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Baha'i Faith (1844 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Other Groups
Religious Tradition: Other
Description: The Baha'i Faith is an independent monotheistic religion with its own sacred scriptures, laws, calendar, and holy days. It was founded by Baha'u'llah in 19th-century Persia (today known as Iran). It is not a part of Islam, but its origins cannot be understood apart from the Shi'a Muslim environment in which it was born. The first public mention of the Baha'i Faith in North America was at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago, IL. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada was incorporated in 1927.
Official Site:

Maps: Baha'i Faith1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Baha'i Faith States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 South Carolina 15 17,062 3.33
2 New Mexico 8 2,840 1.34
3 Oregon 37 5,653 1.33
4 Arizona 30 8,234 1.15
5 South Dakota 3 978 1.10

Top 5 Baha'i Faith Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Marion County, SC 0 1,773 60.75
2 Williamsburg County, SC 0 1,484 47.83
3 Dillon County, SC 0 1,130 39.94
4 Bennett County, SD 0 111 32.83
5 Terrell County, GA 0 247 26.89

Top 5 Baha'i Faith Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Rank Metro Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Florence, SC Metro Area 1 3,425 17.13
2 Georgetown, SC Micro Area 1 619 9.76
3 Bennettsville, SC Micro Area 0 238 8.92
4 Orangeburg, SC Micro Area 0 521 6.19
5 Sumter, SC Metro Area 0 626 4.58

Baha'i Faith, Members (1935 - 1992)2

Baha'i Faith, Ministers & Churches (1935 - 1992)2

Baha'i Faith, Trends (1935 - 1992)2

1935 1,967 55
1936 2,584 88
1942 4,489
1947 5,232 137
1952 180
1967 394
1992 110,000 1,700


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

2 All data on clergy, members, and churches are taken from the National Council of Churches’ Historic Archive CD and recent print editions of the Council’s Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The CD archives all 68 editions of the Yearbook (formerly called Yearbook of the Churches and Yearbook of American Churches) from 1916 to 2000. Read more information on the Historic Archive CD and the Yearbook.

Membership figures are "inclusive." According to the Yearbook, this includes "those who are full communicant or confirmed members plus other members baptized, non-confirmed or non-communicant." Each denomination has its own criteria for membership.

When a denomination listed on the Historic Archive CD was difficult to identify, particularly in early editions of the Yearbook, the ARDA staff consulted numerous sources, including Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions and the Handbook of Denominations in the United States. In some cases, ARDA staff consulted the denomination’s website or contacted its offices by phone. When a denomination could not be positively identified, its data were omitted.

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