Baháʼí Faith in Spain

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The Baháʼí Faith in Spain begins with coverage of events in the history of the Bábí religion in the 1850s.[1] The first mention of Spain in Baháʼí literature was ʻAbdu'l-Bahá mentioning it as a place to take the religion to in 1916.[2] The first Baháʼí to visit Spain was in 1930[3] and the first pioneer to stay was Virginia Orbison in January 1947.[4] Following some conversions to the religion the first Baháʼí Local Spiritual Assembly of Madrid was elected in 1948.[5] As of 1959 there were 28 Baháʼís registered in Spain.[6] Following the spread of the religion the first National Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1962.[7] Following the election the breadth of initiatives of the community increased privately until 1968 when the national assembly was able to register as a Non-Catholic Religious Association in the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Information and Tourism allowing public religious events and publication and importation of religious materials.[8] Following this the diversity of initiatives of the community significantly expanded. Baháʼís began operating a permanent Baháʼí school[9] and in 1970 the first Spanish Roma joined the religion.[10] In 1981 the Baháʼís held a separate school in the north central region of Spain to which over 100 people form 26 communities attended[11] and the Spiritual Assembly of Mallorca held several month long classes (mostly for non-Baháʼís) in computer usage in 1985.[12] Fifty years after the first local assembly there were 100 assemblies.[13] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying on World Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 13300 Baháʼís in 2005.[14] In 2008 the Universal House of Justice picked the Spanish community to host a regional conference for the Iberian peninsula and beyond.[15]