Paradoxes and Facts of the Anti-Baha'i Polemic on the Territory of the European Part of the Former U.S.S.R.

By Marina Pavlova

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #8
Newcastle, England
December 8–10, 1995
(see list of papers from #8)

    I. Preamble

    1) A brief survey of the history of the beginning of the Baha'i Faith in Russia.
    2) The role of Kiev, Ukraine (as the former Kiev, Russia), in the general context of teaching the Faith among the Slav population of the C.I.S.

    II. Main Sources of Resistance to the Faith
    1) Mentality and historically-determined reality in the context of culture.
    2) Resistance of individuals and official structures on the subjective and objective levels.

    III. Methods and Forms of Resistance to the Faith
    1) Authorities
    a) Bureaucratic approach
    b) Non-competence
    c) Self-arbitrarily approach
    2) Attitude of other Confessions and religious trends from a viewpoint of the degree of religious tolerance in terms of the possibilities of starting interreligious dialogue.
    a) Positive attitudes of Hinduists, Berikh followers and others
    b) Tolerant attitudes of Judaists, Buddhists
    c) Elements of aggression in the attitudes of Christians and Muslims

    IV. Ways of Finding Optimum Forms of Interaction With Non-Baha'i World
    1) Investigation and evaluation of all possible sources and reasons for resistance to the Baha'i Faith.
    2) Baha'i approach towards solving the problem, taking into account the specific features of the history, culture, and the mentality of the society.

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