Re: Chicago Tribune Article

As much as strident voices above would like to convey the International Baha’i Community as a cult, it simply doesn’t fit the definition. Look it up.

On another note, the discourse here could not happen were it not for the Internet. What you find on the Internet through a simple search for “Baha’i” provides ample evidence of a diverse and united community that is rational, outward-looking, well-regarded, united, and, by some accounts, rapidly growing.

And, in case anyone has failed to notice, this article appearing in a major American news publication has not been picked up by any other major news organizations. Why, because news editors elsewhere recognize that the critics don’t have anywhere near the same credibility that the Baha’i institutions and body of believers all over the world have. The Baha’i “brand” is strong. The Baha’i Community collectively has earned respect through its actions and its service over the decades in nation after nation in the world and at the United Nations.

Any one who follows mentions of “Baha’i” on the Internet can recognize in the handful of critics represented in this comment string a pattern of behavior that reflects some personal disappointment or grievance that has caused them to arise in venomous opposition. The personal stories of some who have identified themselves is well-known. Their critique of the Faith is not dispassionate or broadly general, but is deeply personal and highly individual, so individual that their positions have little relevance to the masses of spiritual seekers in the world who simply do not have their individual hang-ups. The dispassionate seeker wonders, why devote such energy trying to attack and tear down? What unmet purely personal needs are they attempting to meet through such vociferous rancour?

The Faith has encounted opposition from its earliest days. Being true to the Covenant is Central to being a Baha’i. Go on Baha’i pilgrimage and you hear the stories of what the Central Figures of the Faith had to endure and see the places associated with their suffering. You hear the stories of those who arose in opposition. Critics and opponents did not, however, deter the believers from teaching with great success or prevent the Faith from growing from a handful of centers to approximately 100,00 localities today. George

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