Baha'i national government

Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
I got this message from the UHJ in April, and just thought that other Baha'is should see this.

Is there any definitive guidance on what we will do when the Baha’is become a majority in a country? Will the national assembly take over? Or will we form a new government by other means. I am worried about shutting people out of the administration of a government. I am afraid we will cause bad feelings. Could we have a different law for Baha’is and other people so as to not impose Baha’i law on others?

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT

Bahá’í World Centre • P.O. Box 155 • 3100101 Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972 (4) 835 8358 • Email: [email protected]rg

2 April 2019
Transmitted by email: [email protected]

Mr. Duane Dawson
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
The Universal House of Justice has received your email message of 12 June 2018,
seeking guidance about the nature of the administration of a country when the majority of its
population will have accepted the Faith and how in that circumstance minorities would be
treated. We have been asked to convey the following and regret the delay in our response.
It is not possible to describe with particularity how the governance of a country might
be affected when the majority of its people accept the Faith. However, any change will be by
democratic means and not by force. The writings of our Faith make it clear that under a Bahá’í
system the rights of minorities must always be respected and upheld. Shoghi Effendi has
enunciated this principle:

Unlike the nations and peoples of the earth, be they of the East or of the West,
democratic or authoritarian, communist or capitalist, whether belonging to the Old
World or the New, who either ignore, trample upon, or extirpate, the racial,
religious, or political minorities within the sphere of their jurisdiction, every
organized community enlisted under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh should feel it to be
its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every
minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it.
(The Advent of Divine Justice (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 2006,
2015 printing), p. 53)
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

I read in Dimensions of Baha'i Law by Roashan Danesh that the form of government in each country under the Baha'i Faith may vary in each country. The fact is, we don't know now what the future governments will be like under Baha'i.
 
Sep 2010
4,658
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
I got this message from the UHJ in April, and just thought that other Baha'is should see this.

Is there any definitive guidance on what we will do when the Baha’is become a majority in a country? Will the national assembly take over? Or will we form a new government by other means. I am worried about shutting people out of the administration of a government. I am afraid we will cause bad feelings. Could we have a different law for Baha’is and other people so as to not impose Baha’i law on others?

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT

Bahá’í World Centre • P.O. Box 155 • 3100101 Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972 (4) 835 8358 • Email: [email protected]

2 April 2019
Transmitted by email: [email protected]

Mr. Duane Dawson
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
The Universal House of Justice has received your email message of 12 June 2018,
seeking guidance about the nature of the administration of a country when the majority of its
population will have accepted the Faith and how in that circumstance minorities would be
treated. We have been asked to convey the following and regret the delay in our response.
It is not possible to describe with particularity how the governance of a country might
be affected when the majority of its people accept the Faith. However, any change will be by
democratic means and not by force. The writings of our Faith make it clear that under a Bahá’í
system the rights of minorities must always be respected and upheld. Shoghi Effendi has
enunciated this principle:

Unlike the nations and peoples of the earth, be they of the East or of the West,
democratic or authoritarian, communist or capitalist, whether belonging to the Old
World or the New, who either ignore, trample upon, or extirpate, the racial,
religious, or political minorities within the sphere of their jurisdiction, every
organized community enlisted under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh should feel it to be
its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every
minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it.
(The Advent of Divine Justice (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 2006,
2015 printing), p. 53)
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

I read in Dimensions of Baha'i Law by Roashan Danesh that the form of government in each country under the Baha'i Faith may vary in each country. The fact is, we don't know now what the future governments will be like under Baha'i.
Thank you Duane - This is an often asked question I have seen asked by people that are not Baha'i.

Regards Tony
 
Mar 2015
259
Bend area, Oregon
Duane: Thank you for interesting this post! You wrote: "I read in Dimensions of Baha'i Law by Roashan Danesh that the form of government in each country under the Baha'i Faith may vary in each country. The fact is, we don't know now what the future governments will be like under Baha'i."

Should that be the case, then perhaps another example of "unity in diversity".

-LR
 
Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
Duane: Thank you for interesting this post! You wrote: "I read in Dimensions of Baha'i Law by Roashan Danesh that the form of government in each country under the Baha'i Faith may vary in each country. The fact is, we don't know now what the future governments will be like under Baha'i."

Should that be the case, then perhaps another example of "unity in diversity".

-LR
Yeah, it is about unity in diversity.
 
Jul 2017
69
Germany
I think we can at least assume that some basic principles of the Faith would be incorporated into the respective constitutions. That would be, for example, non-partisanship in the electoral process (no nominations, no candidates, no campaigning - and, of course, no parties), decision-making by consultation rather than battle of opinions, no corruption, no populism, disarmament and creation of a joint force of all nations that are willing to do the same to create a system of collective security. Of course there would be a strong emphasis on protecting the rights of minorities, as mentioned above, and also a focus on justice and education rather than productivity and growth. These would surely be some basics of a Bahá'í inspired constitution. Whether there is a monarchy or a republic, whether the Head of State is elected by the people, by the parliament or by some other mechanism would be less important. These would be the cases in which Bahá'í inspired constitutions could and surely would differ from one another.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyfish58
Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
That would be, for example, non-partisanship in the electoral process (no nominations, no candidates, no campaigning - and, of course, no parties), decision-making by consultation rather than battle of opinions, no corruption, no populism, disarmament and creation of a joint force of all nations that are willing to do the same to create a system of collective security.
I agree completely with this. Very well expressed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyfish58
Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
When looking for a quote about this question of what happens when the Baha'is are in the majority in a country, I found this quote in Ocean. It shows that there will always be minority religions that the Baha'is will have to look out for their rights. I know it is a pilgrim note essentially, but the fact that this comes from multiple conversations reported by Ruhiyyih Khanum makes this solid. Ali Nakhjavani was in a position to know her in the Holy Land. I got this from the latest version of Ocean, which has more sources in Baha'i that are reported in searches, and in some works, you can get an audio recitation. There are also more scriptures now available from other religions. We can discuss those references that on the face of it seemed to imply that everyone would become a Baha'i, and what they really mean.

There is no reference in the writings stating that every single person will become Bahá’í, but at least half of them will. Rúḥíyyih Khánum used to say that Shoghi Effendi was asked this question quite often by pilgrims. He would answer by saying that, in this Dispensation, the totality of the peoples of the world will not become Bahá’ís, but the majority will.

‘Alí Nakhjavani, “Shoghi Effendi: The Range and Power of His Pen”
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyfish58
Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
A world federal system, ruling the whole earth and exercising unchallengeable authority over its unimaginably vast resources, blending and embodying the ideals of both the East and the West, liberated from the curse of war and its miseries, and bent on the exploitation of all the available sources of energy on the surface of the planet, a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice, whose life is sustained by its universal recognition of one God and by its allegiance to one common Revelation— such is the goal towards which humanity, impelled by the unifying forces of life, is moving.

Shoghi Effendi, “The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”

I believe the common Revelation reference here refers to all of the revelations down through the ages. Even if a person just adheres to one revelation among many, he is adhering to the same essential truth from all of the other revelations, though he will not have all the facets of that truth. This seems to imply that everyone will believe in at least one revelation, and there will be no atheists, except perhaps for some Buddhists.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
374
Kettering, Ohio USA
I think another feature we may see in a nation with a majority of Baha'is is that at least some criminal laws in the Aqdas will only apply to Baha'is, so as to not impose Baha'i law on minorities. I don't know how they will work that out, it will probably be different in different countries.
 
Jul 2017
69
Germany
I think that the social laws would partly be organized in a manner similar to that practised in Israel today. Many social laws as marriage and divorce are up to the religious communities to manage on the basis of their own laws.