March 10, 2020

1984: The Pacific region and the Baha’i Faith – a brief summary by the Universal House of Justice

In reviewing the religious history of the Pacific during the Baha'i Dispensation we recall that it was only a short time prior to the Declaration of the Bab that the Teachings of Christ spread throughout these islands; that the Teachings of Baha'u'llah were first proclaimed there when the Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in December 1901; that at the beginning of the World Crusade in 1953 only a handful of islands had had any contact with the Faith; and that at Ridvan 1959 when the first regional National Spiritual Assembly of the South Pacific was established in Suva there were in its area but twelve Local Spiritual Assemblies in nine island groups. Witness now what has happened in the quarter century since 1959.
  • The first reigning monarch in the world to embrace the Faith of Baha'u'llah is the Head of State of Western Samoa whose official residence is near the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar.
  • There are now a total of thirteen National Spiritual Assemblies in the homelands of the Polynesians, the Melanesians and the Micronesians.
    • The Caroline Islands
    • Fiji
    • The Hawaiian Islands
    • Kiribati
    • The Mariana Islands
    • The Marshall Islands
    • New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Samoa
    • The Solomon Islands
    • Tonga
    • Tuvalu
    • Vanuatu
  • Two additional National Spiritual Assemblies are to be formed at Ridvan 1985: those of The Cook Islands and the Western Caroline Islands.
  • Nearly five hundred Local Spiritual Assemblies are established.
  • Baha'is reside in nearly 2,000 localities.
  • There are more than 31,000 believers in the Pacific.
  • Baha'is constitute more than one percent of the total population in eight national communities in the Pacific.
  • The seventh Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the world stands in all its glory on the mountainside at Tiapapata. This spot has now become the spiritual heart of the Baha'i communities in the Pacific basin. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated August 1984 to the friends gathered in Apia, Western Samoa on the occasion of the dedication of the Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands; ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’)