Individual Counsellors are assigned to continental boards, where they interact directly with several National Spiritual Assemblies. It may not alter the scriptural laws defined by Baháʼu'lláh and ʻAbdu'l-Bahá. It has a full-time director.[12][13][14]. Coinciding with this was a process of re-examination of intra-Baháʼí administrative and community action, the implementation of Baháʼí law in greater degrees among non-Iranian Baháʼís, and the maturation of the Spiritual Assemblies. Members of the Universal House of Justice do not simultaneously serve on other elected bodies, though this may not be a formal policy. These members act as delegates in a manner similar to National Baháʼí elections. [11] Baháʼu'lláh envisioned a Supreme House of Justice, with local Houses of Justice in every community where nine or more adult Baháʼís reside. Baháʼís should not seek to promote themselves as candidates. Bahá’í institutions are not conceived only as a means of administering the internal aspects of Bahá’í community life, essential though this is. The Baha’i Faith is a global faith community, established in virtually every country in the world. This period also saw the establishment of regional councils, who form a level of administrative action more specific than a National Spiritual Assembly, but broader than the civic locality, a boundary which almost always defines the jurisdictions of Local Spiritual Assembly. The nation is divided into voting districts or units. Bahá'í Faith. Electors write the individual names of exactly nine eligible Baháʼís, without repeating. Those who are unable to attend send postal ballots. Both boards report to the Continental Board that appointed them, regardless of their focus. clarified the institution of the Hands of the Cause, and clarified the requirements for their appointment. Menace of Social Chaos; Paramount Duty of Every Bahá’í; Letter of November 27, 1924. [1] It is split into two parts, the elected and the appointed. Baha'i Administrative Order. [10] The highest appointed authority is the Institution of the Guardianship, which is a hereditary authority and has the exclusive "right of the interpretation of the Holy Writ solely conferred upon him." Who the electors are and who the eligible members are depends on the scope of the election. The members at the local level are free to vote for any adult Bahaʼi(s) in the district or unit in good standing, keeping in mind the guidance from Shoghi Effendi that the individuals should, "combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience..." The delegates elected at the local level have two principal duties to carry out at the national convention – to elect the National Spiritual Assembly and to make recommendations to that body on issues relevant to it. It is elected every five years, and currently sitting members of all National Spiritual Assemblies act as delegates to its election. [citation needed]. Over time, these concepts were clarified initially in Baháʼu'lláh's writings, and then in those of his eldest son and successor, ʻAbdu'l-Bahá. The Administrative Order, which ever since ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá’s ascension has evolved and is taking shape under our very eyes in no fewer than forty countries of the world, may be considered as the framework of the Will itself, the inviolable stronghold wherein this new-born child is being nurtured and developed. A National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) normally represents a country, although sometimes regions are assigned their own NSA (e.g. Through a series of plans, the Universal House of Justice refocused the Baháʼí community on community development, and systematization of best-practices, hoping to reduce the "boom and bust" cycles of community growth encountered in the previous century. In the United States, Canada, and India, Regional Councils are elected by members of these Local Spiritual Assemblies in an election often conducted by mail. Based in the United States, this agency was created by the Universal House of Justice to assist the Counsellors and National Spiritual Assemblies in addressing issues related to the propagation and protection of the Bahá'í Faith on the Internet. They will sometimes have a very localized mandate, such as to focus on youth in a particular city, or they can be appointed broadly. In a process parallel to the one at the local level, the delegates to the national convention are free to vote for the nine individuals who they feel will best carry out the duties of the National Spiritual Assembly. Students may Baha’is have no clergy, which means that all decisions rest in the hands of democratically-elected bodies as the local, regional, national and international levels. This collection of pages explores the topic of the Bahá’í Administrative Order. The origins of this system—known as the Bahá’í Administrative Order—are found in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh Himself. . The Baha’is of the United States operate three year-round conference and retreat centers that offer a wide range of programming for adults, youth and children. Together, they invigorate individual and collective efforts to contribute to the wellbeing of society. The Bahá’í institutions, principles and processes of this Order are conceived not only as a means of administering the internal aspects of Bahá’í community life. Their function is loosely defined, though their duties are divided into the two general categories of protection and propagation of the Baháʼí Faith. Should any one oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. Bahá'í Faith. Menace of Social Chaos; Paramount Duty of Every Bahá’í; Letter of November 27, 1924. The Administrative Order of the Cause, though first established in America, copied as a model by other national Bahá’í communities, is not an American production, but is a universal system based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Alaska). The affairs of the Bahá’í community are administered through a system of institutions, each with its defined sphere of action. The origins of this system—known as the Bahá’í Administrative Order—are found in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh Himself. In each district the members are charged with selecting one or more delegates who will attend the annual national convention and vote for the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. The Baháʼí administration has four charter documents, During ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's life, he oversaw and encouraged the establishment of many elected local councils, calling them "Spiritual Assemblies". The Local House of Justice is elected by the believers in the local community. He revealed principles that guide its operation, established its institutions, appointed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the sole interpreter of His Word, and conferred … These decisions are made through a specific process of consultation. •Make the mobile in “Bahá’u’lláh’s Gift to the World” (Brilliant Star MJ 91, pp. Administrative Order. The Bahá’í administrative order has been described by the Guardian "not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order." Bahá’í Administrative Order. Under its guidance, elected bodies, known as Local Spiritual Assemblies and National Spiritual Assemblies tend to the affairs of the Bahá’í community at their respective levels, exercising legislative, executive, and judicial authority. The highest elected body is the Universal House of Justice, which possesses the authority to supplement and apply the laws of Baháʼu'lláh. The Bahá’í Administrative Order concerns the system of administration within the Bahá’í Faith rather than civil government. Baháʼí World News Service (2005/05/18). While the delegates can certainly convey to the convention the concerns of those in their district, they are in no way obligated to represent those who elected them. In His Will and Testament, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá appointed his grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá'í Community & Administrative System. An institution of appointed individuals of proven capacity—the institution of the Counsellors—also functions under the guidance of the Universal House of Justice and exerts influence on the life of the Bahá’í community, from the grassroots to the international level. Sometimes referred to by Baháʼu'lláh as "the Rulers", Baháʼís elect members to councils which are vested with the authority of the community. The Baháʼí administration or Baháʼí administrative order is the administrative system of the Baháʼí Faith. "[3], Baháʼu'lláh commended the British system of government that enhanced kingship through consultation with the people,[4] but did not specifically endorse parliamentary democracy. By Ann Boyles. If a locality only has nine Baháʼís, then no election process is necessary. This compilation is an introduction to the institution of the Local Spiritual Assembly, the administrative body for the local Baha'i community. • Host a community event in celebration of the administrative order. from the chronology of Canada from the main catalogue. Over this period, Baháʼí institutions and inter-institutional collaboration became clearer, many finer points of Baháʼí law were explained, and the faith was spread to most of the globe. defined a new scope of elected institution he called the "Secondary House of Justice", the first of which were elected under the administration of Shoghi Effendi. At all levels, only residents within the jurisdiction of the body being elected are eligible for membership. The origins of this system—known as the Bahá’í Administrative Order—are found in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh Himself. Administrative Order, Suggestions about changes in , by Universal House of Justice (1995).Ways in which Baha'is may make suggestions for change within the Baha'i administration, and the nature of internet discussions. This plan opened up whole new geographic regions to the Baháʼís, ʻAbdu'l-Bahá encouraging Baháʼís to connect with the peoples of all races and cultures. established criteria for the appointment of future Guardians. The supreme governing institution of the Bahá'í Faith is the Universal House of Justice, situated in Haifa, Israel. The Tablets of the Divine Plan stand out, however, and formed a great part of the early goal setting and planning processes of the nascent spiritual community. There are typically two boards in a single geographical region, one responsible for protection, and one for propagation of the community, though these functions often overlap. The Baháʼí Administrative Order concerns the system of administration within the Baháʼí Faith rather than civil government. The affairs of the Bahá’í community are administered without clergy, through institutions, established by Bahá’u’lláh to foster universal participation and … https://bahaiteachings.org › bahai-administrative-order-explained Nominations and campaigning are prohibited. Auxiliary board members appoint "assistants" that operate on their behalf at the grassroots level. Shoghi Effendi worked throughout his life to establish the necessary secondary institutions that were required for the election of the Universal House of Justice, which was first elected in 1963. These individuals inspire, encourage, enjoin, and make the community aware of relevant scripture and guidance from the central institutions. A Local Spiritual Assembly (LSA) represents a town, city, or county, and are elected annually by direct election. Seen as embryonic institutions, national and local Houses of Justice are currently given the temporary appellation of "Spiritual Assemblies"[11] and are expected, over time, to mature into fully functional Houses of Justice. Baháʼu'lláh makes reference to "the learned" among his people. The Bahá'í Administrative Order is the administrative system of the Bahá'í Faith. In the event of a tying vote for the last places, if one of these individuals is a member of a minority, this individual is automatically awarded the position. Baháʼís may, depending on circumstances, serve on multiple institutions. Every five years from 1963, members of all National Spiritual Assemblies are called to vote at an International Convention at the Baháʼí World Centre in Haifa, Israel for members of the Universal House of Justice. They often act in an informational capacity, communicating the direction and discussions at the World Centre to national communities. It was ʻAbdu'l-Bahá who clarified the differing roles of Supreme/Universal (global) vs. the local Houses of Justice. They will often focus their work on one or a set of countries within their jurisdiction. The Universal House of Justice is the supreme governing body of the Baháʼí Faith. Quotations – An introductory selection of extracts from the Bahá’í writings on the theme of Bahá’í administration. Our Inner Life; Dawn of a Brighter Day; Letter of November 24th, 1924. Centers of Learning. At the local (city, town, county) level of administration, the nine-member Local Spiritual Assembly is elected by adult Baháʼís in that particular locality once a year during their Annual General Meeting on the First Day of the Ridvan Festival (the 13th day of the month of Glory, about 20 or 21 April). The Bahá’í Faith unfolds an Administrative Order that is in the revealed Writings of its Founder, Bahá’u’lláh. The functions of this branch were originally carried out by the Hands of the Cause of God appointed by Baháʼu'lláh, ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi. The Source from which it derives its inspiration is no one less than Bahá’u’lláh Himself.” –Shoghi Effendi. All decisions by these bodies must be made, and are considered valid if, and only if the body is duly constituted, and meeting as a body with a quorum of members present. "Baha'is hold unique democratic elections.". This difference is highlighted in a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi concerning the future world government foretold by Bahá’u’lláh and outlined by Shoghi Effendi: If after discussion, a decision be carried unanimously, well and good; but if the Lord forbid, differences of opinion should arise, a majority of voices must prevail."[8][9]. It is not simply by coincidence however that it was first initiated and perfected by the American believers. In 1973 the International Teaching Centre was established and the Hands were instructed to act as liaisons between the Counsellors appointed to it and the House of Justice. Shoghi Effendi sternly deprecated partisan politics and certain other practices current in western democracies, such as campaigning and nomination. The origins of this system—known as the Bahá’í Administrative Order—are found in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh Himself. Members of National Spiritual Assemblies have served on Local Spiritual Assemblies, and assistants within the appointed institutions may serve on Local Spiritual Assemblies. The supreme governing institution of the Baháʼí Faith is the Universal House of Justice, situated in Haifa, Israel. While most of the above have been in place for decades or more, in recent years with the institution of the Baháʼí institute process a number of other possible positions have been named: Regional Institute Boards, Area Teaching Committees, Cluster Growth Facilitators, Cluster Institute Coordinators, Cluster Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programme Coordinators, and Cluster Children's Class Coordinator being examples. ʻAbdu'l-Bahá unveiled the "Secondary", or National House of Justice in his will. Baháʼí elections do not include any sort of constituency for members – all members are considered to be at-large. In cases of tie votes for the ninth-least-populous vote (for example), a run-off election is held (unless one of the tied candidates is a member of a minority in the community and is deemed elected). (God Passes By) These two institutions are described in ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament as having divine authority: The same Will appoints Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian, and gives further details about the structure of the administration, including election and appointment processes. This difference is highlighted in a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi concerning the future world government foretold by Baháʼu'lláh and outlined by Shoghi Effendi, stating "As regards the International Executive referred to by the Guardian in his "Goal of a New World Order", this statement refers by no means to the Baháʼí Commonwealth of the future, but simply to that world government which will herald the advent and lead to the final establishment of the World Order of Baháʼu'lláh. The Universal House of Justice is seen as morally infallible, though this belief has subtleties, in that the Universal House of Justice can both make new Baháʼí law and repeal its own laws. The Baha'i Administrative Order The affairs of the Bahá’í community are administered through a system of institutions, each with its defined sphere of action. For the Betterment of the World, to the Glory of God The Emergence of Bahá’í Houses of Worship. They work with any Local Spiritual Assemblies, Regional Councils, and individuals within their jurisdiction. Baháʼí marriages became recognized in their own right in several regions and the Baháʼí Faith was recognized as an independent religion by many nations and religious courts, including Islamic religious courts in Egypt. . This page was last edited on 17 January 2021, at 11:28. This governance system is called the "administrative order." The origins of this system—known as the Bahá'í Administrative Order—are found in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh Himself RBC is an element of Baha'i administration between the local and national levels. However, beyond this there are several practical limitations. (In the US, this refers to racial minority.) [5], These statements praise the principles of kingship and consultation with the people as principles for civil government. The New World Order; The Foundation of the House of Justice; Duties of Elected Representatives; Election of Delegates; Letter of September 24, 1924. Members of the Auxiliary Boards appointed by the Counsellors who are elected to such an institution are asked to choose to serve either in their elected or appointed capacity, but not both. National Spiritual Assemblies may ask Local Spiritual Assemblies to excuse those who are members of both bodies from executive positions, to free their time to do the work of that National Spiritual Assemblies. From the outset of his ministry, Shoghi Effendi dedicated energy to the development of the Administrative Order, bringing it into being in embryonic form and paving the way for the election of the Universal House of Justice. Shoghi Effendi described the death of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá and the start of his own administration as the end of the "Heroic age" and the start of the "Formative" age of the Baháʼí Faith. defined some of the conditions for the future development of the Baháʼí administration. These boundaries are subject to the discretion of the Universal House of Justice, and can obviously change, Canada and the USA now having their own individual National Assemblies. One of his greatest legacies to the development of the Baháʼí administrative system, however, was his will and testament, wherein he describes several new institutions. Today the Universal House of Justice is the central governing body of the Administrative Order. Within it, the Bahá’í International Community states, encouragement of diversity of opinion has important implications in the realms of both belief and action. 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