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Evangelism versus proselytism

14 August 2009

A Roman Catholic bishop from Nigeria, Cardinal Francis Arinze, recently noted the difference between evangelism and proselytism – Evangelise don’t proselytise: Arinze – CathNews:

He stressed a difference between evangelisation and proselytism, saying that evangelisation refers to sharing the Christian faith, bringing the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ to people who freely and willingly welcome this proclamation.

Proselytism, on the other hand ‘seeks to influence people to embrace a certain religion by means that exploit their weak position or put some other pressure on them,’ he said.

Hat tip to The Western Confucian: Evangelization vs. Proselytism.

It is an important distinction, and one that is far too often overlooked. I have written about it at greater length in this article Evangelism and proselytism, so I won’t say any more here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 August 2009 11:57 pm

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your writings. Along with other external forces it’s really been a catalyst for some of my current meanderings. We might not agree on all things but you certainly spur me along.

    In Christ,

    Mark

  2. 15 August 2009 4:41 am

    Nice post. I think we do often confuse the two and at times hurt people. I think of true evangelism as being about attraction and proselytism as being about self-promotion. Peace, Mike

  3. 18 August 2009 4:43 pm

    I like your distinctions on this

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