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A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to carry on ministries of the Word of God, such as evangelism and literacy, or ministries of service, such as education, social justice, health care and economic development.[1][2] The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem (nom. missio), meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send".[3] The word was used in light of its biblical usage; In the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach in his name: "He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." (Jn 20:21) and "And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. 3 Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves." (Lk 10:2-3)

In Christian cultures the term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but it applies equally to any creed or ideology. [4]


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