No forced compulsion to belong to a religion.
36. There should be no forced compulsion to belong to a religion! This is not just a pious thought, but a statement of fact made in the true religious writings of God: Babi Religion: “The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion.” (The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 75) We are not permitted to use force to convert adherents to our religion, as has been done in the past.
If those people doing these torturous compulsions on others, to believe like they do, really understood their religious faith they would not have done the things they did, and are now doing still to this very day. Judaism: Joshua 24:15 “If it seem evil unto you to serve The LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve The LORD.” Proverbs 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” 4:26 “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established,” choose the path your feet will travel yourself. Christianity: Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free…..” 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” 5:15 “follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” In other words, we are being told by Paul and John that we should investigate what we are being told and not believe in something just because we are told this is the way. Also, since we are being told to look at and investigate the word of God independently, we should also have the common courtesy not to try and force our opinion on somebody else, that is not the way God wants His word to be spread according to Paul and John and Joshua. We are supposed exercise our own freewill when it comes to the writings of God. God wants us to make our own choice as to whether we will serve God; this is non-negotiable! Again, Judaism: Proverbs 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Proverbs 4:26 “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” We are to use reason and choose the path our feet will travel of our own freewill, not by compulsion from somebody else. Christianity: John 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” In other words, God will abide by our decision, and He will help us in whatever decision we make. So again there is to be no forced compulsion to believe.
ISLAM: 256. “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah (God) hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2)
BABI RELIGION: “IT is better to guide one soul than to possess all that is on earth, for as long as that guided soul is under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Unity, he and the one who hath guided him will both be recipients of God‘s tender mercy, whereas possession of earthly things will cease at the time of death. The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God‘s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! He causeth him whom He pleaseth to enter the shadow of His Mercy. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector, the All-Generous.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 77)
(Ali b. Abi Taalib, Letters from Nahjul Balaagh)
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasnas 31 and 58)
Zoroastrianism: “Him I would now propitiate by conscience, him who granted to our will the choice of the right and the wrong (i.e. freedom of will). Freedom of will is the first postulate of mortal life. There cannot be any mortal life without freedom of the will.” “All other animals are ruled by nature. They follow the course of action dictated by natural forces and animal instinct. Man however can rise above nature and take the course of action pointed out by conscience.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan pp. 485, 487 and 488)
(Hindu, Vedas, Rig Veda – Book 4)
(Hindu, Vedas, Rig Veda – Book 10)
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 and 3 (tr. J. Richards)) (12, 25)
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (tr. J. Richards))
SABEANISM: “To you do I call and (you) do I teach, Men who have received the Sign, Hearken not to the talk of all peoples and generations; let not their stumblings cause you to stumble.” “Be careful; make enquiry,” — into the word of God, of your own freewill. “My chosen, ye sought and ye found, moreover ye shall seek and ye shall find. Ye sought and found, my chosen ones, as the first (souls?) sought and found.” Not through coercion but by self investigation. (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 74, 89 and 99)
BABI RELIGION: “No one is to be slain for unbelief, for the slaying of a soul is outside the religion of God; … and if anyone commands it, he is not and has not been of the Bayan, and no sin can be greater for him than this.”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 329)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 246)
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 76)
Baha’i Faith: “He must not be an imitator or blind follower of any soul. He must not rely implicitly upon the opinion of any man without investigation; nay, each soul must seek intelligently and independently, arriving at a real conclusion and bound only by that reality.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity)