Originally Posted by Echoes
They never used force to convert people. I grew up in a Jesuit school. I was an atheist back then and told my teacher - Jesuit priest - I did not like the priest converting natives by force in the colonies. He told me that Jesuits missionaries like saint Francis-Xavier in China would first get to know their cultures and what they believed in and then try to bring them to Christianity only by arguments and persuasion ...
My favourite all time anecdote concerns the Catholic priests that were sent to convert the cannibals of southern Papua-New Guinea. These people live in small tribes along the various tributaries of the main river. Their greatest achievement , as they saw it, was to cunningly trick a member of an adjoining tribe into being captured and eaten, without actually having to risk their own lives.
Anyway, as part of the conversion process, the priests decided to put on a Passion play, to teach these savages about Christian values. The audience watched the play in fascination and when it was finished gave polite applause to the actors, including Jesus. But when Judas Iscariot took his bow the audience erupted into a prolonged standing ovation.