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February 15: The Baha’is of Minot

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On this date in 1977 the Bahá’i congregation of Minot announced that they would hold an informational meeting to inform the public of their views and beliefs. In the 1960s and ‘70s the religion of Bahá’i made its way from Iran to North Dakota. This spread is exactly what the faith’s founder Baháʼu'lláh wanted. He saw what his followers called, “utmost importance of oneness in the international community,” at a time when advances in technology brought people ever closer together. Part of this oneness, in the mind of Baháʼu'lláh, was unity of religion.

After their entry into North Dakota, the Bahá’is faced a somewhat predictable problem: there was a disconnect between the people in North Dakota and the near eastern culture that had produced the religion. The North Dakotan Bahá’is followed a calendar that was 19 months long, practiced daily ritual prayers, and fasted from sunrise to sunset March 2nd through the 21st. These practices were a challenge, and not fully understood. This disconnect and general discontent meant that many North Dakotans developed misconceptions about the Bahá’i faith.

To address this problem, the Bahá’i engaged in open discourse with the community. A variety of informational pamphlets were printed by the Bahá’is of Bismarck. The aim was to inform the public of their beliefs and their presence in the community. These publications contained their precepts which were:

There is only one God.
All religions come from God.
Religion must be the cause of unity.
All men belong to the same human family.
Each person should seek truth for himself.
Men and women are equal.
All people must be educated.
Prejudice of all kinds must be forgotten.
All men must work toward universal peace.

Furthermore, followers of Bahá’i sent out informational letters along with their pamphlets to members of the community making themselves available for conversations.

Beyond their print outreach, the Bahá’is held informational meetings in many towns, allowing the public a chance to speak with their ministers and religious practitioners. The meeting announced by the Bahá’i of Minot on this date in 1977 is an example of one such meeting.

Dakota Datebook by Colby Aderhold


  • Bahá’i of Bismarck 320207.10
  • Minot Daily optic reporter Feb. 15th 1977

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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