Ill-considered missionary activity

Other Names:
Missionary alienation
Inappropriate religious proselytizing by foreign missionaries
Religious missions have been divided into 'foreign' and 'home' categories. 'Home' category missionaries deal in particular with the poverty stricken, the homeless, and the social outcasts or misfits.

Those in 'foreign' categories mainly deal with indigenous peoples on whom they may impose a totally new moral code to which tribespeople find it very difficult to adapt. Often missionaries tell the people that their customs are primitive and barbaric, and use education and comparison with western ways to embarrass the young people into disowning their cultural values and practices. But having done so, native peoples may find themselves dependent on 'Western' economic and social structures. Because they are inadequately educated and discriminated against on an ethnic basis; and because they have little experience in market economic structures, this dependence renders them easy prey to exploitation, poverty, disease, malnutrition and death.

In 1994 China banned proselytizing by foreign missionaries because of their tendency to engage in destructive, independent and unauthorized activities inspired by culturally insensitive values. Activities by Christian missionaries have provoked riots by China's Muslim minority. Churches there have been accused of harbouring political dissidents.
Broader Problems:
Religious conflict
Related Problems:
Cultural invasion
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
06.01.2021 – 16:34 CET