Latin America and The Caribbean

Authored by: Robert H. Stockman

The World of the Bahá'í Faith

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138367722
eBook ISBN: 9780429027772
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429027772-52

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Abstract

The expansion of the Bahá’í Faith into Latin America and the Caribbean started in 1919 with a tour of at least seven countries by Martha Root, a North American Bahá’í. By 1937, nine Bahá’ís had visited or settled in 12 countries. In that year Shoghi Effendi called on North America’s Bahá’ís to settle at least one Bahá’í in every republic of Latin America by 1944. That goal was accomplished and 11 local Spiritual Assemblies were formed as well. This made it possible to elect two regional Spiritual Assemblies, for South America and for Central America and the Caribbean respectively, in 1951. By 1962, nearly every country had its own national Spiritual Assembly, and by 1964 the area had 288 local Assemblies. Growth has continued, especially reaching indigenous peoples, starting in 1947. In the 1980s Bahá’í radio stations broadcasting in indigenous languages were established in four countries. Rapid growth in Colombia prompted development of the Ruhi curriculum in the 1980s and 1990s, which is now used worldwide. The region now has three Bahá’í temples and close to a million Bahá’ís.

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