HT: Philip Jenkins
Another in a series of posts about the many and various ways in which religions spread – often by people who originally had no intention whatever of becoming missionaries, or indeed of leaving their homes.
Sometimes, people really do set out to spread their religion to new parts of the world, and they enjoy great success in doing so. They might be acknowledged missionaries, consciously pursuing evangelization, or else they are refugees and utopians seeking better conditions in which to pursue their faith. Think of the Puritans and their “New England.” In many instances, though, religions spread by non-intentional means, and these can be quite as successful as deliberate mission. Religions or denominations are carried along with larger migration movements. In other less studied cases, the people carrying religious traditions actually do so quite reluctantly, because they have no wish whatever to be in the countries in which they find themselves.
You can read the rest.