A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Internet - Covenant Breakers

More generally, while it is disconcerting that Covenant-breaker material is being
disseminated on the Internet, there is little that can or should be done to directly oppose
such dissemination. Rather, the greatest protection to the Cause will be through ongoing
deepening of the Bahá’í community in the Covenant and the history and teachings of the
Faith. An important role that the Internet can play in this regard is to make authentic
Bahá’í literature, on the Covenant and on Bahá’í teachings generally, easily available.
(Universal House of Justice, Guidelines For Internet Communication)


The House of Justice is aware of the Web sites established on the Internet by Covenant-breaker groups, and while it is closely following the issue, it sees no cause for undue concern. One important means of protecting the Faith is to ensure that Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís alike have ready access to authentic Bahá’í literature and accurate information about the Faith. Web sites such as “The Bahá’í World” and “One Country” now provide individuals interested in learning about the Bahá’í Faith with a large and ever-expanding body of material on the Faith, attractively presented and illustrated. Of course, the greatest protection to the Cause will be through ongoing deepening of the Bahá’í community in the Covenant and the history and teachings of the Faith. The House of Justice feels that posting a warning about this site on “bahai-announce” would be unwise, as it would, in all likelihood, serve to give the site more attention or prominence than it would otherwise receive. You will, of course, want to continue to inform the Auxiliary Board member of any new Covenant-breaker Web sites that you encounter.
(International Teaching Centre, 1998 Sept 22, Internet-covenant breakers)


The Universal House of Justice feels that, when Bahá’ís are teaching in an online “chat room” and Covenant-breakers intrude upon the discussion, the friends should not feel obliged to sign off simply because Covenant-breakers are present in this virtual space. They should, however, refrain from knowingly engaging the Covenant-breakers in discussions and, in any case, should avoid being drawn into contentious or disputatious situations.
(Compilations, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities)


Thus, if any participant in an email discussion feels that a view put forward appears to
contradict or undermine the provisions of the Covenant, he should be free to say so,
explaining candidly and courteously why he feels as he does. The person who made the
initial statement will then be able to re-evaluate his opinion and, if he still believes it to
be valid, he should be able to explain why it is not contrary to either the letter or the spirit
of the Covenant. The participants in such a discussion should avoid disputation and, if
they are unable to resolve an issue, they should refer the point to the Universal House of
Justice since, in accordance with the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “By this body
all the difficult problems are to be resolved…” and it has the authority to decide upon “all
problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure, and matters that are
not expressly recorded in the Book.” In this way the Covenant can illuminate and temper
the discourse and make it fruitful.
(Universal House of Justice, Guidelines For Internet Communication)


While there is no objection to Bahá’ís’ posting accurate information about Bahá’u’lláh’s
Covenant in relevant Internet forums, it is obviously not appropriate or helpful to engage
in debate with Covenant-breakers or become involved in exchanges with them.
(Universal House of Justice, Guidelines For Internet Communication)