From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups (called "missionaries"), to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization (in order to expand Christianity through the conversion of new members), but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged. Missionaries have the authority to preach the Christian faith and administer sacraments, and provide humanitarian work to improve economic development, literacy, education, health care and orphanages. Christian doctrines (such as the "Doctrine of Love" professed by many missions) permit the provision of aid without requiring religious conversion.