The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience



 "Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes." —Hamlet


Ruhiyyih Khanum: "How to assume the reins of authority, with no document
to support us, other than the general theological statements about the Hands?"

(Ministry of the Custodians, p. 9)

"More detrimental still to religious understanding has been theological
presumption. A persistent feature of religion's sectarian past has been
the dominant role played by clergy. In the absence of scriptural texts
that established unarguable institutional authority, clerical elites
succeeded in arrogating to themselves exclusive control over
interpretation of the Divine intent. However diverse the motives, the
tragic effects have been to impede the current of inspiration,
discourage independent intellectual activity, focus attention on the
minutiae of rituals and too often engender hatred and prejudice towards
those following a different sectarian path from that of self-appointed
spiritual leaders. While nothing could prevent the creative power of
Divine intervention from continuing its work of progressively raising
consciousness, the scope of what could be achieved, in any age, became
increasingly limited by such artificially contrived obstacles."

(Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith)


See Ruth White for further details