Extremist politics under the guise of religious conviction are dividing and damaging communities across the United States. But these issues are far from new and by no means exclusive to this country. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will explore historical and international dimensions of the dangers of ascendant Christian nationalism.

As the world looks on in horror at the brutal and indefensible Russian assault on Ukraine, we’re all searching for ways to make sense of this conflict. But one key explanation missing from the analysis is the role of religion. Historian Katherine Kelaidis, author of the recent Religion Dispatches piece Make No Mistake, If There’s a War Between Russia and Ukraine, it will be a Religious War, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, Host of State of Belief, to discuss the religious underpinnings of Russia’s invasion.

We at State of Belief speak often about how white nationalism has inflamed religious extremism and undermined the integrity of some major religious denominations. And as we face resurgent white nationalism across the country today, it’s important to reflect on the deep roots of these dangerous ideas. Dr. Kathryn Gin Lum, author of the upcoming book Heathen: Religion and Race in American History, will join Welton to discuss the interplay between historical American ideas of heathenism and discourses on race today.

Christian nationalist symbols and attitudes were deeply entangled with the movement to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol. While American democracy survived this brazen attack on January 6, the influence of religious extremists in the public square continues to spread –– and just not within our own borders. Professor Thomas Lecaque, author of Leaked ‘Freedom Convoy’ Donor Comments Clearly Demonstrate Christian Nationalist Presence, published in Religion Dispatches, join Welton to explain the link between the radical anti-vaccine protests in Canada and rising Christian nationalism.

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