Early References to the Bábi and Bahá'í Religions in Spain

By Amin Egea

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #48
Center for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 10–13, 2003
(see list of papers from #48)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 5, pages 59-76
under new title
"Chronicles of a Birth: Early References to the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions in Spain (1850-1853)"
© 2004, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    (See also Part 2, Part 3, and Part 3, corrected.)

    This presentation will examine the sources for Bábí and Bahá'í history available in Span covering the years 1844 to 1947 (when the Bahá'í faith was established in Spain) discovered by the author over a number of years.There have been found more than 160 references to the Bábí and Bahá'í religions in the Spanish daily press, together with some 50 books, plus some 20 periodicals and a few manuscripts.

    The earliest press articles found were published in 1850 and announce the news of the Zanjan upheaval (Madrid October 24th) and the martyrdom of the Báb (Barcelona and Madrid on different days of November). The latest news found were published in 1903 and refer to the Bahá'í persecutions in Yazd. News articles from 1852, 1853, 1873, 1880, 1889 and 1896 have also been found.

    The earliest reference found in a book is from an encyclopedia published in 1854. Most of the books found are translations of foreign authors or reference works like dictionaries, encyclopedias or manuals. There are, however, some interesting contributions made by Spanish authors.

    Some very interesting periodical articles have also been found. These include authors such as a monk living in Haifa, a missionary in North Africa, a Prime Minister, a famous woman-writer and many others totaling almost twenty.

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