Protestant parties

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Protestant parties are political parties which seek to promote or defend the interests of Protestant religion against proponents of Catholicism, anticlericalism, or excessive liberalism in personal matters. The sectarian politics of Northern Ireland have led the Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist Parties to be clearly identified with the Protestant section of the population against the Catholic minority and the territorial claims of Eire, a Catholic state. Similarly, in Scandinavia Christian peoples' parties emerged during the 1960s on the back of Protestant revulsion at sexual permissiveness. Otherwise political promotion and defence of the Protestant religion is either one among other, non‐religious, defining elements of a political party, as in the case of the British Conservative Party and its upholding of the established Church of England, or one among other religious causes promoted by a political party against secularism, as is the case with the Dutch Christian Democratic Appeal. Protestant beliefs have been promoted since the 1960s within more general religious backlashes against secularism in the context of populist ‘moral majority’ movements in established parties, such as the American Republican Party. The support of evangelical Christians has been assessed as critical to securing President George W. Bush a second term of office in 2004. Nowhere does an exclusively Protestant party form a government, a feature of political systems which is encouraged by an increasing stress on interdenominational toleration and general dominance of non‐religious issues in defining party systems in the West.

Jonathan Bradbury


Subjects: Politics.

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