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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

What was the role of religion in the origin and perpetuation of slavery in the United States? How did religion affect the cruel treatment of Native Americans? Has religion had an impact on the fate of immigrants of color as they entered the nation? In short, did religious ideology in general, and Christianity in particular, challenge or support the historically overt racist social structure of the United States? The answer heavily depends on one's perspective on the role of religion. Patterns picked up from historical encounters provide insight, allowing us to understand the contemporary relationship between race and religion. This article explores the idea that a particular religion has been generally used to promote the interests of the racial/ethnic group that promotes it. It discusses early Christianity and white supremacy, the emergence of white racial identity and modern racism, non-Christian expressions of racial protests, and multiracial churches and racial identity.

Keywords: United States, slavery, race, racism, religion, Christianity, white supremacy, racial identity, religious ideology, racial protests

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