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DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT
28 December 2008 Transmitted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia Dear Bahá’í Friends, Your email letter dated 9 December 2008 (ref. STR/ss) has been received by the Universal House of Justice, which has asked us to respond as follows. The House of Justice has no objection to your sharing with the members of your Bahá’í community our letter dated 18 October 2007 addressed to a Local Spiritual Assembly in the United States. However, the issue of direct teaching during visits to people’s homes is addressed at a more substantial level in our letter dated 28 December 2008 sent to the National Spiritual Assembly of Sweden, a copy of which is enclosed for your use as you deem appropriate. As the Universal House of Justice has stated in several recent messages, including the Ri ván messages of 2007 and 2008, the pressing need to bring the Message of Bahá’u’lláh to the attention of humanity grows with each passing day as the problems within the wider society multiply and become more intense. A direct presentation of the Bahá’í teachings, carried out in an appropriate manner which respects the wishes of the recipient, has been found to be effective, in many settings, as a means of attracting interest in the Cause. Clearly the manner in which it is carried out must take cognizance of the cultural norms of the neighbourhood and the preferences of the people living there. However, this should not be used as an excuse to prevent direct teaching being conducted in an area. It would be much better to adopt a learning approach in which the methods used are monitored. A distinction should also be made between the indiscriminate door-to-door distribution of pamphlets, which was not favoured by the Guardian in the response quoted in our aforementioned letter, and other means by which direct teaching can be carried out in a way that does not detract from the dignity of the Faith or cause offence to the individual to whom the Bahá’í teachings are being offered. With loving Bahá’í greetings, Department of the Secretariat Enclosure cc: International Teaching Centre (with enclosure) Counsellors David Chittleborough, (with enclosure) Eric Kingston and Manijeh Reyhani
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