Friday, June 25, 2010

You just go to the website and hit the button

This is quite intriguing:  We came across an internet discussion on a variety of topics about the Bahá’í Faith.  Then someone raised the question, how do you actually become a Bahá’í?  Immediately someone else described the online declaration process and the follow-up by the friends at the regional and local levels!
A. “ . . . how does one go about converting to the Bahá’í Faith?  I know most faiths have some kind of specific ritual that converts must go through.  Christians have baptism, Muslims have the shahadah, etc.  In case anybody is wondering, I’m not ready to officially convert yet.  I’m just curious.” . . .

B. “Don’t feel bad!  I did that a couple of times before I “declared”.  And there isn’t any ritual.  There’s just “declaring”.  You go to the US Bahá’í website, hit “I want to be a Bahá’í,” and then you fill out a form with your name and basic contact info (email, address, phone).  A Bahá’í will follow up with you, making sure you know what you’re doing, and then they’ll set you up with a Local Spiritual Assembly.  So it’s mostly just filling out a small questionnaire, a quick (or in my case, hour-long) phone chat, and done.  You’ll know it’s official when you get your ID card in the mail.”
A. “Oh, OK.  Unfortunately I seem to be in an isolated area which probably doesn’t have any Bahá’ís, but knowing how diverse the Bahá’í community is, I could be wrong!”
B. “I’m an isolated Bahá’í.  My closest Local Spiritual Assembly is over an hour away.  The phone call for me about my declaration came from another state—and they regularly check up on me to see how I’m doing regarding faith.  They also called someone closer by who is going to drive down to meet me since he’s responsible for welcoming new Bahá’ís in this general area.  So don’t feel bad for being isolated.  Bahá’ís will find a way around it.  J

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