Factsheet: Bahá’í Faith UK & Worldwide

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There are more than 5 million Bahá’ís around the world, and over 7,000 registered Bahá’ís in the UK. In terms of geographic reach, is the second most widespread religion in the world after Christianity.

Key facts on Baha’i faith in the UK

There are more than 7,000 registered Bahá’ís in the UK, Bahá’ís live in every major city and town in the UK. About one-fifth of the Bahá’ís in the UK live in Greater London, and 83% live in England, 8% live in Scotland, 4% live in Northern Ireland, and 4% live in Wales.

According to the 2011 census, there were 5,021 individuals in England and Wales who identified as Bahá’ís. However, the Bahá’í Faith is not one of the answer choices on the census, so this relies on individuals who wrote in Bahá’í as a response, and is therefore likely to be an underestimate.

Accounts received from some 180 communities indicated that more than 11,000 people participated in a wide range of events to celebrate the Birth of the Báb and the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh over the weekend of 20-22 October 2017. More than half of these participants were friends of the Faith.

More than 4,000 individuals in the UK have completed at least the first course of the Ruhi Institute, Reflections on the Life of the Spirit, which focuses on the themes of prayer, the importance of reading the Holy Writings, and the concept of life after death. Close to 1,500 individuals serve as tutors of study groups of the courses of the Ruhi Institute.

In a multitude of different homes and public venues around the UK, there are more than 500 different spaces where nearly 3,000 Bahá’ís and their friends, neighbours, and colleagues are gathering on a regular, ongoing basis for devotional gatherings.

In close to 200 different spaces around the UK, classes are being offered for the spiritual education of some 700 children from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

There are nearly 100 junior youth groups around the UK currently being offered for the spiritual empowerment of more than 500 early adolescents from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, assisting them to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives as they approach adulthood.

More than 60% of the children and more than 80% of the early adolescents participating in children’s classes and junior youth groups are from the wider community. Altogether, more than 2,000 friends of the Baha’i Faith are participating in such activities.

More than 500 young people aged 15-30 around the UK regularly participating in youth gatherings and nearly 800 youth are involved in an ongoing conversation about community-building and service to their communities.

Key facts on Baha’i faith around the World

The Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook has listed the Bahá’í Faith as the second most widespread religion in the world (in terms of geographic reach), after Christianity.

There are more than 5 million Bahá’ís around the world, and the Bahá’í Faith is established in virtually every country and in many dependent territories and overseas departments of countries.

Bahá’ís live in some 100,000 localities around the globe, and about 2,100 indigenous tribes, races, and ethnic groups are represented in the Bahá’í community.

Of the several thousand Bahá’í efforts in social and economic development, more than 900 are large-scale, sustained projects, including more than 600 schools and more than 70 development agencies.

The Bahá’í International Community has been registered with the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation since 1948, it holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and with Unicef, and it has a working relationship with several other UN agencies. It has Representative Offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, Geneva, Jakarta, and New York.

There are currently eight Bahá’í Houses of Worship – in Australia, Chile, Germany, India, Panama, Samoa, Uganda, and the United States.

Bahá’í writings and other literature have been translated into more than 800 languages.

Each year, around one million people visit the Bahá’í Shrine, terraces, and gardens on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

The country with the most Bahá’ís is India, with well over a million Bahá’ís. The Bahá’í House of Worship in New Delhi is the most visited Bahá’í site in the world; with more than four million visitors annually.

In Iran, where the Bahá’í Faith originated, there are now about 300,000 Bahá’ís, constituting the largest religious minority in that country.


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