Could modern American protest movement be the result of Evangelical activities?

  • evangelicals
  • 30.Jun ‘20
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In April 2020, the American publishing house HarperOne published a book titled “American Prophets”. There, Jack Jenkins claims that modern leftist activism adopted many of its practices from the traditions of the Evangelical church (non-violent actionism, praying for the oppressed, and so on). The writer also posits that such movements exist nowadays in other denominations, and that many protest sentiments come from the faithful.

Artist Bree Newsome, who belongs to the Baptist church and comes from the family of a pastor, is probably the most famous activist of that ilk. In 2015, she climbed the flagpost in front of the government building in South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag as a protest against Charleston Shootings. In her words, she did it “in the name of Jesus.” After a while, the flag was officially removed.

In her review of the book in the New Yorker Casey Cep writes about the myth of the religious right and gives examples of protests and demonstrations for equality that came from active believers. There is no doubt left, she argues, that the current protests were heavily influenced by the Protestant churches.

This happens despite the fact that, according to the data, the majority of US Evangelical Christians nowadays support the Republican party. Casey Cep is of the opinion that the success of a social movement depends mostly on small activist groups rather than the overall number of followers.

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