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White Christian Nationalists Are Spreading a Dangerous and Racist Myth: John Blake

In his latest article for a reputable news, John Blake, an award-winning author, and columnist, writes about how the narrative that evangelical Christianity in the United States is predominantly white has been amplified by the focus on White Christian nationalism, overshadowing the diversity within the evangelical community.

The Rise of White Christian Nationalism

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He criticizes White Christian nationalism as a distortion of Christianity, using faith to justify exclusionary and often violent ideologies, casting a shadow over the broader Christian community.

The Unintended Myth

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He suggests that the extensive coverage of White Christian nationalism has inadvertently perpetuated the myth that whiteness is synonymous with evangelical Christianity, ignoring the faith’s diverse followers.

Media’s Role in Spreading Misconceptions

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John emphasizes that an overwhelming amount of media attention on White evangelical Christians, fueled by books, articles, and films, has contributed to the misunderstanding of evangelicalism’s racial composition.

The Global and Diverse Church

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Contrary to the dominant narrative, evangelical Christianity is richly diverse, with significant numbers of Black, Latino, African, and Asian adherents making profound impacts on the American religious landscape.

The Story of Pastor Peter Lim

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Pastor Peter Lim, leading a growing Asian-American congregation in Atlanta, highlights how “Asian-American evangelicals often experience “perpetual invisibility” — akin to what Asian Americans encounter more broadly in this country.”

Lim says, “You just feel overlooked — your story or your experience is minimized,” he says.
“It’s not done intentionally. But you don’t feel like you belong. It tells you that your stories don’t belong. It does hurt.”

Evangelicalism’s True Colors

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The definition of evangelical Christianity is rooted in theological beliefs, not racial or political identities, yet the public perception has narrowed it to a White conservative image.

Shifting Demographics

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Current trends suggest that the future face of evangelical Christianity in America is more likely to be non-White, reflecting the demographic shifts within the faith.

Leadership Diversity

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John writes that leadership within major evangelical organizations is becoming increasingly diverse, with figures like Walter Kim and Tom Lin representing Asian Americans at the forefront of evangelical movements.

Political and Social Views

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Non-White evangelicals often diverge from their White counterparts in their political perspectives, blending conservative religious views with progressive social stances.

The Impact of Immigration

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The changing complexion of American Christianity is significantly influenced by immigration, bringing vibrant faith practices from around the globe to the US.

The Challenge of Recognition

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Non-White evangelicals face the challenge of being overlooked or pigeonholed within their faith communities, struggling for recognition and inclusion.

The Atlanta Spa Shootings

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The 2021 Atlanta spa shootings brought to light the feelings of invisibility and neglect among Asian American Christians in predominantly White evangelical churches.

Demographic Salvation

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The influx of non-White immigrants, many of whom are evangelical, may counter the decline in church membership in the US, revitalizing the American church with new energy and faithfulness.

The Untold Stories

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The narrative of evangelical Christianity in America is far richer and more diverse than often portrayed, encompassing a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds that challenge the prevailing myths.

A Call for Inclusivity

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John Blake concludes by saying that it’s time to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity within evangelical Christianity, moving beyond the narrow focus on White Christian nationalism to embrace the full spectrum of faith in America.

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