Stamps issued: 1971-PRESENT
An archipelago in the Persian Gulf. Under British protection 1861-1971, Bahrain used a variety of stamps: Indian stamps from 1884 to 1933, overprinted Indian issues 1933-48, overprinted British issues 1948-60 and its own designs from 1960. Oil was first discovered in 1932 and, until the depletion of reserves in the 1970s, brought enormous wealth to this tiny country. Today, Bahrain is a center of international banking. Tensions between the Sunnite majority (60 percent) and Shi'ite minority (40 percent) have grown since the establishment of the fundamentalist Shi'ite regime in Iran. Violence in 1996 by Shi'ite dissidents brought a crackdown by the Sunni-led government.