Re: 6,000 adherents

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Posted by Stuart Gilman ( on August 02, 2003 at 07:08:34:

In Reply to: David Kelly posted by Mike on July 21, 2003 at 23:22:13:

August 2, 2003

From The Scotsman, July 21, 2003... "Dr Kelly, who took painkillers and slashed his left wrist at a beauty-spot close to his home in Southmoor on Friday after telling his family he was going for a walk, converted to the pacifist faith - which has 6,000 adherents in the UK - four years ago while in the US. He regularly attended local gatherings in Abingdon, Oxfordshire."

Considering how much has been published in the English Language, as well as the personal tours of Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi in English Speaking Countries, once again I am in awed disappointment whenever I come face to face with the actual numbers of Bahais in the world or, as in this case, in England.

After approximately 128 years since Bahaullah declared himself as God's Manifestation, and considering the logical, inclusive, and pacifistic nature of Bahai, I am always astounded and worried with regard to numbers. To say we are the world's fastest growing religion is misleading. To double the number one, we have an increase of 100%. When the world's mainstream religions grow at a rate of 1%, they still add hundreds of thousands or millions to their numbers. We should refrain from such "propagandistic" enticements as "the world's fastest growing religion", which has always made me uncomfortable when hearing it or seeing it written.

I am constantly reminded about Babism, as declared in world encyclopaedias as "a religion that disappeared".

Bahai is a religion that is extremely fragile. Care should be taken to understand the world views of those who are not Bahai because we are always at risk of seeming ridiculous, marginal or as naive, well-meaning do-gooders. The UHJ performs an excellent job of "modernizing" the Faith, taking great care to use its ordained authority to interpret the Holy Writings in a way that is compatible with contemporary world views.

The non-translation and non-publication of many sacred texts is, in my opinion, deliberate, for their translations would reveal the mystical and most controversial side of Bahaullah and Bahai, and would meet with the most resistance from non-Bahais. Those who complain that thousands of texts are not translated and publicized, should not. As a previous Jew, whenever I speak with devout Jewish Mystics I perceive them as incredibly superstitious, out of touch with science and reason, and a little crazy. While our numbers remain small, we cannot afford to alienate 6.4 billion people (the world) who have neither heard of or accepted our Blessed Message nor our Divine Manifestation.


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