Proselytising

Proselytising is the active attempt to convert someone to a particular faith system or religion by direct or indirect means.  Proselytising includes requiring people to attend religious services or meetings, or using goods, services, meals, or shelter as an incentive to conversion. 

Aid providers are in a position of power.  If aid workers proselytise, recipients of aid may conclude that acceptance of the religion of those providing resources is a condition for receiving services.  Imposing outside religious beliefs during a time of disaster recovery can also create confusion for indigenous religious leaders in the provision of spiritual care for the community.

Proselytising can be hazardous both for the humanitarian worker and for the recipient of services, because local government and religious institutions may oppose the conversion of adherents following a disaster.  The aid worker may be subject to imprisonment or ejection from the country, while the recipient may be subjected to ostracism, physical punishment or worse. If a recipient of aid becomes interested in your faith, the safest course is to refer them to a local religious leader. 

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