• Introduction to “Symposium: Pluralism, Proselytism, and Nationalism in Eastern Europe"

    Author(s):
    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Date:
    1999
    Subject(s):
    Law, Religion, History, Eastern Europe, Human rights
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Evangelism, Missionaries, Religious Freedom, Proselytism, Pluralism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/5s5f-xr94
    Abstract:
    This article introduces a symposium issue on the new “war for souls” between Western proselytizing religions and local Orthodox and Catholic religious groups in the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. The velvet democratic revolutions of these countries in the later 1980s and 1990s relieved local churches from decades of political oppression but also exposed them to foreign missionaries who have flooded these regions. Without experience with a Western marketplace of religious ideas, many local religions have turned to the state to impose new restrictions on foreigners. These clashes have highlighted the sharp differences between Western voluntarist views of religious conversion that feature easy-in/easy-out religion and non-Western views that tie religious identity and practice to blood, soil, and family. This Article explores this new war for souls in theological terms of the Great Commission v. the Golden Rule, and in human rights terms, as the free exercise of religion v. the private liberty of conscience.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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