I was talking with an old friend of mine (a bit of a history buff) about different periods of time when various populations of people were forcibly converted to other religions.
I noted that forcible conversions from two of the main three monotheistic religions, Islam and Christianity, had occured many times. However, forcible conversions by followers of Judaism were rare, if ever occurring at all.
He promptly began telling me of various events in Jewish history where groups of people spread across the middle east were converted forcibly. Now I’m no history buff so I couldn’t really cite him.
The only piece of information I can remember directly was something about a John Hyrcanus (sp.?) forcibly converting the Edomites. He did provide more details, but my memory is hazy and I wouldn’t really know much about it.
Now I had always thought that according to orthodox Judaism, if you are born Jewish, you are Jewish. Period. So I don’t understand why forcibly converting other populations would be accepted (strictly speaking) under Judaic law. It would make no sense, right?
So are there any documented examples in history where non-Jews were forcibly “converted” (if that can be used in a less strict sense) to Jews?