proselytism (/) is the act or fact of religious conversion, and it also includes actions which invite it. the word proselytize is derived from the greek language prefix προσ- (pros-, "toward") and the verb ἔρχομαι (érchomai, "i come") in the form of προσήλυτος (prosélytos, "newcomer"). historically in the koine greek septuagint and new testament, the word proselyte denoted a gentile who was considering conversion to judaism. though the word proselytism originally referred to judaism (and earlier gentiles such as god-fearers), it now refers to the attempt of any religion or religious individuals to convert people to their beliefs, or any attempt to convert people to a different point of view, religious or not. proselytism is illegal in some countries. however, the right to convert to another religion and to manifest religion is enshrined in article 18 of the un declaration of human rights. the term is generally understood as pejorative, by contrast with evangelism which is viewed as a term of approval. the world council of churches has indicated that, used pejoratively, proselytism refers to attempts at conversion by 'unjust means that violate the conscience of the human person', such as by coercion or bribery.