The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Those wishing to have their names added to this petition may
do so by posting to talk.religion.bahai or emailing me privately
prior to Naw-Ruz at For those afraid
of using their real names, pseudonyms, marked as such, will be
permitted on the petition. Non-Bahais may also sign this Petition.

Please feel free to repost this Petition on any and all Bahai newsgroups
and mailing lists.

The undersigned request that the Universal House of Justice
reassess the state of affairs within the Baha'i Faith, as pertains to
freedom of conscience and belief, the review of thoughts and ideas,
and all matters pertaining to the silencing of individuals since at least
the early 1970s; the undersigned request that the Universal House of
Justice chart a new course for Baha'is congruent with the Teachings of
Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha on these matters, preferably by Ridvan
2001; the undersigned request that significant personnel changes be made,
where necessary, to reform and restore trust and confidence in Baha'i
Institutions; the undersigned request that evidence be forthcoming
commensurate with the seriousness of the prevailing situation within
Baha'i Communities around the globe.

The undersigned draw sustenance from the guidance of such Writings as
the following:

"The light of men is Justice. Quench it not with the contrary winds of
oppression and tyranny." --Baha'u'llah
"The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of
differing opinions." --Abdul-Baha
"These are effectual and sufficient proofs that the conscience of man is
sacred and to be respected; and that liberty thereof produces widening
of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of
the secrets of the contingent world. Moreover, if interrogation of
conscience, which is one of the private possessions of the heart and the
soul, take place in this world, what further recompense remains for man
in the court of divine justice at the day of general resurrection?
Convictions and ideas are within the scope of the comprehension of the
King of kings, not of kings; and soul and conscience are between the
fingers of control of the Lord of hearts, not of [His] servants."
--Abdul-Baha, A Traveler's Narrative, 91.
"This is a goodly temple and congregation, for--praise be to God!--this
is a house of worship [Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn on 16
June 1912] wherein conscientious opinion has free sway. Every religion
and every religious aspiration may be freely voiced and expressed here.
Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in
the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual
belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy
and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the
opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in a
democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest
progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When
freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail--that
is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give
expression to his beliefs--development and growth are inevitable.
Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every
religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with openness and freedom."
--Abdul-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 197.
"Let us also remember that at the very root of the Cause lies the principle
of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to
declare his conscience and set forth his views."
--Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, 63-64.

The undersigned petition the Universal House of Justice:

Nima Hazini
Dermod Ryder <>
Ray McIntyre former bahai New Zealand