Though missionary activity is primarily associated with the Christian religion, other religions have sought to spread their faith as well. In fact, the first wide-scale missionary work was undertaken by Buddhists. In the third century B.C., King Asoka asked Buddhist missionaries to spread the religion beyond India. They journeyed to surrounding lands, including Thailand and Sri Lanka. Islam also employs missionaries. Often after conquering an area, Islamic missionaries would proselytize to the people, to establish a stronger understanding of the faith. There's also past evidence of Jewish proselytism, too. A reference in the Gospel Matthew suggests that certain Jews would travel long distances to convert others. Today, missionary work is not a priority in traditional Judaism as it is for many Christians. Rabbis are likely to challenge or even dissuade prospective converts in order to force them to think seriously about their choice.
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