April 4, 2016

The “principles” to keep in mind “concerning door-to-door calling in connection with Bahá'í activities”

We have considered the questions you put forward concerning door-to-door calling in connection with Bahá'í activities. . . .

The principles you should bear in mind are:

1. The dignity of the Faith. This should be carefully safeguarded in all Bahá'í activities, and it is clear from the following quotation that the Guardian felt that door-to-door distribution of pamphlets was undignified: "He feels that to distribute Bahá'í pamphlets from door-to-door . . . is undignified and might create a bad impression of the Faith. No doubt, it is the eagerness and devotion of the friends that led them to make this proposal, but he does not think that the best interests of the Cause are served by such a method. . . ."

2. Bahá'u'lláh's injunction as recorded in The Hidden Words: "The wise are they that speak not unless they obtain a hearing." It is important that no teaching activity should be an encroachment on people's privacy nor should it force the teachings upon unwilling listeners.

3. Integrity and sincerity. If people are to be asked to answer a questionnaire [1] it should be for the reason that it is necessary for the sponsor to know the answers. Bahá'ís should not use such a method as a subterfuge to press the message upon people. 
- The Universal House of Justice (From a letter dated December 16, 1965, to a National Spiritual Assembly; Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities, 1998 edition)
[1] The proposed questionnaire was to ascertain the wishes of the public in a given area concerning religious education in schools.