Party: Bahá'í Faith



The Bahá'í Faith was founded in Persia in the nineteenth century by Mirza Husayn Ali (1817-1892), known as Bahá'u'lláh, who claimed the status of prophet in the manner of Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. Bahá'u'lláh's chief doctrines centre on the importance of achieving peace, and he claimed that all religious divination had one source. Missionaries Alvin and Gertrude Blum (q.v.) brought the Bahá'í Faith to the Solomon Islands in 1954. Their first success was in the 'Are'are region of Malaita through Hamuel Hoahania (q.v.) from Hauhui, in 1956. Hoahania was sent to Honiara by Chief Waeparo (q.v.), a Takataka bigman who had heard of the Faith. Further progress was made when Bill Gina, a Methodist from a leading Western District family, was converted in 1959. In 1962, Gertrude Blum spent three weeks in Malaita and received eighty declarations in 'Are'are villages. Though the Assembly eventually managed to incorporate as a Charitable Trust, the Faith faced stern opposition from the established Christian missions. The Faith established many schools, the first by an English couple, Frank Simpson and his wife, at Hauhui, Malaita in 1965, with seventy-five students.

The 3rd Annual Convention of the Bahá'í Faith was held in Honiara in May 1966. The Blums left for an extended tour of the Pacific and Australia in late 1967, accompanied by Hamuel Hoahania. In October 1967, six members of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í Faith for the South Pacific visited the Solomon Islands. In 1971, the original South Pacific Regional Authority evolved into the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Solomon Islands and visited the High Commissioner. They were William Laing (Chairman), Owen Battrick (Secretary), Mr and Mrs Abdul Fassy, Johnson Tolimae and Johnson Olisukulu (q.v.). (Hassall 1992; NS 7 May 1966, 20 Oct. 1967, 17 Nov. 1967)

Related Places

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Hassall, Graham, 'Pacific Baha'i Communities, 1950-1964', in Donald H. Rubinstein (ed.), Pacific History: Papers from the 8th Pacific History Association Conference, University of Guam Press and Micronesian Area Research Center, Mangilao, Guam, 1992, pp. 73-95. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details