Mike McMullen, American Baha’i Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, May 5

2 p.m. Eastern time

In 2023 the Faith Communities Today (FACT) group surveyed the congregations of dozens of denominations in the United States, including the Bahá’í Faith, about how well religious communities and congregations adapted to and survived the COVID-19 pandemic. A random sample of Bahá’í Local Spiritual Assembly secretaries received the survey and 54% responded. Questions were asked about online versus virtual Feasts, Ruhi classes, youth education and devotionals; the changing use of technology in the face of the pandemic (Zoom or Facebook meetings, etc.); changing finances during the pandemic; and the changing level of conflict among community members. Results show that while the average Bahá’í community saw a slight decline in online Feast attendance during the pandemic, most communities saw an increase in Ruhi and children’s class attendance, and an increase in community volunteering (in opposition to the average church in the US). Copies of all FACT surveys and findings are available at: www.faithcommunitiestoday.org.

Mike McMullen is a professor of Sociology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. He received his doctorate and MA in sociology from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). He received his BS in sociology and mathematics from the University of Kansas. He is the author of several books and articles, including The Bahá’í: The Religious Construction of a Global Identity was published by Rutgers University Press in 2000; and The Bahá’ís of America: The Growth and Change of a Religious Movement by New York University Press in 2015. His areas of interest include the sociology of religion, the Middle East, organizational development and change, and conflict resolution and mediation. Dr. McMullen worked for five years as a researcher and workshop facilitator at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. He spent a year living in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching sociology at American University in Cairo during the 2009-2010 academic years. Most recently, he spent a summer term teaching at the United States International University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019.


2 responses to “Mike McMullen, American Baha’i Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, May 5”

  1. Iraj Saniee Avatar
    Iraj Saniee

    It would be very helpful if the links to the webinars are made active in the PDF e-brochures exhibited on these annoucements so that those interested can simply click on these to get connected. Right now, viewers cannot even copy and paste the URLs and have to type the address by hand.

    1. I’m working on that and I think I’ve figured out how to do it.

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