n International Journal for Religious Freedom - Codes of conduct for religious persuasion : the legal framework and best practices




Attempts by people of faith to persuade others to their beliefs, while a protected human right, can spark conflicts in communities intent on protecting their privacy and identity. A possible solution lies in voluntary codes of conduct for missionary activities. Such codes are more likely than governmental regulations to prevent or resolve cross-cultural and inter-faith conflicts relating to religious persuasion. This article analyzes nineteen voluntary codes to identify which types have greatest potential for conflict-resolution. Effective codes are compatible with international law norms, respectful of multiple traditions, and addressed to a general audience. Codes drafted by intra-faith or ecumenical groups - while appropriate for the group's internal purposes - are less likely to prevent or resolve cross-cultural or inter-faith conflicts and should not be viewed as universal standards by which to judge the missionary activities of all faiths.


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