Statistics on National Spiritual Assemblies

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Statistics on National Spiritual Assemblies (NSAs) refers to the number of National Spiritual Assemblies, which are approximately national levels of institutional administration of the Bahá'í Faith, in the world. NSAs exist in most member states of the United Nations (UN) but also in some nations that are not recognized by the UN. Generally there are two levels of legal status of a National Spiritual Assembly: when it is established and recognized by the administrative order of the Bahá'í Faith, and second when it attains or loses a legal recognized status in the country wherein it is established.[citation needed] This fluctuation of legal status is notable mostly in Muslim countries that used to have NSAs in the 1920s to 40s but have lost them since the 1950s due to restrictions on religious activity other than Islam, Christianity and Judaism (see Persecution of Bahá'ís). Additionally some NSAs come into existence due to the splitting off from a National Assembly that has multi-national jurisdiction from a Bahá'í point of view. For example, originally the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada, were in fact a single institution though now are separate. Other times NSAs come into existence when the nation they were established in has itself split into separate nations (for example when the Soviet Union split into Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)

There are no rules about when a National Spiritual Assembly can be established in a country by the Baha'is, but generally speaking it is a statement of the complexity of the community: that there are enough Bahá'ís in the country, enough Local Spiritual Assemblies, a need for the Bahá'ís in the country to own properties beyond the jurisdiction of any particular Local Spiritual Assembly, and that a National Assembly with jurisdiction across the whole country from a Bahá'í organizational point of view is required.[citation needed]

Totals[edit]

Year Number of NSAs[1][2][3]
1923 3
1936 10
1953 12
1963 56
1973 113
1979 125
1988 148
2001 182
2008 184

Chronology[edit]

Below are dates of the establishment and recognition of National Spiritual Assemblies from the Bahá'í point of view. Other than in predominantly Muslim counties, countries where there are no NSAs include most 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: Information Statistical and Comparative, Including the Achievements of the Ten Year International Bahá'í Teaching & Consolidation Plan 1953-1963[4]

1923: British Isles, Austria & Germany, India

1924: Egypt

1925: United States of America and Canada

1931: Iraq

1934: Australia and New Zealand, Persia

1948: Canada

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.

1958: France

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

1964 Hawaii, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam

1967 Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Laos, Belize, Sikkim[5]

1969 Papua New Guinea

1972 Afghanistan[6]

1972 Singapore, Iceland

1974 Hong Kong, South East Arabia[7]

1975 Niger[1]

1977 Greece

1978 Burundi, Mauritania, the Bahamas, Oman, Qatar, the Mariana Islands, Cyprus[8]

1980: Transkei

1981 Namibia, and Bophuthatswana; the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands, and Bermuda; Tuvalu. re-formation in Uganda[9]

1984: Cape Verde Islands, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, French Guiana, Grenada, Martinique, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Yemen, Canary Islands

1990: Macau[10]

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.)[11]

1994: Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Slovenia & Croatia,

1995: Eritrea, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Sicily.

1996: Sao Tome & Principe, Moldova, Nigeria[12]

1999: Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia

2004: Iraq reformed[13]

2008: Vietnam reformed[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hassall, Graham. "Notes on Research on National Spiritual Assemblies". Research notes. Asia Pacific Bahá'í Studies. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  2. ^ Baha'i World Statistics 2001 by Baha'i World Center Department of Statistics, 2001-08
  3. ^ The Life of Shoghi Effendi by Helen Danesh, John Danesh and Amelia Danesh, Studying the Writings of Shoghi Effendi, edited by M. Bergsmo (Oxford: George Ronald, 1991)
  4. ^ 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, Compiled by Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land, pages 22 and 46.
  5. ^ Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986: the third epoch of the formative age compiled by Geoffry W. Marks, p. 96. ISBN 0-87743-239-2
  6. ^ http://www.afghanbahais.org/afghanbahais.htm#ENg
  7. ^ Naw Rúz 1974, Baha'i Era 131 by Universal House of Justice
  8. ^ Ridvan 1978, Baha'i Era 135 by Universal House of Justice
  9. ^ Ridván 1980, Baha'i Era 137 by Universal House of Justice
  10. ^ Ridván 1990, Baha'i Era 147 by Universal House of Justice
  11. ^ Ridván 1992 by the Universal House of Justice
  12. ^ Letter To all National Spiritual Assemblies by the Universal House of Justice
  13. ^ Ridvan 2004, Baha'i Era 161 by Universal House of Justice
  14. ^ [1] by Universal House of Justice