Experience with Ruhi Book 1 Course?

by Apollo_Atreides

Greetings! I am not exactly an ex-Bahai but had the experience of starting to take the first Ruhi course a few weeks ago, only to withdraw from the study circle earlier today after some contemplation. Initially we were told that the course would be about community-building and oneness of humanity. However, once I read ahead to the second and third parts of the book (Prayer, and Life/Death) I realized that the course was basically teaching students to follow Baha'i religion outright. As a non-Baha'i, that bothered me. Has anyone else had that experience with Ruhi or Bahai study circles? How do Baha'is usually make converts without proselytizing, if they actively expand?

by shessolucky
I also found ruhi to be not very spiritually fulfilling. Even "deepening" meetings (where a sacred text is studied with a group) weren't very spiritually enlightening for me. I found that I'd get lost amongst the flowery translations and whatever was read would lose meaning.

Bahais absolutely proselytize. They call it teaching. When door-to-door teaching campaigns were introduced, I was immediately turned off. The last thing I wanted to do was to invite people who didn't really want to come to children's classes. The community I was in tried and tried to get outsiders to come. The families who opened their doors often just wanted free childcare for an hour. I can't imagine how strange it must've felt for the families in lower income neighborhoods to have these weird people so eagerly at their door step offering free children's classes or youth groups.

These low-income neighborhoods are specifically targeted. Teaching campaigns happen over a weekend and the communities report back how many people they were able to talk to. Objectively, if someone came to my door offering "classes" for my kid, I'd be like "I have no idea who you are, and you want my kids to participate in what? Virtues classes?" I'm more concerned about my child's safety, not your "message" you want to feed to us. No thank you!

Bahais don't actually participate in any humanitarian aid or assistance. They don't specifically do work for the poor, sick, homeless, undocumented, or anyone else. Bahais believe that the remedy for the "world's calamities" is the bahai faith. Once everyone's a Bahai, the world's problems will be solved.

One thing that bothered me was these bahai communities don't have a place of worship to go to. So these "classes" that they're advertising are often right outside of people's houses. Some major cities have bahai centers, but most bahais meet in their homes or rent out a space for holy days. Bahais justify this by saying the religion is in its infancy and when there is "entry by troops," they will have bahai centers or temples everywhere. The old communities I was in have not grown at all. People move in and out of the neighborhoods, but the actual growth is minuscule.

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