AP: Evangelicals Join Interfaith Effort to Write Rules for Conversions

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Evangelical Protestant churches have joined an effort by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Protestant churches to create a common code of conduct for religious conversions to preserve the right of Christians to spread their religion while avoiding conflict among faiths.

The World Council of Churches, which with the Vatican started talks last year on a code, said Wednesday that the process was formally joined by the World Evangelical Alliance at a meeting this month in Toulouse, France.

The aim is to ease tensions with Muslims, Hindus and other religions that fear losing adherents. In some instances, converts and foreign missionaries have been punished with imprisonment or death.

The kidnapping by the Taliban of 23 South Korean Christian church volunteers visiting Afghanistan last month underscored tensions. At least two of the 23 have been killed.

One accusation against the South Koreans is that they wanted to meet with converts from Islam. But their church has denied that they were trying to spread Christianity.

The World Council of Churches, which is based here, said the code of conduct should be an “advocacy tool in discussions with governments considering anti-conversion laws” and should “help to advance the cause of religious freedom.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

Posted August 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/5112/

1. Irenaeus wrote:

Good news? Or bad news for the Good News? We will see.

Christians should give no credence to the PC notion that evangelism is somehow shameful.

From the Revisionist Dictionary:


(1) For the Orthodox, encouraging others to become Christians, in keeping with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.

(2) For radical Progressives, coercing others to forsake their spiritual and cultural heritage; akin to browbeating destitute mothers to bottle-feed their babies commercial infant-formula. As if to underscore the shame of it all, forcefully pronouncing “Pro-Se-li-TiZe” gives you at least three good opportunities to spit.

August 16, 5:14 pm | [comment link]
2. libraryjim wrote:

I don’t have anything against evangelism.  What I don’t like is “sheep stealing”. 

Too often missionaries will go into an area that another denomination has evangelized to ‘re-convert’ the people to “the right faith” without regard for the valid spiritual expression already present.

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”—Albert Einstein

August 16, 5:18 pm | [comment link]
3. Irenaeus wrote:

Jim [#2]: Fair enough. But competition among churches can be legitimate and healthy.

August 16, 6:41 pm | [comment link]
4. Anglican Paplist wrote:

It’s not that life is too short; its just that your dead for such a long, long time.

If you take it seriously and consider souls at risk for eternity, you don’t need no stinkin” rules for telling people about Jesus.


Anglican Papalist

August 16, 8:33 pm | [comment link]
5. Adam 12 wrote:

Knowing about Jesus is a wonderful treasure and we are keeping something from people, as shy or afraid as we are of sharing it. May God give us the grace to know what to do and protect us from human constructs that may possibly be contrary to his purposes for humanity.

August 16, 8:53 pm | [comment link]
6. Katherine wrote:

The article doesn’t say what the code will be, so I’m with Irenaeus.  This could be good news or bad news.  Given that it’s the WCC, it seems possible that they’ll buy into the Hindu idea that proselytizing (that is, telling anyone the Good News about Jesus) is always wrong.

August 16, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
7. Ruth Ann wrote:

Another conservative Anglican blog calls it the “World Council of Churches-that-noone-goes-to-anymore”.  The WCC, like the UN, and about as effective.  And above all, tries to be politically correct rather than actually evangelize, a nasty word to them.

I agree with No. 4.

August 17, 12:54 am | [comment link]
8. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I, too, am quite skeptical of anything the World Council of Churches does. I do try to keep up with what they are doing and the literature/documents they put out. And I do try to objectively assess what they come up with and what they are involved in.

However, that having been said, as far as I can tell, its just a think tank of liberals patting other liberals on the back. As such, anything they agree to on Evangelism is equally suspect.

The Archer of the Forest+


August 17, 11:22 am | [comment link]
9. Pb wrote:

I am not sure that we can convert anyone although we would like to think so. Evangelism is the presentation of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit so that others may be led to accept him as Lord and Savior. I would hope that we can still do this.

August 17, 12:27 pm | [comment link]

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