World Bahai Census: How Many Bahais?

Recently two articles posted on net effectively analyzed the exaggerated Baha’i claims of their numbers. One was “Exit by troops” ( and the other “Three types of Baha’i census of India”. (

The first article is a very moderate view of the author, whereas the second article “The Three Type of Baha’i census of India” is much deeper analysiation supported by documents authenticated by figures.

The common point in the two analyses is the fact that the key reason for this huge discrepancy in Baha’i census is that no one is ever removed from the membership rolls unless they write a letter to the National Center renouncing their belief. So a person who becomes disillusioned and simply drifts away can remain on the rolls indefinitely. Once a Baha’i then always a Baha’i even after his death.’

There is another opinion by Mr. Larry Rowe who believes that “the gross exaggeration of world Baha’i membership numbers is meant to placate all those who have been promised entry by troops for the past 80 years. The gross exaggeration of the number of actual Baha’is in India goes hand in hand with the inclusion of tens of thousands of people who signed declaration cards in North America in the past 20 to 40 years and that was it; they never truly became Baha’is they simply put their name on a card like you would on a Zellers card and never followed it up. Also the many others who signed declaration cards but who have become inactive and no long believe in the Baha’i faith or have actually joined other religious communities but have never taken the time to resign and have been addressing unknown for many years.”

Well I feel that the real cause for such a huge exaggeration in Baha’i census is much deeper and that is ‘well planned strategy of Baha’i administration centered at Haifa to show to the world high acceptability and success so as to claim that Baha’i Faith is one of the major religions of the world. It can be considered as the thirteen unwritten principle of Haifa based organization. All the counselors, ABMs assistant and members of LSAs are trained to work towards achieving this goal. The one who is more expert in this exaggeration is promoted much higher in the Baha’i administration order.

The Ruhi book courses are just to collect the addresses and to claim these are Bahais. False stories are fabricated that the whole world is just dying for doing Ruhi books and to be converted. Whereas the fact is that many countries have deported Bahais for prolyesting children and Junior youths as young as fifteen years and in many countries the Priests have warned the bahais not to do any moral classes with Christian children they may do it only for Baha’i children.

There is virtually no Baha’is in continental Europe. Very few in Holland, similar in Spain, Germany and France, fewer in Italy. From a demographic point of view this may as well be “zero.”

The Bahais claim to be about 5,000 in the UK but who knows what that means, and it is not a lot anyway. Likewise the CIS countries have very few Baha’is. Almost none in China. So, with Europe, Eurasia and China out of the way, where are they?

There are 60,000 adult Baha’is with good addresses in the US, 12,500 in Canada. These are addresses only! It means the aim of Ruhi Books courses are implemented very successfully. Actually they are not more than 500 in US and same number in Canada.

The Middle East is likewise very small ad comprise of mostly Persians who married Arab women deceitfully without giving their Baha’i identity and then claiming their Baha’i children as citizen of that country.

There are 2,000 at most in the Arab world mostly Iranian pioneers. There are less than 30,000 registered Bahais in Iran. Maybe 200, mostly Iranian refugees, in Turkey.

Not more than 1500 in Pakistan (mainly former Hindus, mainly rural peasants). About 500 in Bangladesh

There are 300 in Thailand. There were 400 in Vietnam before the revolution, but few are likely to remain. There are very few, then, in all of Southeast Asia. There are only a few hundred in Japan, and a similar number in Korea. East Asia is a wash.

All that is really left is Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and India. 2.2 millions are claimed in India but the official census of Government of India say the exact number of Baha’is are only 11,324. Indians like to ‘join’ things, but go on being Hindus.

The claim of millions of Baha’is in Latin America is also fake. Mexico appears to have almost none. Columbia and Bolivia may have few hundreds each, to my recollection, but that is not the same as millions.

The biggest community was Uganda. But it has been greatly disrupted in the last 2 decades by war and dictatorship, and one doesn’t know how many are left.

The Baha’i movement contains no potential for growth .It has only vertical potential of growth in terms of different sects originating in small time of 160 years. ( The 7 million reported to Encyclopedia Britannica by someone in Wilmette or Haifa is….wish fulfillment rather than a solid social science statistic. This high exaggeration also points towards a high level of frustration which is developing amongst members of Haifa based organization. At any point of time the Baha’i population in the World is not more than hundred thousand (0.1 million).

Baha’i Faith is essentially Persian dominated organization. It is no where near Christianity. It is not the fastest growing religion, it is not the most widespread religion after Christianity. Yes it may be the most comfortable religion, well then that is not a religion.

About imranshaykh
I am a student of comparative religion with a special interest in Islam and The Bahai Faith

3 Responses to World Bahai Census: How Many Bahais?

  1. My opinion is that the Baha’i membership statistics are highly distorted and basically false. I will tell you the reasons I know this.

    I was an active member of this religion for at least 15 years, was a member of their administrative bodies, including a state committee that had the membership roll for the state. (I remember well the computer printout.)

    The reality is that Baha’i membership is a great big “churn.” That is to say, it’s continually gaining new members and losing active members. Disaffected or alienated members fade into the woodwork. But the members who become inactive or disaffected remain on their rolls as statistics. For example, I have been disaffected from the Baha’i Faith for at least 15 years, and would even consider myself an active enemy of this religion at this point. (I feel it promotes race-destruction and racial destruction without offering a body of genuine religious knowledge.) However, my name is still counted on their membership rolls. My case is no doubt very common.

    Back when I was the secretary of the state committee (and a very avid and sincere Baha’i I should add) I recall there were around 350 names for my mid-sized midwestern state. Though I tended to travel and go to many Baha’i activities statewide, and actually had an obligation to keep in touch with the members and inspire their interest, there were a great many of them who that I never saw. They were nothing but names. It became a common experience, too, to finally contact some of these persons and find that they were indeed disaffected from the Baha’i Faith and did not want any contact with us. But we carried their names year after year. (In some cases, through contact, their interest and activity would be rekindled, which was my objective and the objective of our committee.)

    One reason this occurs is that the Baha’i administration levies a certain requirement in order to have your name taken off their membership rolls: You must sign some sort of statement “renouncing Baha’u’llah,” basically “undeclaring” your faith and repudiating him/it. For a wide variety of reasons, most disaffected members do not do this. These are among the reasons:

    — It is one more Baha’i hassle and not worth the bother

    — They don’t wish to face or interact with any Baha’i in such doings, much less some sharpie at the “National Center” etc, and go through whatever it entails.

    — They may not really have such a negative attitude that they wish to repudiate Baha’u’llah, or may even prefer not to do so. They just don’t want to be involved with Baha’is any more.

    — They may feel that philosophically it is not valid or necessary to repudiate him/it. There understanding of what he/it is may have changed, and they may still see some validity there, perhaps seeing him/it as “mixed.” To repudiate him/it would not be, to those philosophical Baha’i leavers, honest or necessary.

    Thus I would say that the great majority of those disaffected never do sign this statement and they remain on their rolls as deadwood, helping create fake Baha’i membership statistics.

    Another phenomenon, similar but different, is membership created through “teaching projects.” I was involved with a number of these. As the result of these intensive, focused activities is a particular place Baha’is would often get high numbers of “enrollments” due to the buzz they create, or the particular coercive or tricky techniques of some “project teacher” hotshot. So in the American southern states among poor blacks, during the 1970s and 1980s, American Baha’is ended up getting large enrollments down there. But the attrition rate on these is very, very high. In the first place, most of them really have no idea what they got into. In the second place, Baha’s notoriously inept at “following up” to “deepen” these people (teach them better, in the Baha’i vernacular). By the time any Baha’is got around to following up on 5 percent of them (if lucky and highly ambitious), many of them would have forgotten about it. Or it turned out they really had no idea what they’d signed up for or its significance. Or they might be actually pissed off and embittered after being hyped and revved up so much by the visiting Baha’i teachers that weekend long ago, then forgotten. I am describing the typical outcome of Baha’i teaching projects. When I head about the Baha’is doing these “projects” in India I naturally assumed it was the same sort of deal, and that the quality of these enrollments — given the dramatic differences between Hinduism and Baha’i for starters — would be even lower and the numbers even more absurd from any realistic or responsible point of view. (Baha’is should really stay out of India. The Hindu religions are far superior to the Baha’i Faith.)

    As I said, Baha’i membership is a big churn. I have no doubt that if I went back to my old town there would be few of the ones I knew, and that most of the faces would be new. Most people go through the Baha’i Faith as part of a developmental phase of the mind; a phase of seeking and testing. But when they outgrow it or change, their names remain on the rolls.

    That’s the big secret of Baha’i membership numbers.

  2. Roger Smith says:

    Baha’is would accept that calculating their numbers is problematic and that the figures arrived at are not accurate. The numbers are not important to Baha’is, they are irrelevant. They seem to be important to others in society who make judgments based purely on numbers. For Baha’is It is the spiritual message that is important as is living the Baha’i life to the best of one’s ability and informing others of this message.

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