Background of the Faith in regarding to teaching Israelis

Jun 2006
4,326
California
This post was deleted by Quora moderation and I'm appealing their decision... I thought I'd post it here:

The Baha’i Faith has been in the Akka, Haifa, area since the Baha’is were sent there as prisoners to the Prison fortress of Akka in the mid 1860s under the Ottoman Empire and later after WW1 under Palestine controlled by Britain and after Israel became an independent nation in 1948.

https://bahaiwritings.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/02-arrival-to-bahaullah-and-the-exiles-to-the-prison-city-of-akka.pdf

The Universal House of Justice and the World Center of the Baha’i Faith began in 1963.

The Baha’is at the World Center are not Israeli citizens and serve there temporarily. There are no Local Spiritual Assemblies or a National Spiritual Assembly for Israel.

From the Universal House of Justice:

“For your information, the people in Israel have access to factual information about the Faith, its history and general principles. Books concerning the Faith are available in libraries throughout Israel, and Israelis are welcome to visit the Shrines and the surrounding gardens. However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'ís do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel. When Israelis ask about the Faith, their questions are answered, but this is done in a manner which provides factual information without stimulating further interest.”
Israel, Teaching the Faith in

Under the Ottoman Empire the Baha’is were originally prisoners in the prison fortress of Akka and only later were allowed to reside outside the prison.

Historically there have been restrictions on proselytizing in Palestine and later Israel:

The contemporary ban on seeking proselytizing to Israelis was originally conceived of as a ban on proselytizing to Palestinians.[1] During the Mandatory Palestine period, Palestinian Baha'is were one of eight categories as options on the censuses carried out by the former British protectorate[2]
Palestinian Baha'is - Wikipedia

Israelies do not encourage proselytizing or conversions to other religions:

“While conversions involving adults are legal, any person found encouraging or organizing the conversion of a minor faces up to six months' imprisonment (ibid.). In March 2007, Yakov Margi, a minister of the Knesset (MK) belonging to the Shas party, proposed a bill that would punish any missionary work with a six-month to one year period of imprisonment (ibid.; Yad L'Achim 7 Mar. 2007; ibid. 1 Apr. 2008). Further information on this bill could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.”
Refworld | Israel: Situation of Christians; anti-missionary legislation and its use in practice; activities of Yad L'Achim in relation to Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Messianic Jews

Baha’is themselves do not favor proselytizing:

The aggressive proselytism that had characterized efforts in ages past to promote the cause of religion is declared to be unworthy of the Day of God. Each person who has recognized the Revelation has the obligation to share it with those who he believes are seeking, but to leave the response entirely to his hearers:
Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will.…25
A Compilation on Scholarship

The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle.…26
Bahá'í Reference Library - Bahá’u’lláh, Pages 7-9
 
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Jun 2006
4,326
California
Duane.... Thanks for your reply. I used to post here fairly often. I also post on "Religious Forums"; "Comparative Religion Forum" and Quora... Probably more on Quora lately. See me at


Quora has moderators that sometimes delete my posts so if I think it's worth while I'll post them on other forums.
 
Jul 2017
363
Kettering, Ohio USA
Duane.... Thanks for your reply. I used to post here fairly often. I also post on "Religious Forums"; "Comparative Religion Forum" and Quora... Probably more on Quora lately. See me at


Quora has moderators that sometimes delete my posts so if I think it's worth while I'll post them on other forums.
Here I'm known as Duane. I have seen you not long ago at interfaith forums where I'm known as Truthseeker9. Mostly you post under Baha'i there. I haven't been there recently, though.

Edited to say I just bookmarked you at Quora.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2020
15
Middle United States
Arthur,

Quora has been going to more automated moderation and auto-deleting answers apparently over the past year. This seems to have gotten worse. It is likely that your post was deleted (as opposed to collapsed) due to the links to other Internet sites in your post. Quora is really sensitive to spam. If you edit the answer and appeal with a short but sincere explanation (which you can do on Quora) to ensure no links to perceived "commercial" sites, the chances of having the answer reinstated is really high. I've had about 5 or 6 answers auto-deleted (including when I edited a few older answers and added an extra link or two) in the past year (which is not that bad), and all but one was reinstated by Quora upon appeal There are currently a lot of complaints on Quora about this change in moderation and the decline in the quality of moderation (It has always been hit or miss.) since the beginning of 2019.

Quora is really strict about spam (including links to personal or commercial web sites that have ads or commercial content and even have a trace of commercial purpose).

Quora terms of service allow answers to be reported (and possibly collapsed off the primary page or deleted) if: insincere; poorly written; inadequate support or factually incorrect, harrassment (disparaging to a group or especially a Quora user by name); violation of the BNBR (Be Nice, Be Respectful) rule; does not answer the question; or failure to properly cite quotes or references/plagiarism (including repeating the same content in multiple answers). Questions can be deleted or collapsed if: insincere; poorly written; or links to spam. Comments to answers can be violations if spam or harrassment/violations of BNBR. Historically, this kept Quora from being as "trashed up" as often happens other social media forums but at the cost at times of more honest and sincere users sometimes getting falsely flagged with violations and frustrated by the process. A lot of the most active trolls on Quora don't last long.

Some of the worst anti-Baha'i trolls are not willing to risk posting as often or at all on Quora for this reason because they simply cannot seem to conform to the rules and make too many obvious violations to survive very long.

Some of the well-known anti-Baha'i trolls are active on Quora from time-to-time (with what appear to also be some sock-puppet accounts). They do violate Quora policies by using fake names (Quora required real names) and false credentials (often try to pose as ex-Baha'is when really never Baha'is as no one knowledgeable would post such obviously false and sometimes defamatory stuff about the Faith). However, due to Quora moderation, they tend to have to limit and space out their activities over time in order to avoid getting edit-blocked and then banned. In 2017, Quora did ban a handful of anti-Baha'i accounts (mostly for persons registering more than one account in violation of the rules) and edit blocked a number of accounts for periods of time (usually one week) such that the volume is substantially reduced relative to say 2016 and early 2017. By reporting and downvoting disinformation on Quora, it is possible to limit the amount and volume and impact (order on the page) of such bad answers. (As a Baha'i, I do not downvote or report answers, even if hostile, if sincere or not a violation of Quora rules)

What is frustrating is the fact that answers that clearly should be downvoted, collapsed, or deleted on Quora are not being similarly deleted even when reports are made about them. This suggests that moderation on Quora has gotten thinner in terms of ability and quality. The more Baha'is show up and act the more this will stop.