Proselytism as a Policy Challenge

Proselytism is an increasingly important and controversial issue in international affairs—and has not received the attention it deserves. In a globalizing world, governments and religious communities are navigating the tensions between the rights of the individual to enter and exit religious communities and the rights of religious communities to defend and maintain their identity. With the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, the Proselytism as a Policy Challenge project explored these issues through major conferences in spring 2010 and spring 2011. The first conference brought religious leaders together and focused on efforts to construct voluntary codes of conduct that distinguish between aggressive proselytism and permissible missionary work. The second convened scholars working within religious studies, law, and political science with policymakers to discuss the democratic strategies for achieving cultural support and political protections for peaceful competition among religious communities.
 
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