Bahá'í Faith by continent
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The Bahá'í Faith is a diverse and widespread religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in the 19th century in Iran. Bahá'í sources usually estimate the worldwide Bahá'í population to be above 5 million. Most encyclopedias and similar sources estimate between 5 and 6 million Bahá'ís in the world in the early 21st century. In 1946, a great pioneer movement began with, for example, sixty percent of the British Bahá'í community eventually relocating. See also the Ten Year Crusade. The religion is almost entirely contained in a single, organized, hierarchical community, but the Bahá'í population is spread out into almost every country and ethnicity in the world, being recognized as the second-most geographically widespread religion after Christianity. See Bahá'í statistics. The only countries with no Bahá'ís documented as of 2008 are Vatican City and North Korea. In July 1989 the religion entered Mongolia. There is also no permanent Bahá'í population in Israel, as per religious instruction.
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|Year||Number of NSAs|
Below are dates of the establishment and recognition of National Spiritual Assemblies (NSA) from the Bahá'í point of view. Other than in predominantly Muslim counties, countries where there are no NSAs include where most any religious institution is illegal such as in North Korea. In 2008 there were 184 National Spiritual Assemblies and in 2006, there are 192 United Nations member states. Most of the below list comes from The Bahá'í Faith: 1844–1963.
1923: British Isles, Germany, India
1925: United States of America and Canada
1934: Australia and New Zealand, Persia
1953: Italy and Switzerland
1956: Central & East Africa, North West Africa, South & West Africa
1957: Alaska; Arabia; New Zealand; North East Asia (Japan), Pakistan, South East Asia; Mexico and the Republics of Central America; The Greater Antilles; The Republics of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela; The Republics of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay & Bolivia; Scandinavia and Finland; the Benelux Countries; The Iberian Peninsula.
1959: Austria, Burma, South Pacific, Turkey,
1961: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina.
1962: Belgium, Ceylon, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Switzerland
1964 Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
1967 Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Laos, Belize, Sikkim
1969 Papua New Guinea
1974 Hong Kong, South East Arabia
1978 Burundi, Mauritania, the Bahamas, Oman, Qatar, the Mariana Islands, Cyprus
1981 Namibia, and Bophuthatswana; the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands, and Bermuda; Tuvalu. re-formation in Uganda
1984: Cape Verde Islands, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, French Guiana, Grenada, Martinique, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Yemen, Canary Islands
1991 Czechoslovakia, Romania & Soviet Union
1992: Greenland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Bielarus & Moldavia; Russia, Georgia & Armenia; Central Asia, Bulgaria, Baltic States, Albania, Poland, Hungary, Niger (re-elected) (as many new NSAs came into existence in this one year as all the NSAs that existed in 1953.)
1994: Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Slovenia & Croatia,
1995: Eritrea, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Sicily.
1996: Sao Tome & Principe, Moldova, Nigeria
1999: Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia
2004: Iraq reformed
2008: Vietnam reformed
Central America 
The first Bahá'í to visit Barbados was Leonora Armstrong in 1927 while pioneers who moved to the island arrived by 1964.Since then Bahá'ís have participated in several projects for the benefit of the wider community and in 2001 various sources report up to 1.2% of the island, about 3,500 citizens are Bahá'ís though Bahá'í and government census data report far lower numbers.
Costa Rica 
The first pioneers began to settle in Coast Rica in 1940. followed quickly by the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly being elected in San José in April 1941. The National Spiritual Assembly was first elected in 1961. Bahá'ís sources as of 2009 the national community includes various peoples and tribes of over 4,000 members organized in groups in over 30 locations throughout the country. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying mostly on the World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 13000 Bahá'ís in 2005.
The island of Dominica was specifically listed as an objective for plans on spreading the religion in 1939 Shoghi Effendi, who succeeded `Abdu'l-Baha as head of the religion. Since then Bahá'ís have participated in several projects for the benefit of the wider community and in 2001 various sources report between less than 1.4% up to 1.7% of the island's about 70,000 citizens are Bahá'ís.
The first Bahá'í to visit Haiti was Leonora Armstrong in 1927. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying mostly on the World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 23000 Bahá'ís in Haiti in 2005.
The community of the Bahá'ís begins in 1942 with the arrival of Dr. Malcolm King. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 5137 Bahá'ís in 2005.
The same year as the release of the Tablets of the Divine Plan in 1919 Martha Root's made a trip around South America and included Panama on the return leg of the trip up the west coast. The Association of Religion Data Archives estimated there were some 41000 Bahá'ís in 2005 and the largest religious minority in the country.
North America 
United States 
The Canadian Bahá'í Community, according to its official website consists of some 30,000 members across approximately 1200 communities throughout the 13 Canadian Provinces and Territories.
The Bahá'í Faith in Mexico begins with visits of Bahá'ís before 1916. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated almost 38,000 Bahá'ís in 2005.
South America 
The Bahá'í Faith was introduced into South America in 1919 when Martha Root made an extended trip to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. She introduced the Bahá'í Faith to Esperantists and Theosophical groups and visited local newspapers to ask them to publish articles about the Bahá'í Faith. The first Bahá'í permanently resident in South America was Leonora Holstaple Armstrong, who arrived in Brazil in 1921. The first Seven Year Plan (1937–44), an international plan organized by the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, gave the American Bahá'ís the goal of establishing the Bahá'í Faith in every country in Latin America (that is, settling at least one Bahá'í or converting at least one native). In 1950, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South America was first elected, and then in 1957 this Assembly was split into two – basically northern/eastern South America with the Republics of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, in Lima, Peru and one of the western/southern South America with the Republics of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1963, most countries in South America had their own National Spiritual Assembly.
The Bahá'í Faith originated in Asia, in Iran (Persia), and spread from there to the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, India, and Burma during the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh. Since the middle of the 20th century, growth has particularly occurred in other Asian countries, because the Bahá'í Faith's activities in many Muslim countries has been severely suppressed by authorities. Comparatively mild troubles exist in other countries like Pakistan, Iraq, and Indonesia, where the Bahá'í Faith is legal and only somewhat restricted.
African Bahá'í Community statistics are also hard to come by. However, Africans have a long history with the Bahá'í Faith; several of the earliest followers of both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were reportedly African. From 1924 to 1960 the religion was declared one of the legally sanctioned faiths in Egypt, but has since then been subject to restrictions and outright persecution by authorities and others.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's first European trip spanned from August to December 1911, at which time he returned to Egypt. During his first European trip he visitedLake Geneva on the border of France and Switzerland, Great Britain and Paris, France. The purpose of these trips was to support the Bahá'í communities in the West and to further spread his father's teachings, after sending representatives and a letter to the First Universal Races Congress in July.
His first touch on European soil was in Marseille, France. `Abdu'l-Bahá stayed in France for a few days before going to Vevey in Switzerland. While in Thonon-les-Bains, `Abdu'l-Bahá met Mass'oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan, who had asked to meet `Abdu'l-Bahá. Soltan, who had ordered the execution of King and Beloved of martyrs, was the eldest grandson of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar who had ordered the Execution of the Báb himself. Juliet Thompson, an American Bahá'í who had also come to visit `Abdu'l-Bahá while still in this early phase of his journeys, recorded comments of Dreyfus who heard Soltan's stammering apology for past wrongs. `Abdu'l-Bahá embraced him and invited his sons to lunch. Thus Bahram Mírzá Sardar Mass'oud and Akbar Mass’oud, another grandson of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, met with the Bahá'ís, and apparently Akbar Mass’oud was greatly affected by meeting `Abdu'l-Bahá. From then he went to Great Britain.
During his travels, he visited England in the autumn of 1911. On September 10 he made his first public appearance before an audience at the City Temple, London, with the English translation spoken by Wellesley Tudor Pole.
The Bahá'í Faith in Australia has a long history beginning with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, in 1916 following which United Kingdom/American emigrants John and Clara Dunn came to Australia in 1920. The community was counted by census in 2001 to be about 11,000 individuals and includes some well-known people (see – Bahá'í Faith in Australia – National exposure.)
The only substantial non-Christian population is of the Bahá'í Faith. All together the Bahá'ís now claim more than 10,000 local people have joined the religion over the last 50 years and there are 38 local spiritual assemblies.
Marshall Islands 
The Bahá'í Faith in the Marshall Islands begins after 1916 with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, that Bahá'ís should take the religion there. Middle estimates of the Bahá'í population are just over 1,000, or 1.50% in 2000.
New Caledonia 
The Bahá'í Faith in New Caledonia was first mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1916, though the first Bahá'í arrived in 1952 during a temporary visit because of restrictive policies on English-speaking visitors. The Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly of New Caledonia was elected in 1977. Multiplying its involvements through to today, the 2001 population was reported at 1,070 and growing.
New Zealand 
While the first mention of the Bahá'í Faith in New Zealand was in 1853 continuous contact began around 1904 when one individual after another came in contact with Bahá'ís and some of them published articles in print media in New Zealand as early as 1908. The 2006 census reports about 2800 Bahá'ís in some 45 local assemblies and about 20 smaller groups of Bahá'ís though the Association of Religion Data Archives estimated there were some 7,000 Bahá'ís in 2005.
Papua New Guinea 
The Bahá'í Faith in Papua New Guinea begins after 1916 with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, that Bahá'ís should take the religion there. The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying onWorld Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 60000 or 0.9% of the nation were Bahá'ís in 2005 though the 2012 CIA Factbook estimated 1/3rd of that citing national census figures from 2000.
The Bahá'í Faith in Tonga started after being set as a goal to introduce the religion in 1953, and Bahá'ís arrived in 1954. With conversions and pioneers the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1958. Around 2004 there were 29 local spiritual assemblies and about 5% of the national population were members of the Bahá'í Faith though the Tonga Broadcasting Commission maintained a policy that does not allow discussions by members of the Baha'i Faith of its founder, Bahá'u'lláh on its radio broadcasts.
The Bahá'í Faith in Samoa and American Samoa begins with the then head of the religion, `Abdu'l-Bahá, mentioning the islands in 1916, inspiring Bahá'ís on their way to Australia to stop in Samoa in 1920. Following the conversion of the then Head of State of Samoa, King Malietoa Tanumafili II, the first Bahá'í House of Worship of the Pacific Islands was finished in 1984 and the Bahá'í community reached a population of over 3,000 in about the year 2000.
See also 
- Category:Bahá'í Faith by country
- Bahá'í Faith and Native Americans
- Bahá'í statistics
- Religions by country
- Islam by country
- Judaism by country
- Hinduism by country
- Christianity by country
- Sikhism by country
- No Faith by Country
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