Understanding Proselytism and Culturally Responsive Faith Sharing with Refugees and Other Newcomers

Hosted on March 7th, 2023 the training was delivered by Rob Callus, Training Officer, Community Integration.

Refugees and other newcomers come to the U.S. for a variety of reasons. One common reason is a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of their religion. Newcomers’ desire to practice their own religion is often tested further when arriving in communities where they may face proselytism: an often unethical form of evangelism that uses objectionable methods to convert people of one faith or no faith to another. The influx of new arrivals has increased the number of community partners from various faith backgrounds who have volunteered their time and resources. It is essential that both partners and resettlement staff be aware of the harm proselytism can have on new arrivals, such as re-traumatization, worries of losing benefits and support, and other situations that will be discussed in this webinar.

After participating in this 60-minute session, you will be able to:   

  • Define proselytism and how it differs from evangelism
  • Recognize, using a trauma-informed lens and real-life case scenarios, why faith sharing to populations experiencing migratory trauma may be coercive and harmful
  • Describe ways that faith sharing can be done ethically with respect for multiculturalism