Bahá'í Faith in Andorra

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The Bahá'í Faith in Andorra begins with the first mention of Andorra in Bahá'í literature when `Abdu'l-Bahá listed it as a place to take the religion to in 1916.[1] The first Bahá'í to pioneer to Andorra was William Danjon Dieudonne in 1953.[2] By 1979 a Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly in Andorra-la-Vella is known.[3] In 2005 according to the Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) there were about 80 Bahá'ís in Andorra.[4] In 2010 Wolfram Alpha estimated about 120 Bahá'ís.[5]

Early phase[edit]

`Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets of the Divine Plan[edit]

In the history of the Bahá'í Faith the first mention of Andorra is in the twentieth century. `Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, wrote a series of letters, or tablets, to the followers of the religion in the United States in 1916-1917; these letters were compiled together in the book titled Tablets of the Divine Plan. The seventh of the tablets was the first to mention several countries in Europe including beyond where `Abdu'l-Bahá had visited in 1911-12. Written on April 11, 1916, it was delayed in being presented in the United States until 1919 — after the end of World War I and the Spanish flu. The seventh tablet was translated and presented by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab on April 4, 1919, and published in Star of the West magazine on December 12, 1919.[6]

"In brief, this world-consuming war has set such a conflagration to the hearts that no word can describe it. In all the countries of the world the longing for universal peace is taking possession of the consciousness of men. There is not a soul who does not yearn for concord and peace. A most wonderful state of receptivity is being realized.… Therefore, O ye believers of God! Show ye an effort and after this war spread ye the synopsis of the divine teachings in the British Isles, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Malta, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Hebrides and Orkney Islands."[1]

Establishment of the community[edit]

Starting in 1946, following World War II, Shoghi Effendi, head of the religion after `Abdu'l-Bahá, drew up plans for the American (US and Canada) Bahá'í community to send pioneers to Europe; the Bahá'ís set up a European Teaching Committee chaired by Edna True.[7] At a follow-up conference in Stockholm in August 1953, Hand of the Cause Dorothy Beecher Baker asked for a Bahá'í to settle in Andorra and French-born William Danjon Dieudonne volunteered. He left his home in Denmark and arrived in on 7 October 1953 and so was listed as a Knight of Bahá'u'lláh thereafter. In 1954, two residents of Andorra, Carmen Tost Xifre de Mingorance and her husband, Jose Mingorance Fernandez, joined the religion.[2][8]

According to the biography at Radio Andorra, in July 1955 Danjon was hired by Radio Andorra, where he worked under a pseudonym on air: Michel Avril. Michael is his middle name and Avril is the month of birth (April). He did not hide that he had come to promote the religion. In May 1963 Danjon left Radio Andorra and became Assistant Secretary of the Syndicat d'Initiatives Valleys of Andorra in Andorra la Vella, then in 1966 became director of the House of Andorra in Paris. Then from 1975 to 1981, he worked at Sud Radio and then joined the Andorran Ministry of Education and Culture until 1989.[8][9]

Growth[edit]

In 1963 statistics on the community listed a registered group (less than 9 Bahá'ís) in Andorra-la-Vella.[10] A Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly is noted in 1979 - as well as Bahá'ís living in a total of 3 locations in Andorra.[3]

By 1978 European countries other than Soviet and Microstates of Europe had their own Bahá'í National Assembly. In the case of the microstates, most had one local assembly per state[11] (an assembly requires at least 9 adult members of the religion in good standing in a civic boundary.) Some Andorran Bahá'ís went on pilgrimage in 1992.[12]

In 2003 the Andorran government co-sponsored a resolution passed by the third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly which expressed "serious concern" over continuing violations of human rights in Iran—and mentions specifically "continuing discrimination" against Baha'is and other religious minorities.[13] See Persecution of Bahá'ís.

Second generation Bahá'í Jose Mingorance Tost was chairman of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Andorra in 2004 and the secretary is Badi Daemi.[2] Marc Forné Molné, then Head of Government of Andorra, attended a reception before the ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of a community of the religion in 1954.[14] Regional conferences were called for by the Universal House of Justice, current head of the religion, in October 2008 and one was held for the Iberian peninsula 24–25 January 2009 to celebrate recent achievements in grassroots community-building and to plan their next steps in organizing in their home areas. Among the 1400 attendees were two Baha’is came from Andorra.[15]

Demographics[edit]

In 2005 according to the Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) the Bahá'ís amounted to 0.1% or about 80 Bahá'ís.[4] In 2010 Wolfram Alpha lists 0.1459% or about 120 Bahá'ís.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b `Abdu'l-Bahá (1991) [1916-17]. Tablets of the Divine Plan (Paperback ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 43. ISBN 0-87743-233-3. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mountainous country marks anniversary". Bahá'í International News Service (Andorra la Vella, Andorra: Bahá’í International Community). 18 November 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Victory Messages; The Baha'i world resounds with the glorious news of Five Year Plan victories (section mentioning Andorra)". Bahá'í News (581): p. 11. August 1979. ISSN 0043-8804. 
  4. ^ a b "Andorra". International > Regions > Southern Europe. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Andorra: population, capital, cities, GDP, map, flag, currency, languages, ...". Wolfram Alpha. Online. Wolfram - Alpha (curated data(. March 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  6. ^ Abbas, 'Abdu'l-Bahá; Mirza Ahmad Sohrab; trans. and comments (April 1919). Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation. 
  7. ^ Warburg, Margit (2004). Peter Smith, ed. Bahá'ís in the West. Kalimat Press. pp. 228–63. ISBN 1-890688-11-8. 
  8. ^ a b "Biographies - William DANJON (Michel AVRIL)". Histoire de Radio Andorre. Aqui Radio Andorra. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  9. ^ "Album de photos de William DANJON (Michel AVRIL)". Histoire de Radio Andorre. Aqui Radio Andorra. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  10. ^ Compiled by Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land. "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". p. 56. 
  11. ^ Hassall, Graham (2004). "The Bahá'í Faiht in the West A Survey". In Smith, Peter. Bahá'ís in the West. Kalimat Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-890688-11-0. 
  12. ^ "Mountainous country marks anniversary". Bahá'í World News Service (Bahá'í International COmmunity). 18 November 2004. pp. Photo 7 of 8. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Baha'i International Community lauds passage of UN Resolution on Human Rights in Iran". Baháí World News Service (Bahá'í International Community). 21 November 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  14. ^ "Mountainous country marks anniversary". Bahá'í World News Service (Bahá'í International Community). 18 November 2004. pp. Photos 2 and 3 of 8. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  15. ^ Bahá'í International Community (2008-11-11). "The Madrid Regional Conference". Bahá'í International News Service.