Here is Steve Rabey at Religion Unplugged:
For most of the past century, America’s conservative Christians and conservative politicians were united in the firm belief that the communist USSR — and later, Russia — was anti-American, anti-God and a threat to the world. In the 1950s, a young Billy Graham preached the Cold War as a holy crusade. In the 1970s, Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” claimed the biblical book of Revelation said the Soviet bloc would play a major role in the apocalypse and the second coming of Christ.
But that script has been flipped during the last decade as traditional family values have brought together supporters of “Christian America” and “Holy Russia.” A handful of U.S.-based Christian nonprofits have consistently praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a global beacon of hope — both for families and for the survival of Christianity.
In February and March 2014, Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association featured Putin on the cover of the March 2014 issue of Decision magazine, ignoring the invasion but praising the dictator’s stand protecting children from “propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia.”
“To be clear, I’m not endorsing President Putin,” wrote Franklin Graham, BGEA’s president and CEO, in the 2014 cover story. “Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?”
“I think Russia is the hope for the world right now,” said Larry Jacobs, managing director of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families, in 2014. Russia’s invasion of Crimea led WCF to cancel its 2014 gathering in Moscow that year, but the nonprofit continues to partner with Russia’s religious and political leaders.
“The Russians are not our problem,” said the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer in a 2018 post about then-President Trump and the 2016 election.
Read the entire piece here.
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