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[ABANDONED] Religious Imperialism Proscription

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[ABANDONED] Religious Imperialism Proscription

Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:05 am

Princess Madelyne Zylkoven, WA Representative of Daarwyrth: "Our delegation in conjuction with representatives from the nation of Honeydewistania have devised the following draft proposal that we would like to present to this honourable assembly. We realise this may be a controversial subject, yet it is our belief that missionary work is not a concept that fits within an international organisation that celebrates the diversity of its member nations. A nation's culture should not be eradicated through forceful religious conversion by a religion or faith from a far and distant land."

Religious Imperialism Proscription
Category: Moral Decency | Strength: Strong



To stand at the forefront of the efforts and endeavours to hold back any imperialistic tendencies and behaviours that might exist within this august body, and in particular to ensure that any forms of religious imperialism will not lead to the collapse and eradication of the myriad cultures and societies that constitute this honourable international assembly of diverse and unique member nations through forceful conversion and religious indoctrination;

The World Assembly enacts as follows:

  1. For the purposes of this resolution, these terms shall be understood in the following exhaustive manner:

    1. A 'missionary' as an individual belonging to a particular religion, faith, belief system, or cult who is sent out toward a community or group of people with the purpose of religiously converting said community or group of people;

    2. 'Missionary work' as the efforts and endeavours of a missionary that focus on the conversion of a community or a group of people to that missionary's religion, faith, belief system, or cult;

  2. No inhabitant of a member nation may become a missionary, or conduct missionary work;

  3. Every member nation must enforce the articles of this resolution in a manner that either entices compliance, or inspires deterrence regarding non-compliance with the articles of this resolution, yet while observing all extant WA legislation.

Co-authored by Honeydewistania
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:24 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:06 am

DRAFT 1:
Religious Imperialism Proscription
Category: Moral Decency | Strength: Strong



To stand at the forefront of the efforts and endeavours to hold back any imperialistic tendencies and behaviours that might exist within this august body, and in particular to ensure that any forms of religious imperialism will not lead to the collapse and eradication of the myriad cultures and societies that constitute this honourable international assembly of diverse and unique member nations through forceful conversion and religious indoctrination;

The World Assembly enacts as follows:

  1. For the purposes of this resolution, the following terms shall be understood as follows:

    1. A 'missionary' as an individual belonging to a particular religion, faith, belief system, or cult who is sent to foreign nations with the purpose of religiously converting said populace;

    2. 'Missionary work' as the efforts and endeavours of missionaries within foreign nations to further the religious agenda of their religion, faith, belief system, or cult within that foreign state;

  2. No inhabitant of a member nation may become a missionary, or conduct missionary work within any other member state;

  3. No missionary may be sent out from any member nation to conduct missionary work in a foreign state that is not also a member of the WA;

  4. A member nation must enforce the articles of this resolution in a manner that either entices compliance, or inspires deterrence regarding non-compliance with the articles of this resolution, yet while observing all extant WA legislation.

Co-authored by Honeydewistania
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:07 am

OOC: While I realise this is still a draft, I would like to direct the following question to the members of the GenSec: GAR #430 "Freedom of Religion" describes 'religious practice' as "any practice associated with a religion, be it practiced through rituals, prayer, or any other sort of activity, performed either individually or in a group". Would 'missionary work' fall under 'religious practice', and would, by extent, this proposal be illegal due to contradicting GAR #430?
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Tinhampton » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:46 am

Since I cannot meaningfully ask this question ICly: How does missionary work constitute imperialism?
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:53 am

Tinhampton wrote:Since I cannot meaningfully ask this question ICly: How does missionary work constitute imperialism?

OOC: 'imperialism' in the sense of one entity trying to dominate another culturally, politically or societally. Like, the spread of a religion has a certain imperialistic quality to it (and it fit the 'I' part of the RIP acronym really well). I know traditionally 'imperialism' is attributed to nations being imperialistic, but I think that it can also apply to religions with an agenda to spread their beliefs and system of values etc. through missionary work, for example. Missionary work has the inherent idea of "our religion/culture is better than yours, and we need to convert you to save you" baked into it. But please, do feel free to correct me if I am wrong, or if there is a better label.
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Tinhampton » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:32 am

Even so, the draft appears to betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how evangelism works today. (It is well known that even in the 19th century, missionaries were sent out by Bible societies rather than directly by church infrastructures.)

For instance, the SBC's in-house missionary operation is the International Missionary Board; although they have a sense of location, they are far more focused on "unreached people and places". The broad focus appears to be on people groups, not "foreign nations."
Meanwhile, American Baptist Churches USA insist that their missionaries want to "invite people to be disciples of Jesus Christ."
Plus we have groups such as BIMI who have no direct, IFB-style affiliation to any congregation (but insist that their missionaries be baptised and within some sort of Baptist church anyway).
And no doubt there are also ad-hoc missionaries who feel called to evangelise among some foreign population or other.

This is the situation within the Baptist tradition of Christianity alone; I have neither the time nor the willpower to be mapping the rest of the religious landscape.
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:38 am

Tinhampton wrote:For instance, the SBC's in-house missionary operation is the International Missionary Board; although they have a sense of location, they are far more focused on "unreached people and places". The broad focus appears to be on people groups, not "foreign nations."

OOC: The inclusion of "people groups" or a variant of that phrase into the definition would be a good idea, thank you. I will make sure the next draft will contain that addition :)
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Postby Otvorata » Tue Aug 09, 2022 7:38 am

Ambassador Kadare clears his throat and stands up, wiping his palms on his pants and picking up a paper.

"The Otvoratan government announces its unconditional support for this resolution as it stands. Cultural imperialism is just as big of an issue, if not moreso, than military and economic imperialism. While the Otvoratan government does respect the rights of religious institutions to generally spread their message, it does not see a reason to oppose this resolution and its stances on religious-cultural imperialism."
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Postby Mesogiria » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:08 am

Why so tolerant of religious imperialism within nations? If this is a practice so heinous as to demand international prohibition, then surely it should not be tolerated within a nation's borders either. Nations large and small may contain diverse religious beliefs and practices, why don't those people deserve as much protection from the apparently intolerable abuses of religious missionaries as those in foreign states? Don't tell me it's a problem of national sovereignty, the WA does not ban only the international slave trade, but the practice of slavery outright.

Maybe it would be best to just ban anyone from converting to any other religion. After all, you can never be certain they weren't unduly influenced by an informal missionary operating outside the law. That would accomplish the stated aim of preventing the collapse and eradiation of cultures and societies, if the membership of cultures and societies were protectively fixed and immutable under law.

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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:35 am

Mesogiria wrote:Why so tolerant of religious imperialism within nations? If this is a practice so heinous as to demand international prohibition, then surely it should not be tolerated within a nation's borders either. Nations large and small may contain diverse religious beliefs and practices, why don't those people deserve as much protection from the apparently intolerable abuses of religious missionaries as those in foreign states? Don't tell me it's a problem of national sovereignty, the WA does not ban only the international slave trade, but the practice of slavery outright.

Maybe it would be best to just ban anyone from converting to any other religion. After all, you can never be certain they weren't unduly influenced by an informal missionary operating outside the law. That would accomplish the stated aim of preventing the collapse and eradiation of cultures and societies, if the membership of cultures and societies were protectively fixed and immutable under law.

Madelyne Zylkoven smiles politely. "Such a thing cannot be accomplished by WA law as long as GA #430 "Freedom Of Religion" remains standing."
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Postby Comfed » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:43 am

Daarwyrth wrote:4. A member nation must enforce the articles of this resolution in a manner that either entices compliance, or inspires deterrence regarding non-compliance with the articles of this resolution, yet while observing all extant WA legislation.

Ah, the cop-out clause again.
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:54 am

Comfed wrote:
Daarwyrth wrote:4. A member nation must enforce the articles of this resolution in a manner that either entices compliance, or inspires deterrence regarding non-compliance with the articles of this resolution, yet while observing all extant WA legislation.

Ah, the cop-out clause again.

Zylkoven: "Our delegation is of the opinion that in this particular situation the clause would be fitting. However, if the general sentiment will be negative regarding this part of the proposal, we are amenable to changing it."
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Postby Mesogiria » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:06 am

Daarwyrth wrote:Madelyne Zylkoven smiles politely. "Such a thing cannot be accomplished by WA law as long as GA #430 "Freedom Of Religion" remains standing."


I don't see how you can have it both ways, that 430 permits banning international missionary work but doesn't permit banning domestic missionaries. The act of crossing an international border does not fundamentally change the character of missionary activity, which is absolutely a core element of religious practice in many faiths. Religious freedom without the right to spread it by preaching and voluntary conversion is as hollow as freedom of speech without the right to share that speech with others in the hopes of persuading them.

You're obviously uninterested in actual freedom of choice in religion, or this wouldn't be a blanket ban on international missionary work. An act requiring that WA members respect the prohibitions of individual nations to bar religious missionaries from their territory without forbidding consensual international travel by missionaries would be much less restrictive and accomplish the same means of allowing member states to protect their domestic culture and institutions if they feel they're under threat.

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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:15 am

Mesogiria wrote:
Daarwyrth wrote:Madelyne Zylkoven smiles politely. "Such a thing cannot be accomplished by WA law as long as GA #430 "Freedom Of Religion" remains standing."


I don't see how you can have it both ways, that 430 permits banning international missionary work but doesn't permit banning domestic missionaries. The act of crossing an international border does not fundamentally change the character of missionary activity, which is absolutely a core element of religious practice in many faiths. Religious freedom without the right to spread it by preaching and voluntary conversion is as hollow as freedom of speech without the right to share that speech with others in the hopes of persuading them.

You're obviously uninterested in actual freedom of choice in religion, or this wouldn't be a blanket ban on international missionary work. An act requiring that WA members respect the prohibitions of individual nations to bar religious missionaries from their territory without forbidding consensual international travel by missionaries would be much less restrictive and accomplish the same means of allowing member states to protect their domestic culture and institutions if they feel they're under threat.

Zylkoven: "Our delegation does have an interest in bringing freedom of choice to all inhabitants of member nations, but it has to happen step by step, carefully and with deliberation. Rest assured, your concerns and thoughts are not spoken in vain nor do they fall on deaf ears."

OOC: That's also why I'm asking the GenSec whether it would be illegal or not. Because it all depends on whether 'missionary work' falls under 'religious practice' from GAR #430. If it doesn't, then this can go ahead. If it doesn't, then another course of action is necessary and desirable.
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Postby Pangurstan » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:21 am

Daarwyrth wrote:
Mesogiria wrote:
I don't see how you can have it both ways, that 430 permits banning international missionary work but doesn't permit banning domestic missionaries. The act of crossing an international border does not fundamentally change the character of missionary activity, which is absolutely a core element of religious practice in many faiths. Religious freedom without the right to spread it by preaching and voluntary conversion is as hollow as freedom of speech without the right to share that speech with others in the hopes of persuading them.

You're obviously uninterested in actual freedom of choice in religion, or this wouldn't be a blanket ban on international missionary work. An act requiring that WA members respect the prohibitions of individual nations to bar religious missionaries from their territory without forbidding consensual international travel by missionaries would be much less restrictive and accomplish the same means of allowing member states to protect their domestic culture and institutions if they feel they're under threat.

Zylkoven: "Our delegation does have an interest in bringing freedom of choice to all inhabitants of member nations, but it has to happen step by step, carefully and with deliberation. Rest assured, your concerns and thoughts are not spoken in vain nor do they fall on deaf ears."

OOC: That's also why I'm asking the GenSec whether it would be illegal or not. Because it all depends on whether 'missionary work' falls under 'religious practice' from GAR #430. If it doesn't, then this can go ahead. If it doesn't, then another course of action is necessary and desirable.

"If you want to prevent cultural genocides of all types, then why does this only focus on religion? In its present form, this draft is a massive attack of freedom of religious practice and the national sovereignty of nations that choose to allow foreign missionaries to preach within their borders. If this draft was broadened to include all aspects of culture, it would go far beyond attempting to prevent cultural genocide and would be attempting to ban the natural interaction of different cultures (which is how they evolve). Attempting to prevent people from freely choosing to adopt foreign cultural practices destroys freedom of choice; it doesn't bring it to anyone."

PS: clause 1b prevents religious charities (and basically all religious individuals working for secular charities) from performing charitable acts if charity/helping the poor is part of their religious beliefs.
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Postby Heidgaudr » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:45 pm

"We concur entirely with the delegation from Pangurstan. Some missionary work - if it's even accurate to call it that - is certainly a nuisance and can even be unjustly exploitative; however, this proposal is like dropping a nuclear bomb on an insect.

"When I was studying abroad at Boktor University, seemingly every week there were door-to-door salesmen masquerading as missionaries knocking on my apartment door. The... the, uh... Marmots? I think they're called - They wanted 10% of my income and the Jenova's Menaces were selling underground bunkers for when the world comes to an end. I would lose no sleep if these missionaries were banned outright. Yet, this groups all other religious institutions under the same umbrella as them. I struggle to understand how your delegation can't discern the difference between well-intentioned and the not-well-intentioned."

Pangurstan wrote:PS: clause 1b prevents religious charities (and basically all religious individuals working for secular charities) from performing charitable acts if charity/helping the poor is part of their religious beliefs.


Not only that. Religious organizations are strictly forbidden from everything, as any humanitarian/charitable work does in some way or another benefit them through gaining soft power (influence and public goodwill). It doesn't even matter if it's part of the religion's beliefs.
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:08 pm

Zylkoven: "We have amended the proposal draft according to the commentary and feedback that we have received thus far."
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Excidium Planetis » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:28 pm

"Um, good job on this proposal, it looks very lovely." Adelia begins. "But uh... forgive me if I am wrong, but I just don't see how this could be construed as anything but a complete ban on religious conversion, even... even domestically."

"Clause 1a says that anybody who is part of a belief system and is sent to convert someone is a missionary, and it doesn't say anything about how far they have to be sent." Adelia points out. "Sending them out the door would qualify, I think. And then Clause 2 says that nobody can become a missionary. So nobody can attempt to convert anybody to their religious belief, even in their own neighborhood. Is this the intent?"
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm

Excidium Planetis wrote:"Um, good job on this proposal, it looks very lovely." Adelia begins. "But uh... forgive me if I am wrong, but I just don't see how this could be construed as anything but a complete ban on religious conversion, even... even domestically."

"Clause 1a says that anybody who is part of a belief system and is sent to convert someone is a missionary, and it doesn't say anything about how far they have to be sent." Adelia points out. "Sending them out the door would qualify, I think. And then Clause 2 says that nobody can become a missionary. So nobody can attempt to convert anybody to their religious belief, even in their own neighborhood. Is this the intent?"

Zylkoven: "The intent is to ensure that no religious entity will be able to erode or eradicate the culture and society of another community or group of people. Indeed, missionaries could be sent out domestically to an indigenous community with the intent of erasing their culture - as has been noted in prior commentary - and our delegation believes that is most unwelcome within an international assembly that celebrates diversity. Any community or group of people, regardless of how far they are removed from the missionary, should receive protection against religious imperialism. The wording of this proposal is meant to reflect that intent."
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby El Lazaro » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:42 pm

It’s necessary to trample all over freedom of expression, association, and movement in order to curb state oppression? I have a sneaking feeling that doesn’t make sense.

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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:48 pm

El Lazaro wrote:It’s necessary to trample all over freedom of expression, association, and movement in order to curb state oppression? I have a sneaking feeling that doesn’t make sense.

Zylkoven: "You have all the freedom in the world to disagree. However, no one is barred from expressing their thoughts, or to associate with any group they like. Similarly, everyone is still free to move where they want. The only thing that this resolution prevents is the erosion and erasure of different cultures through religious conversion. I think the protection and preservation of a community's or group's cultural identity is a worthy enough endeavour to put some restrictions up."
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Postby Excidium Planetis » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:52 pm

Daarwyrth wrote:Zylkoven: "The intent is to ensure that no religious entity will be able to erode or eradicate the culture and society of another community or group of people. Indeed, missionaries could be sent out domestically to an indigenous community with the intent of erasing their culture - as has been noted in prior commentary - and our delegation believes that is most unwelcome within an international assembly that celebrates diversity. Any community or group of people, regardless of how far they are removed from the missionary, should receive protection against religious imperialism. The wording of this proposal is meant to reflect that intent."

"I don't know how that's a celebration of diversity... the reverse is also the case. If an indigenous religious group attempted to convert anyone to their beliefs, your proposal allows the nation to punish those indigenous peoples.

"Your proposal not only legalizes, but mandates the extermination of indigenous religious beliefs by prohibiting any attempt to convert others to them."
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:56 pm

Excidium Planetis wrote:
Daarwyrth wrote:Zylkoven: "The intent is to ensure that no religious entity will be able to erode or eradicate the culture and society of another community or group of people. Indeed, missionaries could be sent out domestically to an indigenous community with the intent of erasing their culture - as has been noted in prior commentary - and our delegation believes that is most unwelcome within an international assembly that celebrates diversity. Any community or group of people, regardless of how far they are removed from the missionary, should receive protection against religious imperialism. The wording of this proposal is meant to reflect that intent."

"I don't know how that's a celebration of diversity... the reverse is also the case. If an indigenous religious group attempted to convert anyone to their beliefs, your proposal allows the nation to punish those indigenous peoples.

"Your proposal not only legalizes, but mandates the extermination of indigenous religious beliefs by prohibiting any attempt to convert others to them."

Zylkoven: "Now you're just plainly lying about the content of our proposal. Nowhere in the text is the "extermination of indigenous religious beliefs" being mandated. People are still free to talk about their religion, it's missionaries that are being prevented from conducting missionary work. The text is clear and simple. Misrepresentation will not change it."

"To prove my point, please have a look at the definition under Clause 1a."

A 'missionary' as an individual belonging to a particular religion, faith, belief system, or cult who is sent out toward a community or group of people with the purpose of religiously converting said individuals;


"The proposal speaks of "community" and "group of people" and uses a plural to refer to both of those. As such, no individual is being prevented from talking about their religion to another individual. In particular, no one is being prevented from talking about the religion or faith with another individual in an informative manner, that allows the other individual to make up their own mind whether they want to hold the same or similar beliefs. This is further proven by the wording of Clause 1b."

that focus on the conversion of a community or a group of people


"Again, the wording is "a community" and "group of people". Nowhere in this proposal is an individual prevented from speaking about their religion with another person."
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Excidium Planetis » Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:33 pm

Daarwyrth wrote:Zylkoven: "Now you're just plainly lying about the content of our proposal. Nowhere in the text is the "extermination of indigenous religious beliefs" being mandated. People are still free to talk about their religion, it's missionaries that are being prevented from conducting missionary work. The text is clear and simple. Misrepresentation will not change it."

"To prove my point, please have a look at the definition under Clause 1a."

A 'missionary' as an individual belonging to a particular religion, faith, belief system, or cult who is sent out toward a community or group of people with the purpose of religiously converting said individuals;


"The proposal speaks of "community" and "group of people" and uses a plural to refer to both of those. As such, no individual is being prevented from talking about their religion to another individual. In particular, no one is being prevented from talking about the religion or faith with another individual in an informative manner, that allows the other individual to make up their own mind whether they want to hold the same or similar beliefs. This is further proven by the wording of Clause 1b."

that focus on the conversion of a community or a group of people


"Again, the wording is "a community" and "group of people". Nowhere in this proposal is an individual prevented from speaking about their religion with another person."

"Hey now..." Adelia Meritt backs up. "No need to accuse me of lying. That's why I asked about what your proposal did in the first place."

"But now I don't even know. Your proposal explicitly uses the word 'individuals', and now you're saying that it doesn't prohibit conversion of individuals."
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Postby Daarwyrth » Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:48 pm

Excidium Planetis wrote:"But now I don't even know. Your proposal explicitly uses the word 'individuals', and now you're saying that it doesn't prohibit conversion of individuals."

Zylkoven: "The plural form of "individuals" refers back to "communities" and "group of people", which generally are understood to consist of a collection of individuals.

However, as we anticipate this may generate continued confusion, we have opted to change "individuals" to "collective", to better reflect the our intention."
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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