NPR recently highlighted how Orthodox Christian churches in the US are drawing in far-right American converts that show strong strains of nativism and white nationalism, along with a strong admiration for authoritarianism and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dr Sarah Riccardi-Swartz and Dr Aram Sariksian join Thanos Davelis to look at this phenomenon and explore what the broader implications are not only for Orthodox churches in the US, but also for US democracy.
Riccardi-Swartz is the postdoctoral fellow for the Recovering Truth: Religion, Journalism, and Democracy project in the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University. An anthropologist, scholar of American religion, and trained documentary filmmaker, she specializes in social politics, media, race, and Orthodox Christianity. She is the author of Between Heaven and Russia: Religious Conversion and Political Apostasy in Appalachia.
Sarkisian is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the History Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. A historian of immigration, religion, and labor, his research focuses on Orthodox Christianity in North America, especially amongst Russian and Slavic communities.