The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Turkish Minister Warns Missionaries about Converting Muslims

Monday, March 28, 2005
Turkish Daily News

Missionary activities are not merely religious in nature but are also politically motivated activities aimed at harming social peace among Turks, says Mehmet Aydın, the state minister responsible for religious affairs

Mehmet Aydın, the state minister overseeing the Religious Affairs Directorate, warned yesterday that the propaganda of missionaries in Turkey is a part of politically oriented activities aimed at damaging the social peace and unity of Turkey.

Missionaries are not simply spreading their religion by exercising freedom of belief but are intervening in people's freedom of belief by capitalizing on their ignorance, said Aydın, responding to a parliamentary questionnaire concerning missionary activities in Turkey.

"The goal of those activities is harming the cultural, religious, national and historical unity of the people of Turkey," Anatolia news agency quoted Aydın as saying. "These are not merely religious activities and they are not only carried out by Christian clerics. We have observed doctors, nurses, engineers, Red Cross officials, human rights defenders, peace activists and language tutors conducting missionary activities."

Aydın pointed out that the duty of the Religious Affairs Directorate was to enlighten the people and eradicate ignorance, which, he said, created a convenient environment for missionaries to deceive and convert people. "Those activities have a historic background and are carried out in a well-planned manner with political motives," Aydın added.

Stating that the official number of people recorded as being converted via missionary propaganda is 368, Aydın said that it is impossible to calculate the actual figure since missionary activities are carried out covertly.


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