Bahá’í Chronology

1863 – Bahá’u’lláh is banished a second time, to Constantinople (Istanbul). On the eve of His departure from Baghdad, Bahá’u’lláh announces that He is the long-awaited Messenger of God promised by the Bab. Thereafter, the religion is known as the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’ís recognize Bahá’u’lláh as the most recent in a line of Messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad and the Bab.

1863-1892 – Bahá’u’lláh reveals numerous volumes of Sacred Scripture, outlining His Teachings, answering difficult theological questions, and establishing the laws and institutions of His faith. Bahá’u’lláh is a unique world religious figure in that He establishes in writing the future pattern of the organization of His faith. He also writes letters to the kings and rulers of His day, informing them of the advent of His Revelation.

1868 – Bahá’u’lláh arrives in the Holy Land with about 70 family members and followers, sentenced by the Ottoman authorities to perpetual confinement in the penal colony of Acre. The order of strict confinement was never lifted, but due to the growing recognition of the eminence of His character, He eventually moves outside the walls of the Old City of Acre to a nearby estate called Bahji.

 29 May 1892 – Bahá’u’lláh passes away and is interred at Bahji. For Bahá’ís, His Shrine is the holiest place on earth and a place of pilgrimage. At His instruction, the spiritual and administrative center of His Faith is permanently fixed in the Haifa/Acre area.

For the first time in history, a world religion founder leaves a written Will. Bahá’u’lláh appoints His eldest son, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá (1844-1921), as the head of the Faith and authorized interpreter of His Teachings. The name, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, means “Servant of Baha.”

1893 – The first public mention of the Bahá’í Faith in North America is made at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago.

9 July 1907 – The Chicago Bahá’í Assembly incorporates, becoming the first local Baha’i community in the world to acquire legal status. The American Bahá’í community, then numbering about 1,000 members, begins building the first Baha’i House of Worship in the West on the shores of Lake Michigan.

1911-1913 – Following the Young Turk Revolution, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá’s imprisonment under the Ottoman Turks is ended. He then journeys throughout Europe and North America to encourage nascent Bahá’í communities and to proclaim Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings to the general public.

1921 – ‘Abdu'l-Bahá passes away, leaving a will designating His eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi (1896-1957), as His successor and conferring upon him the title of Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith.

1927 – The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada is incorporated. Its charter document, the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws, subsequently serves as the model for the formation of more than 180 National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world.

1953 – The Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, IL is dedicated for public worship.

1957 – Shoghi Effendi passes away. During his ministry, the Faith spread around the world and its local and national administrative institutions were established. The Guardian translated Bahá’í scriptures from Arabic and Persian into English, wrote several major works, carried on a voluminous correspondence, and gave great impetus to the development of the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa. With the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, the line of hereditary leaders of the Bahá’í Faith came to an end.

1963 – Following Bahá’u’lláh’s instructions, Bahá’ís elect for the first time the Universal House of Justice, the world governing body of the Baha’i Faith. Elections for the Universal House of Justice are held every five years. Endowed by Bahá’u’lláh with the authority to legislate on all matters not specifically laid down in the Bahá’í scriptures, the Universal House of Justice keeps the Bahá’í community unified and responsive to the needs and conditions of an evolving world.

Today – The Bahá’í community now has more than five million members from over 2000 ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Bahá’í communities are established in more than 230 countries and dependent territories, with elected national administrative institutions in 182 countries.


Bahá'í Center


177, av des Pins E
Montréal, QC H2W 1N9
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Phone: 514-849-0753

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Montreal Shrine


1548, av des Pins O, Montreal
Phone: 514-568-2104

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