Dhammarakkhita (Pali) or Dharmarakṣita (Sanskrit), (translation: Protected by the Dhamma), was one of the missionaries sent by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka to proselytize the Buddhist faith. He is described as being a Greek (Pali: "Yona", lit. "Ionian") in the Mahavamsa, and his activities are indicative of the strength of the Hellenistic Greek involvement during the formative centuries of Buddhism.
Greek communities had been present in neighbouring Bactria and in northwestern India since the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great around 323 BCE, and developed into the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms until the end of the 1st century BCE. Greeks were generally described in ancient times throughout the Classical world as "Yona", "Yonaka", "Yojanas" or "Yavanas", lit. “Ionians".
It seems they were ardent recipients of the Buddhist faith and the example of Dhammarakkhita indicates that they even took an active role in spreading Buddhism as leading missionaries.