Christian nationalism is Christianity-affiliated religious nationalism. Christian nationalists primarily focus on internal politics, such as passing laws that reflect their view of Christianity and its role in political and social life. In countries with state churches, Christian nationalists uphold an antidisestablishmentarian position in support of furthering the connection between church and state. Christian nationalists have emphasized a recovery of territory in which Christianity formerly flourished, historically to establish a Pan-Christian state out of the countries within Christendom.
Christian nationalists actively promote religious (Christian) discourses in various fields of social life, including politics, history, culture, and science. With respect to legislation, for example, Christian nationalists advocate Sunday blue laws. Christian nationalists have encouraged evangelism and have urged families to have more children as a means of facilitating Christian population growth (cf. Quiverfull). Christian nationalists support the presence of Christian symbols and statuary in the public square, as well as state patronage for the display of religion, such as school prayer and the exhibition of nativity scenes during Christmastide or the Christian Cross on Good Friday.
Christian nationalists draw support from the broader Christian right. Christian nationalistic movements often have complex leadership structures, depending on the nature of their relationship with local Church institutions. Some movements are lay oriented, with symbolic clerical participation and indirect support from local Church structures, while others are led or strongly influenced by local clergy. The involvement of clergy in various Christian nationalistic movements since the 19th century has led to the development of particular forms of Christian nationalism which are known as clerical nationalism (also known as clero-nationalism or clerico-nationalism).
In the Middle Ages, efforts were made in order to establish a Pan-Christian state by uniting the countries within Christendom. Christian nationalism played a role in this era in which Christians felt the impulse to recover lands in which Christianity flourished. After the rise of Islam, certain parts of North Africa, East Asia, Southern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East lost Christian control. In response, Christians across national borders mobilized militarily and a "wave of Christian reconquest achieved the recovery of Spain, Portugal, and southern Italy, but was unable to recover North Africa nor—from a Christian point of view, most painful of all—the Holy Land of Christendom."
The state atheism of the former Eastern Bloc, which brought about a persecution of Christians, caused a rise in Christian nationalism in the West, as well as ecumenical cooperation among Christians across denominational lines. For example, the United States, in 1956, adopted "In God We Trust" as its official motto "to differentiate itself from the Soviet Union, its Cold War enemy that was widely seen as promoting atheism." During this time, Christian human rights non-governmental organisations, such as Voice of the Martyrs, were founded in order to provide support to Christians persecuted in the Communist Bloc, also engaging in activities such as Bible smuggling. In the 1990s, the period surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union led "a surge in the activity of religious groups and interests among broad segments of the population". The revival of the Church occurred in these formerly Communist areas; Christian missionaries also entered the former Eastern Bloc in order to engage in evangelism there, winning people back to Christianity.
In recent years there has been a growing sentiment of nationalism between both Catholics and Protestants in Brazil. Politicians like Magno Malta and Jair Bolsonaro, and political parties like Patriota promote ultraconservative ideas, like rejection of LGBT rights, opposition to abortion, and anti-secularism. Most Christian nationalists in Brazil are in favor of ecumenism, while attacking and rejecting contact with non-Christians, more specifically Muslims and atheists.
The Lebanese Front was a coalition of mainly Christian parties in the Lebanese Civil War. In the 1980s, Christian nationalism was pursued by the Maronite community. The Maronites sought to create a Christian mini-state. Christian nationalist Michel Aoun revolted against the Syrian Lebanese regime in 1990, but was defeated with Syrian Army support; all militias aside from the pro-Syrian Hezbollah were disarmed by 1991. The only party in Lebanon currently representing Christian nationalism is the Lebanese Forces Party.
In Poland, nationalism was always characterized by loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. Groups like the National Revival of Poland use slogans like Wielka Polska Katolicka (Great Catholic Poland) and protest vigorously against legalization of gay marriage and abortion. Conservative religious groups connected with Radio Maryja are often accused of harboring nationalist and antisemitic attitudes.
Religious nationalism characterized by communal adherence to Eastern Orthodoxy and national Orthodox Churches is found in many states of Eastern Europe and in the Russian Federation. Many Russian Neo-Fascist and Neo-Nazi groups, such as the Russian National Unity, call for an increased role for the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to The New Republic, Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel Perry, the authors of Taking America Back for God, define Christian nationalism as "'an ideology that idealizes and advocates a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture'". Whitehead and Perry assert that "Christian nationalists believe that the U.S. was founded as an explicitly Christian nation; that the country’s success is in part a reflection of God’s ultimate plan for the world; that prayer should be allowed in public schools; and that the federal government should declare the U.S. a Christian nation, advocate Christian values, and support religious displays in public places." Furthermore, the two authors aver that the "'Christianity' of Christian nationalism 'includes assumptions of nativism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity, along with divine sanction for authoritarian control and militarism. It is as ethnic and political as it is religious'"; they add that Christian nationalist rhetoric "'finds its roots in the desire to create boundaries of group membership around race and the right of white Americans to segregate themselves from minorities'".
Christian nationalism in the United States manifests itself through the promotion of religious art and symbolism in the public square, such as the displaying of the Ten Commandments and the national motto "In God We Trust", which came into force in order to distinguish the United States from the state atheism of the former Soviet Union. The Foundation for Moral Law, for example, was founded by Roy Moore in 2003 for this purpose.
Christian nationalists support Sunday blue laws in keeping with traditional first-day Sabbatarian principles; the Lord's Day Alliance (LDA) was founded in 1888 by mainstream Christian denominations to this end. The ideology also advocates the view that public policy should be supported by religious beliefs, such as enshrining the sanctity of life in law through the buttressing of the pro-life movement.
Christian nationalists believe that the United States is meant to be a Christian nation and want to "take back" the US for God. In 2020, sociologist Samuel Perry asserted that a Christian nationalist ideology was the strongest predictor of a vote for Donald Trump for president of the United States. Also in 2020, The New Republic stated that Perry and his co-author, Andrew L. Whitehead, found that "'Christian nationalism,' not evangelicalism, binds together Trump supporters on such issues as immigration, gun control, travel bans, refugees, political correctness, opioid addiction, public education, racial injustice in policing, 'family values,' transgender rights, and secularism". Whitehead and Perry found that persons who frequently attended church, prayed, and read the Bible did not tend to be enthusiastic about Trump’s views on guns, race, immigration, and poverty. Non-nationalistic evangelicals, however, tended to agree with Christian nationalists in areas such as the family, gender roles, and sexuality. Christian nationalism in the United States is perceived by individuals such as Elizabeth Neumann as having ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
- Christian democracy
- Christian fascism
- Christian fundamentalism
- Christian population growth
- Christian Reconstructionist
- Clerical fascism
- Dominion theology
- History of Christian flags
- Military order (religious society)
- Muscular Christianity
- National church
- Political Catholicism
- Role of Christianity in civilization
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Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State...
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Major religions in the past, especially Christianity, have attempted to include all their adherents in a large union, but they have not been successful. Throughout most of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, attempts were made again and again to unite all the Christian world into a kind of Pan-Christianity, which would combine all Christians in a secular-religious state as a successor to the Roman Empire.
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Throughout the better part of the Middle Ages, elaborate attempts were made to create what was, in effect, a Pan-Christianity, an effort to unite "all" the Western Christian world into a successor state of the Roman Empire.
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The late 1980s — early 1990s, with the Soviet government shedding the policy of state atheism, marked a surge in the activity of religious groups and interests among broad segments of the population.
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So-called "In God We Trust" bills have already been introduced this year in Alaska, Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina, which, if they became law, would see the phrase emblazoned on public buildings, hung in schools and displayed on public vehicles including police cars. ... In Texas, a bill allowing teachers to display the Ten Commandments in classrooms will be considered in this state legislature session. ... Laser said there are real concerns about a momentum behind Christian nationalism, which she said Trump has bolstered with the appointment of pro-life Supreme Court judges Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. The only religious advisory board Trump has is an all Evangelical Christian advisory board.
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