Baha’i Faith in Vietnam

Baha'i Faith

The formation and development of the Baha’i Faith were closely related to social factors in Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At the same time, it was related to the reputation and achievements of Miraza Husayn-Ali (1817-1892), who bore the title of Baha’u’llah.

When Baha’u’llah passed away (1892), the leadership passed to his eldest son, Abdul-Baha, and then to his paternal grandchild, Shoghi Eppendi. After Shoghi Eppendi passed away (1957), the governance was transferred to an international council.

Baha'i Faith icon
Baha’i Faith icon

The numbers of Baha’i followers over the years were recorded as follows: there were approximately one million followers in 35 countries in 1921, about 4.9 million followers in 214 countries and territories in 1990, and more than 6.2 million followers in 235 countries and territories in 2007.

During its development, this religion had a great influence on the international community. In 1948, UNESCO formally recognized it as a non-governmental organization. In 1970, it obtained consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and its representative was elected as Chairman of the United Nations Committee on Nongovernmental Organizations.

The Shrine of Báb and Terraces in Haifa Israel
The Shrine of Báb and Terraces in Haifa Israel

The Revelation of Baha’i’s Belief

According to Baha’i’s Belief, God, the Creator of the universe, is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-merciful. Just as the physical sun shines on the world, so the light of God is shed upon all Creation. It is impossible for any mortal mind to truly understand the reality of God. However broad or imaginative our concept of God may be, it will always be circumscribed by the limitations of the human mind.

The Baha’i faith also believes that throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God—among them Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities. Following the coming of a Manifestation of God extraordinary progress occurs in the world. Reaching to the roots of human motivation, His teachings awaken in whole populations’ capacities to contribute to the advancement of civilization to an extent never before possible.

Today, we find ourselves at the threshold of the coming of age of the human race. Passing through different stages, we have collectively traversed our infancy and childhood. Around the world, human society is being reshaped, and the ultimate trend is clear: we are witnessing nothing less than the organization of human society as a planetary civilization.

“Witness the wondrous evidences of God’s handiwork, and reflect upon its range and character.” — Bahá’u’lláh.

(Source: The Bahá’í Faith – The website of the worldwide Baha’i community)

Followers of the Baha’i Faith worship God and advocate ending the conflict in favor of promoting harmony between different countries, religions, and ethnic groups. Religion supports the elimination of poverty and the excessive accumulation of property. It is attentive to ethical and social issues, as well as equal protection and compulsory general education. It considers different religions as the initiatory stages of the spiritual truth. It also recognizes the essential harmony between science and religion. It prohibits slavery, approves of drug and alcohol elimination, and emphasizes obedience to policies and laws of the government.

The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Haifa Israel
The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Akka Israel

There are twelve annual holy days and big anniversaries of the Baha’i Faith, such as Naw-Ruz (on March 21), the First Day of Ridvan (April 21), the Ninth Day of Ridvan (April 29), the Twelfth Day of Ridvan (May 2), the Declaration of the Bab (May 23), the Ascension of Baha’u’llah (May 29), the Martyrdom of Bab (July 9), the Birth of Bab (October 20), the Birth of Baha’u’llah (November 12), the Day of Covenant (November 26) and the Ascension of Abdul Baha (November 28). Among these holy days, the anniversary of the First Day of Ridvan is the most important.

Baha’ism also has fasting once a year from March 2-21. During this period, worshipers abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. They take their meals in the evenings in order to spend the bulk of their time praying and meditating.

There are no monks in the Baha’i Faith. Local religious activities are organized by a nine-member council, whose local mature members are elected by ballot once a year.

Seat of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa Israel
Seat of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa Israel

The Baha’i community is under the leadership of the Baha’i Spiritual Assembly, which is divided into three levels: the Local Spiritual Assembly, the National Spiritual Assembly, and the International Spiritual Assembly. The Baha’i world center is located in Haifa (Israel).

The Baha’i Faith spread into Vietnam from India after 1954. The first Baha’i Spiritual Assembly was founded in Sai Gon in April 1955. Before April 30, 1975, there were 200,000 Baha’i followers and 687 local spiritual assemblies. The Baha’i Faith had foundations in most provinces and cities in North Vietnam. There had been many strong activities. One of the most prominent Baha’i activities was the “World Religion Day,” organized annually since 1962. On this day, representatives of other religions (such as Buddhism, Catholicism, and Islam) were invited to discuss topics about religious unity and the social role of religious harmony. From 1964 to 1975, the Vietnam National Spiritual Assembly repeatedly participated in the election of the International Spiritual Assembly.

Bahai Faith Center in Danang
Bahai Faith Center in Danang

After the Liberation of South Vietnam, Baha’i activities gradually decreased in Vietnam. After 1975, Baha’i followers prayed and practiced the tenets at home, because their organization had been unsuccessful in gaining legal status. After the implementation of the renewal policy on religious freedom adopted by the Party and the State of Vietnam, the authorities of some major cities and provinces allowed the Baha’i Faith to work again. This allowed the Baha’i Faith to expand into Hanoi and northern provinces such as Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Nam Dinh, Ha Tay, Bac Giang, Son La, Hoa Binh, and Hai Phong. Up to now, there are 7,000 Baha’i followers in 45 provinces and cities.

In Vietnam, the Baha’i Faith was licensed in February 2007. According to the Decision No.l50/QD-TGCP issued in August 2008 by the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, the Baha’i organization in Vietnam was recognized as the Vietnam Baha’i Spiritual Assembly.

Contact to Baha’i Faith in Vietnam:

Tel: +84 286 674 9593
Email: [email protected]
Representative: Mr. Nguyen Dinh Thoa

6 thoughts on “Baha’i Faith in Vietnam

  1. Hedy says:

    Hi Michael,

    Yes, your wife and you can attend a Baha’i Center in Hanoi which is called Baha’i Le Dai Hanh.

    Best regards,

  2. Behrouz Rohani says:

    I would like to find out the contact details of the Baha’i Community information canter or the Baha’i Centre in Hanoi.
    Thank you,
    Kind regards,

  3. Carol Sery says:

    I would like to purchase Baha’i literature in the Vietnamese language. Where can I go to do this?
    Thank you.

  4. Phạm Văn Duyên says:

    Hi Michael,
    We not yet have Bahai center in Hanoi, but we have The Local Spiritual Assembly. In Hochiminh city we have Bahai center

    45 Nguyễn Phi Khanh, Phường Tân Định
    Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
    Việt Nam

    Điện thoại: +84.28.66749593
    Email: [email protected]
    Đại diện: Ông Nguyễn Đình Thỏa

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