member of a religious group sent to do evangelism
(Redirected from Missionary)

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to proselytize and/or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development.

Catholic Church missionaries in Papua New Guinea


  • The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
  • Poor Uncle Harry
    Having become a missionary
    Found the natives' morals rather crude.
    He and Aunt Mary
    Swiftly imposed an arbitrary
    Ban upon them shopping in the nude.
    Now they all considered this silly,
    And they didn't take it well.
    They burnt his boots, and several suits, and wrecked the Mission Hotel
    They also burnt his mackintosh, which made a disgusting smell.
  • If charity and philanthropy is not connected with any ulterior motive, they are beneficial. But charity and conversions cannot go together. Religion prospers only when charity and philanthropy are undertaken without any motive. ... The poor and illiterate may enjoy religious freedom without any fear. We have to be particularly vigilant about the Scheduled Tribes whose protection is not only guaranteed by the laws of the land but is also enshrined in the Constitution. It is our duty to preserve every aspect of their way of life along with their religion and ways of worship. No group belonging to any creed should interfere with their religion and rituals. Other organizations are also engaged in the philanthropic work... But that work can be helpful only when it is done without any ulterior motive.
    • Morarji Desai, Letter to Mother Teresa, 21 April 1979. quoted from Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121
  • While you engage in directly separating as many precious atoms from the mass as the stubborn resistance to ordinary appliances can admit, we shall, with the blessing of God, devote our time and strength for the preparing of a mine, and the setting of a train which shall one day explode and tear up the whole from its lowest depths.
    • Alexander Duff, Missionary addresses delivered before the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in 1835, 1837, 1839. With additional papers on Female education, and the Danish, or earliest Protestant Mission to India, also in : Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121
  • If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytising. It is the cause of much avoidable conflict between classes and unnecessary heart-burning among the missionaries… In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family, coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink. … The other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine-stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple and demolished it. This is outrageous. The temple could not belong to the converted, and it could not belong to the Christian missionary. But this friend goes and gets it demolished at the hands of the very men who only a little while ago believed that God was there.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Harijan’, English weekly, Poona, founded by M.K. Gandhi, dated May 11, 1935. The Collected Works Volume 61, Ahmedabad, 1975, p, 46-57. As quoted in Goel, S.R. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • Conversion in the sense of self-purification, self-realization, is the crying need of the hour. That, however, is not what is meant by proselytising. To those who would convert India, might it not be said, ‘physician heal thyself’?
    • Mahatma Gandhi The Collected Works Volume 46, New Delhi, 1971, pp. 28-29. As quoted in Goel, S.R. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • It never occurred to these knaves and fools that the Christian missionary whom they were aping and helping was viewed in the modern West as a maniac whom it was better to dump abroad with a bag of money.
    • Sita Ram Goel. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
  • When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.
    • Jomo Kenyatta, reported in John Frederick Walker, A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola (2004), p. 144; also attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
  • Are there no Moravians in the Moon, that not a missionary has yet visited this poor pagan planet of ours, to civilise civilisation and christianise Christendom?
    • Herman Melville, White-Jacket (1850), Ch. 64; this has often been quoted with modernized American spelling, rendering it "to civilize civilization and christianize Christendom?"
  • Cambridge University established a prize named for an essay competition on the topic: 'The best means of civilizing the subjects of the British Empire in India, and of diffusing the light of the Christian religion throughout the eastern world.'
    • Indras Net by Rajiv Malhotra, p 133

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Palestine was the West Point and Annapolis for the world. In that little country God was training up a people out of whom, when the fullness of the time should come, His gospel cadets should emerge, fitted by all the training of all their national history for going out among the heathen and proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ.
  • A man may make his way across the Atlantic in a skiff, for all I know; but if you are intending to cross the sea, take my advice, and secure passage in a first-class steamer, and you will be more likely to get there. So it is with these heathen millions. I do not know but some of them may drift, and we shall find them in the city of God. But I do know that by giving them the gospel, by building up and supporting among them a Christian church, we shall greatly multiply their chances for heaven.
  • Every impulse and stroke of missionary power on earth is from the heart of Christ. He sows, and there is a harvest. He touches nations, and there arises a brotherhood, not only civilized by His light, but sanctified by His love. The isles of the ocean wait for Him. He spreads His net and gathers of every kind, and lo! the burden of the sea is not only fishes, but fishermen, who go and gather and come again. If there are activity, free giving, ready going, a full treasury, able men who say, " Here am I, send me," it is because through all the organization Christ lives, and His personal Spirit works. There is no other possible spring for that enthusiasm.
  • The movement has indeed been slow, and not such as man would have expected; but it has been analogous to the great movements of God in His providence and in His works. So, if we may credit the geologists, has this earth reached its present state. So have moved on the great empires. So retribution follows crime. So rise the tides. So grows the tree with long intervals of repose and apparent death. So comes on the spring, with battling elements and frequent reverses, with snowbanks and violets, and, if we had no experience, we might be doubtful what the end would be. But we know that back of all this, beyond these fluctuations, away in the serene heavens, the sun is moving steadily on; that these very agitations of the elements and seeming reverses, are not only the sign, but the result of his approach, and that the full warmth and radiance of the summer noontide are sure to come. So, O Divine Redeemer, Sun of Righteousness, come Thou! So will He come. It may be through clouds and darkness and tempest; but the heaven where He is, is serene; He is "traveling in the greatness of His strength; "and as surely as the throne of God abides, we know He shall yet reach the height and splendor of the highest noon, and that the light of millennial glory shall yet flood the earth.
  • On the American Continent, what a wonderful amalgamation of races we have witnessed, how wonderfully they have been fused into that one American people! — type and earnest of a larger fusion which Christianity will yet accomplish, when, by its blessed power, all tribes and tongues and races shall become one holy family. The present popularity of beneficences promises well for the missionary cause in the future. Men's hearts are undergoing a process of enlargement. Their sympathies are taking a wider scope. The world is getting closer, smaller, quite a compact affair. The world for Christ will yet be realized.
    • David Livingstone, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 419.

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