Defining and Defending Rights
This chapter examines how U.S. evangelical groups operated abroad, forged transnational cultural ties, and shaped official U.S. foreign policy in the decades surrounding the end of the Cold War. It focuses on how foreign missionary work contributed to the creation of an influential evangelical lobby with distinct interests in the trajectory of U.S. foreign relations. It also reveals that the vast expansion of evangelical Christianity throughout the world during the 1970s and 1980s nurtured ties between U.S. evangelicals and their coreligionists abroad, which created a diffuse yet energetic global network of faith-based nonstate organizations and actors. The chapter describes American missions in the Global South and the efforts to support persecuted Christians in the Soviet bloc that informed evangelical views of Christian life abroad and the prospects for evangelism. It also illustrates how U.S. evangelicals had the political power necessary to advocate effectively for policies that they believed would nurture global Christendom.
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