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Proselytism, as distinct from evangelism, involves actively and illegitimately seeking and inducing people from one religious faith to another. People converted this way are known as proselytes. The English word proselytism derives from the Greek language prefix pros- (towards) and the verb erchomai (to come).

In Biblical usage, a proselyte was one who converted to the Jewish faith, not having been born into the Covenant.

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