How Evangelical Christians Conquer the World: A Deep Dive into Evangelism and Politics

2024-04-08 08:01:43

Part 1: “How evangelical Christians conquer the world” on April 9th ​​at 10:35 p.m. on ORF 2; then: “1979 – Origin of the Present”

Vienna (OTS) – Evangelical Christianity is growing rapidly worldwide and is increasingly influencing social and political areas. The followers of this fundamentally conservative Christian movement have brought controversial politicians such as Donald Trump to power. And they are working to give the former US president a second term in office this year. “criss-cross” can be felt in the new three-part documentary “With God to Power” by Thomas Johnson and Philippe Gonzalez (ORF editing:
Sabine Aßmann) on Tuesday, April 9th, 16th and 23rd, at 10:35 p.m. on ORF 2, looking into the background of evangelicalism. The first part traces the origins of this powerful movement around the charismatic founder Billy Graham. All sides have their say, convinced supporters as well as critics – which leads to quite surprising insights. Part 1 of the two-parter “1979 – Origin of the Present” by Dirk van den Berg and Pascal Verroust follows at 11:25 p.m.

“With God in Power” – Part 1: “How Evangelical Christians Conquer the World

Thanks to evangelicals, Christianity is one of the few religions in the world that is growing. In 2020, approximately 660 million people in the world professed to be evangelicals. Their mission is to proclaim the gospel to everyone in the world. Evangelical preachers and groups are increasingly influencing politics. But that was not always so.

The documentary traces the historical beginnings of the evangelical movement with its originally strict separation of church and state and follows the unprecedented development in the 20th century. It shows the beginnings of the charismatic preacher Billy Graham, who brings his specific form of Christian faith into the world. His “mass evangelisms” fill entire stadiums and take him to Europe, Brazil, South Korea and Nigeria. The evangelical influence on politics also began with Graham. For example, the preacher supports the Republican Richard Nixon until his downfall. The Watergate scandal ultimately becomes a turning point and Graham withdraws from political relationships. But other evangelicals fill this gap.

In the film, evangelicals from a wide range of orientations provide insight into their faith, their religious and socio-political convictions. So what are the strategies of the evangelical wave that has swept every continent since the end of World War II? And what does it mean to be evangelical today? All sides have their say – which leads to some surprising insights.

“1979 – Origin of the Present”

The year 1979 is now considered a significant turning point in historical developments. Looking back, much of what still concerns us politically today began back then: despite political reprisals at home, China opened up its economy to the outside world. Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran from his exile in Paris and led the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan – events whose effects are still felt today. A documentary by Dirk van den Berg and Pascal Verroust.

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