abbas wrote:One other thing.....
Say if i want to marry my gf but only if she converts to Islam, will she be able to convert but remain Bahai since she doesnt remove her membership from the Bahai rolls? (will the Bahai's still accept her?)
One thing that the Baha'i Faith is very strict about, is pretending to be a member of another Faith. This is strongly prohibited, even when the cost to the Baha'i is significant. For example, Iranian Baha'is who identified themselves as Muslims in order to escape Iran, and fled through Pakistan or Afghanistan, had their administrative rights removed (this is sharply distinct from Covenant-breaking.) They are not permitted to attend certain Baha'i meetings, or give to the Baha'i Funds, or go on Pilgrimage, or participate in Baha'i elections, or hold elected office, or be an official Baha'i speaker. The last I heard, the policy of the House of Justice was that it was not entertaining requests for reinstatement of administrative rights in this instance. That is, these Baha'is will have their membership rights removed for a long time.
On this topic, Shoghi Effendi's secretary wrote to a Baha'i couple as follows, stating that identifying themselves as anything but Baha'is would result in the deprivation of their administrative rights:
"The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning information which he has just received of your having indicated your application for permanent residence in ..., that you were Protestants -- and you did not indicate in any way that you were Baha'is.
"The Guardian has instructed me to inform you that he is shocked and surprised to receive this news, and this action meets with his disapproval. He said that if advance information has been given that such action must not be taken under any circumstances; then there would be only one thing he could do and that would be removal of voting rights.
"Certainly such action in the future would result in immediate removal of voting rights.
"In Persia, even during the period of persecution, when life was in danger, and complete freedom offered to those who indicated they were Muslims and not Baha'is, the Guardian not only deprived anyone who did not openly declare his Faith of his voting rights, but even indicated they were Covenant breakers.
"Thus you will see that it is completely inconsistent for a Baha'i under any circumstances whatsoever, to indicate they are anything but a Baha'i, regardless of what the result may be."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two believers, April 30, 1957; Lights of Guidance, p. 61, #215)
As to marrying in another Faith, where the Baha'i is deemed to be a member of that Faith, the policy is also clear:
"... As the Guardian pointed out..., no Baha'i can conscientiously swear to bring up his children in another religion; and of course he has no right to lie; therefore it becomes impossible for him to make such a promise on his marriage to a non - Baha'i. Any Baha'i doing this should be deprived of his voting rights; and, as he has already made plain before, Baha'is who go to the church and are married as Christians must also of necessity be deprived of their voting rights." (Lights of Guidance, p. 51 #180)
Shoghi Effendi's secretary wrote on his behalf:
". . . your husband has no right to ask you to give up being a Baha'i. That is going too far. Nobody should trespass on the sacred bond every human being has a right to have with their Creator." (From a letter dated 20 April 1957; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 411, #909)
It is permitted for a Baha'i to have a marriage ceremony in a church or synagogue or mosque, provided that the Baha'i is not deemed to have become a member of that religious congregation, and provided that on the same day there is a Baha'i ceremony in which the non-Baha'i spouse participates. Marriage in a church or mosque is fine, so long as the Baha'i is not deemed to have given up his or her faith. And if a Baha'i attempts to circumvent the marriage law by resigning from the Baha'i Faith, having the ceremony without following the Baha'i teachings, then re-applying to join the Baha'i Faith, they will not be accepted. This ruse has been addressed by the House of Justice.
But many, many Baha'is have had two ceremonies, one Baha'i and one in their spouse's church; and there is no stigma whatsoever attached to this.