Bahá'í Faith in Asia

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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.[1] Most encyclopedias and similar sources estimate between 5 and 6 million Bahá'ís in the world in the early 21st century.[2][3] 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.[2][4] See Bahá'í statistics.

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,[5] Iraq,[6] and Indonesia,[7][8] where the Bahá'í Faith is legal and only somewhat restricted.

Afghanistan[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Afghanistan began in 1880s with visits by Bahá'ís. However it wasn't until the 1930s any Bahá'í settled there.[9] A Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1948 in Kabul[10] and after some years was re-elected in 1969.[11] Though the population had perhaps reached thousands, under the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the harsh rule of the Taliban the Bahá'ís lost the right to have any institutions and many fled. According to a 2007 estimate, the Bahá'ís in Afghanistan number approximately 400.[12] However the Association of Religion Data Archives estimated there were some 15000 Bahá'ís in 2005.[13]

Bangladesh[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Bangladesh begins previous to its independence when it was part of India. The roots of the Bahá'í Faith in the region go back to the first days of the Bábí religion in 1844.[14] During Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime, as founder of the religion, he encouraged some of his followers to move to India.[15] And it may have been Jamál Effendi who was first sent and stopped in Dhaka more than once.[16] The first Bahá'ís in the area that would later become Bangladesh was when a Bengali group from Chittagong accepted the religion while in Burma.[17] By 1950 there were enough members of the religion to elect Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies in Chittagong and Dhaka.[18] The community has contributed to the progress of the nation of Bangladesh individually and collectively and in 2005 the World Christian Encyclopedia estimated the Bahá'í population of Bangladesh about 10600.[13]

Cambodia[edit]

A sign in Battambang, in an area with a high concentration of Bahá'í followers.

The introduction of the Bahá'í Faith in Cambodia first occurred in the 1920s, not long after French Indochina was mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá as a potential destination for Bahá'í teachers.[19] After a sporadic visits from travelling teachers throughout the first half of the 20th century, the first Bahá'i group in Cambodia was established in Phnom Penh in 1956, with the arrival of Bahá'í teachers from India.[20][21] During the rule of the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, all effective contact with the Cambodian Bahá'ís was lost.[22] The efforts of Bahá'í teachers working in Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand led to the establishment of Local Spiritual Assemblies among the survivors of the Khmer Rouge's campaign of genocide.[22] The Bahá'í community has recently seen a return to growth, especially in the city of Battambang; in 2009, the city was host to one of 41 Bahá'í regional conferences, and in 2012, the Universal House of Justice announced plans to establish a local Bahá'í House of Worship there.[23][24] According to a 2010 estimate, Cambodia is home to approximately 10,000 Bahá'ís.[25]

Hong Kong[edit]

Hong Kong has a long history of Baha'i activity being the second location in China with Baha'is. Two brothers moved there in 1870 and established a long-running export business. Hong Kong did not have its first Local Spiritual Assembly until 1956 and then formed a National Spiritual Assembly in 1974. This was allowed because of Hong Kong's status at that time as similar to a sovereign nation and also due to the growth of the religion there. In 1997 sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to the People's Republic of China and it operates as a Special Administrative Area of China. The coordinating Spiritual Assembly there is no longer considered a "National" Spiritual Assembly but it still operates in a similar manner coordinating the activities of a very vibrant Baha'i community. In 2005 the Association of Religion Data Archives (relying mostly on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated the Bahá'í population of Hong Kong at about 1100.[13]

Israel[edit]

The administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith and the Shrine of the Báb are located at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa and the leader of the religion is buried in Acre. Apart from maintenance staff, there is no Bahá'í community in Israel, although it is a destination for pilgrimages. Bahá'í staff in Israel do not teach their faith to Israelis following strict Bahá'í policy.[26][27]

India[edit]

The Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi.

The largest Bahá'í community in the world is said to be in India, with an official Bahá'í population of more than 2 million[28] and roots that go back to the first days of the religion in 1844. A researcher, William Garlington, characterized the 1960s until present as a time of "Mass Teaching".[29] He suggests that the mentality of the believers in India changed during the later years of Shoghi Effendi's ministry, when they were instructed to accept converts who were illiterate and uneducated. The change brought teaching efforts into the rural areas of India, where the teachings of the unity of humanity attracted many of the lower caste.

The growth of the Bahá'í Faith in India has been greatly assisted by the recognition of Krishna as a Messenger or Manifestation of God, alongside Jesus, Muhammad, and others. Bahá'ís have thus been able to reach out to Hindus, as well as to some extent Muslims, Adivasis (or tribal people), and others. According to the 2005 Association of Religion Data Archives data there are close to some 1,880,000 Bahá'ís.[13]

Iran[edit]

Estimates for the early 21st century vary between 150,000 and 500,000 adherents in Iran. During the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the subsequent few years, a significant number of Bahá'ís left the country during intensive persecution. Estimates before and after the revolution vary greatly.

  • Eliz Sanasarian writes in Religious Minorities in Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 53)[30] that "Estimating the number of Bahá'ís in Iran has always been difficult due to their persecution and strict adherence to secrecy. The reported number of Bahá'ís in Iran has ranged anywhere from the outrageously high figure of 500,000 to the low number of 150,000. The number 300,000 has been mentioned most frequently, especially for the mid- to late- 1970's, but it is not reliable. Roger Cooper gives an estimate of between 150,000 and 300,000."
  • The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (2004) states that "In Iran, by 1978, the Bahá'í community numbered around 300,000."[31]
  • The Columbia Encyclopedia (5th edition, 1993) reports that "Prior to the Iranian Revolution there were about 1 million Iranian Bahá'ís."
  • The Encyclopedia of Islam (new edition, 1960) reports that "In Persia, where different estimates of their number vary from more than a million down to about 500,000. [in 1958]"

At times the authorities in Iran have claimed that there are no Bahá'ís in their country, and that the persecutions were made up by the CIA. The first claim apparently represents a legal rather than anthropological determination, as Bahá'ís are regarded as Muslims under Iranian law. For the latter, see Persecution of Bahá'ís.

Japan[edit]

Sign outside the Tokyo Baha'i Center, Shinjuku Ward.

The Bahá'í Faith was first introduced to Japan after mentions of the country by `Abdu'l-Bahá first in 1875.[32] Japanese contact with the religion came from the West when Kanichi Yamamoto (山本寛一?) was living in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1902 converted; the second being Saichiro Fujita (藤田左弌郎?).

In 1914 two Bahá'ís, George Jacob Augur and Agnes Alexander, and their families, pioneered to Japan.[33] Alexander would live some 31 years off and on in Japan until 1967 when she left for the last time[34] The first Bahá'í convert on Japanese soil was Kikutaro Fukuta (福田菊太郎?) in 1915.[35] `Abdu'l-Bahá undertook several trips in 1911-1912 and met Japanese travelers in Western cities, in Paris,[36] London,[37] and New York.[33] ‘Abdu'l-Bahá met Fujita in Chicago and Yamamoto in San Francisco.[38]

`Abdu'l-Bahá wrote a series of letters, or tablets, in 1916-1917 compiled together in the book titled Tablets of the Divine Plan but which was not presented in the United States until 1919.[19] Fujita would serve between the World Wars first in the household of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá and then of Shoghi Effendi.[38] In 1932 the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in Tokyo and reelected in 1933.[39] In all of Japan there were 19 Bahá'ís.[40]

In 1937 Alexander went on Bahá'í pilgrimage to return years later.[41] In 1938 Fujita was excused from his services in Haifa out of fears for his safety during World War II and returned to Japan until 1956.[42] In 1942, back in the United States, the Yamamoto family lived at a relocation camp during the war.[41] Bahá'í Americans associated with the American Occupation Forces reconnected the Japanese Bahá'í community — Michael Jamir found Fujita by 1946[41] and Robert Imagire helped re-elect the assembly in Tokyo in 1948.[41] In 1963 the statistics of Bahá'í communities showed 13 assemblies and other smaller groups.[18]

In 1968 Japanese Bahá'ís began to travel outside Japan.[43] In 1971 the first residents of Okinawa converted to the religion.[44] In 1991 the community organized an affiliate of the Association for Bahá'í Studies in Japan which has since held annual conferences,[45] published newsletters, and published and coordinated academic work across affiliates.[46] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 15650 Bahá'ís in 2005[13] while the CIA World Factbook estimated about 12000 Japanese Bahá'ís in 2006.[47]

Kazakhstan[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Kazakhstan began during the policy of oppression of religion in the former Soviet Union. Before that time, Kazakhstan, as part of the Russian Empire, would have had indirect contact with the Bahá'í Faith as far back as 1847.[48] Following the entrance of pioneers the community grew to be the largest religious community after Islam and Christianity, though only a few percent of the nation.[49] By 1994 the National Spiritual Assembly of Kazakhstan was elected[50] and the community has begun to multiply its efforts across various interests.

Laos[edit]

A Baha'i gathering in Vientiane in 2009.

The Bahá'í Faith in Laos begins after a brief mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1916[19] and the first Bahá'í enters Laos in about 1955.[51] The first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly is known to be first elected by 1958 in Vientiane[18][52] and eventually Laos' own National Spiritual Assembly in 1967.[53] The current community is approximately eight thousand adherents and four centers: Vientiane, Vientiane Province, Kaysone Phomvihane, and in Pakxe.[54] and smaller populations in other provinces.[55] While well established and able to function as communities in these cities Bahá'ís have a harder time in other provinces and cannot print their own religious materials.[56]

Macau[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Macao (also spelled Macau) was established much later than in other parts of China (1953) due, most likely, to the unique conditions of Macao being a Portuguese colony until 1999 and it being somewhat in the shadow of Hong Kong and larger centers in mainland China like Shanghai. Macao formed its first Local Spiritual Assembly in 1958 and then formed a National Spiritual Assembly in 1989. In 1999 sovereignty of Macao was transferred to the People's Republic of China and it operates as a Special Administrative Area of China. The coordinating Spiritual Assembly there is no longer considered a "National" Spiritual Assembly but it still operates in a similar manner coordinating the activities of a very vibrant Baha'i community which is estimated at 2,500 and which is considered one of the five major religions of Macao.

Malaysia[edit]

A large concentration of Bahá'ís is also found in Malaysia, made up of Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Aslis and other indigenous groups. The Bahá'í community of Malaysia claims that "about 1%" of the population are Bahá'ís.[57] Given the 2006 population of Malaysia, such a claim represents about 268,000 Bahá'ís.

Sarawak[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith is one of the recognised religions in Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia. Various races embraced the religion, from Chinese to Iban and Bidayuh, Bisayahs, Penans, Indians but not the Malays or other Muslims. In towns, the majority Bahá'í community is often Chinese, but in rural communities, they are of all races, Ibans, Bidayuhs, etc. In some schools, Bahá'í associations or clubs for students exist. Bahá'í communities are now found in all the various divisions of Sarawak. However, these communities do not accept assistance from government or other organisations for activities which are strictly for Bahá'ís. If, however, these services extend to include non-Bahá'ís also, e.g. education for children's classes or adult literacy, then sometimes the community does accept assistance. The administration of the religion is through local spiritual assemblies. There is no priesthood among the Bahá'ís. Election is held annually without nomination or electioneering. The Bahá'ís should study the community and seek those members who display mature experience, loyalty, and are knowledgeable in the religion's beliefs. There are more than 40,000 Bahá'ís in more than 250 localities in Sarawak.[citation needed]

Mongolia[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Mongolia dates back only to the 1980s and 1990s, as prior to that point Mongolia's Communist anti-religious stance impeded the spread of the religion to that country. The first Bahá'í arrived in Mongolia in 1988, and the religion established a foothold there, later establish a Local Spiritual Assembly in that nation.[58] In 1994, the Bahá’ís elected their first National Spiritual Assembly.[59] Though the Association of Religion Data Archives estimated only some 50 Bahá'ís in 2005[13] more than 1700 Mongolian Bahá'ís turned out for a regional conference in 2009.[60] In July 1989 Sean Hinton became the first Bahá'í to reside in Mongolia, was named a Knight of Bahá'u'lláh, and the last name to be entered on the Roll of Honor at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh.[61]

Nepal[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Nepal begins after a Nepalese leader encountered the religion in his travels before World War II.[62] Following World War II, the first known Bahá'í to enter Nepal was about 1952[18][63] and the first Nepalese Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly elected in 1961, and its National Spiritual Assembly in 1972.[64] For a period of time, between 1976 and 1981, all assemblies were dissolved due to legal restrictions.[65] The 2001 census reported 1211 Bahá'ís,[66] and since the 1990s the Bahá'í community of Nepal has been involved in a number of interfaith organizations including the Inter-religious Council of Nepal promoting peace in the country.[67]

North Korea[edit]

Bahá'ís originally entered the Korean Peninsula in 1921 before the Division of Korea.[68] Both the 2005 the Association of Religion Data Archives[13] (relying on the World Christian Encyclopedia for adherents estimates[69]) and independent research[70] agree there are no Bahá'ís in North Korea.

Pakistan[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Pakistan begins previous to its independence when it was part of India. The roots of the Bahá'í Faith in the region go back to the first days of the Bábí religion in 1844[14] especially with Shaykh Sa'id Hindi – one of the Letters of the Living who was from Multan.[71] During Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime, as founder of the religion, he encouraged some of his followers to move to the area.[15] Jamal Effendi visited Karachi in 1875 on one of his trips to parts of Southern Asia.[71] Muhammad Raza Shirazi became a Bahá'í in Mumbai in 1908 and may have been the first Bahá'í to settle, pioneer, in Karachi.[71] National coordinated activities across India began and reached a peak by the December 1920, first All-India Bahá'í Convention, held in Mumbai for three days.[72] Representatives from India's major religious communities were present as well as Bahá'í delegates from throughout the country. In 1921 the Bahá'ís of Karachi elected their first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly.[71] In 1923, still as part of India, a regional National Spiritual Assembly was formed for all India and Burma which then included the area now part of Pakistan.[9] From 1931 to 1933, Professor Pritam Singh, the first Bahá'í from a Sikh background, settled in Lahore and published an English language weekly called The Baha’i Weekly and other initiatives. A Bahá'í publishing committee was established in Karachi in 1935. This body evolved and is registered as the Baha’i Publishing Trust of Pakistan. In 1937, John Esslemont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era was translated into Urdu and Gujrati in Karachi.[71][73] The Committee also published scores of Bahá'í books and leaflets in many languages.[74] The local assemblies spread across many cities[18] and in 1957, East and West Pakistan elected a separate national assembly from India and in 1971, East Pakistan became Bangladesh with its own national assembly.[75] Waves of refugees came from the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan[11] and the Islamic Revolutionin Iran[76] and later from the Taliban.[71] Some of these people were able to return home, some stayed, and others moved on. In Pakistan the Bahá'ís have had the right to hold public meetings, establish academic centers, teach their faith, and elect their administrative councils.[5] However, the government prohibits Bahá'ís from traveling to Israel to have Bahá'í pilgrimage.[77] Nevertheless, Bahá'ís in Pakistan set up a school[71] and most of the students were not Bahá'ís.[78] as well as other projects addressing the needs of Pakistan. And the religion continues to grow and in 2004 the Bahá'ís of Lahore began seeking for a new Bahá'í cemetery.[79] The World Christian Encyclopedia estimated over 78,000 Bahá'ís lived in Pakistan in 2000[80] though Bahá'ís claimed less than half that number.[77]

People's Republic of China[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith was first introduced in China during the lifetime of its founder, Bahá’u’lláh. The first record of a Bahá’í living in China is of a Persian, Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-’Alí, who lived in Shanghai from 1862 to 1868. In 1928 the first Local Spiritual Assembly in China was formed in Shanghai.

As China expanded her efforts of reform and increased its interactions with the worldwide community more Bahá’ís moved to China.

The Bahá’í Faith in China has still not matured to the same point as in many other countries of the world where there is an established structure to administer its affairs. As a result of the lack of formal registration and structure, it is difficult to ascertain with some degree of certainty, the number of Bahá'ís in China. The number of active followers of Bahá'u'lláh’s Teachings in China has spread beyond the scope of knowledge of the existing administrative structures. Certainly there are active followers of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh in all of the major cities of China and in many regional centers and rural areas.

Good working relationships have been developed with China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA.)

There are many aspects of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings that match well with traditional Chinese religious and philosophical beliefs such as : 1) the Great Unity (world peace); 2) unity of the human family; 3) service to others; 4) moral education; 5) extended family values; 6) the investigation of truth; 7) the Highest Reality (God); 8) the common foundation of religions; 9) harmony in Nature; 10) the purpose of tests and suffering; and 11) moderation in all things.[81]

The Philippines[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in the Philippines started in 1921 with the first Bahá'í first visiting the Philippines that year,[82] and by 1944 a Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was established.[83] In the early 1960s, during a period of accelerated growth, the community grew from 200 in 1960 to 1,000 by 1962 and 2000 by 1963. In 1964 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Philippines was elected and by 1980 there were 64,000 Bahá'ís and 45 local assemblies.[84] The Bahá'ís have been active in multi/inter-faith developments. No recent numbers are available on the size of the community.

Russia[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith (Вера Бахаи) in Russia begins with connections during the Russian rule in Azerbaijan in the Russian Empire in the form of the figure of a woman who would play a central role in the religion of the Báb, viewed by Bahá´ís as the direct predecessor of the Bahá'í Faith - she would be later named Tahirih.[85] Soon after, Russian diplomats to Persia[86] would observe, react to, and sends updates about, the Bábí religion which was succeeded by their encounters with Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.[48] While the religion spread across the Russian Empire[48][87] and attracted the attention of scholars and artists,[86] the Bahá'í community in Ashgabat built the first Bahá'í House of Worship, elected one of the first Bahá'í local administrative institutions and was a center of scholarship. During the period of the Soviet Union Russia adopted the Soviet policy of oppression of religion, so the Bahá'ís, strictly adhering to their principle of obedience to legal government, abandoned its administration and properties[88] but in addition Bahá'ís across the Soviet Union were sent to prisons and camps or abroad.[15] Before the Dissolution of the Soviet Union Bahá'ís in several cities were able to gather and organize as Perestroyka approached from Moscow through many Soviet republics.[85] The National Assembly of the Russian Federations was ultimately formed in 1995.[9] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated the Bahá'ís in Russia at about 18,990 in 2005.[13]

South Korea[edit]

Approximately 200 active Bahá'ís reside in South Korea.[89]

Taiwan[edit]

巴哈伊教, The Bahá'í Faith in Taiwan began after the religion entered areas of China[90] and nearby Japan.[91] The first Bahá'ís arrived in Taiwan in 1949[92] and the first of these to have become a Bahá'í was Mr. Jerome Chu (Chu Yao-lung) in 1945 while visiting the United States. By May 1955 there were eighteen Bahá'ís in six localities across Taiwan. The first Local Spiritual Assembly in Taiwan was elected in Tainan in 1956. The National Spiritual Assembly was first elected in 1967 when there were local assemblies in Taipei, Tainan, Hualien, and Pingtung. Circa 2006 the Bahá'ís showed up in the national census with 16,000 members and 13 assemblies.[93]

Turkmenistan[edit]

The first Bahá'í House of Worship was built in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan begins before Russian advances into the region when the area was under the influence of Persia.[94] By 1887 a community of Bahá'í refugees from religious violence in Persia had made a religious center in Ashgabat.[94] Shortly afterwards – by 1894 – Russia made Turkmenistan part of the Russian Empire.[48] While the Bahá'í Faith spread across the Russian Empire[48][87] and attracted the attention of scholars and artists,[95] the Bahá'í community in Ashgabat built the first Bahá'í House of Worship, elected one of the first Bahá'í local administrative institutions and was a center of scholarship. However during the Soviet period religious persecution made the Bahá'í community almost disappear – however Bahá'ís who moved into the regions in the 1950s did identify individuals still adhering to the religion. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991, Bahá'í communities and their administrative bodies started to develop across the nations of the former Soviet Union;[96] In 1994 Turkmenistan elected its own National Spiritual Assembly[75] however laws passed in 1995 in Turkmenistan required 500 adult religious adherents in each locality for registration and no Bahá'í community in Turkmenistan could meet this requirement.[97] As of 2007 the religion had still failed to reach the minimum number of adherents to register[98] and individuals have had their homes raided for Bahá'í literature.[99]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in the United Arab Emirates begins before the specific country gained independence in 1971. The first Bahá'ís arrived in Dubai by 1950,[100] and by 1957 there were four Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies in the region of the UAE and a regional National Spiritual Assembly of the Arabian Peninsula.[50] Recent estimates count some 75,000 Bahá'ís or 1.6% of the national population – second only to Iran in number of Bahá'ís in the nations of the Middle East.[101]

Uzbekistan[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Uzbekistan began in the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion.[102] Circa 1918 there was an estimated 1900 Bahá'ís in Tashkent. By the period of the policy of oppression of religion in the former Soviet Union the communities shrank away – by 1963 in the entire USSR there were about 200 Bahá'ís.[87] Little is known until the 1980s when the Bahá'í Faith started to grow across the Soviet Union again.[48] In 1991 a Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly of the Soviet Union was elected but was quickly split among its former members.[48] In 1992, a regional National Spiritual Assembly for the whole of Central Asia was formed with its seat in Ashgabat.[15] In 1994 the National Spiritual Assembly of Uzbekistan was elected.[75][87] In 2008 eight Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies or smaller groups had registered with the government[103] though more recently there were also raids[104] and expulsions.[105]

Vietnam[edit]

Vietnamese Baha'is elect their National Spiritual Assembly in Danang, in 2009.

The introduction of the Bahá'í Faith in Vietnam first occurred in the 1920s, not long after French Indochina was mentioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá as a potential destination for Bahá'í teachers.[19] After a number of brief visits from travelling teachers throughout the first half of the 20th century, the first Bahá'i group in Vietnam was established in Saigon in 1954, with the arrival of Shirin Fozdar, a Bahá'í teacher from India. The 1950s and 1960s were marked by periods of rapid growth, mainly in South Vietnam; despite the ongoing war affecting the country, the Bahá'í population surged to around 200,000 adherents by 1975. After the end of the war, Vietnam was reunified under a communist government, who proscribed the practice of the religion from 1975 to 1992, leading to a sharp drop in community numbers. Relations with the government gradually improved, however, and in 2007 the Bahá'í Faith was officially registered, followed by its full legal recognition a year later.[106][107] As of 2011, it was reported that the Bahá'í community comprised about 8,000 followers.[108]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bahá'í International Community (2006). "Worldwide Community". Bahá'í International Community. Archived from the original on 13 June 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2002". Enyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2006. 
  3. ^ adherents.com (2002). "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents". adherents.com. Retrieved 28 August 2005. 
  4. ^ MacEoin, Denis (2000). "Baha'i Faith". In Hinnells, John R. The New Penguin Handbook of Living Religions: Second Edition. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-051480-5. 
  5. ^ a b Wardany, Youssef (2009). "The Right of Belief in Egypt: Case study of Baha'i minority". Al Waref Institute. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  6. ^ United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (26 October 2009). "Iraq: International Religious Freedom Report". International Religious Freedom Report. U.S. State Department. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (26 October 2001). "Indonesia: International Religious Freedom Report". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 3 March 2007. 
  8. ^ United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (26 October 2009). "Indonesia: International Religious Freedom Report". U.S. State Department. Archived from the original on 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Hassall, Graham. "Notes on Research Countries". Research notes. Asia Pacific Bahá'í Studies. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Cameron, G.; Momen, W. (1996). A Basic Bahá'í Chronology. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 277, 391. ISBN 0-85398-404-2. 
  11. ^ a b "Bahá'í Faith in Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  12. ^ U.S. State Department. "Afghanistan – International Religious Freedom Report 2007". The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 15 July 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". QuickLists > Compare Nations > Religions >. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2005. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "The Bahá'í Faith -Brief History". Official website of the National Spiritual Assembly of India. National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India. 2003. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c d Momen, Moojan; Smith, Peter. "Bahá'í History". Draft A Short Encyclopedia of the Baha'i Faith. Bahá'í Library Online. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  16. ^ Momen, Moojan (2000). "Jamál Effendi and the early spread of the Bahá'í Faith in Asia". Baha'i Studies Review (Association for Baha'i Studies (English-Speaking Europe)) 09 (1999/2000). Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  17. ^ Ali, Meer Mobeshsher. "Bahai". Banglapedia: Entry Title Index. Online. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c d e 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". pp. 51, 107. 
  19. ^ a b c d `Abdu'l-Bahá (1991) [1916-17]. Tablets of the Divine Plan (Paperback ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 40–42. ISBN 0877432333. 
  20. ^ Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent: 1923-1957. Bahá'í Publishing Trust of India. 1995. p. 403. ISBN 85-85091-87-8. 
  21. ^ "Teaching and Assembly Development Conference for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand". Baha'i News Letter (National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India, Pakistan & Burma) (85). December 1956. 
  22. ^ a b http://bahai-library.com/hassall_religious_freedom_asia-pacific
  23. ^ http://news.bahai.org/community-news/regional-conferences/battambang.html
  24. ^ http://news.bahai.org/story/906
  25. ^ http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010/148861.htm
  26. ^ "The Bahá'í World Centre: Focal Point for a Global Community". The Bahá'í International Community. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2007. 
  27. ^ "Teaching the Faith in Israel". Bahá'í Library Online. 23 June 1995. Retrieved 6 August 2007. 
  28. ^ Baha'i Faith in India, FAQs, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India]
  29. ^ The Baha'i Faith in India
  30. ^ Eliz Sanasarian (2000). Religious Minorities in Iran. Cambridge University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-139-42985-6. 
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References[edit]

  • Academic American Encyclopedia. Grolier Academic Reference. 1998. ISBN 0-7172-2068-0. 
  • Chernow, Barbara A.; Vallasi, George A. (1993). The Columbia Encyclopedia. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-62438-X. 
  • The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition. Brill. 1960. Ref DS37.E523. 
  • Jones, Lindsay, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (second ed.). MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 0-02-865733-0. 
  • O'Brien, Joanne; Palmer, Martin (2005). Religions of the World. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-6258-7. 

External links[edit]