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Shouldn't this page be combined with the page we already have on Religious conversion? Or should we keep them separate, and make this page specifically refer to Christian attempts to convince others to convert? RK 22:19 26 May 2003 (UTC)

These pages should not be merged. Religious conversion is the result of successful proselytism but can also be rather spontaneous, like in the case of Saulus who became Paulus. Many people who proselytize failed to convert others. Summarizing, there is some overlap between the concepts but not that much. Andries 10:00, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't merge it it. Conversion is one thing. Actively inviting conversions is another, (quite) lengthy topic. If I may make a crude analogy, it's like the difference between retail and advertising. One thing that should be moved is the Eastern orthodox case study in the 'In Christianity' section. This page should be about general philosophies not obscure incidences. 22:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Islam and Proselytism?[edit]

I was under the impression that Islam bans proselytism by other religions. Is there any truth to this? If so, it's probably important enough to add to the article.

Proselytism isn't a word[edit]

Actually, this page should be entitled Proselytizing. There is no such word as proselytism and it doesn't really make any sense to use it, there is no 'ism' of proselytizing. See the Wikipedia entry on '-ism'.

Confusing evangelizing and proseltyzing?[edit]

Originally it would seem that proseltyze was equivalent to evangelize today, and the explanation given is correct but the normal usage of proselytize today is just what the definition says it isn't. The typical usage today is disapproving and implies forced, inappropriately enticed, involuntary persuasion to adopt a religion.

Need to explain today's modern negative usage of the word.

Catholic accused for proselytism too[edit]

I have added Roman Catholic Church as denomination which proselytise, becouse they are accused for proselytism, and proselytism by RCC is mentioned in article regarding "Criticism of Catholic Church" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Quite Balanced![edit]

Great job on all those who have contributed to this article. It seems to me to be quite balanced between the pros/cons and lovers/haters of proselytism. Frankly, it's a good article to show to those who say that Wikipedia has a liberal bias, because if it did, I would expect it to be heavily expression opposition. I have amended the note under the photograph of St. Patrick. He had been termed a Roman Catholic which, of course he was not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Acorn897 (talkcontribs) 00:11, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Uh, Excuse Me???[edit]

St. Patrick wasn't a "Roman Catholic"? The question is irrelevant -- he was a Christian before even the Great Schism. What are you talking about with "heavily expression opposition"?

Proselytism India/Hinduism[edit]

Shouldn't this article contain some reference to how Hinduism doesn't promote Proselytism and how this conflict has created problems for chrisitan missionaries in India?

A neutral POV would be nice because this is a highly contentious issue.

Extremely unbalanced without any sources cited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reereetata (talkcontribs) 18:40, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Catholic Church[edit]

I've just inserted a link to "When Civilizations Meet: How Joseph Ratzinger Sees Islam", it gives a good thought on reciprocity [or lack of it] when it comes to the dialogue between Christians and Muslims. The article isn't totally about Proselytism, but it provides some very strong insights on it. It would be intersting to see some more specific material on proselytism from both Catholic and Muslim point of views. Verblyud 14:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

General consensus[edit]

The General Consensus on Limits section seems POV to me. Is this really a universal consensus? Some references would help clear things up. Deepak 19:34, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

No it's not. It's just someone speculating. Also the history is missing a huge amount, such as the entire history of Christian proselytism from biblcal times plus history of Islamic proselytism. DJ Clayworth 18:53, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, I'm trying to revamp the section a bit to show what bits are limited by law in some countries and the views of various groups. Note that Christian proselytism history might be better put in the missionary article or in a separate article completely; it is a huge topic. Same with Islam and other religions. This article might be better off dealing with attitudes/laws for and against proselytism. --Erp 19:16, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
There is a good deal of overlap between this, Evangelism and Missionary. History should probably be kept in one place. Missionary seems to have the best history right now. We should probably make a reference to this here. DJ Clayworth 19:19, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Core Beliefs[edit]

The article says "Not all organizations here share the core beliefs of main stream Christianity." I am trying to think of a way to convey this point without making it sound like a warning. Any ideas? 02:55, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

   Well, for one, "mainstream" is one word.
Well self-described Christian groups perhaps. Note it is not our place to make judgment calls on which groups are or are not Christian nor does it really matter within the context of the article. In general if one self-described Christian group is poaching from another self-described Christian group it probably doesn't consider the other group 'really Christian' and that should be obvious to a careful reader. --Erp 00:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Judaism proselytizes?[edit]

Countless sources say that Judaism doesn't proselytize. Bus stop 15:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Why is an editor asserting that Judaism proselytizes, when it does not? There is at the least an undue weight issue with saying that, "A few denominations of Judaism encourage conversion."
The citation provided does not support an assertion of proselytization for Judaism. It makes reference to accepting non-Jewish spouses in already existing mixed marriages into Judaism. That is conversion. Conversion is a part of Judaism. Proselytization is not.
The above citation is a statement of welcome to non-Jewish spouses in already existing mixed marriages. The word proselytization refers to considering everyone a potential candidate for conversion. Let us say exactly what we mean instead of misconstruing. Bus stop 22:05, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
  • GOTCHA - I see your point. Padishah5000 08:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually I wouldn't consider proselytism to require everyone being considered fair game though the article should be careful to define which groups are considered fair game. For instance though non-Jews are not encouraged to become Jews, those who are considered Jewish under Jewish law are encouraged by some Jewish groups to become observant. This is a form of proselytism (though limited). --Erp 00:04, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
And that is not proselytism at all because the person in question is already Jewish. Bus stop 00:09, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
In the eyes of those trying to change his/her behavior. In the eyes of the person in question that might be a different matter; he/she might not consider themselves Jewish (or they might consider themselves Jewish but not Orthodox). Note that much Christian proselytizing involves converting people from other Christian denominations; it is still proselytizing (note I'm neutral on whether proselytizing in general is good or bad; it is bad when coercion or lies are used). --Erp 00:33, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
We are not entertaining hypotheticals. Furthermore one need not be "orthodox" to be Jewish. Bus stop 02:59, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Never said Jews had to be Orthodox to be Jewish; however, you must admit that there are groups within Judaism who attempt to persuade non-Orthodox Jews to become Orthodox in practice. Note a similarity amongst Christians is that the Catholic Church considers most baptized members of other Christian groups (e.g., Baptists) to be Christians but that many of their beliefs are heretical and they should join the Catholic Church (for instance the Catholic church has been accused of proselytism by the Russian Orthodox church). See the definition of proselytism in the intro to this article.--Erp 15:24, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
No observant Jew can persuade any nonobservant Jew to be observant. How would an observant Jew persuade a nonobservant Jew to be observant? Ignorance can be overcome by making education available. But it is up to the individual, of their own free will, to exploit the availability of an educational opportunity. Nowhere do concepts as proselytization come into play in what you are referring to.
Furthermore, education is a two way street. The interaction that you are referring to between observant and nonobservant Jew also involves the imparting of wisdom from the nonobservant person to the observant person, this by dint of the fact that the nonobservant person is also a Jew, every bit the equal of the observant Jew. Bus stop 15:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
A Catholic would probably say the same about a non-Catholic baptized Christian. Sufficient education would overcome their ignorance of true Christianity; however, their baptism makes them Christian. Note that proselytism as defined in this article ranges from outreach education and an openess to allowing people to join to door to door (which Jews don't do even to non-observant Jews) to force. --Erp 19:47, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
If you define something generally enough it comes to include nearly everything. If you want to reduce the word proselytism to nearly meaninglessness then Jews proselytize. Opinion is the mildest form of change referred to in the article's definition. What does that mean? Clearly it means very little. Conversion to another religion is meaningful, and that is where proselytism has its most applicability. Judaism doesn't try to win converts, so Judaism isn't a proselytizing religion. That is merely a middle of the road, basic description of Judaism. You can argue this endlessly, but in the end, do you want to tell the reader that Judaism proselytizes, when it really does not? I actually disagree with both extremes of the article's definition. It is not proselytization to force someone to convert, and it is not proselytization to induce some slight change in their opinion. It is in the middle range of the definition that it has its greatest applicability. It is trying in an outright way to bring about some significant change in a person's religious status that constitutes proselytization. That generally means conversion. As I've suggested before, observant and nonobservant does not represent a significant change, or a significant difference. The nonobservant Jew is in no way less "Jewish" than the observant Jew. A totally nonobservant Jew who is an atheist has the same Jewish status as a pious person who is scrupulously observant. Bus stop 21:37, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
And a nonobservant Jew who is Catholic or a 'Messianic Jew'? Is there no Jewish group that would attempt to change his mind and have him return to observant Judaism? --Erp 00:32, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Reliable sources for the term dharmic religions?[edit]

Where are the reliable sources that use the term dharmic religions in the context of this article? Dharmic religions is a now deleted obscure neologism and should not be used throughout Wikipedia. Andries 15:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I propose to use the alternative phrase Indian religions. The number of google scholar results for "Indian religions"+"Indian religion" is (45.600 + 84.200) while it is only (492+475) for "dharmic religions" +"dharmic religion". See Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2007_September_8. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andries (talkcontribs) 19:47, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

California 6th grade textbooks[edit]

Recently it came to my attention about the sixth grade textbooks [1] In a way that could be proselytizing as well, condescending towards Hinduism...Domsta333 (talk) 11:14, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

"Historically in the New Testament"[edit]

What is the purpose of the word "Historically" in this phrase? As in, what does it specifically suggest that would not be captured in the more concise "In the New Testament"? I'm sure readers are perfectly aware that the New Testament was written a long time ago, so I do not see the point of including this word. I know it's a subtle criticism, but it just seemed oddly worded to me. (talk) 15:42, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Is there nothing on criticism of proselytization? Surely there's plenty on this? Lihaas (talk) 20:53, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

From what the article puts it, to proselytize is simply discussing religion with a friend, co-worker or someone you just met in what's called "small talk". In certain parts of the USA or countries like Canada, the social mores seems to dislike proselytization of any religion, despite the traditional cool or calm toleration of anyones' religious beliefs or faiths. In times, it's unwanted, inappropriate or offensive enough to be considered a form of discrimination and harrassment. One can politely ask the person to seize or desist the religious talk and you have no plans for conversion into another religion or faith. The freedoms of assembly, speech, religion and in Canada, multiculturalism as official policy seems to contradict each other in regards to the issue on ones' right to proselytize and the others' right to freely believe, practice or observe their own religion they want. + (talk) 04:29, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Political Conversion[edit]

Is there a reason why political proselytizing is not included in this article? Proselytizing includes attempts to convert a person's opinion on a religion or a political inclination (according to - - thanks. Satanstorm (talk) 10:53, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Inability to see a Common Ground[edit]

Proselytize is another word for the inability to see commonality.

Not a Quality Article[edit]

This article needs to be revamped in quite a dramatic way to increase it to Wikipedia's quality standards. The listing of religions that are "known to proselytize" is incredibly arbitrary. Proselytism is not a binary operation; some groups do it more than others, true, but it also comes in different forms, different styles throughout history, and feels different to the populace for each group. I was actually personally shocked the Catholic Church was listed as a religion that "proselytizes." Certainly the Catholic Church had a huge impact on conversion throughout the early Church, through the reformation, and then during the Colonial Era in the World's South, but lumping a connotatively negative term to a billion people is incredibly offensive and quite inaccurate. Certainly modern Catholics, nor a majority of non-Catholics would not describe Catholics as "proselytizers."

I don't think that listing a few Christian Churches as "violators" is incredibly scientific. Is there data to back this up? The two sources listed are arbitrary as well. I am going to delete this list and then think about ways to make this a higher quality article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cpsteiner (talkcontribs) 07:46, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

First the article could do with major improvement but perhaps within a larger context of articles on religion. Second the article is meant to be neutral as regards whether proselytism is good or bad; I've added a line to that effect in the first paragraph. Third, listing isn't ideal but I think a discussion first might be an idea before removing. So first what would improve the article? First deciding what the article is about and the tone. I would go with restricting it to attempts to convert people to/from a religion and the tone should be descriptive. Second how would it relate to other articles such as religious conversion (emphasis more on the person converted than on attempting to convert), forced conversion (a subset of this article), others?. --Erp (talk) 14:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is the 4 dot points for Christian conversion talking about Jewish conversion?[edit]

I would completly delete those 4 points, they may be relevant for Jewish conversion however New Testmant conversions have nothing to do with OT law and conversion and everything to do with entering a relationship with Jesus.

Something like this would be far more relavant:

Romans 5: 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

mixed marriages[edit]

Where is common sense? This article uses the term "mixed marriage", which can have a variety of different meanings but which originally meant an interreligious marriage, to refer to marriages between a Jew and a non-Jew, but then instead of linking from there to interfaith marriage, it linked to miscegenation. This sat there for an incredibly long time. Michael Hardy (talk) 00:37, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Views against Proselytizing[edit]

Proselytizing is downright offensive to those targeted from non-proselytizing faiths. Even otherwise there are many points that can be said against it AND these need to be brought out in the Article...

1. It presupposes that one religion is superior to the other. 2. It reduces religion to the lowest common denominator - that of increasing "head count". 3. It fractures and splits communities with homogeneous culturo-religious beliefs. 4. It brings about cultural changes in existing cultures. 5. It exploits individual ignorance while not exposing its ideologies to open debate. 6. It is often clandestinely done where the proselytizing religion is in a minority. 7. It is forcefully (direct and indirect) done where the proselytizing religion is in a majority. 8. Proselytizing is often backed by money and political power from other cultures. 9. Disenchanted people who have been proselytized often of no recourse. 10. Proselytizing often involves spreading lies and mis-information about other religions. 11. Proselytizing often involves taking undue advantage of a person's social, economic or mental condition. 12. Supporting proselytizing is like supporting supporting a smoker who who smokes into the face of a non-smoker.

I wish a suitable editor can incorporate these points in the Article. The above are "academic" points that support/explain the view AGAINST proselytization... The points itself will be relevant according to the situation. Please don't ask for references. I don't intend writing or searching for multiple books on the topic. TheOnlyEmperor (talk) 10:06, 3 May 2012 (UTC)


Under "Indian Religions" "Catholic and Baptist Churches take advantage of this openness and convert millions of Indians in name of compassion by bribing poor people to barter their faith/soul in exchange for elementary education, menial jobs and food rations. Catholics and Baptists are proselytizing zealots." Zealots is a descriptive word - to claim this is to be impartial, it is not a Wikipedia policy to make a statement that although may be perceived as true, does not mean it is not an opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DrConroy (talkcontribs) 19:56, 15 July 2012 (UTC)