Baha’is and Politics
Baha’i teachings prohibit Baha’is from engaging in partisan politics because partisanship is inherently divisive in nature, pitting groups of people against one another in struggle. Therefore, Baha’is may not join political parties, campaign for candidates in elections or participate in other forms of partisan activity.
The Baha’i writings encourage members of the Faith to vote in any political election as long as the ballot is secret and provided that voters are not required to identify themselves with a political party. Baha’is also must bear in mind that they are voting on the merits of the individual rather than because the candidate belongs to a particular party.
Not being involved in partisan politics does not mean that Baha’is are unconcerned about important issues of the day. As Baha’u'llah wrote: “Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” Baha’is are therefore very interested in the key issues of our time: eliminating racism and promoting the equality of men and women, economic justice, moral education and peace among nations.
The Baha’i teachings center on the principle of the oneness of mankind and emphasize humanity’s need for unity and spiritual awakening. For example, Baha’u'llah wrote: “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” Whenever engaging in any issue, the Baha’i teachings encourage taking an approach that is unifying rather than divisive in nature. Therefore, the Baha’i Faith emphasizes helping people, communities and nations to improve their behavior through education, good deeds and the process of Baha’i consultation to solve problems.
While many of the teachings of the Baha’i Faith have political implications – promoting international peace or achieving economic justice in society, for instance – the Baha’i approach to all social issues is to promote unifying solutions instead of ones that are politically or socially divisive in nature.