Baha’i Population in India – A Report

I- During my time as a Baha’i, I saw potential converts lied to by Baha’is regarding the membership of the Faith. The Baha’is, especially the Baha’i leadership, have always grossly inflated the ‘official’ numbers in order to present an inaccurate picture to the world (as well as toindividuals considering conversion) and to make the Faith seem much more successful and influential than it really is.

The Faith is really a ‘footnote’ religion, in my view, and all the peace/race unity statements and p. r. in the world will not change this.…

I do not know how to solve the above problem, except to be completely honest and open to the public and to people who may be interested in the Faith. It does little good to ‘hide’ things regarding the Faith that may be unpleasant or misunderstood, intending to reveal these things later when the new Baha’i has been in the Faith for a few years. If people feel that they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes, they will leave or become disenchanted. Believe me, I observed this phenomenon over and over during my years as a Baha’i. These are just some friendly observations from someone who is familiar with Baha’i matters.Wishing everyone the best.
Shalom Scott

II- Juan Cole (a professor of religious history and studies at the University of Michigan) commented in April 2001 that, since 1968, 50% of the people who entered the bahai faith have left it. 50% is truly a remarkably high number and reveals emphatically that something is indeed wrong about the atmosphere within the bahai faith, once one has declared one’s belief and is taken into the fold to be properly censored, coerced, and manipulated….Bahai fanatics online exude the same duplicity and dishonesty the new adherent quickly comes to realize is normative behind the facade of love and brotherhood.The Baha’i census that claim 6 to 7.2 million adherents is -A LIE- A LIE- an actual exaggeration of the real numbers.
III- In India Baha’i converts in India are only required to declare: ” their belief in Baha’u’llah as an avatar”. Thing is Warren Hindus also believe that Buddha was an avatar but this doesn’t make them Buddhists. The Baha’i claim of some 3 million Baha’is in India is most obviously bogus.
William Garlington
IV- Why the need to send people around to keep LSA membership up to nine if the Baha’i faith is actually growing?As Baha’is pass away they are not being replaced. Not even many children of Baha’is are signing up? Why, because it has become apparent to many people that the Baha’i faith is the same old,same old; that the Baha’i faith is in fact indistinguishable from past organised religions – more of a cause of disunity in the world than a cause of unity.


A census refers to the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It includes an official count of a particular population and to add relevance, is conducted regularly.The data collected through such census is commonly used for research, business marketing, and planning as well as a base for sampling surveys. In some countries, census data is used to apportion electoral representation.Census has its uses as well as it is open to misuse. While census is largely used to establish trends (social, financial, business or otherwise), some groups use it to falsely establish that their religion / sect / group is more widely accepted than what may be the reality.
A CHARACTERISTIC of the Baha’i administration is dishonesty in dealing with their census. This trickery takes place sometimes in the form of absolute exaggeration of numbers and at other times in the form of the suppression and concealment of facts; at times through the omission or perversion of essential facts or their presentation (rather misrepresentation) in such a manner so as to falsify actual data.In the writing of political history and in scheming for the triumph of a political party, we may expect crookedness in dealing with facts. However in the propagating of a new religion designed to supersede Christianity and Islam, and purporting to be an improvement on them, we do not expect to find dishonesty and misrepresentation in the number of actual adherents. Yet this is exactly what we find – “a readiness to ignore or suppress facts, and propagation of absolutely false and exaggerated data to convey to the world that Baha’i Faith is very well accepted by the masses.”Regarding their numbers, the Baha’is have indulged in gross exaggeration. Ask Baha’is about their numbers and “Millions” is the usual figure claimed by them. The Baha’i census claims that there are 6 to 7.2 million adherents of the Faith in the world which is nothing but a blatant LIE.
Baha’is Population in INDIA
The official Indian Baha’i site is actually misleading its visitors. They claim to be a 2.2 million strong community in India alone, which is obviously bogus and false.There are some real problems with the calculation of Baha’i population. I had my own doubts and questions about the reported numbers and wondered to what extent the teachings of the Faith had any real impact upon people in rural areas who had reportedly become Baha’is in such large numbers.One when looks at the Baha’i census of India whom Baha’i claims have largest number of Baha’is, immediately one will understand that there are three types of Baha’i census.
All official…
1-Bahai Census projected by Baha’i Administration through their websites.
They project about 2.2 million Baha’is in India.
Ref: (1) ]
2-Bahai Census projected by Baha’i Administration in their newsletters and Annual Report.
Here they are of the opinion that there are hundred thousand Baha’is.
[Ref: (2) Annual Report Ridvan 165 B.E. 2007-2008 ]
3-Bahai Census given by Government of India in their official census report.
However, the official census of Government of India has something else to offer.
Official census of The Government of India
A-Census of 1991
The official Census of Government of India taken in 1991 puts Baha’i population as 5,575 (2,966 men and 2,609 women)
[Ref: (3) Indian Census Returns, 1991, for the Baha’is of India.]
B-Census of 2001
The official Census of Government of India taken in 2001 puts Baha’i population as 11,324 (6,138 men and 5,186 women)
[Ref: (4) Census of India, 2001]
Baha’is are quick to point out that the official census is false and full of prejudice, as most of the census officers are Hindu and they do not carry out their work honestly. They are however slow in their observation that all Baha’i census are carried out by overzealous Baha’i officers and that no person should question their integrity!It is not a hidden fact that the census conducted by the Government of India is carried out very meticulously by sincere and dedicated officers going door to door covering every household. Even if we give a 5% advantage it will not exceed 12,000. Furthermore, in questioning leading Baha’i administrators and other knowledgeable Baha’is asking them about the Baha’i population in India they have said somewhere between 13000, to 14,000. There was ready acknowledgement of the occurrence of what Juan called “fraudulent” teaching in his post.
Out of these 11,324 Baha’is,
1-Most of them are Persian
2-Some are those who have signed the card thinking that Baha’i Faith is a social organization.
3-Some of them have signed due to deception.
4-In Pune it was reported that Persian Baha’is have gone to the villages and they have asked illiterate villagers to sign the card offering the temptation that signees would receive some scholarship.
5-In Madhya Pradesh, Baha’i speakers have gathered masses giving some lectures and the speaker asking the question. Is there any one amongst you who does not believe in God? The audience responded ‘No’. The speaker then exhorted them to sign the card.
6-One of the Bahai official who visited India in 1984 claimed in his speech at the Baha’i Centre that he would have easily collected 200 addresses of people saying they are Baha’is although they gathered there under the name of a Medical Camp.
7-Many false addresses were given to acquire number of delegates especially in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Why should the Baha’i authorities wish to project an image more than its reality?
1-It is in order to present an inaccurate picture to the world (as well as to individuals considering conversion) and to make the Faith seem much more successful and influential than it really is.
2-These addresses are recorded as “Bahais” to show to the Government of India as the number of Baha’is to gain minority status by deception and to avail all the facilities and privileges given by Government of India to its minorities.
It was fairly apparent that declaring oneself a Baha’i did not mean that an individual was being put in the position of having to “leave” his own religious tradition (which in this case was primarily Hindu). The declared Baha’i for the most part continued to practice traditional behavioral idioms. Moreover there was little indication that they had abandoned the Hindu “world view”.It originated from Iran the most of the high ranking officers are Persian with head quarter in Israel.They have incorporations of Assemblies, cluster growth reflection meetings, administrative sanctions, deprivation of voting rights, elected arms appointed arms, elections at local state and national assemblies, counselors, auxiliary board members etc to fit requirements of an NGO and not a divine religion. Surely these are far from the conditions satisfying the requirements of major religions of the world.My own conclusion was that the Baha’i Faith better fits the category of an NGO and not one of the eight major religions of the world as is claimed by the Baha’is.My Iranian friends should not be made to believe that the world is full of fools. Rather they are living in a fool’s paradise. By simple repetition a lie cannot and will not become the truth. The Baha’i population in India is not more than 13,000 and in the world by any means they are not more than one hundred thousand.
For a religion to progress and propagate, sincere service is required to attract the masses and not lip service to attract the masses and then believing that they have abandoned the religion of their ancestors.
They cannot increase their numbers by Ruhi books or by simply parroting Ana’s presentation.

(1) Official Website of Bahais Of India

“India has been associated with the Bahá’í Faith right from its inception in 1844. Today, about 2.2 million Baha’is live in different parts of India in over 10,000 localities. Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, speaks of religion as the most potent force for civilizing human character and for the establishment of order, peace and justice in society. The Baha’is of India are actively engaged in a process of individual and social transformation involving men, women, children and youth of the larger society in a collective learning enterprise. The guidance and resources for all these activities are channeled through local, regional and national governing councils. There are seventeen regional and about 700 local councils functioning harmoniously in a spirit of non-adversarial consultation under the aegis of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of India, which is the apex body looking after the affairs of the Baha’i community in India. Through these efforts and in collaboration with a number of like minded organisations, the Baha’is are learning to address the challenges of caste and class prejudice, gender inequality, communal disharmony, lack of education, violence, poverty, corruption and moral degradation, in order to generate communities that are governed by the principles of love, justice, equality and rectitude of conduct.”
(2) AnnualReportRidvan 165 B.E.2007-According to National Report 2…
Total Bahai Population is 110258 only
(3) Indian Census Returns, 1991, for the Baha’is of India.
From: Dr. M. Vijayanunni, ed. Census of India 1991, Series-1, India, Paper 1 of 1995: Religion. (New Delhi: Census Commission, 1995).

Page 21-23

Details of Religion shown under other Religions and persuasions in main religion table
Total Bahai Population is 5575 only
(4) Census of India, 2001 Directorate of census operation

Bahai Census of India
C – 1 APPENDIX – Details of religious communities shown under ‘Other religions and persuasions’ in main table C-1
Total Bahai Population is 11324 ( Religion Code 702009 )

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

One Response to Baha’i Population in India – A Report

  1. Pavel says:


    Some information about India by university doctor and by bahai adherent in India:

    ,,,In India there were 2 million declarations recorded some years ago! However there are not even 5000 “active” members….

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