Once again, white supremacists will take their message of hate public with a planned rally in Washington, DC. The event, taking place across the street from the White House, will mark the anniversary of the violent Charlottesville “Unite the Right” gathering, which resulted in three deaths, including Heather Heyer whose moral courage that day will never be forgotten. This week, on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we’ll learn about what some faith communities are doing in the face of such overt hatred and bigotry, and the surprising ties between Russia and the American Religious Right.

As the organizers of last year’s bloody march of white supremacists in Charlottesville take their public hate-fest into the heart of our nation’s capital, religious organizations are again on the frontlines to respond, planning creative and peaceful counter-protests. State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with the Rev. Stacey Cole Wilson, executive minister of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, behind one of those events – the United to Love rally, which will be taking place on the National Mall.

For years, white evangelical Christians have claimed for years to be a persecuted minority in the United States, but the data clearly does not support their claim. The grievances they have seem to stem from perceived gains in the political and social power of other groups. Now that the Justice Department has made clear its plans to indulge their victim-complex by fighting for white Christianity in the name of religious freedom, it’s important to visit data showing the reality of religion in America. To get a clearer picture of the state of belief in 2018, Welton will sit down with Dr. Robert P. Jones, president of Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America.

Last month, news broke that a Russian woman charged with conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia tried to use the National Prayer Breakfast “to establish a back channel of communication. Since then, journalists, such as Jack Jenkins, an award-winning national religion reporter from Religion News Service, have uncovered just how deep the connection between Russia and the American Religious Right is. Jack will join Welton on State of Belief this week to parse the connections and its implications of what he’s learned.

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