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Pretty one sided[edit]

I'd like to see some discussion of some of the negative aspects of missionaries and they way being sent on some missions is designed to alienate you from the public, not to convert people.

Intensely one-sided. Misionaries are essentially white invaders whose business is religious persecution, the persection of any religion not their own and generally small scale religions. Missionaries have been one of the primary causes of mass deaths among indigenous peoples. 100s of 1000s have died through missionary introduced ignorance and disease and all to swap one superstition for another —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Added--12.11.09Dellaroux (talk) 00:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Huh? I assume you're referring to LDS Missionaries? I was one, and I was under the impression I was sent to spread the word (and my sons plan on doing the same when they are old enough). Do you have any sources? Could it be done in a NPOV fashion? Frecklefoot | Talk 18:51, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
I, for one, do not believe that LDS Missionaries are sent out to "alienate" them from the public. However, it may not be the LDS Missionaries that were being referred to. True, there is a negative aspect to missionary work, and probably should have its own section. But, I belive that material posted about any missionaries or their religion should be done so with much thought, care, and plenty of reliable sources. Many religions have recieved a lot of bad publicity; most of which may be lies(false information) and/or twisted truths. Try not to assume specifics, however, because you may also be wrong. I also believe that man is free to worship how he may, what he may, and when he may, as long as it doesn't clash with the way I, or others, choose to worship(or not worship).
(AaronWStone (talk) 06:20, 24 November 2007 (UTC))
Of course, it couldn't be done in an NPOV fashion, otherwise, how would Christianity exist and survive (after calling other religions as "fakes")? And that's precisely why it is viewed negatively. The Truth is more like the Speculation. Heilme 05:32, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Christians don't say that other religions are "fake." At least, they shouldn't. Christians believe that there is only one path to salvation, and that's through belief in and obedience to Jesus Christ. That doesn't make any other religions "false" although it does make the gods these other religions worship wrong. Christian's shouldn't deny that other people actually believe they are worshipping another power. It's just that this other power, they are taught, is not Godly and is therefore incorrect and likely to be promoted by Satan.
LOL, again with the fundamentalist manicheanism. If it's not what my pastor taught me, it must be from Satan... Why can't you just accept that other people simply have a different idea on the nature of God, especially when the code of conduct he passes on to them is rarely different from your own? (talk) 19:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
That has to be one of the most confused paragraphs I've ever read; it boils down to "other religions aren't false, but the fact is they are false"! You might like to consider that teaching naive people that the whole basis of the universe is that a) they are slaves of God b) their only purpose in life is to obey the orders of this God absolutely c) they must love this harsh God with every fibre of their being and d) if they fail even the tiniest bit in either b) or c) this God will throw them into a lake of fire and torture them for eternity is hardly "bringing them the Good News". If that's the Good News, I can't imagine what the Bad News must be like.
Anyway, this article desperately needs some balance regarding the negative side of missionaries.
To be fair and honest, it's not all negative. Missionaries have done good work in the past - one of the first advocates for Indian rights was a Spanish priest who'd gone over with the original colonists and opposed the empire's exploitation of fellow humans (but Rome refused to back him up, and we ended up with the situation we all learned in the history books...) It's too bad that so many missionaries (Christian and other) see it as their mission from God to eliminate everyone else's culture, because a lot of them have also done very good things. (talk) 19:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
It's not all negative, if we're riding on the assumption that cultural imperialism is OK (for the sake of NPOV, I'll accept this)... However, there's still the issue of missionary-founded hospitals operating in Haiti and Angola that have denied services to people unwilling to undergo baptism (including denial of service to Catholics who refused to be baptised in Evangelical or Baptist traditions). (talk) 20:45, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
So you're saying that Christianity wouldn't survive if the Christian missionaries didn't convert people? Man, there are about 2.1 billion adherents - how is it not going to survive? --Khoikhoi 03:45, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Christianity is dying in the west. Europe, in particular, are growing more and more atheistic/agnostic over the past decades. The trend is much slower in United States, but it's happening. Christianity needs new ground, fresh believers to survive and keep its momentum. If all missionaries cease to exist, all evangelists cease to work, I don't think Christianity can keep its momentum and will eventually wither. Of course, it may take 2 or 3 generations or more, it's a guess. But what I'm saying really in my original text is that spreading the Gospel cannot be done in an NPOV fashion. In other words, it cannot be done without discrediting other faiths first. Heilme 08:33, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

You send the chill down my spine Heilme. First you talk of Christianity is like some kind of virus - it is dying hence it needs to infect more people to stay alive - I cant help but see the analogy. Just because it cannot be spread without discrediting other faiths does not means it SHOULD - the end does not justify the mean. Is this the true face of mission? BTW the article is overwhelmingly one sided. Missions at least in the history have been harshly condemned and shunned - one prime example is in China 19th Century. Even with NPOV in mind this should be reported accordingly.Hereiam2005 08:25, 08 November 2011
I see. I thought that people in the west were just becomming lazy on going to Church and things like that. I didn't know that they were becomming atheistic/agnostic. But what about the fact that missionaries destroy cultures in an attempt to convert people? Have you ever read Things Fall Apart? --Khoikhoi 18:59, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Once upon a time, the "Things Fall Apart" scenario was true - because the weight of entire European colonial empires was behind them. The evangelists, in this case, were merely one of many tools to promote the racial and religious domination of the rest of the world by a major power.
However with the adoption of secularism in the West, this is no longer the case - evangelists no longer have the full military might of an empire behind them and are reduced to converting people all by themselves. Usually those who focus on physically helping the locals, (ie offering food and shelter) are the most successful. Those who only proselytize and try to disrupt the other culture might attract a few misfits, but the rest of the community largely ignores them and continues on its way. (talk) 19:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
It's difficult to say to what extent missionaries affect cultures. I mean, yes, there are some practices that they discourage (like the ritual slaughtering of animals in the name of the ancestors, the worship of idols, etc.). But in the village where my family has worked for 20 years there hasn't been a noticeable change in the way people do things. I think that our family's presence has had less effect on the native peoples than the modernizing of the world around them. For example, the government just put a cell phone tower up in the village. But for all our discouraging of various Animistic practices, it was the people themselves who decided to change the way they acted. And I haven't come out of the experience without changing, either. I'm used to living in a mud-brick hut and the USA comes as quite a shock.
Hmm. So they all just decided to start filing into a church to have somebody yell at them that they're born evil and must spend the rest of their lives trying to apologise for it on a whim, did they? 21:39, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

lol who gives a damn about christianity anyway? Let them have their fun trying to convert people in some generic part in africa. From what I see in the US and Europe, Christians believe quantity is more important than quality. Sure, you can have 2.1 billion christians in the world, but if only 10% practice, whats the point?

This article says: While some of these missions were associated with imperialism and oppression, others (notably Matteo Ricci's Jesuit mission to China) were relatively peaceful and focused on integration rather than cultural imperialism.

I came here specifically for information on the imperialism and economic exploitation arguments. This needs to be expanded upon. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to check the histories. As it sits now, this article is extremely one-sided painting missionary work as entirely charitable with no downsides. What about missionaries that required aid recipients to watch a movie about Jesus or pray before being fed? (Prosylitation through economic exploitation.)Even if all those claims are false (which I doubt), they are still in abundance and out there and need to be addressed somehow.

Cr8zy 22:01, 6 October 2007 (UTC)Cr8zy

Mary Sleser[edit]

Mary Sleser was a missionary to Africa, she was known as "White Ma" by the Indian Tribes.

Mary settled conflicts, and arguments.

European culture vs. Christians[edit]

"They were successful in obtaining several thousand converts to the faith, but adoption of European culture was slow, retarding acceptance of the new converts as real Christians." Huh? What does European culture have to do with being real Christians? -phma

Christianity in its most famous current form (Catholics and Protestants) originates from Europe? Duh.
The editor doesn't acknowledge that missions often had non-imperialistic motivations, even if the arrival of missionaries was always a harbinger of imperialistic expansion during the colonial period. The paragraph is dealing with complex and controversial material. It would take great skill to treat the topic in a "neutral" way (so, I'm leaving it alone). Mkmcconn
Expanding the Kingdom of God is not considered imperialist? Heilme 05:38, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

From a historical point of view -- this article lacks information on the long history of Christian missions, i.e.

  • The missions of the first apostles to Greek speaking counties, the Middle East, Egypt, and India.
  • Early Christian movements had strong missionary efforts into Asia and what is now China, and resulting Christian communities were known there until at least the time of the Great Khans.
  • The Catholic and Protestant mission patterns, and the expansion of missionary work was simultaneous, with European colonialism, and so extended into "barbarian" lands, areas controlled by Islam, the Pacific Islands, Africa, China and other parts of Asia.
  • Missionary work was both a real and a politically acceptable motive for exploration of the New World, with Catholic efforts by Spain, Portugal, and France, and Protestant efforts by the Netherlands and England.
  • These efforts continued as New World states emerged, for example missionary work a part of the expansion of the western United States and western Canada.

Some of this information and other articles relating to missionary work are listed in Mission (Christian) and History of Christian missions. So -- should there be more articles? Should this article be more clearly defined or divided into seperate articles? How about missionary work by other religious traditions, if any? Comments please. WBardwin 22:43, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Mormon missionaries fluent[edit]

I don't really agree with this sentence from the article: "Often, missionaries are fluent in the language they study at the end of the six-week period." From what I understand, LDS missionaries are given a set of common phrases to learn as well as basic syntax for the foreign language, but I don't think they are often fluent in the language by the time they arrive at their destination. Many say they are completely lost for the first few weeks while learning the new language. After they are immersed in it, however, they learn it more quickly. I may be wrong, however, so please correct me if I'm wrong. I served a domestic mission, so I didn't go through the foreign-language training. —Frecklefoot 15:40, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The official MTC website says that foreign-speaking missionaries are trained for 8 to 10 weeks, and I was there for 9 weeks learning Spanish, so I made the change. —Hawryluka 15:57, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Cool, thanks for making the change! :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 18:05, Aug 6, 2004 (UTC)

If this can help, I've met a number of LDS missionaries in France and none of them were "fluent". David.Monniaux 13:10, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I know them in the Czech republic, Czech is a difficult language and they can speak only about their topic - mormon stuff. --jvano 16:20, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I was a missionary and received two native USA citizens speaking fluent Spanish in order to train'em, nevertheless, this is more the exception than the rule. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Santiagomarquezd (talkcontribs) 03:29, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Searching problem[edit]

I was searching for Missions which took me to "ambigous" page about all kinds of "missions"

I clicked on Mission (Christian) [one of the links] and that brought me to a page of the same name. It only contained a short 2 sentence blurb and no links (stub) to something as full as what I found in Missionary! I don't remember how I got to Missionary but that page has everything on it!

I copied the Christian Missions section to "Mission (Christian)" but I didn't want to remove so much from Missionary without some comments from others.

Does this make sence? Strbenjr

Sorry it's taken so long to respond, but people will be more inclined to answer, Strbenjr, if you sign your posts. You can do this ny using 3 or 4 tildes, e.g. ~~~~. The latter version signs your post and adds a time stamp--three tildes signs with no timestamp. The 4 tilde version is preferred by most.
Next, what do you want to do? Create a seperate article for Christian missions? If there is a seperate article with Christian mission information in it, it should be deleted and any links to it redirected to the Christian section of this article. This article isn't big enough to be split up into seperate articles yet. Frecklefoot | Talk 18:04, Aug 6, 2004 (UTC)
I remember coming back a few times but didn't see a response until now. Sorry I didn't leave a Signature but I am glad to know how to do that now.
Obviously I made the change that I was asking about. I also changed references from other pages so they don't go to the old stubs and other places when they are obviously refering to religous missions.
Strbenjr 00:55, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

LDS missionaries[edit]

Full-time proselyting missionaries are required to adhere to a dress code: for men, dark trousers and suit coats (which are optional in hot climates), white dress shirts, and ties are required;

That, I understand. However, I noticed that, quite often, LDS missionaries preaching in France wear backpacks whose color violently clashes with their suit. I understand that LDS policy is to wear professional, strict attire, but why doesn't this extend to accessories? David.Monniaux 13:12, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I don't know. When I was serving a mission, we weren't allowed to use them. The allowance nwo is a rather recent. AFAIK, there is no "dress code" for backpacks. Perhaps there will be someday. Frecklefoot | Talk 19:04, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
I have heard that backpacks are Strongly discouraged in general - but it is a mission president's call. And, obviously, it has not (as yet) made its way into the white handbook. I think the missionaries that have been allowed to use them are doing future missionaries a disservice by not using backpacks that are dark in colour - more likely to get noticed and possibly banned. I sure wish I could have had a backpack on my long walks. Trödel|talk 20:03, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree missionaries should use backpacks in dark, conservative colors. I sure would've appreciated being able to use them too. Luckily, I had a car in most my areas, so getting stuff around wasn't too hard, but it sure would've been easier on bikes with backpacks.
What's worse than using backpacks in garrish colors is using backpacks with inappropriate decals and patches. I went on trade-offs with a missionary who had The Smashing Pumpkins and Pink Floyd patches on his backpack. I love Pink Floyd, but I don't think emissaries of the Church should be proclaiming them on their clothing. Frecklefoot | Talk 21:28, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
Some details in the dress code and accessories are determined locally by the Mission President according to the local uses, security issues, etc. Many missions in Argentina switched to bags for a while due a shooting to a missionary near Buenos Aires.

LDS long[edit]

Take a look at Missionary#LDS_missionaries. It's more than twice as long as any of the other entries! I'd like to propose that we create a new article just for LDS missionaries and trim the entry in this article. We would, of course, provide a link to the main article from the smaller entry. This would have a number of benefits:

  1. We could go on and on as long as we like about LDS missions
  2. We could better organize the topic
  3. We could go in depth into topics which aren't discussed, such as zone leaders, district leaders and assisstants to the president.

What does everyone else say? Frecklefoot | Talk

I agree with this. Missions are a important part of LDS Culture. Trödel|talk 16:31, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

This topic has been dead for a long time. Does anyone else have strong feeling against an LDS Missionary article? If not, I vote we go ahead and create this article. Frecklefoot | Talk 22:00, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think an LDS article would be good, but I would propose a longer view than just what this article contains. Please see my rant about the history of Christian missions above. 1839 marks the beginning of the ongoing "LDS Missionary Effort" -- and there are great mission related events in LDS history, such as the three early missions to England, early apostles' visits in Europe and the Holy Land, the early Indian missions, and the missions to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and Tonga that have had such lasting implications for the church's population. There is also the issue of "gathering to Zion" and the counterbalance of the modern direction to "build the Church in your region." The differences between the early missionaries (in prepardness, financial support, and organization) and what is done today in all the LDS offshoots could be discussed as well. There might be more than one article here. I am going to copy this discussion section to the LDS project page for more input. Comments? WBardwin 00:38, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I think we can talk about what should and can be added to the LDS missionary article once we have it. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 13:51, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

What are we gonna call it? LDS missionary, Latter-day Saint missionary, Mormon missionary, Those guys in suits riding bikes? I'd like to nail this down before creating the article. I'll bring this up on the project page too. Frecklefoot | Talk 16:40, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

I can't decide between Mormon missionary and Latter-day Saint missionary (I don't think LDS missionary is appropriate in a title, because it's an initialism, nor is Mormon Elder because it is gender exclusive). On the one hand, Mormon missionary is the most commonly used. But on the other hand, the church would prefer Latter-day Saint missionary, although very few people outside the church actually call them that. A google search of various names gives the following results:
  1. Mormon missionary: 20,500 hits
  2. LDS missionary: 16,400 hits
  3. Mormon Elder: 5,980 hits
  4. Latter-day Saint missionary: 875 hits
  5. LDS Elder": 466 hits
  6. Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: 130 hits
  7. Latter-day Saint Elder: 34 hits
COGDEN 17:16, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

"Missionary (Latter-day Saint)?" -- would match the current Mission (Christian) format and tie to the home article. If people are currently typing "Missionary" -- and find this article, it would be easy to refer them from the short section on LDS missionaries which would remain here. Why don't we start with a modern article -- it could include a very short history introduction, and real descriptions of the actual mission experience -- MTC, companions, door approaches and all that stuff. Maybe a list of modern mission names and locations too.

I think a history based article(s) on the early missions would also be important, but then I'm a history nut. I've been doing some personal research on the three successive missions to England that brought so many English saints to Nauvoo and to the west. And the RLDS had missionaries too, although I've never actually met a modern one. "Missions of the Latter Day Saint Movement"? Quite long and cumbersome for a name. WBardwin 17:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to go with Mormon missionary since it is the most widely used. We can change it later or move it if we find it is not the optimal name. Frecklefoot | Talk 20:29, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

I created it and now it's just sitting there waiting for some thoughtful edits! I also moved some pertinent talk items there. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:40, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
I think you're right about subtracting the LDS page and giving it's own space. On the nomenclature, Mormon is more widely used (even though Latter day saints don't use it officially any more). Most people would search for Mormon. It's more user frinedly even if not precise.

Cor Unum 11:27, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

LDS Cult[edit]

I just made accommodating edits of an anons POV contributions. Tom Haws 23:04, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Huh? Frecklefoot | Talk 18:14, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Missions vs. Missionaries[edit]

Since this page is about Missionaries (people), I wonder how relevant it is to talk about Missions (organisations) here. Shouldn't this page only be about Missionaries, historical figures, stereotypes, and so on? The stuff about Missions should be moved to another page --Ritchy 16 August 2005

Missionary kid[edit]

Children of missionaries who grew up overseas are often called missionary kids. We could work this into the article somehow. Ingoolemo talk 20:01, 2005 September 6 (UTC)

Individual missionaries[edit]

The external links to individual missionaries doesn't seem appropriate here. I suppose it could have value as an "example" of what missionaries are like, but it also could just be something to tag on somebody's "friend from church." Worth keeping? Deadsalmon 23:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

As of 4 January 2006, I've removed the Individual Missionaries section. It added little to the article and was exclusively Protestant (mostly Assemblies of God). The websites provided should suffice as "example sites," and the article's purpose isn't to be a directory for every missionary with a website. Deadsalmon 10:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Buddhist missionaries[edit]

Isn't that how Buddhism originally expanded. (Missions to Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, China, Tibet, etc.) 01:08, 4 November 2005 (UTC).


How come there isn't a Criticism section in this article? How come it isn't mentioned that converting tribes to Christianity opens them up to the outside world and destroys their culture? Let me know if there is some criticism in this article somewhere and I missed it. --Khoikhoi 23:14, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Agreed - also how missionaries spread STDs wiping out many native populaces to the South American continent. --Belfry 05:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Or about the mindset that they think their religion is superior. --Khoikhoi 05:47, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
agreed. such stuff should definitely be mentioned.--Dangerous-Boy 17:20, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Without a doubt. I'll see if I can get anything up anytime soon.--INO Exodus 03:08, 14 July 2006 (UTC
This is probably one of the most controversial "jobs" in the world. Absolutely needs a criticism article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:57, 7 August 2011‎
I've got a feeling that this discussion is among sockpuppets. Anyone willing to investigate? (talk) 22:27, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
This discussion is mostly from 2006, and at least one of the participants was an admin. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 22:30, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


The Mormons and the Jehovah's witnesses are considered cults by virtually every other prodistant denomination. Why on earth are they even under "protestant," and why aren't there any other denominations in "protestant missions"? Thanatosimii 17:29, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

See the JW article and you'll see that they don't consider themselves "Protestant" either and don't believe in the trinity. Mormons can broadly be called Christians, though they add a completely different "bible". Clearly they are not. -But neither are Muslims or Hindus who are ALSO under this messed up category. I'll try and fix it. Armon 14:08, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, the Mormons add 3 other sets of scripture: the Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price and The Book of Mormon. And they consider themselves to be Christian, despite what other Christian religions think of them. — Frecklefoot | Talk 03:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Christanity is largely based upon the belief in Jesus Christ. The Mormons, more properly referred to as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, teach of Christ as the Saviour and Redeemer of the World and regard him as doing more for the salvation of mankind than any other. Also, the Book of Mormon is not added as "another bible" and it is not completely different. To relate it, think of the 4 Gospels in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each are testifying of Christ, but include many differences. The same goes for the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
(AaronWStone (talk) 05:21, 24 November 2007 (UTC))


I trained in a modern Catholic missionary college- so I at least have a grasp of modern (ecumenical) theory of missions. I'm working through the article to knock it into better shape. Might take a couple of weeks to reference it properly.

I don't think we should get too distracted by the JW + Mormon argument either. If they are classified as "other" (as I have done) this neither declares them to be non-Christian (which offends LDS believers) nor riles Catholics, Anglicans and other mainline Protestants.

I've now added and wiki'd the LMS and CMS (both very significant organisations the article had missed.

cheers Cor Unum 12:11, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Getting Bold[edit]

I've deleted some of the half-thought through stuff in this article, trying to make it more from an NPOV. Trying to make it more complete. I'm going to take some of the the Jehovah's Witness stuff (there's too much detail here) and move it onto the JW organisational page. After looking at the JW organisational page, this stuff only repeats what on there, so I have removed it and left the link to the main JW article.

Cor Unum 04:31, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Added Orthodox missionaries[edit]

I've added one obvious omission now and referenced it to other articles. Cor Unum 05:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Appropriate denominational Headings[edit]

I've made heading changes other might have a dfifferent view on- but here are my reasons. I have changed "Evangelical Missions" to Evangelical church missions". This is becuase the prior heading implied that Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other groups were not "Evangelical" (literally Gospel driven); but they do consider themselves to be so. The other change I have made is to put JW's and LDS's into "Other groups that identify as Christian" (their own heading). There is hot dispute among mainline churches as to whether these groups are legitimately to be identified as Christian - owing to key doctrinal disagreements concerning the Trinity and Revelation. I am trying to leave the heading open enough, but not too open (since both groups consider themselves Christian, and indeed churches) while, for example, the Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptists and the Catholics see them as (absolutely) outside the boundaries of normative Christian doctrine. But then again, the Catholics, technicially, do not consider members of the Salvation Army as fully Christian because they are not baptized (the Sallies are bemused by this view - if not somewhat offended). How should wiki deal with issues like this? Should any group who self-identifies as Christian simply be accorded the name? Is this a matter of referencing and footnoting?

I'm interested in comments on this- particularly from LDS or JW scholars. How should wiki deal with these sorts of major disagreements in a neutral and appropriate way?

cheers Cor Unum 00:38, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

  • While speaking from a Catholic background I have a hard time understanding why you made Evangelical a level == section, besides - instead of a === SUBsection of Christian missions. As for the two 'grey zone' cases, I suggest 'other Churches', which fits their self-qualification as Christian churches and the reluctant alternative- why pronounce on a thorny issue when we don't need to do so here? We might fit them in as a subsection too, but then better rename the section 'Church missions' Fastifex 13:45, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • On the first point you're probably right here. It ought to be a SUBsection of Christian missions. I just didn't notice I had cut it out altogether. What I was focussed on weas the distinctions around the use of the word "Evangelical". In English speaking reporting Religious Affairs, "evangelical churches" refers to any (mainline) church that claims to be Bible based (it can mean (generally) Baptist, non-conformist, Sydney Anglican, Uniting Church etc. etc) - and does not refer exclusively to The Lutheran Church. On the other point, it is exactly whether they are a "church" an "eccelesial communion" or "other group" that is at dispute. If you call them "church", then you have made an editorial decision to favour their interpretation of themselves. This is what my question is about. Cor Unum 08:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
  • You seem to start from the premise that any Church is by definition Christian, and then ask whether a self-defining (yet mutually accusing of heresy) majority of 'correct' Christians (I personally believe they're right to exclude at least Mormons, but who has the authority to decide so?) may then unilaterally monopolize the term church as well as Christian- that's to much POV, , and I still don't see the need for it. Or are we in earnest to define Jehova's Witnesses as 'religious people not realizing they're posing as a Church and as Christians' even though they have more Bible-knowledge (however disputable) then the average believer of any mainstream church, while any theology -without which there can be no christians nor Christian churches- is arguably just as disputable in the eyes of non-believers? By the way, at reflection we could alternatively call the section (including Evangelical churches) 'Mainstream Church Missions', if we opt for keeping the grey cases in a separate section, for which I would still propose to use Churches without Christian (a labelling of the contentious nature of their self-styling would of course be wise to include) Fastifex 08:45, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes I am saying this, with plenty of scholarly precedent (but a lot of this is scholarship from mainline churches). However, I am not a post-modernist, and while I see wikimis pretty democratic, I'm not conviced yet that it is driven by a philosophy of relativism. The term "ekklesia" (literally "assembly") was historically appropriated by the churches of Judaeo-Christian origin - and there is an extensive discussion of ekklesia in the Documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as many other places that are not Catholic. Jews (in particular) dislike being referred to as church (in English that is. I notice in some places the term is being used for Buddhists now too- though I suspect this is a modern lingusitic development that is cut off from the genuine usage of the word historically- but hey - that's modern English sometimes!. At this point I think it is still very ably defensible to reserve the word "church" for Christian organisations and mainline groups - even where they dispute it about each other, eg. Pope Benedict recently referred to the Anglican church as an "ecclesial communion" - which was a pointed way of not saying "church". I would vote for a dispute to be footnoted and citation given to point out the differing points of view on this. What I do where I work is use self-descriptions (and this always excites bitter dispute!). Mormons call themselves "church" (Well, they Call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints) so we use that descriptor "church" - though just about every other major groups squawks with outrage when we do this. I don't have a very, very strong preference here- but I do have a preference that "church" has a measure of defineable meaning content in English which ought to include Baptism + Bible + Nicene Creed + generally Orthodox teaching (No offence to the Salvation Army -who don't baptise- intended- but they do call themselves an "Army"). Cor Unum 06:41, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Unfair calling the Dalai Lama a missionary?[edit]

I'm not sure it's fair to call the Dalai Lama a missionary, as he's advocating against the changing of ones religion in his autobiography (weather it be Christian missionaries converting Buddhists in Mongolia, or western Christians converting themselves into Buddhism). He suggests sticking with the religion you grew up with as suddenly "switching" cause confusion for the person, and the different religions are just roads to the same goal anyway. (don't have the book at hand so possibly not qouting very well) The Dalai Lama is interested in teaching people about Tibetan religion and culture (to preserve what is vanishing quickly after 1959), but as far as I can tell he does not want to "make" people change into his religion in the way that is characteristic for missionaries.

"Missionary Position"[edit]

Including "Missionary Position" in "See Also" seems to me to be unnecessary. It is unlikely people will be visiting the "Missionary" page to find out about sex positions. Also, surely it is a slang term only used by a certain sub-section of society... if a person was seriously interested in studying it there would probably be a more technical term that would be used.

The term "Missionary position" is also loaded ideologically, in that it is an attempt to sideline what is normal as if it were only used be a certain fundemantalist, or even extreme group in society. It is likely there is no term necessary for this normative position, and it would only be deviations that would require distinctive terms.

Thoughts?User:A.J.Chesswas 11:49, 18 August 2006 (NZST)

agreed. It should'nt be there. --The Fear 21:10, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

"Jewish missions"?[edit]

Since most of the "Jewish missions" section is about how Judaism does not have missions, shouldn't the title be renamed? Mo-Al 17:36, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The section as written, states without equivocation, that Judaism is institutionally against seeking converts. While it is true that some, perhaps even a majority, of Jewish Rabbinical leaders encourage a skeptical attitute towards potential converts, this is not universally the case. I am aware of a number of Jewish outreach organizations that specifically seek to welcome new converts - most of these are operating in Africa. Many of these organizations approach the issue as "seeking a return of lost tribes", but they welcom new proselytes as well, and some simply facilitate conversion.[1], [2], [3], [4].

The article seems to convey one point of few only; I would suggest that it be modified to permit the readers to draw their own conclusions.

Moreover, a link to a conversion-oriented blog was removed. If that is against policy, fine. But why do I see conversion-oriented blogs from other religions on Wiki? Respectfully,(DHMalik 17:33, 5 March 2007 (UTC))

Section about Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

The sub-topic about Jehovah's Witnesses is somewhat misleading and confusing. The description section at the top of the page describes a missionary as someone who goes outside of their community to preach their religious beliefs. However, the section on Jehovah's Witnesses describes activity they do within their own communities.

Jehovah's Witnesses do have an extensive missionary and missionary training program that has been around for at least 50 years and sends people all over the world. Unfortunately, this program is not cited either on this page or on the linked page to "Jehovah's Witnesses Organizational Structure."

Please see for more detail: [[5]]

Per WP:EL[edit]

This article has way too many external links. I'm removing some. If some of them are actually of importance and qualify under WP:EL, feel free to re-add. -- Anaraug 08:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

This is a VERY bad article[edit]

all this article talks about is the different types of missionaries and their histories. it doesnt talk about the social/anthropological effect whats so ever. there needs to be a "criticism" section which talks about how countless cultures have been destroyed by evangelical white missionaries. cultural imperialism if you like.

--Greg.loutsenko 03:18, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

To the individual that edited the Christian response to the two articles in "Controversy": The paragraph you deleted does not miss the point. It is only rambling if you are unfamiliar with the scholarly conversation that has taken place regarding this assumption of cultural imperialism. It can only be called disrespect for one's culture if there is no culture that is better. The sources I cited would assert that there isn't a modern disrespect of indigenous cultures. There is an assertion that Christ is the way to salvation. Accept the message of Christ within the framework of your own culture. In either case, whether or not you as an editor accept the Christian response as relevant, it still needs to be represented.

I'm deleting the article from burningcross. It is assertion under the guise of citation. I am tempted to delete the superfluous amount of book references. There should be references that represent the response to the charge of cultural imperialism. Again, to allow the charge and not the Christian response to the charge is patently not objective. If you want to claim that Christianity destroys cultures, cite authorities and their arguments....from a respectable sociological and historical source. To Khoi above in "Criticism?" and to the above individual: it is only wrong to believe one's religion is superior if all religions are equal. This is a philosophical assumption that does not belong in a neutral article. It is a viewpoint that can be represented, and if it is then so should Christianity's developed response.(Irishbrutha 05:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC))

If you look at the site you will see that it provides references. Also the sources cited are perfectly acceptable by Wikipedia standards. These are first hand accounts. The book references are not "superfluous" but what would be expected in Wikipedia. Perhaps the location might be changed to "External Links". The first deleted paragraph was a philosophical POV argument that didn't belong. It almost seemed to be saying, 'since I believe my interpretation of scripture is correct that gives me the right to trounce those cultures that I don't like', exactly the kind of arrogance that many in other cultures are complaining about. The other paragraph better applied and was left. Again, to allow the charge and not the Christian response to the charge is patently not objective. Nobody's stopping you from making your claims which the other paragraph enunciated I thought.
There is an assertion that Christ is the way to salvation. Accept the message of Christ within the framework of your own culture. Quite an arrogant statement. Turn the tables with Hindu or Muslim missionaries coming here and aggressively pushing their religions and telling everyone here that Christianity is wrong and evil and I suspect that you'd be up in arms. 22:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
No actually I wouldn't be up in arms. I believe that everyone has the freedom to voluntarily propagate their belief. The belief that Christianity does it aggressively is a false charge. I would not be threatened by Buddhists, Islamists, nor Mormons if they came to my door. And they do!! The idea that it is cultural singularity is arrogance is hypocrisy. The cultural relativist has that same arrogance toward the cultural singularist. Again, it's a position that is self-refuting. And yes, someone deleted both paragraphs. the second one is now back up. Irishbrutha (talk) 22:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Well the point is that it seems to be Christians that are so aggressive in their propagation in whichever nation. YOU may say so but I've never had a non-Christian come to my door to convert me. Some people happen to find the practice of some religious group coming from another country, a country that's had a history of racism by the way, relentlessly trying to change the local's faith, and trying to convince them that theirs is a path to hell, and basically trying to "westernize" them to be arrogant and aggressive - go figure. But hey, if you don't think so that's fine I guess. I don't see where both of your paragraphs were deleted BTW, only the POV one which should be on the talk page.
In response to the charge that "since I believe....trounce other cultures" this an encylopedic reference or a debate? I am referencing the cultural debate. Again, it does not matter whether you agree with the argument. I may not personally agree with this argument. Finally, the argument was referenced from a specific work and specific author....whose argument against cultural relativism is a relevant response to these articles. I could also cite multiple professors and their works who also espouse the view....Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Norm Geissler, William Lane Craig, Mark Foreman, Ed Martin.(I just have to locate the specific works....all my knowledge of their argument comes from firsthand experience.) That should not matter though. If, a non-authority, can be cited, then Chuck Colson counts. This sounds to me like the critics of missionaries are afraid to allow the other side to be represented. We all have bias...obviously. Does your bias prevent you from allowing the opposing view? (Irishbrutha 01:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC))
Don't take offence at the following, but let me be frank. First, I'm curious, are these "professors" Christians? So what makes an "authority" in your opinion? Someone who studies things in biased books half a world away, or those actually living the experience itself? Check out this site about Missionaries in Papua New Guinea [6]. You might also check out this site that documents the same things about Christian missionaries in Thailand in a letter to UNESCO [7]. Also if you looked at their references and the books I provided you'd see that there are some "authorities" who speak of what the Christians have done to other cultures as cultural genocide (a.k.a. culturecide, ethnocide). Surely you know that forced conversion is a big part of church history? You also said "This sounds to me like the critics of missionaries are afraid to allow the other side to be represented. We all have bias...obviously. Does your bias prevent you from allowing the opposing view", uh, the only thing I deleted was the one POV paragraph. The other sounded fine so I left it. On the other hand it was you who said "I'm deleting the article from burningcross. It is assertion under the guise of citation. I am tempted to delete the superfluous amount of book references". 06:02, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
No offense taken. In fact, it helps us to acquire more and more clarity when we address these issues. You imply that one's religious belief affects one's ability to be an authority on a religious topic in an objective way. Every single author you've referenced has a belief about religion. Burningcross has a belief about religion. (btw, I'll agree with you that the Thai reference on Burning cross is valid. I shouldn't have deleted it.) This belief about religion has nothing to do with burningcross' either direction. All of the above authors I've cited are respected in the philosophical dialogue from all sides of the issue (atheist and theist alike) regarding Philosophical Theism. Though they have that authority, that cross-dialogue authority isn't a required condition for their authority as I use it. They are authorities in the Christian response to the charge by cultural relativists. And they certainly are "mainstream" authorities in the discussion of moral philosophy. Irishbrutha (talk) 22:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
As far as the authors I've cited having a "belief about religion", whatever that means, I don't know but possibly so. But they are not trying to proseltyze that belief, but merely recounting historical details of events they are witnessing in various countries. The authors you cite have a conflict of interest in that they are trying to appear objective all the while holding the very belief that they are writing about.
It's very clear what it means. They have a view about the correctness of Christianity. So by your standards their objectivity is highly suspect. This is ad hominem and anti-presuppositionalist hypocrisy and dogma. I state again, all of us have a view on religion. If we defend that view with reason and facts are our facts and reason less valuable? Of course not. And atheist scholars accept the "authority" of the authors I've cited. You only demonstrate your own dogmatism by rejecting it. As far as current church history, evangelical missions does not participate in "forced" conversion. I would be fine with a reference to historical misuse of force by Christianity. It's a bad thing and modern Christianity condemns it. Also, trying to argue that your "not experiencing" an attempt of proselytization by another faith doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The entire page we're editing talks about several other strains of mission-minded faiths. Islam and Mormonism are two that I frequently encounter. Whether I do or not, though, again doesn't matter. I am free to choose to agree with them. Without force, there is simply no weight to the charge of culturecide. Unless, of course, you are a cultural relativist. If you are a cultural relativist you have to answer the charge of hypocrisy. The mulitculturalist is guilty of the same arrogance when he/she tells the singularist they are evil. The difference is I'm o.k. with you believing that. You can believe whatever you want about me being right or wrong. You can even share that with me and I won't be hurt or offended. I'll go along with my life just as happily as before our discussion. Because I have the freedom to ignore you. I will, however, applaud your making a decision about what is morally valuable. Let's just all be honest and recognize that we all have a belief about the superiority of our values...even if they at face value embrace the "multiplicity" of values In your case you assert the superior value of "existing culture" to "other," or in your terms, "invading culture". (again, it can only be invading culture if it is not voluntary, and force is just not consistent with modern evangelical missiology.) Fine, believe away. But be honest about it. Irishbrutha (talk) 22:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
First, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses fall under the umbrella of Christian since they not only claim to be Christian but they use the old and new testament as well. Now look at the total writing on the Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist in the article. Three faiths combined does not even compare to all that about the Christian religion. Next we can leave out the Jewish since by and large they don't proseltyze as the article states. The Buddhist "missionary" activities are much abbreviated in comparison to the Christian, for example there is only one Dalai Lama. Additionally the methods used are different. In the Muslim world conversion was more through osmosis wherein lands were conquered by Muslim armies and the muslim religion naturally followed (granted, not a good way to spread your faith). I don't see any comparison here. And there is a difference between proseltyzing in one's own country and among one's own people and armies of missionaries of a foreign religion voyaging to other countries and telling the people that their native religious beliefs which they've held for thousands of years is invalid and that the people who practice them are doomed to hell if they don't convert. Again I've never had a non-Christian come to my door in an attempt to convert me. On the other hand I've had countless Christians of various stripes regularly knocking at my door. Most other religions see aggressive proseltyzing as inherently disrespectful of others beliefs and their right to follow the faith they grew up with and feel comfortable with.

You say that "Without force, there is simply no weight to the charge of culturecide". What do you call threats of hellfire if the people don't convert. These are peoples which may not have had any idea that the God would be capable of such a thing. Read this sentence from the link I provide above from Papua New Guinea "Missionaries are actually in essence terrorists. Why? They come to us and say, "If you don't do as we say, you are going to hell! You will die! You will be judged! You are not part of us! You are children of the Satan!" etc.etc. Aren't these sentences terrorising? [8]. What innocent person would not convert under such fearful threats? I call that force. You said "Let's just all be honest and recognize that we all have a belief about the superiority of our values", yes but unlike Christians I have the enough respect in your right to believe what you want to not be trying to convert you to my beliefs.

Culturecide often comes with missionaryizing but also through other "missionary" type activity, such as through marketing (another form of selling). Many people today decry the erosion of traditional Chinese and indiginous amazonian cultures, for example, by pushy western corporations such as McDonalds, Coca Cola, and Marlburo cigarettes via trade agreements with the political leaders of those countries. All this culturecide is robbing the world of diversity and moving us toward a boring sameness everywhere. The homogenization of the world. Additionally the world is losing indiginous knowledge built up for ages such as medical and environmental. True some are trying to catalogue as much as they can but it's fast disappearing. All the world becoming western. It's a way of conquering the world through a sneaky back door. When I was a kid I once read in a "peanuts" comic book a profound insight. There were Charlie Brown and Linus leaning on a wall a talking about a trip that Linus' family had just taken across the country. Linus then said in a dejected way that everywhere they went looked just like everywhere else. Then he said "It doesn't matter where you go, you've never left".
Historical Christianity rejects Mormon and JW claims to be Christian. They reject it themselves when they come to my door and tell me that I must believe something different than historical Christianity in order to be saved,enlightened, whatever. The main point is that they do come to my door and tell me that I will not go to heaven unless I believe that their "theology" is correct. Don't use equivocation to obfuscate the true point here. There are faith traditions other than orthodox Christianity that do proselytize. Second, Muslims very much are coming to foreign lands to convert non-muslims. To deny this is to have your head in the sand. They will admit it as much when you walk into their mosques. For the record, I'll delete the second paragraph for the time being until I can do a bit more research. To do your criticism justice, I will get a direct source response rather than a general application of one, I'll re-post and you can respond to that paragraph. However, I do still believe that everything else in burningcross is assertion other than the Thai man's quote. There is a lot of factual assertion that is really interpretation. Specifically the false claim that Christian missionaries actually care about changing culture. Feel free to charge them with believing and teaching Christ as the Truth. Modern missiology rejects the need to change any culture. Christ is supposed to be adopted from within a culture. Christ was an Eastern figure, and therefore closer to many other cultures than to Western Culture. Missionaries are trained to do their work this way. This is why burningcross deserves a response.(Irishbrutha 07:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC))
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Irishbrutha (talkcontribs) 07:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC).

If you look at the bottom of one of the links I provided [9] you will find citations. Christian missionaries may not be conciously trying to change other cultures, but they are nonetheless. And it's sad. 19:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

POV of controversy section[edit]

I've added the POV tag to the controversy section because the text itself — I'm not talking about the stuff from the anti-missionary sites, which should be included and which we expect to be POV — appears to be taking a strongly anti-missionary stand. Let's not have a section that attacks missionaries in its own text, especially as seen in the last few paragraphs. Nyttend 19:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The last few paragraphs? You mean the ones with the new views of the Catholic Church? Everyone knows the side of fundamentalists of whatever faith that missionarizing is good. There is another side though that is rarely seen or heard about except in on the websites of countries on the receiving end of these evangelizings. That side needs and deserves to be told as well. These people have some stong feelings about what is going on in their countries and it's apparent that wrongs are being committed against them. One of the last paragraphs gives a positive side too so I don't think it's being unfair. Lets not cave in to censorship under a false guise. 20:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear. I think the criticisms need citations to stand as they are at the very least. I'm not silly enough to say missionary activity was an simply an altruistic move to bring the Gospel; but on the other hand, from my POV citations and facts are needed where anti-missionary critisism is made. Cor Unum 10:24, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
The controversy section is very well cited. I see though where you, Njamesdebien/Cor Unum decided to actually ADD and CHANGE words in quoted text as in this instance and here and here. That would be a no-no. You also complain about a lack of citation while simultaneously removing them as here. And you added "(Citaition [sic] needed)" at the end of a sentence where the citation was clearly evident. Then finished the hatchet job by simply deleting the whole thing. 06:48, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Merge Page?[edit]

Someone has placed a tag recommending the merging of the Missionary page with a page titled "Missional". I'm not sure if this is a good idea as it might make this page harder to find. Perhaps if they simply add a definition of "Missional" on the Missionary page? 20:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

"Missional" is jargon of very recent origin: not merely "mission" but ideas of the church's role in the world, agenda-laden, packed with some very definite connotations, some versions quite controversial. Some of these ideas have more to do with the meaning of Christian worship and social action, criticism of the traditional church, and attitudes toward doctrine, much more than they have anything to do with missionaries in any conventional sense. It would make no sense at all to merge this article into that one.
It might make some sense to merge the Missional article into this one - but this would go against the post-modern grain of those who want to redefine missions in the context of the missional church. It is not the same topic, and it's not even the same part of speech. The articles should stay put. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 06:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
"Missional" is not a good idea. It's jargon. The formal and technical words are "Missiology" (for the fomral theory what missionary work is) and simply "Missionary" or "Missionaries". See Luzbitek on this (as just one scholarly reference). Cor Unum 10:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Controversy Section[edit]

I have restored an older version of the controversy section which has had some moderation(the most recently restored version was full of uncited assertion). I still don't think it is up to scratch- but if other editors think it should be present- then let's work on producing an NPOV as well as citing references. cheers Cor Unum 11:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

My edits did cite references. In fact, the paragraph with the most references was deleted. This was the paragraph specifically demonstrating the Hindu Nationalist position against Christianity in general. It is necessary to portray the methods of the Hindu Nationalists against non-missionary Christians, their own natives, to demonstrate their credibility in making the claim that "forced conversions" ever occur. It is also indicative of the movement of Hindu Nationalism as a whole...that they will go to such lengths to preserve Hinduism.
I am in the process of following up with specific references to Christianity and its missionaries staunch disagreement with such claims. Christian theology does not allow forced conversion, nor does it want forced conversions. This is a fact. Baptist missionaries would not bring weapons into India. That's a fact. The only reason I'm allowing those assertions to stand is because they are cited. The reliability of these assertions and the organizations doing the assertion is highly questionable. If you want to allow assertion simply because it has a citation, such as in the case of burning cross....then you need to allow factual testimony of the missionaries and missions agencies on the ground in India. Their take on Hindu Nationalism is quite different than that portrayed in this article.
I've restored the paragraphs with some added references, and some edit to become more NPOV. I do believe the paragraph about V.O.M. does need to be directly after the paragraph concerning the charge of cultural imperialism. It is a direct response. As does the paragraph about the Roman Archbishop following the Hindi Nationalist charge of Baptists giving them weapons. I'm open to suggestion for a re-write to make the article flow more smoothly. There's too much fluff in there as well. The section on Government Aid and Bush and the paragraph on the Tsunami are the two that come to mind. They need to be tightened up and placed properly Irishbrutha 16:54, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Please don't REMOVE or change information that you disagree with. But do feel free to ADD

verifiable information. 02:45, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

It would be a good idea to look at the wikipedia policies on editing here so there are no tears before bedtime. I quote "be bold". Unverified or unsustainable assertion will be removed. So will polemic. The point of wikpipedia is not to add unsustained assertion to unsustained assertion! In particular to Irishbrutha, my own work is journalism, specifically religious journalism (and NOT from any particular Christian point of view professionally). Sorry about the "quotes"= but it was not clear at all from the way you have posted that these were quotes since there were no solid or academic references. You really must be joking if you think quoting a website or a movie is sufficient here. Your references were left there in my edit- and from my view they they are far from sufficient to justify the point of view you have taken in the early edit (which I have to say appears like Hindu Nationalist ranting - at least as unverifiable as Evangelical Christian ranting). An anti-Christian missionary website (of the sort you have cited - and I note you have not cites anti-Da'wah or anti-Buddhist sites) simply shows there is a different polemic.

If you have references, then cite them appropriately. Use it or lose it is the general policy. I'm sorry to say I have already had the baptism by fire on wiki- and even when I knew what I was writing was correct (or what others had said was erroneous), if it was not referenced appropriately, invariably someone who disgreed removed it. Go have a look at the article on Martin Luther. It is well referenced. Cor Unum 11:40, 27 March 2007 (UTC). ANd to - please get a username and user page so we know who you are.

Um Njamesdebien|Cor Unum, (YOU a are using two different names here which is not appropriate wikipedia policy), the references I used are cited appropriately, these are first hand sites and first hand accounts from the countries in question themselves. The Burning Cross cite site referenced. There are valid links for everything here. It is only YOUR pov that insists that they are not cited correctly. Please stop vandalizing the page. 14:52, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Using two different names which are very dissimilar is using a "sock puppet" Wikipedia:Sock puppetry. And there is a reason that using a username is not mandatory. It's also funny that Njamesdebien|Cor Unum says that he is a journalist yet he has repeatedly changed quoted conversation. Very odd behaviour for someone who should know better. About the quotes not being clear they were italisized and indented with the link at the bottom. It was pretty clear to me and I'd guess clear to everyone else as well. About the "anti-Da'wah or anti-Buddhist sites" maybe YOU should add those. I also noticed that since you were caught changing quoted conversation that your "solution" was simply to remove everything from the entire "Burning Cross" site. And for someone's whose supposedly a disinterested party, funny that you should use the christian term "baptism by fire". Dude you're pretty transparently a partisan here. 16:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC) (charming name- are you related to Seven of Nine see Wikipedia:Signatures?) I am not "dude" thank you - my name is present on my signature Wikipedia:Username policy. Your accusation is in bad faith and your sockpuppet quote shows you make a deliberately false accusation of misintent on my part. The reason they are "discouraged" is clear : to prevent sockpuppets being used to lodge multiple votes. That is not happening here- and by the way I don't have a sockpuppet. I have one single username. My own name. Your lengthy and partisan quotes from other websites (which already have links) are not appropriate or warranted. I will follow up through appropriate channels on this. I suggest you read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view - particularly the section dealing with "reliable sources" ("The burning Cross" indeed...gimme a break). Your contributions are polemicisng the article according to your own prejudice. Cor Unum 06:21, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Hey Njamesdebien/Cor Unum, just curious why you use two different names here, one for the article and one for comments? The page you cite Wikipedia:Username policy says It is recommended that users not edit under multiple usernames, unless they have a very good reason what's yours? Unlike the previous commenter which had evidence of impropriety, you made an unfounded slight (that he/she is this "Seven of Nine" - why don't go you ask that person?). You also said Your lengthy and partisan quotes from other websites (which already have links) are not appropriate or warranted. So I looked, and guess what, I didn't find a single edit by in the history. Another unfounded accusation. This is in addition to your confusing Irishbrutha with (myself) four comments up (which reflects a very uncareful reading of the "controversy" section of this talk page), and of course your repeated changing of quoted text even after it was caught. Maybe this is another "mistake" on your part, if so your editing abilities are questionable at best.
You also previously said "my own work is...NOT from any particular Christian point of view professionally". So I thought I'd look up the name "Cor Unum" [10]. Just curious, are you a "Spiritan" or connected with this Catholic missionary organization yourself? If so this would explain your repeated attempts to quash dissenting opinion. Again instead of removing legitimate cited information that you don't happen to like please just ADD to the "Counter Claims" subsection? 14:41, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll try to be nice. I am not a spiritian or any other sort of religious. I am, as I said, a journalist (regardless of what you might say whoever you are), and I have identified myself unlike you Google my name: Noel Debien. Check it for yourself. Please stop making edits without identifying yourself. Cor Unum 11:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

So where is this missing controversy section?


I've had another go at improving the NPOV on this article- despite numerpous reversions by editors without usernames.Cor Unum 07:08, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Repairing Article[edit]

Now that (hopefully) the recent vandalism of the article is over, I am repairing the article re: First, in the interest of balance I am reinstituting a pro-missionary paragraph of Irishbrutha's which had valid cites. I moved an anti-missionary paragraph out of the "Christian counter-claims" section and put it at the bottom of the first section with the rest. I also placed the controversy section at the bottom of the section on Christian missionaries (below the Jehovah's Witness and Mormon sections) and removed the "Other religious missionary movements" subheading since Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons consider themselves Christian as well. 15:36, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Please identify yourself[edit] - while I might agree with your general approach- please identify yourself and give us a chance of knowing your bona-fides. I am not in favour of unidentified edits (and neither is wikipedia). I accept the criticism that I confused some identities in a previous post, and I agree with Irisbruthas changes (though I confused Irishbrutha with someone else -sorry Irishbrutha). My issue is that editors should identify themselves. I say again, I have only one name on wiki (I use Cor Unum as a nickname, but my name is Noel Debien). It is acknowledged on wiki that the majority of people (like me) use a nickname. I am a journalist (google me if you like and you will see), and my speciality is religious reporting from a non-polemical viewpoint. I work for a public broadcaster, and our editorial policy insists on impartiality. My issue with this article are not that there is an assertion of negative impact from missionary work (demonstrably this has been the case in many places)- but I do not consider that attacks on Chrisatian missionaries alone are balanced. The facts of the matter are more complex, and my view is that asserting on wiki that websites like "China agression" of "tThe Burnning Cross" should be treated as "information" rather than "polemics" is just silly. They are polemical sites, and do not belong in the body of the article in lengthy quotes as if they should be treated as fact. The links are sufficient, not lengthy quotes. I will continue to remove unidentified editor contributions (my acerbic reference to 7 of 9 refers to editors with numbers only and not names) until a wiki administrator says otherwise. I don't think this will happen as far as I understand wikipedia. By the way- "Cor Unum " is a quote from Augustine of Hippo that I like. I am not in holy orders (not a servite), nor am I a polemicist. I just like facts to be supported and I don't like axe-grinding on wiki. Cor Unum 11:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

sigh. Once again, obtaining a user name is NOT required to edit on Wikipedia, so could you please stop haranging me about it? Some people use IP addresses for a reason. If you must know, my reason is so that I will not be followed around by vandals. Says Wikipedia:Why create an account? "If you are not logged in, all your edits are publicly associated with your IP address at the time of that edit. If you log in, all your edits are publicly associated with your account name, and are internally associated with your IP address." Get it? I have seen time and again that vandals will follow a particular editor around so as to cause them as much misery as possible. I happen to edit controversial pages and would prefer not to be followed around. Now F.Y.I. Wikipedia:Tutorial (Registration) says "Registering a username is optional, but encouraged! You aren't really "welcome" to contribute to Wikipedia, regardless of whether you choose to register or not. However, you must have a registered username in order to feel special." I have no need to feel special for my editing. Wikipedia:Overview FAQ says, "However, if you would like to stay in the dark, it is fine to edit without a login. Many valuable contributors have made this choice" Yes, I know that it is encouraged but I have decided to decline logging in as is my right. You state I will continue to remove unidentified editor contributions ... until a wiki administrator says otherwise. That would be vandalism, and consider yourself notified. You have NO right to demand that I create an account, and in fact it seems to me that you are using this as a Red herring issue. I don't mean to be rude but could you MYOB about it?
You also said I do not consider that attacks on Chrisatian missionaries alone are balanced. Well then, as I suggested above, why don't YOU pursue that angle? Find information about evangelizing abuses from other faiths as well. I happen to be more aware of this issue as regards Christianity (and in fact I believe the issue is much more of a problem with Christianity - and possibly also Islam - but that's my opinion which I voice here not in the article). A few other corrections, the link you refer to as "China agression" [sic] is actually called "Christian Aggression". ""tThe Burnning Cross" [sic] is actually "the Burning Cross". About them you stated they do not belong in the body of the article in lengthy quotes as if they should be treated as fact. Yet just a little above that you said My issue with this article are not that there is an assertion of negative impact from missionary work (demonstrably this has been the case in many places...). Doesn't the fact that the Vatican itself [11] acknowledges abuses mean anything to you? No the links alone are not sufficient, for one thing that would unbalance that section, for another, as I stated before, these are primary and valid sites and since we all know the legends about how beneficial evangelizing abroad is the other side of the issue, the detrimental effects from those who you would deny a voice to, deserves to be known as well. Now, again, instead of removing information just because you don't like it, how about ADDING your own? You might also familiarize yourself better with Wikipedia editorial policies. 22:50, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I did not remove the information simply because I "didn't like it". Nice try at an ad hominem argument, but I explained why I removed it (I took the time to write why). What I have done instead now is insert the word "polemical" - which I think I can live with if you insist on long slabs from websites I don't find convincing at all. There must be better sources for what you are saying. The Bush administration point is now well acknowledgede (and I agree). Remain anonymous if you wish, but you did make various accusatory remarks (as well as petty ones about typos) alleging bias on my part- and I responded by giving more information which is personal and detailed so you can verify. I remain uncomfortable with unidentified editors. Too many are simply vandals. Assert your right but the majority of us who work in the open won't be particularly comfortable. I agree with your comment on some Islamic missionaries (particularly in certain African regions - expecially the Dinka). There is also a particularly aggressive Buddhist missionary approach in Sri Lanka (strange though that may seem- but they were well trained by Christian God-botherers a century ago). I have seen this particular article lurch from one extreme to another, and I have spent some considerable time trying to improve it (including adding the Da'wah section, the Roman Catholic, CMS, Orthodox and significantly amending the Jewish section). It began wiki-life as a polemic on Mormon missionaries (which is OK to start with- but needed much more information to make sense to non-LDS readers). I am sure that in all this to-ing and fro-ing the article is gradually improving - though it has a long way to go yet. And I think you may need to get over the idea that contributors only "add". Not so. Many editors remove inaccurate information or amend- follwing the wiki idea of "being bold". Your take on the "Vatican approach" is far too simplistic. If you read around, you will see there is immense variation in the way Catholics go about missionary work, and the Vatican position represents an official line that hardly permeates vast areas of South American liberation theologians etc - despite all the sackings and attempts to bring them to heel. Cor Unum 08:01, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Here We Go Again[edit]

Three seemingly different users, Brian0324, Richardshusr and ArielGold are suddenly deleting block quotes from the article they apparently don't like and without prior discussion. Brian0324 placed tags stating that there too many quotations and that "The tone or style" of one is not "appropriate for Wikipedia". I see nothing wrong with the tone, there are no obscene words or phrases. It is merely the writing of an individual from a target country for western Christian missionaryism who relates the way many in the third world feel and as such is appropriate. Wikipedia is not a PC encyclopedia nor a propagandizing tool for western thought. Two other editors, Richardshusr and ArielGold, are repeatedly deleting the entire references and replacing with links. Reasons for deleting so far are, 'too many quotes', 'quotes too long', 'the "tone or style" of the quote is not appropriate', the quotes 'are not NPOV' (quotes don't have to be), Just because someone doesn't like what the information is saying is not a reason to simply delete it. In the interests of compromise I shortened the long quote quite a bit which is archived here. Note: block quotes (quotes that are "4 or more lines in length") are allowable in Wikipedia [12]. The sudden convergence of these three editors and their instantaneous deletions makes me wonder if they might be the same person or perhaps working from a central location. 14:42, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict)
Hmmmm.... if you believe we are socks of each other, then you are free to request a checkuser. However, lacking better evidence than just coincidental timing, I would appreciate it if you would assume good faith.
As it turns out, I happened to see Brian0324's comment in an edit summary because this article was on my watchlist (a benefit of being a registered user). Upon looking at the article, I agreed that the quotes were too long and that the contextual description too weak. After you objected to my deleting the quotes, I shortened them and moved them to the reference section. I also did substantial work on converting the references in the article to {{cite web}} format. I will thank you not to revert that work again. If you must edit war, then edit forward, changing the stuff that you are contending with and not destroying other work via collateral damage.
--Richard 15:10, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I have received a private message from ArielGold, with advice on how to edit. Be assured that I know how to edit and have contributed to many an article without incident. ArielGold tells me that I, must remain neutral, with no preference for a point of view. Your edits to Missionary were not neutral, and introduced many external links, not considered reliable, as well as removed many valid references. (1) Quotations do not have to be neutral. (2) In what way are the links "not considered reliable"? In addition to the above you also say (as I notice you've repeatedly added in those same sections, removing others, however,) What valid references have I removed? It seems to me that YOU are the one doing the removing. (3) You also claim Not all quotations you included are relevant to the article. I beg to differ, they are quite relevant. Again, just because you don't like certain information is not a valid reason to simply remove it. That smacks of bias and censorship. 15:08, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with ArielGold. The points made by the quotes in question are not impermissible solely due to neutrality issues. The problem is that the writing is not from an NPOV stance. My first edit was to delete the excessively long quotes with the hope that the person who put them there in the first place would write a summary. When the quotes were restored with an injunction to "shorten not delete", I did just that. I summarized, shortened and moved the quotes to the references. I kept the bulk of the quotes but I moved them to the references.
FWIW, I did not introduce any new external links. All I did was convert them to <ref> and {{cite web}} style per WP:CITE. Please DO NOT revert this work. It was very time-consuming to do it. If you must edit war, edit forward from my edit. If there is another reversion of this particular edit, I will ask an admin to step in and intervene.
I changed the text to summarize what the quote said and put it in a more NPOV stance. If you don't believe my summary adequately captures the substance of the quoted text, then please change the summary. If you feel the quote should be lengthened then do so. However, please understand that there is ample room for legitimate differences of opinion as to what makes an encyclopedic quote and what is excessively polemical.
--Richard 15:22, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

My apologies to Richard for the deletion of work done on his citeweb. I had restored them by simply comparing both versions and copying that information from Richard. After I clicked savepage though it halted since you apparently got to it before me. But again the quotes do not have to be NPOV. They belong in the article not in the references. You are also removing work done by others. 15:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

OK, peace. You got the point, finally. That's what counts.
I still disagree about the extent of the quotes and the surrounding text but at least we can discuss that without wiping out the work that was unrelated to the dispute.
--Richard 15:53, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Relationship of this article to Mission (Christian)[edit]

I noticed that the text on Christian missionaries dominates this article and was going to propose spinning off much of that text to a separate article. However, I just noticed that a separate article (Mission (Christian)) already exists which contains much of the content in this article on Christian missionaries. The two articles are thus content forks of each other.

I would suggest that most of the text in this article about Christian missions and missionaries be moved to Mission (Christian) with only a summary left here in this article. That would restore the balance between Christian missionaries and those of other religions in this article while allowing Mission (Christian) to focus on the content which is specifically about Christian missions and missionaries.

--Richard 16:33, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I think that this is a good suggestion. I had not seen that article before. I'd just C&P the info here and replace what is there in the controversy section. 16:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

User Clintmath has added several several paragraphs to the controversy section disputing the native accounts. These paragraphs reproduce that which is found in the 'Christian counter-claims' section (e.g. Graham Staines). Additionally several claims are made for which there are no citations. If there is anything new please add it to the counter-claims' section. 17:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

After all the edits, this article is still limited and defective[edit]

It is obvious from the discussion above that much effort has been put into reworking this article. Yet on reading it for the first time, I still find it very unbalanced. It seems to take the starting point that missionary activity is desirable, and the only reference to its negative aspects is a link to another article. That article in turn only focuses on current controversy and does not cover the blood-spattered history of missionary activity during the period of aggressive European imperialism, when the church marched in step with the conquistadors. I do not deny the good work done by many individual missionaries (of varying faiths), but we need a more balanced historical perspective on missionary activity as a whole.

Perhaps the article should also assess the effectiveness of such activity; there is a term used in China - "rice Christians" - to describe those who convert to gain the material benefits offered by western missionaries, but without true belief in their heart. The most visible missionaries - the LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses - do not always attract many followers. Why do some faiths grow rapidly and others stagnate at a small number of members? There are lots of relevant questions unanswered here. Rodparkes 01:32, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Good points. I have endeavored to add balance to the article but it's been a battle with believers who don't seem to want people to know the other side of the story. And now that it's been moved the same issue is starting there. I agreed to move the controversy section to the Mission (Christian) article because while I believe it to be true that Christian Missionary activity has been more intolerant than that from most other faiths still it seemed unbalanced to have a long controversy section only for Christian and not for the others as well. To be fair missionaries have also done some good, particularly with medical aid (though sometimes the disease they were helping with was actually brought by the white man). I would have added education as well except that the schooling has often been steeped in Church dogma.
It's unfortunate but the history of Christianity has been marked by inquistions, crusades, forced conversions, demolition of indiginous cultures and witch hunts. And the cross was its symbol (the shields of the crusaders were painted with a large cross). To deny this is to deny history. I would suggest that you start an article on the points you outline. More information can be found on the following Wikipedia pages Crusades Spanish Inquisition Witch-hunt Salem witch trials New Christian Marrano Morisco Ku Klux Klan Persecution by Christians Christian terrorism. 05:53, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Clintmath 15:37, 17 August 2007 (UTC)ONE-SIDED and UNBIASEDClintmath 15:37, 17 August 2007 (UTC) I find this article very one-sided and biased (especially the Controversy and Christian missionaries section). I am a Christian from India who has personally observed and known of Christians being persecuted and ill-treated for their Christian faith or converting to Christianity by the RSS/BJP/Shiv-Sena led extremist governments. In India, I have personally contributed to the on-going dialogue on this issue. In order to provide a more balanced picture I had added this content on August 13, 2007. However it was unnecessarily deleted without any reason. I therefore do not think this paragraph should be maintained without an unbiased response from the other side:

However, it must also be noted that the state governments that have leveled these accusations belong to primarily extreme right-wing Hindu sects including the BJP and RSS, which have used right-wing Hindu ideology for decades in order to mount the political platform. The major bone of contention with these groups appears to be the conversion of many members of the "unscheduled castes", also called Dalits or "untouchables" to Christianity and other religions. The Dalits fall into the lowermost category of India's ancient caste system and do not belong to any of the four major castes of the Hindu religion. As such they are treated as outcasts and are often looked down upon and ill-treated by the Hindu majority. In the last several decades, thousands of Dalits have turned to Christianity and Islam, which is largely ignored by the tolerant Hindu majority of India [1]. However, in recent years right-wing extremists such as the RSS and the BJP have violently opposed the conversion of Dalits on the basis of Hindutva [2]. These organizations hold that Hinduism is the ancient religion of India and as such India is and must remain a Hindu country. While the members of the BJP have toned down their rhetoric in recent years, ever since ascending the political platform, there has been an increase in the persecution of Christian and other missionaries of all types throughout India by segments of the population that hold to the Hindutva ideology. In 1997, the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons (who were involved with the Leper community) were burned alive in their vehicle by a mob of angry, radical Hindu extremists. Since then, the number of persecutions has increased, and presently, a priest or a pastor or church members are found beaten up on a regular basis in several states [3], [4], [5], [6], [7] . The atrocity of the extremists came to the full fore in April 2007, when a journalist captured live the entire beating of a pastor Walter Masih, and reported it on television [8], [9]. The BJP-supported legislature of several Indian states have also tried to pass anti-conversion bills which have been successfully passed in some states but thwarted in others [10] , [11]


In order to provide a more balanced picture I had added this content on August 13, 2007. However it was unnecessarily deleted without any reason You are either being sloppy or dishonest here. Read the above comments again as to why they were removed:

User Clintmath has added several paragraphs to the controversy section disputing the native accounts. These paragraphs reproduce that which is found in the 'Christian counter-claims' section (e.g. Graham Staines). Additionally several claims are made for which there are no citations. If there is anything new please add it to the counter-claims' section.

It appears from your additions that you did not even read the "Counter Claims" section which contain much the same material. Again, the fact that you have a different point of view is not a valid reason to remove those of others. Another point, the fact that you claim to be from India with first hand information validating your POV is immaterial. Whether true or not, it does not invalidate the fact that others, I'd say even the majority from India, have an opposing POV that deserves to be heard and not to be continually censored. This continual censorship, in my POV, only validates their words about the intolerance of the Christian missionaries there. 03:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC==)

Proper Citations[edit]

In any article- but especially in a controversial one like this- it is important to properly site all sources. Please include author, title, location, publishing house/scholarly press/journal, and year. Rudy Breteler (talk) 01:31, 29 February 2008 (UTC)


Is there nothing on criticism of proselytization? Surely there's plenty on this? Lihaas (talk) 20:54, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

World Mission Day[edit]

World Mission Day is a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church, which could be mentioned if a sufficent amount of infirmation were gathered. ADM (talk) 14:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


This article reads like an advert for the work of missionaries. It's written from the standpoint that religious belief has a "natural" right to exist and to be foisted upon others.

No mention is made that what is being "sold" is only belief. Concepts that have absolutely no more weight, value or substance than the ones they are trying to replace.

I draw your attention to the allegory of the cave. This article assumes the legitimacy of "missionary" when none has been forthcoming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

From what I've read from the Christian Bible, They do not Evangelize other just to get more followers. Here is a metaphor for what they believe. Everyone lives on one big island. On the island is a large volcano, that, despite popular belief is about to explode. So, them, being the ones who are "enlightened" have the task of going around and trying to persuade anyone they can to get on a boat that they have. Technically it is THE boat, as there is supposedly no other boat on the the island that is actually worth sailing. So they tell others that a volcano is going to explode and destroy the whole island, but the good news is that they have a boat that can carry anyone who is willing to leave there homes and the island, and seek shelter from the volcano on the boat. If that's the case they are not trying to just go around and control the world, they, according to them are trying to save it. I know that beliefs are beliefs, but I have to admit, If I were a Christian and believed this, there would be no way on earth that you could stop me from evangelizing, other than killing me. Because they don't look at it as a bad thing to try and get others to believe the same way they do. They see it as a bad thing to "Keep the boat to themselves"

Trust me. It won't matter how many times you tell them they are wrong, (Which technically there is no way of proving either way) you wont be able to get them to shut up about their faith.

I'm gonna laugh if Christianity is ever outlawed, because I know alot of people who would rather go to jail than not be Christian.-- (talk) 01:24, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the article at present still looks very POV. Criticism of interfaith missionary work is a legitimate topic for this article per WP:NPOV. If anyone wants to add such a section, with referenced facts, it would improve the article. Please bear in mind that the purpose of the article is not to endorse any view of missions, including a critical view; the goal is to provide factual information and references for further research. Regards, PhilipR (talk) 19:27, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Some unfuctional ref link in Islamic sections[edit]

Islamic_missions cite note 26 -- (talk) 11:51, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

List of missionaries section[edit]

This section appears to be intrisically incomplete. I suggest deleting the whole section and replacing with a link to list of Christian missionaries and perhaps List of Da'is and one or two other lists from other faiths if they exist. Existing info can be transferred to that list. Thoughts? WotherspoonSmith (talk) 13:10, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "India: Despised Dalits quit Hinduism, find new dignity in Christ". 
  2. ^ Praful Bidwai. "Hindutva's fallacies and fantasies:The attempt by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party to impose a Hindu imprint upon other religions and suppress minority rights is misguided and dangerous". 
  3. ^ V. Venkatesan. "A pattern of persecution: There has been a dramatic increase in incidents of violence against Christians in India since 1997, and there is a pattern in the process". 
  4. ^ "The attacks are based on an unfounded fear:Interview with P.A. Sangma, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha". 
  5. ^ A.G.Noorani. "RSS and Christians: The Sangh Parivar's violent hatred against Christianity is deep-rooted and decades old, as is the case with its animosity against several other communities". 
  6. ^ Robert Royal. "Recent Martyrs of India". 
  7. ^ "Hindu Extremes: Congressmen appalled at religious persecution of Christians and Muslims". 
  8. ^ T.K. Rajalakshmi. "Assault in Jaipur". 
  9. ^ "Mastermind in pastor attack case arrested". 
  10. ^ "Rajasthan passes anti-conversion bill". 
  11. ^ "Diocesan council for review of fire safety in schools".