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Bahá'í Faith in Greater Boston
The Bahá'í Faith in Greater Boston, a combined statistical area, has had glimpses of the religion in the 19th century arising to its first community of religionists at the turn of the century. Early newspaper accounts of events were followed by papers on the precursor Bábí religion by Dr. Rev. Austin H. Wright were noted, materials donated, and lost, and then other scholars began to write about the religion. The community began to coalesce being near to Green Acre, founded by Sarah Farmer, who publicly espoused the religion from 1901. From then on the institution would progressively be associated with Bahá'ís - a place where both locals and people from afar came to learn of the religion, and who officially took over controlling interest from 1913. Leaders rising to national prominence with a national level of organization soon arose after `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, traveled through the area for about 40 days and across the United States for some 239 days. Most prominent were Harlan Ober, William Henry Randall, and Alfred E. Lunt, who served in events in the Boston area, Green Acre boards, and national institutions of the religion. In addition to national leaders in the religion, a number of notable individuals joined the religion and were increasingly visible - such as Urbain Ledoux, Sadie and Marby Oglesby, James Ferdinand Morton, Jr., Nancy Bowditch, and Guy Murchie. The community moved from beginning to host public meetings to systematically support a presence in a Center in Boston with services and presentations on the religion as well as a racially integrated community since 1935. Starting about the 1950s and broadening into the 1960s there was wider recognition of the Bahá'ís themselves. Sometimes this took the form of noting their persecution in Morocco and then Iran and other times noting local concerts and fairs with their participation. The modern community, albeit a tiny fraction of the wider population, is present in some concentrations and thin areas throughout the greater Boston area. Over the last couple of decades it has been systematically pursuing programs of neighborhood community building activities of study circles, children's classes, junior youth groups, and devotional meetings among the activities and observances of the religion.