  • For picture see BW17:165.
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Recognition (legal)
    1981 Apr In Pakistan a constitutional amendment named the Bahá’í Faith among the non-Muslim faiths of the country, thus according it legal recognition. [BW18:107; VV67] Pakistan Constitutions (general); Recognition (legal)
    1987 Ridván The National Convention of Turkey was held for the first time with the official permission of the Turkish government. Turkey Conventions, National; First conventions; Recognition (legal)
    1988 (In the year) The government of Niger authorized the resumption of Bahá’í activities and Bahá’í administration under an administrative committee. Niger Recognition (legal)
    1991 Feb The Faith became officially recognized as a "religious association" in Romania. [CBNJun91pg12] Romania Recognition (legal)
    1991. 5 Feb The highest legal authority in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court, overturned the decisions of a number of lower courts that had refused to register the by-laws of a Local Spiritual Assembly on the grounds that the authority granted to the National Spiritual Assembly in the document violated the legal principle requiring the autonomy of all legally incorporated associations.
  • The case was first brought before the District Court of Tübingen when the legal administrator refused to register the Local Assembly on the 8th of December, 1983. The decision was appealed on the 5th of May 1985 to the High State Court in Sturrgart and rejected on the 27th of January 1986. News of the decision caused other jurisdictions to demand that local assemblies amend their By-Laws or face cancellation of their existing incorporation. The National Spiritual Assembly was in danger of the same fate. An appeal was submitted in March of 1986.
  • The ruling affirmed Bahá'í community, by its right as a recognized religion, recognized by public knowledge and by the testimony of scholars of comparative religion, had the right to a legal identity. [AWH87]
  • See Ridván Message 1991.
  • For complete details of the case see Mess86-01p206-235.
  • Tubingen; Germany Local Spiritual Assembly; National Spiritual Assembly; By-laws; Recognition (legal)
    1991 Dec 31 The National Spiritual Assembly of Niger was given permission by the Ministry of the Interior to engage in Bahá'í activities. [BINS261:6] Niger Recognition (legal)
    1992 Apr 27 After a ten-year struggle, the Faith's legal Chinese name in Taiwan was changed from ‘Ta Tong Giao' (Religion of Great Harmony), used for 70 years, to the ‘Bahá'í Faith'. [BINS271:6] Taiwan Recognition (legal)
    1993 26 Aug The Hungarian Bahá’í Community was registered by the Budapest Court. [www.bahai.hu] Budapest; Hungary Recognition (legal)
    1993 26 Nov The National Spiritual Assembly of the Marshall Islands signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Majuro local government in which the operation of administration of five elementary schools was legally handed over to the National Spiritual Assembly.
  • President Amata Kabua was the first head of state to respond to the Peace Statement of the Universal House of Justice. [BINS307:4–5; BW93–4:101, CBN Vol 7 no 1 May/June 1994 p29]
  • Marshall Islands Education; Promise of World Peace (statement); Recognition (legal)
    2004 (In the year) The General Register Office in Northern Ireland officially recognised the Bahá'í Faith as a legitimate religion with authority to marry its members. Dr. Beman Khosravi has been appointed as official Bahá'í Marriage Officer. The first marriage took place in Cullybackey between Carmen Zambrana Candel and John Twiname. [The Belfast Telegraph 28 April, 2004] Northern Ireland Marriage; Recognition (legal)
    2007 19 Apr The government of Slovakia officially registered the Bahá'í Faith as a religious community, guaranteeing the group the right to own property, observe holy days, disseminate literature and engage in a host of other activities. [BWNS531] Slovakia Recognition (legal); BWNS
    2008. 14 Jul The Bahá'í Community of Vietnam was signed by the Government Committee for Religious Affairs to recognize the organization. [Bahá'í Religion in Community Education in Vietnam by Vu Van Chung]
  • The Bahá'í Faith was established in the country in 1954, and the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Vietnam was elected 10 years later. In the mid-1970s, formal activities of the community were suspended. [BWNS647]
  • Vietnam Recognition (legal); BWNS National Spiritual Assembly, recognition

    from the chronology of Canada

    date event locations tags see also
    1927 May The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada drew up and published a ‘Declaration of Trust’ and ‘By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly’. [BW2:89, BW10:180]
  • For text see BW2:90–8.
  • The Guardian described it as the Bahá’í ‘national constitution’ heralding ‘the formation of the constitution of the future Bahá’í World Community’. [GPB335; PP302–3]
  • The drafting was largely the work of Horace Holley with assistance from the lawyer Mountfort Mills. [SBR234]
  • In subsequent years the National Assemblies of India and Burma, of Egypt, Iraq, Persian and the British Isles all adopted this example almost verbatim. [UD101, BA134-5, SETPE1p145-6]
  • Montreal, QC National Spiritual Assembly; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions (Bahai); By-laws; Recognition (legal)
    1940 (In the year) The Canadian Department of National Defence exempted Bahá’ís from combatant military duty. Exemption; Recognition (legal); Military
    1958 (In the year) The Bahá’í marriage ceremony was first legally recognized in Ontario. [MoC208 note 9] Ontario Weddings; Recognition (legal)
    1958. 16 Dec The government of British Columbia issued the first certificate of Registration under the Marriage Act which certified that the Chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly was legally authorized to solemnize marriage. [CBN No 109 February 1959 p4] Victoria, BC Weddings; Recognition (legal)
    1960 1 Jul Ben Whitecow and Louise Many Guns were married in the first Bahá'í marriage legally recognized in Canada in a Bahá'í service by the Spiritual Assembly of Calgary, Alberta. The Canadian Bahá'í News article noted the significance that it was a First Nations couple who had this honour in this unique event. “Thirty people attended from Edmonton, Lethbridge, Regina, Piikani First Nation (Peigan Reserve), AB, and Calgary. This event was unique in that it was the first legally recognized Baha’i marriage in Canada. It is significant that a First Nations couple should have this honour [Canadian Baha’i News 1961]. Calgary, AB Ben Whitecow; Louise Whitecow; Louise Many Guns; Weddings; Recognition (legal); Native Americans; First Nations
    1961 Sep It was reported in the Canadian Bahá'í News that the National Assembly had made application to the Department of National Defence for recognition of the Bahá'í Faith on the list of religious denominations of the Armed Services. They received word that the Faith was so listed with the authorized abbreviation of "BWF" and that this will be used to designate those who wish to be so identified. [CBN No 140 September 1961 p6] Armed Forces; Military; Recognition (legal)
    1964. (In the year) The Yukon Territorial Government granted the right to perform legally recognized marriages to the Whitehorse local assembly. [Native Conversion, Native Identity: An Oral History of the Bahá'í Faith among First Nations People in the Southern Central Yukon Territory, Canada by Carolyn Patterson Sawin p98] Whitehorse, YT Weddings; Recognition (legal)
    1971 11 Feb Montreal Municipality issued a permit recognizing the Maxwell home as a Bahá'í Shrine after nine years of negotiations and delays. With this struggle came a hidden blessing. For years the Shrine had been used as a Bahá'í Centre by the Montreal community, open also to friends of the area as a place to hold public meetings, open Feasts, and certain activities not always suited to it as a Shrine. The realization was made that it was a National Bahá'í Shrine and as such should not be used as a centre. [CBNApril1971p10] Montreal, QC Montreal Shrine; Recognition (legal)

    from the main catalogue

    1. Bahá'í World, The: Volume 18 (1979-1983), in Bahá'í World (1986). Periodic volumes that survey the global activities and major achievements of the Faith. [about]
    2. Deriding Revealed Religions?: Bahá'ís in Egypt, by Johanna Pink, in ISIM Newsletter (2002 October). Shift in Egyptian public perception of the Bahá'í Faith from an Islamic reform movement to an independent religion. [about]
    3. God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi (1971 [1944]). The classic — and canonical — historical summary and interpretation of the significance of the development of the Bábí and Baháʼí religions from 1844 to 1944. [about]
    4. Orden PCM/1065/2023, de 18 de septiembre, por la que se declara el notorio arraigo de la Comunidad Bahá'í de España, a los efectos previstos en la Ley Orgánica 7/1980, de 5 de julio, de Libertad Religiosa, by Ministerio de la Presidencia, relaciones con las cortes y memoria democratica, in Boletín Oficial del Estado, 230 (2023-09-26). La Comunidad Bahá'í de España solicitó una "declaración de raíces notorias". La Subdirección General de Libertad Religiosa examinó la documentación, concluyendo que los bahá'ís reúnen todos los requisitos necesarios para obtener la declaración. [about]
    5. Politics of Recognition, Society, and Law, The: The Role of Muslim Society and the Kubu Raya Local Government in the Struggle of the Bahá'ís, by Ali Akhbar Abaib Mas Rabbani Lubis and Sulaiman, in Millah: Journal of Religious Studies, 21:3 (2022-11). The experience of Bahá'ís in Indonesia, specifically the region of Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan, where they face rejection in society and restrictions on civil rights; relationships between the Baha’is and the majority Muslim community and local government. [about]
    6. Recognition of Bahá'í Marriage and Holidays in American State Law (1998). List of sample legal statutes and proceedings from various states, followed by specific legal counsel of the State of Oklahoma regarding recognition of Bahá'í holy days. [about]
    7. Reflections on the First Century of the Formative Age, by Universal House of Justice (2023-11-28). Overview of the Faith's developments and activities during the previous century, including the Guardianship, global expansion, community building and development, participation in societal discourse, and construction of the Bahá'í World Centre. [about]
     
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