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Baháʼí Faith by country

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Baháʼí Faith formed in the late 19th century Middle East and soon gained converts in India, the Western world, and elsewhere. Travelling teachers played a significant role in spreading the religion into most countries and territories during the second half of the 20th century.[1] The Baháʼí Faith is now recognized as the second-most geographically widespread religion after Christianity.[2]

The Baháʼí World Centre estimated 5 million Baháʼís in 1991,[3] and the Baháʼí World News Service currently says that there are "more than 5 million Bahá’ís in the world."[4] Since 1991, the official agencies of the religion have focused on publishing data such as numbers of local and national spiritual assemblies, countries and territories represented, languages and tribes represented, schools, and publishing trusts, not the total number of believers.[4][5]

Sources such as Encyclopædia Britannica and the World Christian Encyclopedia have listed Baháʼí membership as over 7 million.[6][7] It is the only religion to have grown faster than the population of the world in all major areas over the last century.[8]

The number of adherents of a religion spread across many countries is exceptionally difficult to estimate accurately. Few national Baháʼí communities have the administrative capacity for efficient enumeration of membership,[9] and Baháʼí membership data does not break out active participation from the total number of people who have expressed their belief. Due to its small size, few censuses or religious surveys include the Baháʼí Faith as a separate category,[a] and some government censuses count Baháʼís as Muslims or Hindus.[11] Those that have included the Baháʼí Faith are known to under- or overestimate many proportionally small groups.[12] Country-level detail from World Christian Encyclopedia, on which many other estimates rely, tends to be much higher than the numbers available from Baháʼí institutions, which themselves are counting declared belief, not active participation.[13] Analyzing Baháʼí data on localities and activity levels, Danish sociologist Margit Warburg suggested that by 2001 registered Baháʼís reliably numbered over 5 million, and that active participants numbered approximately 900,000 (18% of registered Baháʼís).[14]

Difficulties in enumeration

The fact that the religion is diffuse and proportionally small are major barriers to demographic research by outsiders. Even in the United States, where significant resources are dedicated to gathering data, the Baháʼí Faith is often omitted from religious surveys due to the high sample size required to reduce the margin of error.[10] In the Middle East, especially Iran, Baháʼís face persecution, and the lack of Baháʼí administration makes it difficult to maintain a count.

Baháʼí authors Peter Smith and Moojan Momen, commenting on the difficulties of counting Baháʼís, wrote the following:

With any religious movement there are invariable problems of quantification unless the movement's own enumeration techniques are exceptionally efficient, or government censuses incorporate questions on religion. Even here there are often considerable problems of definition. Are gradations of commitment to be taken into consideration so as to differentiate between active and nominal members? Are the children of members to be included as well as adults? Is allowance to be made for the pattern of multi-religious adherence which is common in many parts of the world? These are, of course, problems that affect the estimation of numbers for any religion and are not confined to Bahá'í statistics.

— Smith & Momen, "The Bahá'í Faith 1957-1988: A Survey of Contemporary Developments", Religion (1989)[15]

Definition of membership

Throughout the early development of the Baháʼí Faith in Iran and the West, Baháʼís often retained some of the religious identity that they converted from, many remaining members of churches and mosques. Later, Shoghi Effendi made it clear that the Baháʼí Faith was its own tradition with laws and institutions, and that Baháʼís could not remain members of other religions. The practice of maintaining membership rolls of believers began in the 1920s.[16]

In the 1930s the Baháʼís of the United States and Canada began requiring new adherents to sign a declaration of faith, stating their belief in Baháʼu'lláh, the Báb, and ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, and affirming that there are laws and institutions to obey. The original purpose of signing a declaration card was to allow followers to apply for lawful exemption from active military service.[17] The signature of a card later became optional in Canada, but in the US is still used for records and administrative requirements.[18]

All local and national Spiritual Assemblies are expected to keep membership records that include declarations of faith and withdrawals, which are used for annual assembly elections.[19] The Baháʼí system of membership thus has a system of contracting into the religion and some maintenance of the membership list is required for community functioning. Being removed from membership requires an opposite declaration of disbelief.[citation needed]

Children

A peculiar difficulty arises in counting Baháʼís because a tenant of the faith is that parents cannot choose the religion of their children and that 15 is the age of spiritual maturity when an individual can make the choice.[20] Early membership rolls excluded children of Baháʼís and didn't even count them separately.[15] In 1979 the Universal House of Justice requested that children be included separately for statistical purposes, matching the methodology of most censuses and surveys. Before that, membership rolls may have only indicated ages 21 or older (the age required for voting).[21]

The change toward including children in statistics caused an increase in the total number of reported Baháʼís in the late 1980s, but has been consistent since.[22]

Active vs inactive

Another difficulty arises from defining membership based on participation. The number of active participants in any religious movement will always be smaller than the number who profess belief. The prevailing norm in the Western world is that members of minority religious groups must be actively participating to be considered a member, and members of majority religious groups have a large number of passive adherents.[22] Margit Warburg wrote,

As with other voluntary organisations, some members become more active than others, but the fact that there is no fixed membership subscription means that there is no economic motive for inactive Baháʼís to take the initiative to resign membership. Inactive Baháʼís, however, are not expelled just because they are inactive in community life, since in principle they could still be believing Baháʼís.[23]

Warburg also noted: "Baháʼís do not lose membership status just by being inactive."[22]

In the 1980s the Baháʼís of the United States started including “address unknown” in their membership statistics; members designated as such may profess belief but are no longer participating in community life.[15] For example, in its 2020 Annual Report the US National Spiritual Assembly had 177,647 registered Baháʼís of all ages, only 77,290 of which had good addresses, and 57,341 total participants in core activities, with 37% of attendees from outside of the Baháʼí population.[24] The higher American number has been challenged because it does not include those who have left the community, but the lower number with good addresses does not include inactive Baháʼís who continue their belief.[25] As author William Garlington noted,

Just as there are many people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and yet are not official members of an established church, it seems fair to assume that there are a sizable number of individuals who identify with Baha'u'llah and his principles while remaining outside the established institutions of the Baha'i Faith... the significant point is that at least [the registered Baha'is] have experienced enough identity with the Baha'i teachings to have made official written declarations of that belief.[26]

Using activity data, Warburg estimated a percentage of activity in Baháʼí communities around the world and concluded that in 2001 there were reliably 5.1 million registered Baháʼís in the world and 900,000 active Baháʼís, or 18% of the total. The estimates on activity were broken out by continent: Europe 82% active, USA and Canada 71%, Australia and New Zealand 91%, Africa 22%, India 5%, Other Asia 26%, Latin America 13%, and Oceania 43%.[27] On the question of whether the Baháʼí numbers are intentionally inflated, Warburg feels that the “numbers are not rooted in any sinister manipulation of data”.[22]

Number of Baháʼís worldwide

Baháʼí sources

Recent

  • As early as 1991 official estimates were of "more than five million Baháʼís",[3] which was still in use as of 2020.[4]
  • A 1997 statement by the NSA of South Africa wrote: "…the Baháʼí Faith enjoys a world-wide following in excess of six million people."[28]
  • In 1989 the journal Religion published an article by Baháʼís Moojan Momen and Peter Smith. They observed that in the 1950s there were "probably in the region of 200,000 Baháʼís world-wide. The vast majority of these (over 90%) lived in Iran. There were probably fewer than 10,000 Baháʼís in the West and no more than 3,000 Baháʼís in the Third World, mostly India".[9] By the end of the 1960s, they wrote, "we 'guestimate' that there may now have been about one million Baháʼís." And by 1988 they estimated about 4.5 million.[29]
  • A 1987 report, published in the United States Baháʼí News reported 3.62 million Baháʼís in 1979 and 4.74 million Baháʼís in 1986, a growth of 31% over the period, or 4.4% per year on average.[30]
  • The document The Promise of World Peace, produced by the Universal House of Justice in 1985, stated that the Bahá’í community has "some three to four million people".[31]
  • Baháʼí author Moojan Momen wrote in 2008, "In the early 1950s, there were probably some 200,000 Baháʼís in the world. This has increased to about a million by the late 1960s, about four and a half million by the late 1980s, and over five million by 2000s."[32]

Before 1950

  • The first known survey of the religion comes from an unpublished work in 1919–1920 gathered by John Esslemont and had been intended to be part of his well-known Baháʼu'lláh and the New Era.[33] In it, consulting various individuals, he summarizes the religion's presence in Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Turkestan, and the United States. It did not arrive at a total but did have some regional statistics based on some individual reports.
  • In 1867, 53 Baháʼís from Baghdad sent an appeal to the American Consul in Beirut for assistance in freeing Bahá'u'lláh from Ottoman captivity. According to missionary Henry Harris Jessup, "The petitioners claim that they number 40,000."[34]

Other sources

2010 and newer

  • The World Religion Database has estimated a worldwide Baháʼí population of 8,531,050 in 2020.[35]
  • In April 2017, The Economist reported that there were more than 7 million Baháʼís in the world.[36]
  • In 2016 the Yearbook of International Religious Demography 2016 noted just over 7.8 million Baháʼís in the world in 2015, having grown at an overall rate of 2.79% across the century 1910 to 2010.[37] The countries with the largest Baháʼí populations in 2015 were, (starting with the largest): India, the US, Kenya, Viet Nam, Congo DR, Philippines, Zambia, South Africa, Iran and Bolivia, ranging upwards from 232,000 to just over 2 million in India.[38]
  • In 2016 the book 12 Major World Religions wrote, "Today it numbers at least 5 million adherents and possibly more."[39]
  • In 2013 the book The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography wrote, "The Baha'i Faith is the only religion to have grown faster in every United Nations region over the past 100 years than the general population; Bahaʼi was thus the fastest-growing religion between 1910 and 2010, growing at least twice as fast as the population of almost every UN region."[8]
  • In 2011, Bei Dawei said in an academic conference presentation that the Baháʼí Faith had "several hundred thousand" adherents. He noted that "estimates of five, six, or seven million are more usually encountered" but said that these estimates are projections based on self-reporting by Baháʼís and that the national figures they are based on "tend to exceed apparent Bahá'í activity by whole orders of magnitude."[40]
  • In 2010, The World Religion Database stated that there were 7.3 million Baháʼís in the world.[41] The Association of Religion Data Archives cited this estimate in 2010.[42]
  • In 2010, Encyclopædia Britannica estimated a total of 7.3 million Baháʼís residing in 221 countries.[6]
  • In 2010, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices estimated 7.4 million Baháʼís in 2010,[43] citing UN median variant figures from World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision.

2000 to 2009

  • In 2009, Paula Hartz wrote in World Religions: Baha'i Faith: "Today the Baha’i Faith has some 5 million followers. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing religions. It is also probably the most diverse."[44]
  • The World Factbook states that Baháʼís make up 0.12% of the world based on a 2007 estimate,[45] corresponding to 7.9 million people.
  • Margit Warburg’s 2006 academic book on the Baháʼí Faith claimed, “a conservative estimate would be that in 2001 there were about 5.1 million registered Baháʼís in the world.”[46]
  • The 2005 Association of Religion Data Archives estimate is of 7.6 million[47] which is also echoed elsewhere.[48]
  • In 2005, the Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition, records that:

In the early twenty-first century the Baháʼís number close to six million in more than two hundred countries. The number of adherents rose significantly in the late twentieth century from a little more than one million at the end of the 1960s.[49]

  • In 2004, the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa reported that "Baháʼís worldwide [are] estimated in 2001 at 5 million."[50]
  • In 2003, World Book Encyclopedia reported that "there are about 5,500,000 Baháʼís worldwide."[51]
  • In 2001, World Christian Encyclopedia (2nd edition, 2001) estimated 7.1 million adherents of the Baháʼí Faith in the year 2000 representing 0.1% of the world population. The same source projected 12 million in 2025 and 18 million in 2050, assuming then-current trends were to continue.[7] They also noted, "In government censuses Baháʼís are usually counted as Muslims or Hindus and not shown separately."[11]
  • In 2000, Encyclopædia Britannica estimated a total of 7.1 million Baháʼís residing in 218 countries.[52]
  • In 2000, Denis MacEoin wrote in the Handbook of Living Religions that:
"the movement has had remarkable success in establishing itself as a vigorous contender in the mission fields of Africa, India, parts of South America, and the Pacific, thus outstripping other new religions in a world-wide membership of perhaps 4 million and an international spread recently described as second only to that of Christianity. The place of Baha'ism among world religions now seems assured."[2]

1990 to 1999

  • In 1998, the Academic American Encyclopedia said that the Baháʼís "are estimated to number about 2 million."[53]
  • In 1997, Dictionary of World Religions said that there are "five million Baháʼís" in the world.[54]
  • In 1997, Religions of the World published: "today there are about 5 million" Baháʼís.[55]
  • In 1993, the Columbia Encyclopedia published: "There are about 5 million Baháʼís in the world."[56]

1950 to 1989

  • In 1995, the HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion stated: "In 1985, it was estimated that there were between 1.5 to 2 million Baha'is, with the greatest areas of recent growth in Africa, India, and Vietnam."[57]
  • In 1982, the World Christian Encyclopedia (1st edition, 1982) wrote of Baháʼí adherents in the world: “(1970) 2,659,400, (1980) 3,822,600 in 194 countries, (1985) 4,442,600.”[58]
  • In 2010, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices estimated 2.7 million Baháʼís in 1970,[43] citing UN median variant figures from World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision.
  • Paul Oliver wrote in World Faiths (2001) that there were "approximately five million Baháʼís" in 1963.[59]
  • Paula Hartz wrote in World Religions: Baha'i Faith (2009) that by the end of Shoghi Effendi's life (1957), "the Baha'i Faith had reached more than 400,000 [adherents]."[60]

Before 1950

  • The World Christian Encyclopedia (1st edition, 1982) lists the global Baháʼí population of 1900 at 9,025.[61]
  • In 2004, the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa reported that "By 1900, the community… had reached 50,000-100,000"[50]
  • Paula Hartz wrote in World Religions: Baha'i Faith (3rd edition, 2009) that during the last years of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's life (d. 1921), "The faith was now established in many countries around the world and its followers numbered around 100,000."[62]

During ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's tour of North America several newspapers made claims of how large the religion was, with figures in the range of millions of people:

  • In 1912, a reporter in Salt Lake City claimed ʻAbdu'l-Bahá said the religion had "10,000,000 followers in the world."[63]
  • On June 16, 1912, a news report introduced him as the "Persian religious leader and spiritual and temporal head of the 14,000,000 of Baháʼís scattered throughout the world."[64]
  • On April 24, 1912, a newspaper article said "Baháʼísm now has 15,000,000 adherents scattered throughout the world, several hundred thousand of whom are in the United States and Canada."[65]
  • On April 12, 1912, a newspaper introduced him as "head of one of the newest and most thriving religions in the world, numbering 20,000,000 souls among his followers, of whom several hundred souls are in New York."[66]
  • On September 9, 1911, a news report about ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's visit to London claimed "at a moderate estimate, three million followers."[67]

Adherents by country

Although the Baháʼí News Service has reported on the total number of Baháʼís in the world, the data is not broken out by country.[68]

The World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE), and its successor The World Christian Database (WCD), is an authority on membership data for religions in the world, and its decades-long study by David Barrett and co-workers is a basis for many other estimates of Baháʼís in the world, such as ARDA. The data were released in editions of 1982, 2001, and 2018, and includes a break down by country. The WCE data has consistently reported higher numbers of Baháʼís than the reports of Baháʼí institutions.[69][41] Danish researcher Margit Warburg studied Baháʼí membership data and feels that the WCE data is overstated for Baháʼís.[68] For instance, WCE reports an estimated 1,600 Baháʼís in Denmark in 1995 and 682,000 Baháʼís in the USA. The number of registered Baháʼís at the same time were 240 and 130,000, respectively.[68]

The Association for Religious Data Archives (ARDA) is "a collection of surveys, polls, and other data submitted by the foremost scholars and research centers in the world." It gathers data from, "the US Census Bureau's International Data Base, the US State Department's International Religious Freedom Report, the United Nations Human Development Reports, and others"[42] including World Christian Database.[70]

Baháʼí Faith by country
Country or Territory Baháʼí sources WCE (1980)[71] WCE (2000)[72] ARDA (2010)[42][b] UNSD (2020)[73] Other sources
 Afghanistan (details) 600 23,075 16,541 400 (2007)[74]
 Albania (details) 14,024[citation needed] 5,711 7,126
 Algeria (details) 1,000 2,806 3,309
 American Samoa (details) 925 (2014)[75][c] 280 990
 Andorra (details) 110
 Angola (details) 600 1,488 2,061
 Anguilla (details) 50 86
 Antigua and Barbuda (details) 320 629 51 (2009)
 Argentina (details) 6,900 10,212 13,972
 Armenia (details) 1,331 1,190
 Aruba (details) 148
 Australia (details) 17,000[citation needed] 11,300 33,536 19,365 13,989 (2017) 8,947 (1996)[76]
11,036 (2001)[77]
12,331 (2006)[78]
13,706 (2011)[79]
13,988 (2016)[79]
 Austria (details) 2,120 3,780 1,948 760 (2003)
 Azerbaijan (details) 1,432 1,685
 Bahamas (details) 430 1,241 1,375 65 (2013)
 Bahrain (details) 500 1,379 2,832
 Bangladesh (details) 4,200 8,341 9,603
 Barbados (details) 400 (2010)[80] 1,440 3,522 3,337 98 (2016) 178 (2010)[81]
 Belarus (details) 106 100
 Belgium (details) 1,900 2,358 2,617
 Belize (details) 4,100 6,941 7,742 216 (2014) 202 (2010)[82]
 Benin (details) 5,400 13,074 11,637
 Bermuda (details) 120 325 124 (2011)
 Bhutan (details) 300 647 74
 Bolivia (details) 100,000 (1988)[83] 160,000 269,246 215,359
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (details) 0 0
 Botswana (details) 4,600 12,417 16,464 2,074 (2015) 700 (2001)[84]
 Brazil (details) 18,000 36,745 42,108
 British Virgin Islands (details) 90 192 10 (2016)
 Brunei (details) 710 981 199
 Bulgaria (details) 657 592
 Burkina Faso (details) 600[d] 2,767 2,860
 Burundi (details) 2,200 5,414 6,779
 Cambodia (details) 10,000[citation needed] 35,000 12,862 16,659
 Cameroon (details) 40,000[citation needed] 49,600 64,286 49,885
 Canada (details) 30,000[85] 40,000 31,396 46,826 18,945 (2013)
 Cape Verde (details) 200 655 759
 Cayman Islands (details) 80 336
 Central African Republic (details) 6,500 7,833 10,913
 Chad (details) 7,000 80,683 94,499
 Chile (details) 6,000 (2002)[86] 9,600 17,943 26,382
 People's Republic of China (details) 6,525 6,012
 Colombia (details) 30,000[citation needed] 38,000 64,758 70,504
 Comoros (details) 390 521 647
 Congo, Republic of (details) 6,200 12,927 25,879
 Congo, Democratic Republic of (details) 70,000[citation needed] 180,000 224,596 282,916
 Cook Islands (details) 160 161
 Costa Rica (details) 4,000[87] 8,400 11,571 13,457 3,000[88]
 Croatia (details) 150 (2006)[89] 0 0
 Cuba (details) 620 1,139 1,145
 Cyprus (details) 400 828 1,170
 Czech Republic (details) 950 966
 Denmark (details) 240 (1995)[68]
375 (2013)[90]
1,400 1,785 1,264 1,600 (1995)[68]
 Djibouti (details) 140 552 769
 Dominica (details) 70 1,225
 Dominican Republic (details) 5,500 5,904 6,899
 East Timor (details) 300 1,190
 Ecuador (details) 27,000 15,599 17,820
 Egypt (details) 3,000 (1960)[91]
500 (1987)[91]
500 (2001)[92]
1,000-2,000 (2019)[93]
1,500 5,760 6,946 2,000[94]
 El Salvador (details) 12,000 (1990)[95] 15,000 27,712 27,345
 Equatorial Guinea (details) 900 2,317 3,589
 Eritrea (details) 1,198 1,426
 Estonia (details) 459 496
 Eswatini (details) 11,000 4,516
 Ethiopia (details) 11,000 21,592 22,764
 Falkland Islands (details) 50 67 12 (2009)
 Faroe Islands (details) 50 124
 Fiji (details) 1,800 5,674 2,338
 Finland (details) 775 (2013)[90] 2,500 1,676 1,674 568 (2011)
 France (details) 5,000[citation needed] 3,700 4,136 4,453
 French Guiana (details) 500 725
 French Polynesia (details) 360 695
 Gabon (details) 300 405 605
 Gambia (details) 5,100 10,790 14,184
 Georgia (details) 1,725 1,639
 Germany (details) 6,000 (2019)[e] 11,500[f] 12,391 12,356 5,600 (2005)[97]
 Ghana (details) 10,000 12,146 14,106
 Greece (details) 300 611 189
 Greenland (details) 280 355
 Grenada (details) 160 145
 Guadeloupe (details) 640 1,595
 Guam (details) 800 1,863
 Guatemala (details) 7,000 20,073 19,898
 Guinea (details) 140 288 150
 Guinea-Bissau (details) 90 333 266
 Guyana (details) 110 (1969)
22,000 (1989)[98]
2,700 14,584 11,787 500 (2002)[99]
800 (2019)[100]
 Haiti (details) 11,700 17,055 22,614
 Honduras (details) 11,600 32,635 37,591
 Hong Kong (details) 600 1,120
 Hungary (details) 100 246 290
 Iceland (details) 360 (2013)[90] 400 801 599
 India (details) 700 (1953)[101]
2,000,000 (2020)[102]
1,050,000[g] 1,716,148 1,897,651 5,574 (1991)[103]
1,000,000 (1996)[104]
400,000 (1999)[104]
11,324 (2001)[105]
100,000 (2002)[106]
4,572 (2011)[107]
 Indonesia (details) 15,000 26,537 22,815
 Iran (details) 300,000 (1988)[108]
300,000 (2020)[4]
340,000 463,151 251,127 300,000–350,000 (1979)[109]
150,000–300,000[110]
300,000 (2019)[111]
 Iraq (details) 2,000[112] 700 2,607 3,801
 Ireland (details) 900 1,274 1,550 520 (2012)
 Israel (details) 650[113] 600 13,734 11,705
 Italy (details) 4,600 5,681 5,108
 Ivory Coast (details) 6,000 22,289 30,321
 Jamaica (details) 4,000[114] 5,000 7,456 5,157 269 (2013)
 Japan (details) 12,500 15,579 15,594
 Jordan (details) 1,000 17,221 15,655
 Kazakhstan (details) 6,967
 Kenya (details) 25,000-40,000[115] 180,000 308,292 422,782
 Kiribati (details) 3,500 4,321 2,322 (2013)
 Korea, North (details) 0 0 0
 Korea, South (details) 200[116] 18,000 32,096 33,084
 Kuwait (details) 2,000 5,172 8,992
 Kyrgyzstan (details) 0 1,426
 Laos (details) 150 1,229 13,450 2,122 (2019)
 Latvia (details) 0 0
 Lebanon (details) 1,400 3,272 3,889
 Lesotho (details) 10,700 19,062 19,195
 Liberia (details) 5,000 8,955 11,231
 Libya (details) 300 560 636
 Liechtenstein (details) 60 107
 Lithuania (details) 0 267 29 (2014)
 Luxembourg (details) 1,400 1,546 1,597
 Macao (details) 130
 Madagascar (details) 5,600 15,270 18,347
 Malawi (details) 15,000 (2003)[117] 11,600 24,501 34,323
 Malaysia (details) 30,000 (1986)[118] 62,000 97,78 67,549
 Maldives (details) 25 60 120
 Mali (details) 640 1,030 1,244
 Malta (details) 140 255 274
 Marshall Islands (details) 1,023
 Martinique (details) 1,600 2,031
 Mauritania (details) 140 267 346
 Mauritius (details) 7,500[citation needed] 9,500 21,848 23,742 645 (2012)
 Mexico (details) 23,000 33,903 38,902
 Micronesia, Federated States of (details) 8,000[citation needed] 1,909
 Moldova (details) 0 526
 Monaco (details) 30 57
 Mongolia (details) 8,000-9,000 (2020)[119] 0 53 55
 Montenegro (details) 0
 Montserrat (details) 200
 Morocco (details) 350-400[120] 3,200 28,719 32,598
 Mozambique (details) 1,400 3,405 2,877
 Myanmar (details) 15,000 49,044 78,915
 Namibia (details) 500 8,864 10,995
 Nauru (details) 130 1,106
   Nepal (details) 4,000 6,163 4,366 1,283 (2013) 1,211 (2011)[121]
 Netherlands (details) 3,100 5,506 6,672
 New Caledonia (details) 570 932
 New Zealand (details) 3,200 3,878 7,518 2,634 (2013) 2,925 (2018)[122]
 Nicaragua (details) 4,000 9,616 10,918
 Niger (details) 1,100 2,978 5,528
 Nigeria (details) 21,000 27,031 38,190
 North Macedonia (details) 0 0
 Norway (details) 1,200 (2013)[90] 1,400 2,179 2,737 1,015 (2007)[123]
 Oman (details) 420 9,123 9,987
 Pakistan (details) 30,000 (2001)[124] 25,000 78,658 87,259 33,734 (2012)[125]
31,543 (2018)[126]
2,000-3,000 (2013)[127]
 Palau (details) 150 96 (2005)
 Panama (details) 20,000 35,318 41,170
 Papua New Guinea (details) 40,000 (2006)[128] 17,900 34,939 59,898
 Paraguay (details) 2,900 9,011 10,624
 Peru (details) 20,000 36,463 41,316
 Philippines (details) 64,000[citation needed] 115,000 229,522 275,069
 Poland (details) 504 766
 Portugal (details) 6,000[citation needed] 2,000 1,845 2,086
 Puerto Rico (details) 1,400 2,788 2,698
 Qatar (details) 420 985 2,717
 Réunion (details) 1,800 5,927
 Romania (details) 542 (1990)[129] 100 1,843 1,895
 Russia (details) 3,000[citation needed] 4,600[h] 16,586 19,338
 Rwanda (details) 4,000[130] 7,500 14,211 19,592
 Samoa (details) 925 (2014)[131][i] 3,300 4,178 817 (2018)
 São Tomé and Príncipe (details) 90 3,011 1,645[j]
 Saudi Arabia (details) 1,000 4,045 5,138
 Senegal (details) 3,200 16,804 23,883
 Serbia (details) 1,268
 Seychelles (details) 210 312 392 (2005)
 Sierra Leone (details) 1,150 11,385 13,765
 Singapore (details) 900 5,482 7,963
 Slovakia (details) 200[citation needed] 667 686 1,065 (2013)
 Slovenia (details) 297 396
 Solomon Islands (details) 800 1,903
 Somalia (details) 1,000 2,110[k] 2,677
 South Africa (details) 23,000 255,775 238,532 2,264 (2000)
 South Sudan (details)
 Spain (details) 4,500 13,647 13,528
 Sri Lanka (details) 9,700 15,489 15,502
 Sudan (details) 700 1,828 2,706
 Suriname (details) 5,000 6,424 3,591
 Sweden (details) 1,080 (2013)[132] 1,900 5,048 6,814
  Switzerland (details) 3,500 3,728 3,878
 Syria (details) 100 123 430
 Taiwan (details) 5,000 12,555 16,252
 Tajikistan (details) 743 3,092 1,000 (2018)[133]
 Tanzania (details) 35,000[citation needed] 60,000 140,593 190,419
 Thailand (details) 10,000 144,243 65,096
 Togo (details) 2,800 25,395 30,423
 Tonga (details) 1,700 6,582 755 (2019)
 Trinidad and Tobago (details) 8,000 15,627 15,973
 Tunisia (details) 520 1,917 2,096 150 (2001)[134]
 Turkey (details) 5,100 19,618 21,259
 Turkmenistan (details) 964 1,090
 Tuvalu (details) 400 580 177 (2007)
 Uganda (details) 105,000[135] 330,600 66,546 95,098 29,601 (2014)[136]
 Ukraine (details) 1,000[citation needed] 252 227
 United Arab Emirates (details) 1,400 55,214 38,364
 United Kingdom (details) 5,000 (1985)[137]
7,000 (2020)[138]
15,600[l] 30,628 47,554 5,021 (2011)[139]
 United States (details) 1,500 (1899)[140]
1,200 (1906)[140]
100,000 (1988)[141]
130,000 (1995)[68]
177,647 (2020)[24]
[m]
210,000 753,423 512,864 28,000 (1991)[142]
84,000 (2001)[142]
100,000 (2006)[143]
 United States Virgin Islands (details) 360 577
 Uruguay (details) 3,800 7,356 7,385
 Uzbekistan (details) 1,000[citation needed] 708 800
 Vanuatu (details) 160 5,418 3,293
 Venezuela (details) 1,218 (1965)[144]
20,000 (2000)[144]
35,000 141,072 169,811
 Vietnam (details) 200,000 (<1975)
6,000 (2006)[145]
220,000 356,133 388,802 3,000 (2019)[146]
 Western Sahara (details) 100 121
 Yemen (details) 250[citation needed] 480 1,000 1,328
 Zambia (details) 4,000 (2017)[147] 16,000 162,443 241,112 3,891 (2015)
 Zimbabwe (details) 1,000 (1971)
20,000 (1985)[148]
14,500 37,077 39,893 35,000 (1995)[149]

Adherents by continent

The following data comes from World Christian Encyclopedia (1st ed., 1982).[150]

Continent 1900 1970 1975 1980
Africa 225 695,094 847,795 1,024,440
East Asia 0 27,307 31,620 36,230
Europe 0 53,810 58,580 63,270
Latin America 0 298,350 376,070 462,100
Northern America 2,800 162,350 206,410 250,470
Oceania 0 29,355 38,640 48,115
South Asia 5,800 1,389,160 1,639,260 1,933,405
USSR 200 4,000 4,300 4,600
World[61] 9,025 2,659,426 3,202,675 3,822,630

The following data comes from World Christian Encyclopedia (2st ed., 2001).[151]

Continent 1900 1970 1990 1995 2000
Africa 225 698,094 1,383,320 1,546,330 1,732,816
Asia 5,900 1,411,530 2,811,995 3,034,140 3,475,167
Europe 210 56,810 106,635 120,275 129,706
Latin America 0 299,350 357,845 763,205 872,757
Northern America 2,800 162,350 628,675 712,335 785,587
Oceania 400 29,215 83,217 97,595 110,387
World[7] 9,535 2,657,349 5,671,687 6,273,880 7,106,420

In "The Baha'i Faith 1957–1988: A Survey of Contemporary Developments" (Religion: 1989), Baháʼí authors Momen and Smith provide the following estimates of the Baháʼís in the world over 3 decades, broken out by cultural areas. They derived numbers from, "calculation of approximate numbers from the number of Bahá'í organizations; extrapolating back from the official figures for the number of individual Bahá'ís provided more recently; estimates provided by informed Bahá'ís; and when the first draft of this paper was completed, a copy was sent to the Department of Statistics in Haifa and the present table incorporates some of the statistical information given in the reply to this, dated 8 July 1988."[1]

Cultural area 1954 1968 1988
Middle East and North Africa 200,000 250,000 300,000
North America, Europe & Anglo-Pacific 10,000 30,000 200,000
South Asia 1,000 300,000 1,900,000
South-east Asia 2,000 200,000 300,000
East Asia 10,000 20,000
Latin America & the Caribbean 100,000 700,000
Africa (sub-Saharan) 200,000 1,000,000
Oceania (excluding Anglo-Pacific) 5,000 70,000
World 213,000 1,095,000 4,490,000

Other statistics from Baháʼí sources

1928[152] 1949[152] 1968[5] ± 1986[5] 2001 2006[153]
National Spiritual Assemblies 7 11 81 165 179
Local Spiritual Assemblies 102 595 6,840 18,232 11,740[154]
Countries where the Baháʼí Faith is established:
independent countries
36 92 187 191
Localities where Baháʼís reside 573 2315 31,572 >116,000 127,381[5]
Indigenous tribes, races,
and ethnic groups
1,179 >2,100 2,112
Languages into which Baháʼí literature is translated 417 800
Baháʼí Publishing Trusts 9 26 33[5]

Further data on National Spiritual Assemblies

Year Number of NSAs[155][156][157]
1923 3
1936 10
1953 12
1963 56
1973 113
1979 125
1988 148
2001 182
2008 184

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ In 2012 the Pew Research Center published a report on the Global Religious Landscape. Baháʼís were grouped into the category "Other Religions" together with Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and various others. The report said, "Because of the lack of data on these faiths in many countries, the Pew Forum has not attempted to estimate the size of individual religions within this category..." It also noted: "Although some faiths in the 'other religions' category have millions of adherents around the world, censuses and surveys in many countries do not measure them specifically. Estimates of the global size of these faiths generally come from other sources, such as the religious groups themselves."[10]
  2. ^ The ARDA's data is reproduced from the World Christian Database's 2010 estimates.[42]
  3. ^ Samoa and American Samoa share a single Baháʼí National Spiritual Assembly
  4. ^ The source refers to the country by its old name, Republic of Upper Volta.
  5. ^ Minors under 15 years of age not counted.[96]
  6. ^ This number is for West Germany, and there is no entry for Baháʼís in East Germany.
  7. ^ Source separately lists 10,000 in the Indian state of Sikkim
  8. ^ Data is for the USSR
  9. ^ Samoa and American Samoa share a single Baháʼí National Spiritual Assembly
  10. ^ Source gives the number for Guadalupe, which is the main city of the nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.
  11. ^ Source lists 1,838 in Somalia and 272 in Somaliland
  12. ^ The source separately identifies 300 on the Channel Islands.
  13. ^ Baháʼí numbers are for the continental states, excluding Alaska, Hawai'i, and territories.

Citations

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References

Books

Encyclopedias

Journals

News reports

Other sources

Further reading

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