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. They actively promote religious (Christian) and nationalistic discourses in various fields of social life, from politics and history, to culture and science. In Europe and the United States, Christian nationalism ranges from conservative to far right-wing.
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). Some distinctively radicalized forms of clerical nationalism have even led to the rise of clerical fascism on the far-right of the political spectrum in various European countries, especially during the interwar period in the first half of the 20th century.
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.
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". The Foundation for Moral Law, for example, was founded for this purpose. The ideology also advocates for public policy to be supported by religious beliefs, such as enshrining the sanctity of life in law through the buttressing of the pro-life movement. Christian nationalists support Sunday blue laws in keeping with traditional first-day Sabbatarian principles; the Lord's Day Alliance (LDA) was organized by representatives of various Christian denominations to this end. In 2018, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation began Project Blitz to achieve these goals.
The National Reform Association is an organization, founded in 1864 and active to this day, that seeks to introduce a Christian amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Advocacy groups, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and First Liberty Institute, work to defend their view of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
- Feldman et al.
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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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