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Bahá'í Faith in Sweden

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Title: Bahá'í Faith in Sweden  
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Subject: Bahá'í Faith in Norway, Religion in Sweden, Bahá'í Faith in Europe, Irreligion in Sweden, Bahá'í Faith in Slovakia
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Bahá'í Faith in Sweden

The Bahá'í Faith in Sweden began after coverage in the 19th century[1] followed by several Swede-Americans who had met 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the United States around 1912 and pioneered or visited the country starting in 1920.[2] By 1932 translations of Bahá'í literature had been accomplished and around 1947 the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly had been elected in Stockholm.[3] In 1962 the first National Spiritual Assembly of Sweden was elected.[4] The Bahá'ís claim about 1,000 members and 25 local assemblies in Sweden.[5]

Early history

The first mentions of the religion happened when the book En resa in Persia, published 1869, which mentions the Báb,[1] who Bahá'ís view as the herald to the founder of the religion. Bahá'u'lláh is first mentioned in a published account of Persian travels in 1869 in the magazine Kringsjå No. 2 from July 31, 1896. The Swedish artist Ivan Aguéli meet `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1902. In 1912 Louise M. Erickson attended the dedication of the first Bahá'í House of Worship in the West - in Chicago, United States. The first comprehensive article covering the religion was in the July 2, 1913 issue of Aftonbladet.[6] It covers the history of the period of the Báb, through Bahá'u'lláh imprisonment and banishments, and `Abdu'l-Bahá's freedom and visit to Paris.

`Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets of the Divine Plan

`Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, wrote a series of letters, or tablets, to the followers of the religion in the United States in 1916-1917; these letters were compiled together in the book titled Tablets of the Divine Plan. The seventh of the tablets was the first to mention several countries in Europe including beyond where `Abdu'l-Bahá had visited in 1911-12. Written on April 11, 1916, it was delayed in being presented in the United States until 1919 — after the end of World War I and the Spanish flu. The seventh tablet was translated and presented by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab on April 4, 1919, and published in Star of the West magazine on December 12, 1919.[7]

"In brief, this world-consuming war has set such a conflagration to the hearts that no word can describe it. In all the countries of the world the longing for universal peace is taking possession of the consciousness of men. There is not a soul who does not yearn for concord and peace. A most wonderful state of receptivity is being realized.… Therefore, O ye believers of God! Show ye an effort and after this war spread ye the synopsis of the divine teachings in the British Isles, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Malta, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Hebrides and Orkney Islands."[8]


Following the release of these tablets a few Bahá'ís began moving to or at least visiting countries across Europe. August Rudd, born in Värmland on 7 August 1871,[3] became the first Swedish Bahá'í pioneer in July 1920, with permission of `Abdu'l-Baha, on returning from Kenosha and Chicago, United States[2] where he and his brothers had sold their inventions.[3] Rudd settled in [1] Bowman then moved to Oslo Norway in 1949 and spent the next 33 years pioneering in various countries of Europe.[9]


The third inter-continental teachings conference was held in Stockholm 21–26 July 1953 at which a number of talks were given for the general public as well as the Bahá'ís[10] including a long letter from Shoghi Effendi[11] which outlined various goals for the community across Europe. As the religion spread across Scandinavia it reached the point where a regional National Spiritual Assembly for Norway, Malmö, Stockholm, and Uppsala. Smaller groups of Bahá'ís were in Alafors, Brastad, Sundbyberg - and an additional 16 isolated individuals spread through the country.[4]

Modern community

Since its inception the religion has had involvement in [23] Sigtuna,[24] and Uppsala.[25]


The Bahá'ís claim about 1,000 Bahá'ís and 25 local assemblies in Sweden from Umeå in the north to Malmö in the south.[5] In November 2009 the Swedish paper Västerbottens-Kuriren reported that 25 local non-profit Bahá'í organization had changed their organizational form to religious communions. The central Bahá'í secretariat in Stockholm stated at the time that the Baha'i Faith in Sweden had 1003 members.[26] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 6,200 Bahá'ís in 2005.[27]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e National Spiritual Assembly of Norway (2007-8). "Skandinavisk bahá'í historie". Official Website of the Bahá'ís of Norway. National Spiritual Assembly of Norway. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b Collins, William; [Ed.] Moojan Momen. Studies in Babi and Baha'i History, volumes 1, chapter: Kenosha, 1893-1912: History of an Early Bahá'í Community in the United States. Kalimat Press. p. 248.  
  3. ^ a b c d "August og Anna Ruud". National Spiritual Council of the Baha'is in Norway. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b Compiled by  
  5. ^ a b "English Summary". National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Sweden. Retrieved 2009-07-04. . The Bahá'ís only count adults 21 years or older, who have declared their faith in Bahá'u'lláh by signing a testimonial. If the Baha'i believers, like the Muslims, should count all children is the number of Bahá'ís in Sweden over 3000.
  6. ^ a b c Djazayeri, Ezzatollah (1992). "Bahá'í i den Svenska pressen". Extracts from Bahá'í history in Sweden. National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Sweden. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  7. ^ Abbas, 'Abdu'l-Bahá; Mirza Ahmad Sohrab; trans. and comments (April 1919). Tablets, Instructions and Words of Explanation. 
  8. ^  
  9. ^ a b "Amelia Bowman". National Spiritual Council of the Baha'is in Norway. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  10. ^ "Den tredje interkontinentale undervisningskonferansen". National Spiritual Assembly of Norway. Retrieved 200-9-07-05. 
  11. ^  
  12. ^ Hassall, Graham; Universal House of Justice. "National Spiritual Assemblies statistics 1923-1999". Assorted Resource Tools. Bahá'í Library Online. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  13. ^ a b Momen, Moojan. "History of the Baha'i Faith in Iran". draft "A Short Encyclopedia of the Baha'i Faith". Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  14. ^ Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi (1997). "Education of women and socio-economic development". Baha'i Studies Review 7 (1). 
  15. ^ Momen, Moojan; Smith, Peter (1989). "The Baha'i Faith 1957–1988: A Survey of Contemporary Developments". Religion 19: 63–91.  
  16. ^ Lundberg, Zaid. "Bahá'í Apocalypticism: The Concept of Progressive Revelation". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  17. ^ "All papers by Lundberg". `Irfán Colloquia. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  18. ^ "Wilmette Institute Board and Staff".  
  19. ^ "Bahá'í-projekt". National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Sweden. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  20. ^ "Sweden 2005". Nordic Baha'i Youth Conferences. Vikings, Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  21. ^ "Sweden 2009". Nordic Baha'i Youth Conferences. Vikings, Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  22. ^ "Välkommen till Stockholm Bahá’í". Spiritual Assembly of Stockholm. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  23. ^ "Bahá’i på Bok- & Biblioteksmässan" (pdf). Bahá'í-bladet. Spiritual Assembly of Göteborg. 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  24. ^ "Aktuella nyheter och kampanjer i Sigtuna". Spiritual Assembly of Sigtuna. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  25. ^ "Lokal information". Spiritual Assembly of Uppsala. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  26. ^ "Forening blir forsamling" in Västerbottens-Kuriren 30 november 2009. Umeå: Article by Anders Wynne.
  27. ^ "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". QuickLists > Compare Nations > Religions >. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 

External links

  • Official Website of the National Spiritual Assembly of Sweden
    • Official Website of the Schools Committee of the NSA of Sweden
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