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Abstract:
Collaboration with political parties that are in opposition to a government is considered a form of involvement in politics. Baha'is must learn how to participate in civil activities while abstaining from partisanship.
Notes:
Also published in Lights of Irfan vol. 15 (2014), pp. 403-404 (see PDF).


Participation in Politics and Social Activities

by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice

2013-12-24
[Authorized translation from the Persian]
(Department of the Secretariat)
[Transmitted by email]

24 December 2013

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

Kindly convey the following to ... .

Your letter dated 5 October 2013, in which you raise a number of questions related to the discussions that took place at the recent conference of the Association of Friends of Persian Culture in Chicago, was received by the Universal House of Justice. It has asked us to convey the following.

The House of Justice noted with appreciation your concern for safeguarding
 the interests of the Cause. In response to your questions, it should be noted
 that non-involvement in politics is one of the principles of the Bahá’í Faith and cannot be disregarded by any individual or institution. The House of Justice has repeatedly, and most recently in its message of 2 March 2013 addressed to the believers in the Cradle of the Faith [online here], elaborated a framework within which Bahá’ís may participate in constructive social activities and interactions without deviating a hair’s breadth from this law of Bahá’u’lláh.

Concerning the contents of the talk given by one of the prominent believers at this conference, no doubt you have by now seen his response to the open letter.

You ask whether collaboration with, support for, and approval of political parties that are in opposition to a government are considered a form of involvement in politics. This is indeed the case. The House of Justice, in the same 2 March message, reminds the community of the Greatest Name that the believers must learn how, on the one hand, to participate in civil activities and a wide range of endeavors for the spiritual and social transformation of humanity and, on the other, to strictly abstain, by word and deed, from involvement in partisan politics. Collaboration with movements, organizations, groups, and individuals, whose goals are compatible with the ideals of the Faith and whose approaches are in line with the Bahá’í community’s approach, can assist with this learning. However, the believers should never compromise the fundamental principles of the Faith or deviate from their own path for any reason. At the same time they should learn from occasional mistakes, modify and correct their actions, avoid criticizing one another, and preserve the unity of the community at all times.

Rest assured of the supplications of the House of Justice at the Sacred Threshold for the continued success and confirmation of your endeavors.

    With loving Bahá’í greetings,
    Department of the Secretariat
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