Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Present State of the Tarbiyat Baha’i Community

The Council of Regents assumes ultimate direction of the faith on a world-wide basis, but does not concern itself routinely with day-to-day operations. It sits at the National Center, located in Tarbiyat, San Miguel County, New Mexico. The National Center consists physically of sixty-five acres of ranch land, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains. It includes a substantial building for administration and worship (constructed mostly by members of the Faith), a ranch house refurbished for use as a guest house, and several residences.
Under the Council of Regents, the governance of the Tarbiyat Baha’i Community operates through Houses of Justice. The National House of Justice of the United States and Canada convenes regularly at the National Center. Local Houses of Justice may exist wherever at least nine believers live in proximity to each other.
The regency considers itself to be a temporary regime, its function being to maintain the integrity of the Cause of Baha’u’llah until such time as the Second Guardian makes himself known and claims his rightful office. In the meantime the believers teach the Faith and support the concept of the institution of the Guardianship. A few words must be said regarding the relations between the Tarbiyat Baha’i Community and the Baha’i World Faith. In the first place, as mentioned at the start of this article, we have no differences in our fundamental beliefs; we are all followers of Baha’u’llah. However, the “Sans-Guardians”, as we call them, do not recognize the existence of the Tarbiyat Community.
In fact, soon after the death of the first Guardian, the Hands assumed the prerogative to declare “covenant-breaking” and to excommunicate believers (a right Shoghi Effendi had always reserved to himself alone). They then commenced to remove from the Faith anyone who questioned their actions, especially the discontinuance of the Guardianship.
Membership figures are not published for either group, but the Wilmette/Haifa organization is much larger than the Tarbiyat Community. Members of the Tarbiyat Community, being apostate in the eyes of Wilmette, are not welcomed there. Nevertheless, we do from time to time visit the Wilmette Temple, and also the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, but without identifying ourselves as Tarbiyat Baha’is. After all, both of these buildings were constructed and dedicated prior to the death of Shoghi Effendi, and are the property of all Baha’is, whether the present custodians recognize this or not.
In contrast, the Regents have not asserted the right to declare covenant breaking. The Tarbiyat Baha’i Community welcomes Sans-Guardian Baha’is and others to meet with us and investigate our stance on the Guardianship. As the Regents have repeatedly stated, our community exists to uphold the validity of the Covenant, and its principle defender, the Guardianship.
Tarbiyat Baha’is look forward to the day when the second Guardian arises to reestablish the spiritual leadership of the Faith and reunite its followers under one banner: the Cause of God. In that day there will be no more difference between our communities. The Faith will once again move forward with the Covenant of Baha’u’llah made whole and its sacred institutions restored.
That is our goal. We invite you to join with us.

If you would like to reach us for more information, or simply for discussion, we welcome you to contact us in the following ways:
By email: 
By mail:
Tarbiyat Baha’i Community
P.O. Box 1423
Las Vegas, NM 87701
By phone: 505.435.9675
We would be happy to hear from you!

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