South Asia

Authored by: Anne M. Pearson

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:


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This chapter focusses on the history and development of the Bahá’í Faith in India between the mid-nineteenth century and the year 2020. Pertinent references to the neighbouring countries that constitute modern South Asia are also included. India now holds the largest Bahá’í community in the world, and hosts one of the continental Houses of Worship, the ‘Lotus Temple’ in New Delhi. The chapter notes that the Bahá’í Faith accepts Hinduism as a divinely revealed religion and recognizes Krishna as a Manifestation of God. It also notes that the association of the Bahá’í Faith with South Asia begins with the earliest days of the new religion. Several individuals who have been identified as of South Asian origin were Bábís, including, Sa‘íd Hindí. Subsequently, Bahá’í teachers from various countries travelled to the subcontinent and helped to establish the Faith in the region, notably Jamal Effendi and Martha Root. The chapter briefly describes some significant early Indian Bahá’ís, such as Narayanrao Ranganath Shethji, better known as Vakil, and Pritam Singh.

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