Criticism of the Bahá'í Faith
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The Baha'i Faith is in many ways a challenging religion, that raises many controversial and difficult questions. Aspects of the religion that are attractive to some are seen as major difficulties to others.
Unity of religion
Bahá'ís believe in the fundamental agreement in purpose of all the major world religions. At the same time it is incontrovertible that there are many differences between the different religions.
Bahá'ís assert that gender equality is an incontrovertible reality of the human condition. Certain teachings seem to favor one gender or the other in education, inheritance, and membership on the Universal House of Justice.
Bahá'ís believe that science without religion leads to materialism, and religion without science leads to superstition. The idea that these two forces, sometimes seen as incompatible, are in harmony is fundamental to Bahá'í teachings. This viewpoint is not without its difficulties.
Bahá'ís call for a universal auxiliary language, meaning in addition to one's native tongue.
Some criticism of the Bahá'í Faith has centered on apparently misleading statements concerning numbers of believers.
Bahá'í teachings only permit sexual relationships between a married husband (male) and wife (female).
Although the Faith emphasises its own unity, the Bahá'í Faith has had several challenges to leadership, resulting in the formation of breakaway factions. Claimants challenging the widely accepted successions of leadership are shunned by the majority group as Covenant-Breakers.
The Bahá'í Faith identifies itself as the fulfillment of the Bábí Faith. The separation of the two, beginning in 1863, was accompanied by conflict and murders.
Bahá'ís have been accused, particularly by the Iranian government, of being agents or spies of Russia, Britain, the Shah, the United States, and as agents of international Zionism—each claim being linked to each regime's relevant enemy and justifying anti-Bahá'í actions. The last claim is partially rooted in the presence of the Bahá'í World Centre in northern Israel.
Family of Bahá'u'lláh
Although polygamy is forbidden by Bahá'í law, Bahá'u'lláh had three concurrent wives.
Bahá'ís wishing to publish books about the Bahá'í faith must first submit their work to their respective National Spiritual Assembly for approval through a review process. This process has not been without its critics, in fact some critics have characterized this requirement as a form of censorship, since there are penalties for non-compliance.
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