Religious conversion

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The Conversion of Saint Paul, a 1600 painting by Italian artist Caravaggio (1571–1610)
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Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another. This might be from one to another denomination within the same religion, for example, Christian Baptist to Methodist or Catholic,[citation needed] Muslim Shi'a to Sunni.[1][page needed] In some cases, religious conversion "marks a transformation of religious identity and is symbolized by special rituals".[2]

People convert to a different religion for various reasons, including: active conversion by free choice due to a change in beliefs,[3] secondary conversion, deathbed conversion, conversion for convenience and marital conversion, and forced conversion such as conversion by violence or charity.[clarification needed]

Conversion or reaffiliation for convenience is an insincere act, sometimes for relatively trivial reasons such as a parent converting to enable a child to be admitted to a good school associated with a religion, or a person adopting a religion more in keeping with the social class he or she aspires to.[4] When people marry one spouse may convert to the religion of the other.

Forced conversion is adoption of a different religion under duress. The convert may secretly retain the previous beliefs and continue, covertly, with the practices of the original religion, while outwardly maintaining the forms of the new religion. Over generations a family forced against their will to convert may wholeheartedly adopt the new religion.

Proselytism is the act of attempting to convert by persuasion another individual from a different religion or belief system. (See proselyte).

Apostate is a term used by members of a religion or denomination to refer to someone who has left that religion or denomination.

Abrahamic religions[edit]


Main article: Conversion to Judaism


Jewish law has a number of requirements of potential converts. They should desire conversion to Judaism for its own sake, and for no other motives. A male convert needs to undergo a ritual circumcision conducted according to Jewish law (if already circumcised, a needle is used to draw a symbolic drop of blood while the appropriate blessings are said), and there has to be a commitment to observe Jewish law. A convert must join the Jewish community, and reject the previous theology he or she had prior to the conversion. Ritual immersion in a small pool of water known as a mikvah is required.


In Hellenistic and Roman times, some Pharisees were eager proselytizers, and had at least some success throughout the empire.

Some Jews are also descended from converts to Judaism outside the Mediterranean world. It is known that some Khazars, Edomites, and Ethiopians, as well as many Arabs, particularly in Yemen. The word "proselyte" originally meant a Greek who had converted to Judaism. As late as the 6th century the Eastern Roman empire and Caliph Umar ibn Khattab were issuing decrees against conversion to Judaism, implying that this was still occurring.[5]


Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to some form of Christianity. The exact requirements vary between different churches and denominations, however, all schools of thought in Christianity agree that baptism is a compulsory prerequisite. Baptism mentioned in the Bible. Jesus Christ was baptized at the beginning of his ministry, and prior to that event, John the Baptist had been baptizing Jewish believers as a sign of repentance, though not of conversion per se. As an example to us, these events suggest that baptism is an outward symbol of an inward change. Following the Awakening at Antioch (Acts ch.8 ff; see also Acts 2:38) Pagans and infidels were required to undergo Christian baptism to be ultimately accepted in the Kingdom of God. Compare Christian Baptism with Jewish Immersion by Mikvah. Prior to that Awakening, all converts to Christianity were ethnic and religious Jews.

Converting to Catholicism involves religious education followed by initial participation in the sacraments, which are baptism, confession, penance, and communion. In general, conversion to Christian Faith primarily involves repentance for sin and a decision to live a life that is holy and acceptable to God through faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of this is essentially done through a voluntary exercise of the will of the individual concerned. True conversion to Christianity is thus a personal, internal matter and can never be forced.

Christians consider that conversion requires internalization of the new belief system. It implies a new reference point for the convert's self-identity, and is a matter of belief and social structure—of both faith and affiliation.[6] This typically entails the sincere avowal of a new belief system, but may also present itself in other ways, such as adoption into an identity group or spiritual lineage.


Main article: Baptism

Catholics, and Orthodox denominations encourage infant baptism before children are aware of their status. In Roman Catholicism and certain high church forms of Protestantism, baptized children are expected to participate in confirmation classes as pre-teens. In Eastern Orthodoxy, the equivalent of confirmation, chrismation, is administered to all converts, adult and infant alike, immediately after baptism.

Methods of baptism include immersion, sprinkling (aspersion) and pouring (affusion).[7] Baptism received by adults or younger people who have reached the age of accountability where they can make a personal religious decision is referred to as believer's baptism among conservative or evangelical Protestant groups. It is intended as a public statement of a person's prior decision to become a Christian.[8] Some Christian groups such as Catholics, Churches of Christ, and Christadelphians believe baptism is essential to salvation.

Accepting Christ and renouncing sin[edit]

The Augsburg Confession divides repentance into two parts: "One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors."[9]

“Conversion” derives from the Latin conversiōn-em, literally meaning “turning round” and figuratively meaning a “change in character”.[10] “Change of heart”, “metanoia”, and “regeneration” are among the synonyms for conversion.[11] Conversion is, therefore, more than a mere change in religious identity, but a change in nature (regeneration), evidenced by a change in values. Jesus demands "metánoia (conversion)" to become a good tree that bears good fruit (Matthew 7:17–18, [Luke 6:43]).[12]

According to Christianity, a convert renounces sin as worthless and treasures instead the supreme worth of Christ in Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection.[13] Christian conversion is a “deeply personal” matter. It entails changes in thinking, priorities and commitments: “a whole new direction in one's life”.[14]

Because conversion is a change in values that embraces God and rejects sin, it includes a personal commitment to a life of holiness as described by Paul of Tarsus and exemplified by Jesus. In some Protestant traditions, this is called "accepting Christ as one's Savior and following him as Lord."[15] In another variation, the 1910 Catholic Dictionary defines "conversion" as "One who turns or changes from a state of sin to repentance, from a lax to a more earnest and serious way of life, from unbelief to faith, from heresy to the true faith."[16] The Eastern Orthodox understanding of conversion is illustrated in the rite of baptism, in which the convert faces west while publicly renouncing and symbolically spitting upon Satan, and then turns to the east to worship Christ "as king and God".[17]


In the New Testament, Jesus commanded his disciples in the Great Commission to "go and make disciples of all nations" ([Matthew 28:19], [Mark 16:15]). Evangelization—sharing the Gospel message or "Good News" in deed and word, is an expectation of Christians.[citation needed]


Transferring from one Christian denomination to another may consist of a relatively simple transfer of membership, especially if moving from one Trinitarian denomination to another, and if the person has received water baptism in the name of the Trinity. If not, then the person may be required to be baptized or rebaptized before acceptance by the new church. Some denominations, such as those in the Anabaptist tradition, require previously baptized Christians to be re-baptized. The Eastern Orthodox Church treats a transfer from another denomination of Christianity to Orthodoxy (conceived of as the one true Church) as a category of conversion and repentance, though re-baptism is not always required.

The process of conversion to Christianity varies somewhat among Christian denominations. Most Protestants believe in conversion by faith to attain salvation. According to this understanding, a person professes faith in Jesus Christ as God, their Lord and savior. Repentance for sin and a holy living are expected of those professing faith in Jesus Christ. While an individual may make such a decision privately, usually it entails being baptized and becoming a member of a denomination or church. In these traditions, a person is considered to become a Christian by publicly acknowledging the foundational Christian doctrines that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and was resurrected for the remission of sins.[citation needed]

Comparison between Protestants[edit]

This table summarizes three Protestant beliefs.

Topic Calvinism Lutheranism Arminianism
Conversion Monergistic,[18] through the inner calling of the Holy Spirit, irresistible. Monergistic,[19] through the means of grace, resistible. Synergistic, resistible due to the common grace of free will.[20]

Latter Day Saint movement[edit]

Main article: Baptism in Mormonism
Latter Day Saint baptism ceremony, circa the 1850s

Much of the theology of Latter Day Saint baptism was established during the early Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith. According to this theology, baptism must be by immersion, for the remission of sins (meaning that through baptism, past sins are forgiven), and occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. Mormon baptism does not purport to remit any sins other than personal ones, as adherents do not believe in original sin. Latter Day Saints baptisms also occur only after an "age of accountability" which is defined as the age of eight years.[21] The theology thus rejects infant baptism.[22]

In addition, Latter Day Saint theology requires that baptism may only be performed with one who has been called and ordained by God with priesthood authority.[23] Because the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement operate under a lay priesthood, children raised in a Mormon family are usually baptized by a father or close male friend or family member who has achieved the office of priest, which is conferred upon worthy male members at least 16 years old in the LDS Church.[24]

Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection[25] and is also symbolic of the baptized individual putting off of the natural or sinful man and becoming spiritually reborn as a disciple of Jesus.

Membership into a Latter Day Saint church is granted only by baptism whether or not a person has been raised in the church. Latter Day Saint churches do not recognize baptisms of other faiths as valid because they believe baptisms must be performed under the church's unique authority. Thus, all who come into one of the Latter Day Saint faiths as converts are baptized, even if they have previously received baptism in another faith.

When performing a Baptism, Latter Day Saints say the following prayer before performing the ordinance:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen[26]

Baptisms inside and outside the temples are usually done in a baptistry, although they can be performed in any body of water in which the person may be completely immersed. The person administering the baptism must recite the prayer exactly, and immerse every part, limb, hair and clothing of the person being baptized. If there are any mistakes, or if any part of the person being baptized is not fully immersed, the baptism must be redone. In addition to the baptizer, two priesthood holders witness the baptism to ensure that it is performed properly.[27]

Following baptism, Latter Day Saints receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands of a Melchizedek Priesthood holder.[27]

Latter Day Saints hold that one may be baptized after death through the vicarious act of a living individual, and holders of the Melchezidek Priesthood practice baptism for the dead as a missionary ritual. This doctrine answers the question of the righteous non-believer and the unevangelized by providing a post-mortem means of repentance and salvation.


Muslim countries with death penalty[28] or with a prison term for apostasy or prosecute it under blasphemy or other laws.[29]
Main category: Conversion to Islam
Ghazan was born and raised as a Christian, studied Buddhism, and converted to Islam upon accession to the throne.

There are five pillars, or foundations, of Islam but the primary, and most important is to believe that there is only one God and creator, referred to as Allah (the word for the name of God in Arabic) and that the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, is His final messenger. The time of a person's conversion is counted from the moment he or she sincerely makes this declaration of faith, called the shahadah.[30][31]

Islam teaches that everyone is Muslim at birth[32][33] because every child that is born has a natural inclination to goodness and to worship the one true God alone, but the parents or society can cause him/her to deviate from the straight path. When someone accepts Islam, he/she is considered to revert to the original condition. While conversion to Islam is among its most supported tenets, conversion from Islam to another religion is considered to be the sin of apostasy. In several Muslim majority countries, apostasy is subject to the death penalty or heavy punishments, though the Qur'an states (Al-Ma'idah 5:32) that "whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely". In Islam, circumcision is a Sunnah custom not mentioned in the Qur'an. The majority clerical opinion holds that circumcision is not a condition for entering Islam. The Shafi`i and Hanbali schools regard it as obligatory, while the Maliki and Hanafi schools regard it as only recommended. However, it is not a precondition for the acceptance of a person's Islamic practices, nor does is choice to forgo circumcision considered a sin. It is not one of the Five Pillars of Islam or the Six Fundamentals of Belief.[34][35][36]

According to Abul A'la Maududi, people should accept Islam through their own free choice, not through compulsion. Even though Maududi believes in the superiority of Islam, he insists that if persons elect not to embrace Islam, Muslims must avoid placing political or social pressure on them to convert.[37]

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

In sharing their faith with others, Bahá'ís are cautioned to "obtain a hearing" – meaning to make sure the person they are proposing to teach is open to hearing what they have to say. "Bahá'í pioneers", rather than attempting to supplant the cultural underpinnings of the people in their adopted communities, are encouraged to integrate into the society and apply Bahá'í principles in living and working with their neighbors.

Bahá'ís recognize the divine origins of all revealed religion, and believe that these religions occurred sequentially as part of a Divine plan (see Progressive revelation), with each new revelation superseding and fulfilling that of its predecessors. Bahá'ís regard their own faith as the most recent (but not the last), and believe its teachings – which are centered around the principle of the oneness of humanity – are most suited to meeting the needs of a global community.

In most countries conversion is a simple matter of filling out a card stating a declaration of belief. This includes acknowledgement of Bahá'u'llah – the Founder of the Faith – as the Messenger of God for this age, awareness and acceptance of His teachings, and intention to be obedient to the institutions and laws He established.

Conversion to the Bahá'í Faith carries with it an explicit belief in the common foundation of all revealed religion, a commitment to the unity of mankind, and active service to the community at large, especially in areas that will foster unity and concord. Since the Bahá'í Faith has no clergy, converts to this Faith are encouraged to be active in all aspects of community life. Even a recent convert may be elected to serve on a Local Spiritual Assembly – the guiding Bahá'í institution at the community level.[38][39]

Indian religions[edit]


A yajna initiation to Hinduism ceremony in progress.

Since 1800 CE, religious conversion from and to Hinduism has been a controversial subject within Hinduism. Some have suggested that the concept of missionary conversion, either way, is contrary to the precepts of Hinduism.[40] Religious leaders of some of Hinduism sects such as Brahmo Samaj have seen Hinduism as a non-missionary religion yet welcomed new members, while other leaders of Hinduism's diverse schools have stated that with the arrival of missionary Islam and Christianity in India, this "there is no such thing as proselytism in Hinduism" view must be re-examined.[40][41]

Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others. Hinduism has no traditional ecclesiastical order, no centralized religious authorities, no universally accepted governing body, no prophet(s), no binding holy book nor any mandatory prayer attendance requirements.[42][43][44] Hinduism has been described as a way of life.[42] In its diffuse and open structure, numerous schools and sects of Hinduism have developed and spun off in India with help from its ascetic scholars, since the Vedic age. The six Astika and two Nastika schools of Hindu philosophy, in its history, did not develop a missionary or proselytization methodology, and they co-existed with each other. Most Hindu sub-schools and sects do not actively seek converts.[45] Individuals have had a choice to enter, leave or change their god(s), spiritual convictions, accept or discard any rituals and practices, and pursue spiritual knowledge and liberation (moksha) in different ways.[46][47] However, various schools of Hinduism do have some core common beliefs, such as the belief that all living beings have Atman (soul), a belief in karma theory, spirituality, ahimsa (non-violence) as the greatest dharma or virtue, and others.[48]

Religious conversion to Hinduism has a long history outside India. Merchants and traders of India, particularly from Indian peninsula, carried their religious ideas, which led to religious conversions to Hinduism in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma.[49][50][51] Some sects of Hindus, particularly of the Bhakti schools began seeking or accepting converts in early to mid 20th century. For example, Arya Samaj, Saiva Siddhanta Church, BAPS, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness accept those who have a desire to follow their sects of Hinduism, and each has their own religious conversion procedure.[52]

In recent decades, mainstream Hinduism schools have attempted to systematize ways to accept religious converts, with an increase in inter-religious mixed marriages.[53] The steps involved in becoming a Hindu have variously included a period where the interested person gets an informal ardha-Hindu name and studies ancient literature on spiritual path and practices (English translations of Upanishads, Agamas, Epics, ethics in Sutras, festivals, yoga).[54] If after a period of study, the individual still wants to convert, a Namakarana Samskaras ceremony is held, where the individual adopts a traditional Hindu name. The initiation ceremony may also include Yajna (i.e., fire ritual with Sanskrit hymns) under guidance of a local Hindu priest.[53] Some of these places are mathas and asramas (hermitage, monastery), where one or more gurus (spiritual guide) conduct the conversion and offer spiritual discussions.[53] Some schools encourage the new convert to learn and participate in community activities such as festivals (Diwali etc), read and discuss ancient literature, learn and engage in rites of passages (ceremonies of birth, first feeding, first learning day, age of majority, wedding, cremation and others).[55]


Sikhism is not known to openly proselytize, but accepts converts.[56][57]


Jainism accepts anyone who wants to embrace the religion. There is no specific ritual for becoming a Jain. One does not need to ask any authorities for admission. One becomes a Jain on one's own by observing the five vows (vratas)[58] The five main vows as mentioned in the ancient Jain texts like Tattvarthasutra are:[59][60]

  1. Ahimsa- Not to injure any living being by actions and thoughts.
  2. Satya- Not to lie or speak words that hurt others.
  3. Asteya- Not to take anything if not given.[61]
  4. Brahmacharya- Chastity for householders / Celibacy in action, words & thoughts for monks and nuns.
  5. Aparigraha (Non-possession)- non-attachment to possessions.[62]

Following the five vows is the main requirement in Jainism. All other aspects such as visiting temples are secondary. Jain monks and nuns are required to observe these five vows strictly.[58]


Persons newly adhering to Buddhism traditionally "take Refuge" (express faith in the Three JewelsBuddha, Dharma, and Sangha) before a monk, nun, or similar representative. But cultural or secular Buddhists often hold multiple religious identities, combining the religion with some East Asian religions in different countries and ethnics, such as:

Ethnic Buddhism with local traditional religions
Chinese[63] Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religion[64][65][66]
Japanese[63] Mahayana Buddhism with Shinto[67][68][69]
Korean[63] Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, and Korean shamanism[70][71][72][73]
Vietnamese[63] Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, Taoism,[74][75] and Dao Mau[76]
Mongolian Vajrayana Buddhism with Tengrism, and Mongolian shamanism[77]
Nepali Vajrayana Buddhism with Hinduism[78]
Jewish Buddhist Buddhism with Judaism

Throughout the timeline of Buddhism, conversions of entire countries and regions to Buddhism were frequent, as Buddhism spread throughout Asia. For example, in the 11th century in Burma, king Anoratha converted his entire country to Theravada Buddhism. At the end of the 12th century, Jayavarman VII set the stage for conversion of the Khmer people to Theravada Buddhism. Mass conversions of areas and communities to Buddhism occur up to the present day, for example, in the Dalit Buddhist movement in India there have been organized mass conversions.

Exceptions to encouraging conversion may occur in some Buddhist movements. In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, the current Dalai Lama discourages active attempts to win converts.[79][80]

Other religions and sects[edit]

A Scientologist introduces the E-meter to a potential convert.

In the second half of the 20th century, the rapid growth of new religious movements (NRMs) led some psychologists and other scholars to propose that these groups were using "brainwashing" or "mind control" techniques to gain converts. This theory was publicized by the popular news media but disputed by other scholars, including some sociologists of religion.[81][82][82][83][84][85]

In the 1960s sociologist John Lofland lived with Unification Church missionary Young Oon Kim and a small group of American church members in California and studied their activities in trying to promote their beliefs and win converts to their church. Lofland noted that most of their efforts were ineffective and that most of the people who joined did so because of personal relationships with other members, often family relationships.[86] Lofland published his findings in 1964 as a doctoral thesis entitled "The World Savers: A Field Study of Cult Processes", and in 1966 in book form by Prentice-Hall as Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith. It is considered to be one of the most important and widely cited studies of the process of religious conversion, and one of the first modern sociological studies of a new religious movement.[87][88]

The Church of Scientology attempts to gain converts by offering "free stress tests".[89] It has also used the celebrity status of some of its members (most famously the American actor Tom Cruise) to attract converts.[90][91] The Church of Scientology requires that all converts sign a legal waiver which covers their relationship with the Church of Scientology before engaging in Scientology services.[92]

Research in the United States and the Netherlands has shown a positive correlation between areas lacking mainstream churches and the percentage of people who are a member of a new religious movement. This applies also for the presence of New Age centres.[93][94]

On the other end of the scale are religions that do not accept any converts, or do so very rarely. Often these are relatively small, close-knit minority religions that are ethnically based such as the Yazidis, Druze, and Mandaeans. Zoroastrianism classically does not accept converts, but this issue has become controversial in the 20th century due to the rapid decline in membership.[citation needed] Chinese traditional religion lacks clear criteria for membership, and hence for conversion. The Shakers and some Indian eunuch brotherhoods do not allow procreation, so that every member is a convert.

International law[edit]

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines religious conversion as a human right: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief" (Article 18). Despite this UN-declared human right, some groups forbid or restrict religious conversion (see below).

Based on the declaration the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) drafted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a legally binding treaty. It states that "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice" (Article 18.1). "No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice" (Article 18.2).

The UNCHR issued a General Comment on this Article in 1993: "The Committee observes that the freedom to 'have or to adopt' a religion or belief necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one's current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views [...] Article 18.2 bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to their religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert." (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4, General Comment No. 22.; emphasis added)

Some countries distinguish voluntary, motivated conversion from organized proselytism, attempting to restrict the latter. The boundary between them is not easily defined: what one person considers legitimate evangelizing, or witness-bearing, another may consider intrusive and improper. Illustrating the problems that can arise from such subjective viewpoints is this extract from an article by Dr. C. Davis, published in Cleveland State University's Journal of Law and Health: "According to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Jews for Jesus and Hebrew Christians constitute two of the most dangerous cults, and its members are appropriate candidates for deprogramming. Anti-cult evangelicals ... protest that 'aggressiveness and proselytizing ... are basic to authentic Christianity,' and that Jews for Jesus and Campus Crusade for Christ are not to be labeled as cults. Furthermore, certain Hassidic groups who physically attacked a meeting of the Hebrew Christian 'cult' have themselves been labeled a 'cult' and equated with the followers of Reverend Moon, by none other than the President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis."[95]

Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union the Russian Orthodox Church has enjoyed a revival. However, it takes exception to what it considers illegitimate proselytizing by the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other religious movements in what it refers to as its canonical territory.[citation needed]

Greece has a long history of conflict, mostly with Jehovah's Witnesses, but also with some Pentecostals, over its laws on proselytism. This situation stems from a law passed in the 1930s by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas. A Jehovah's Witness, Minos Kokkinakis, won the equivalent of $14,400 in damages from the Greek state after being arrested for trying to preach his faith from door to door. In another case, Larissis v. Greece, a member of the Pentecostal church also won a case in the European Court of Human Rights.[citation needed]

Some Islamic countries with Islamic law outlaw and carry strict sentences for proselytizing. Several Islamic countries under Islamic lawSaudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, and Maldives—outlaw apostasy and carry imprisonment or the death penalty for those leaving Islam and those enticing Muslims to leave Islam.[citation needed] Also, induced religious conversions in the Indian states Orissa has resulted in communal riots.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stark, Rodney and Roger Finke. "Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion." University of California Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-520-22202-1
  2. ^ Meintel, Deirdre. "When There Is No Conversion: Spiritualists and Personal Religious Change". Anthropologica 49 (1): 149–162. 
  3. ^ Falkenberg, Steve. "Psychological Explanations of Religious Socialization." Religious Conversion. Eastern Kentucky University. August 31, 2009.
  4. ^ The Independent newspaper: "... finding religion – is there anything middle-class parents won't try to get their children into the 'right' schools?"
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hefner, Robert W. Conversion to Christianity. University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-07836-5
  7. ^ Bromiley, Geoffrey W. "Baptism." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D (p. 419). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995. ISBN 0-8028-3781-6
  8. ^ "The Purpose of Baptism."
  9. ^ Augsburg Confession, Article XII: Of Repentance
  10. ^ "conversion, n.". OED Online. September 2013. Oxford University Press.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, eds, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged in One Volume by Geoffrey W. Bromily (Eerdmans, 1985) 101, 403.
  13. ^ Conversion to Christ: The Making of a Christian Hedonist
  14. ^ “St. Paul on Conversion” at Accessed November 5, 2013
  15. ^ Commentaries » Matthew 16 » The Cost of the Kingdom
  16. ^ New Catholic Dictionary: conversion
  17. ^ † Saints Constantine & Elena: Reception into the Catechumenate
  18. ^ Paul ChulHong Kang, Justification: The Imputation of Christ's Righteousness from Reformation Theology to the American Great Awakening and the Korean Revivals (Peter Lang, 2006), 70, note 171. Calvin generally defends Augustine’s “monergistic view.”
  19. ^ and Paul ChulHong Kang, Justification: The Imputation of Christ's Righteousness from Reformation Theology to the American Great Awakening and the Korean Revivals (Peter Lang, 2006), 65.
  20. ^ Roger E. Olson, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (InterVarsity Press, 2009), 18. “Arminian synergism” refers to “evangelical synergism, which affirms the prevenience of grace.”
  21. ^ See Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-27
  22. ^ See Moroni 8:4-23
  23. ^ See, e.g., "Guide to the Scriptures: Baptism, Baptize: Proper authority", (LDS Church) 
  24. ^ See, e.g., "Gospel Topics: Priest", (LDS Church) 
  25. ^ See, e.g., "Baptism", KJV (LDS): LDS Bible Dictionary, LDS Church 
  26. ^ See 3 Nephi 11:25
  27. ^ a b "Performing Priesthood Ordinances", Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, LDS Church, 2000, pp. 41–48 
  28. ^ Laws Criminalizing Apostasy (PDF). Library of Congress (May 2014).
  29. ^ Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy? Pew Research Center, United States (May 2014)
  30. ^ Converts to Islam
  31. ^ How to Become a Muslim - Meeting Place for Reverts/Converts To Islam
  32. ^ Every Child is Born Muslim
  33. ^ Conversion to Islam
  34. ^ Is Circumcision obligatory after conversion?
  35. ^ Considering Converting: Is it necessary to be circumcised?
  36. ^ Circumcision for Converts
  37. ^ Oh, Irene (2007). "4". The Rights of God: Islam, Human Rights, and Comparative Ethics. Georgetown University Press. p. 76. ISBN 9781589011854. 
  38. ^ Smith, P. (1999). A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  39. ^ Momen, M. (1997). A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: One World Publications. ISBN 1-85168-209-0. 
  40. ^ a b Sharma, Arvind (22 April 2011). Hinduism as a Missionary Religion. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. pp. 31–53. ISBN 978-1-4384-3211-3. 
  41. ^ Gauri Viswanathan (1998), Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691058993, pages 153-176
  42. ^ a b Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991), Hinduism, a way of life, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., p. 71, ISBN 978-81-208-0899-7 
  43. ^ Julius J. Lipner, Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45677-7, page 8; Quote: “(...) one need not be religious in the minimal sense described to be accepted as a Hindu by Hindus, or describe oneself perfectly validly as Hindu. One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu.”
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Further reading[edit]

  • Barker, Eileen The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? (1984)
  • Barrett, D. V. The New Believers: A survey of sects, cults and alternative religions (2001) UK, Cassell & Co ISBN 0-304-35592-5
  • Cooper, Richard S. "The Assessment and Collection of Kharaj Tax in Medieval Egypt" Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 96, No. 3. (Jul–Sep., 1976), pp. 365–382.
  • Curtin, Phillip D. Cross-Cultural Trade in World History. Cambridge University Press, 1984.
  • Hoiberg, Dale, and Indu Ramachandran. Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan, 2000.
  • Idris, Gaefar, Sheikh. The Process of Islamization. Plainfield, Ind.: Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada, 1977. vi, 20 p. Without ISBN
  • James, William, The varieties of religious experience: a study in human nature. Being the Gifford lectures on natural religion delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902; Longmans, Green & Co, New York (1902)
  • Morris, Harold C., and Lin M. Morris. "Power and purpose: Correlates to conversion." Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior, Vol 15(4), Nov-Dec 1978, 15–22.
  • Rambo, Lewis R. Understanding Religious Conversion. Yale University Press, 1993.
  • Ramstedt, Martin. Hinduism in Modern Indonesia: A Minority Religion Between Local, National, and Global Interests. Routledge, 2004.
  • Rawat, Ajay S. StudentMan and Forests: The Khatta and Gujjar Settlements of Sub-Himalayan Tarai. Indus Publishing, 1993.
  • Vasu, Srisa Chandra (1919), The Catechism Of Hindu Dharma, New York: Kessinger Publishing, LLC 
  • Jain, Vijay K. (2011), Tattvârthsûtra (1st ed.), (Uttarakhand) India: Vikalp Printers, ISBN 81-903639-2-1, Non-Copyright 
  • Sangave, Vilas Adinath (2001), Aspects of Jaina religion (3rd ed.), Bharatiya Jnanpith, ISBN 81-263-0626-2 

External links[edit]